Frederick Puddester Named Williams College Vice President for Finance and Administration

Media contact:  James Kolesar, assistant to the president for public affairs; tele: (413) 597-4233; email:[email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., May 5, 2011 – Concluding a six-month national search, Williams College today announced the appointment of Frederick Puddester as Vice President for Finance and Administration. Puddester, whom Williams President Adam Falk said brings “exceptional experience as a financial officer and administrator,” will begin in his new role July 1.

Frederick Puddester
photo courtest of

Puddester is currently senior associate dean for finance and administration at the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, which Falk led as dean from 2006 to 2010.

“Faculty and staff in Arts and Sciences have great respect for Fred as a skilled financial officer who’s worked closely with faculty and staff in marshalling financial resources in support of the school’s educational mission and in making clear for decision makers the tradeoffs involved in the choices they face,” Falk said in an announcement to the Williams community. In his current role, Puddester is responsible for developing revenue and expenditure projections, formulating financial plans for academic initiatives and capital projects, administering the operating reserves, and managing the school’s debt.

Among his achievements at the Krieger School were redesigning a more open budget process that increased the engagement of department chairs, enhancing faculty input to the design of capital projects and laboratory renovations, and establishing a student-driven sustainability capital program.

Prior to becoming associate dean in 2007, Puddester served for seven years as the executive director of budget and financial planning for Johns Hopkins University, responsible for developing the university-wide budget and its five-year fiscal plan.

Puddester spent two decades in Maryland state government, including four years as secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, serving as principal adviser to the governor on the state operating and capital budgets, tax policy, human resources and benefits, procurement, and information technology policy. In that cabinet-level position, Puddester was responsible for the development and execution of Maryland’s $19 billion operating budget and $500 million capital budget, and he managed human resources and benefits for all state employees.

He served from 1991 to 1995 as deputy secretary of the Department of Budget and Management, and for a year as deputy chief of staff to the governor. From 1989 to 1991, he was the state’s director of finance in the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning.

In addition to these roles, Puddester also has served in a number of statewide positions, including as a member of the Inter-Agency Committee on School Construction, which oversees procurement, construction management, and implementation of a $250 million to $300 million annual program for Maryland public schools. He is a member of the Maryland General Assembly’s Spending Affordability Committee, which makes annual recommendations to the governor for spending limits on the state’s operating and capital budgets. Puddester is chairman of the state’s Health Services Cost Review Commission, which establishes rates, sets annual increases, and generally regulates hospital charges, and he is a member and former chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority, which plans, finances, builds, and manages sports, civic, and performing arts facilities, often in partnership with local communities, universities, and private enterprises.

Puddester holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree from Rutgers University. He and his wife Susan currently live in Annapolis, Md., but will soon move to Williamstown. He will visit campus next week, when he will be introduced at a faculty meeting, and will also be in town for the college’s board of trustee meetings in early June.

At Williams, Puddester will take on a newly created role, providing leadership, oversight, and stewardship for all aspects of the college’s financial resources except investment management. He will be responsible for financial reporting, planning, and forecasting, debt financing, and tax compliance, and he will work closely with the provost and dean of the faculty in developing annual budgets and long-term financial plans that reflect the college’s priorities. Puddester’s portfolio will include human resources, risk management, legal affairs, environmental health and safety, real estate, auxiliary services, conferences, planned gift administration, and the Williams College Children’s Center.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with faculty and staff and to gaining their perspectives on all of the things that make Williams such a wonderful place,” Puddester said. “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to put my experience to work in service to one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges and to be part of such a wonderful campus and community.”

The appointment marks the end of a comprehensive national search conducted by a committee of faculty and staff members with the assistance of the highly regarded firm Diversified Search Odgers Berndtson. The college received about 100 applications and nominations for the position, and the search committee conducted eight in-person interviews before narrowing the field to three finalists, who met on campus in recent weeks with more than 30 faculty, staff, and students.


Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.

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