New Chief of Staff Appointed

By President Shirley M. Collado, January 27, 2020
A message from President Shirley M. Collado.

Dear Campus Community,

I am thrilled to announce the appointment of my new chief of staff, Odalys M. Diaz Piñeiro, who currently serves as executive director of university advancement at the City University of New York (CUNY). Odalys will join our campus community on April 13, and will be an incredible contributor to my senior leadership team. As chief of staff, Odalys succeeds Melissa Daly, who left in December to serve as assistant vice provost at Emory University in Atlanta.

Professional Headshot of Odalys Pineiro

Odalys M. Diaz Piñeiro, Chief of Staff

Odalys brings a tremendous depth and breadth of administrative management know-how to the role of chief of staff, and her wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of higher education will serve our community very well.

The chief of staff is a critical leader who plays a major role in driving the success of the institution’s operations. This position works very closely with our vice presidents to help organize, focus, and implement the college’s broad strategic work, and manages the day-to-day functioning of the Office of the President. I could not be more pleased and excited to have her join the college to help lead and contribute to the important work that lies ahead of us.

Prior to her current role, Odalys served as a senior administrator and advisor to two college presidents in the CUNY system. At Queens College, she served as the president’s deputy chief of staff and director of strategic initiatives, leading the strategic planning process. At Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, she served as the president’s director of special projects, supporting a number of innovative college-wide programs and partnerships. Odalys also worked at Hunter College as a project director, served as a drop-out prevention counselor at a community nonprofit, and was a middle and high school teacher earlier in her career.

“Odalys Diaz Piñeiro will be a fantastic addition to the leadership team at Ithaca College. We have worked together for almost 15 years, first at Hunter College where Odalys directed a multi-college initiative designed to facilitate the academic success of Latino/a students across CUNY, then at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College as my director of strategic initiatives, and later at Queens College where she served as my deputy chief of staff and director of strategic initiatives. I will miss her steadfast commitment to the success of all our students, but I am confident that as President Collado’s chief of staff she will be a tremendous asset to Ithaca College — as she has been for CUNY.”

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor, City University of New York (CUNY)

Odalys has dedicated her career to public service, with an emphasis on strengthening educational programs and institutions to deepen their role as anchors in their communities. Her mindset and track record of dedicated service makes her such a wonderful addition to IC as we strive to be “a global destination for bold thinkers seeking to build thriving communities.”

Odalys earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual major in political science and communications systems and social analysis, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in education administration from New York University.

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Office of the President and interfacing with our vice presidents and campus partners, Odalys will oversee Government and Community Relations, the Office of College Communications, which includes public relations, news and publications, and social media, as well as executive and leadership communications.

“I am thrilled to be joining Ithaca College’s senior leadership team at a time of inspired evolution.  I have dedicated my almost 30 year career to public service with an emphasis on strengthening mission-driven educational institutions. It is an honor to be a part of a dedicated community working to ensure that IC fulfills its promise to embody its mission to educate, engage, and empower those it serves.” 

Odalys M. Diaz Piñeiro, Incoming Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Ithaca College

I want to thank the focused search committee, representative of key and relevant campus constituents, which provided invaluable input during this important process. The members of that committee are: Tim Carey, associate vice president for facilities (who served as chair); Judith Pena-Schaff, associate professor of psychology and a 2019-20 President’s Fellow; Melissa Gattine, executive director of marketing strategy; and David Harker, director of the Center for Civic Engagement. I want to also take this opportunity to thank the many members of our faculty, staff, administration and President’s Fellows cohorts who participated in this search process. Your input and feedback was critical in this decision. 

Odalys and her school-age son will be relocating to Ithaca in the coming months. I know you will join me in warmly welcoming her to IC when she arrives on campus early in April.

All my best,

Shirley M. Collado