Ayanna McConnell has been named acting president and CEO of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.
McConnell, who has served as the Alumni Association’s vice president for university relations since 2021, has more than 20 years of experience leading student alumni programs at U-M and Eastern Michigan University. She first joined the Association in 2011 to design the student community for the LEAD Scholars program.
In her role as vice president for university relations, McConnell has overseen all aspects of the Association’s university relations, student, and development programs. She has also led the Association’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice strategic initiatives.
“I, along with the entire Board of Directors, have the utmost confidence in Ayanna’s ability during this period of transition and am excited about the direction of the Association,” said Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, ’79, chair of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.
McConnell replaces Corie Pauling, ’93, who resigned on March 16. Pauling said she made the difficult decision to leave the Association to stay in North Carolina to focus on her family and take on a new career opportunity.
“While the entire Board of Directors and executive team are disappointed, we understand Corie’s decision and fully support her,” Wilson-Thompson said. “We wish her all the best in her next professional endeavor.”
The Board of Directors has engaged the executive search firm Russell Reynolds to begin the process of finding a permanent CEO.