New Director of Gift Administration and Recording Secretary

Publication Date

Julia Topalian has been named VPF Director of Gift Administration and Recording Secretary. She comes to VPF from the Campaign Office in Resource Development, where she directed philanthropic activities for a portfolio of 23 capital projects for MIT’s Campaign for a Better World. In this new role, Julia will lead the Office of the Recording Secretary (RSO), which joined VPF in September.

Julia Topalian

Julia brings her deep knowledge of MIT’s gift policies and procedures to VPF and will now oversee gift acceptance across a wide spectrum of giving priorities. “As I have come to get to know Julia and her work, I have been extremely impressed with her talents as a convener, problem-solver, and strategist,” Vice President for Finance Glen Shor said in an email announcing her appointment. “Julia is adept at working across many departments of MIT and is committed to continuous improvement in operations, guided always by the Institute’s values and aspirations.” 

“It is exciting to be part of VPF and working alongside the RSO team,” says Julia, who began her new role on January 22. “I am joining a terrific group of experts in gift administration and accounting and hope to bring my experience on the frontlines of the Campaign to this complex aspect of philanthropy. RSO strengthens connections across many entities within and beyond MIT to ensure gifts are accepted, documented, and accounted for and in alignment with MIT’s mission and goals. I am looking forward to the work ahead.”

A self-described “city person,” Julia has enjoyed watching the campus evolve in the five-plus years she has been at MIT. “I’ve been able to see firsthand just how much thought goes into the planning and development of our campus,” she says of her work with Resource Development. “I am excited now to see how the Kendall project will create an important civic space and can contribute even more to the life of the city.”

Prior to her work at MIT, Julia held a range of positions at Harvard, including Deputy Director of Campaign Strategy for the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She holds a BA from Middlebury College and a Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.