Delphine Sherman named as Haas chief financial officer

Delphine Sherman, MBA 06, a veteran in education and financial management, has been named the new chief financial officer for the Haas School of Business.

For Sherman, the first day on the job was a bit of a homecoming.

“I am so excited to be back,” said Sherman, who started April 2, twelve years after earning her MBA at the school. “Walking through the gates on the first day was a little bit surreal.”

Sherman most recently managed a $240 million budget and led 35 staffers at Aspire Public Schools, a network of more than 40 community-based small, college-prep charter schools in California and Tennessee.

Sherman said she’s looking forward to digging into the challenges of the CFO job, where she will work closely with the senior management team, the dean, and the school’s advisory board.

“It’s a very exciting time to see how far the school has come during this really challenging financial time at the university,” she said. “I’d love to capitalize on that and bring in some strategy around what we want our long-range plan to look like—diving into the long-term and where we go from here.”

In a note to the Haas community, Dean Rich Lyons said he was thrilled to announce Sherman’s appointment.

“Delphine brings a breadth of experience ranging from investment management and education consulting, to financial planning and analysis and business strategy,” he said.

A native of New York, Sherman earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, and moved to Berkeley for the MBA program.

She said her experiences at Haas—and inspiration from classmates—led her to a career in education and finance.

During the Haas interview process she said she was impressed that both Peter Johnson, assistant dean of the Full-Time MBA Program & Admissions, and Dan Sullivan, senior director of academic affairs, both remembered her. “I wasn’t one of those student leaders who was famous on campus, and the fact that they remembered me was so generous and welcoming.”

Sherman has supported Haas in many ways since graduating.

She served on the advisory board of the Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership, now the Center for Social Sector Leadership, and remained good friends with Nora Silver, the center’s director, over the years.  She also spoke on a panel at a Women in Leadership conference, and has hired Haas graduates in her past positions.

She says Haas’ social mission, as well as its Defining Leadership Principles, speak to her—especially Question the Status Quo and Students Always.

“I had heard a lot about the (Defining Leadership Principles) in 2010 and I remember thinking that they completely reflected the experience I had here in 2005 and 2006,” she said. “I thought that it was so smart that Dean Lyons had capitalized on this and made it part of the school’s strategy.”

Sherman replaces Suresh Bhat, who is now CFO of the Hewlett Foundation.

“A big part of why I took this job was because of his enthusiasm and the impact he had on the strategic direction of the school,” she said. “That was really exciting to me.”

Prior to Aspire, Sherman was vice president of client management at EdTec, a finance and professional consulting firm serving over 300 charter schools.

When she’s not working, Sherman said she enjoys running, hiking, and cycling with her family. She lives in Berkeley with her three boys, ages 3, 5, and 7, and her husband, a Berkeley Law graduate.

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