President's Leadership Cabinet | University of Portland

President's Leadership Cabinet

The University of Portland President’s Leadership Cabinet is comprised of the University's officers and select senior administrators. The Cabinet meets regularly to advise and counsel the President on strategic and operational matters and to collaborate on key projects and initiatives.

Robert D. Kelly, PhD, President

Dr. Robert D. Kelly

Robert D. Kelly, PhD, became the 21st President of the University of Portland on July 1, 2022. He is the first layperson and first person of color to lead UP, a Roman Catholic, Holy Cross institution founded in 1901.

Prior to joining UP, Dr. Kelly served as Vice President, Special Assistant to the President, and Clinical Professor at Loyola University Maryland, with responsibility for mission and identity, intercollegiate athletics, student development, emergency management, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more. He has held senior administrative and teaching positions at Loyola University Chicago, Seattle University, and Union College, among other institutions. Dr. Kelly holds a PhD in Philosophy, Education Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont; and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Loyola University Maryland.

Contact: / 503.943.7101

David C. Mengel, PhD, Provost

David C. Mengel, PhD

David C. Mengel, PhD, began his tenure as Provost of the University of Portland on July 1, 2023.

Prior to his arrival on The Bluff, Dr. Mengel served for seven years as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Xavier University. His leadership of Xavier's largest academic unit was characterized by an integrated approach to student success, a focus on supporting and developing faculty and staff, an embrace of shared governance and collaborative decision-making, a commitment to launching new and innovative academic programs, and an activation of Catholic mission and identity.

Before being named Dean of Xavier's College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Mengel served from 2012 to 2016 as Associate Dean and from 2010 to 2012 as the Founding Faculty Director of Xavier's Center for Teaching Excellence. 

In addition to his service as Provost, Dr. Mengel is also Professor of History. His research and teaching focus on medieval Europe, especially on Prague under the rule of Emperor Charles IV. He holds a BA in English Literature from Vanderbilt University; an MPhil in Theology (Church History) from the University of Cambridge; and, an MA and PhD in Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Contact: / 503.943.7105

Eric C. Barger, Vice President for Financial Affairs

Eric C. Barger

A graduate of the University, Eric C. Barger returned to campus in 2008 as Associate Vice President for Finance & Controller and served in that position until his promotion to Vice President for Financial Affairs in July 2020. During his tenure at University of Portland, Barger also taught health care accounting and finance as an Adjunct Instructor at Pacific University. Prior to 2008, he worked in various roles in health care finance at Legacy Health System, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, MediaLogic/Medscape, GE Medical Systems IT, and Tuality Health Care.

Barger graduated from the University of Portland in 1990 with a BBA in Marketing and a BS in Health Care Management. He added an MBA, also from University of Portland, in 1994 and went on to become a Certified Public Accountant in 1999. He serves on various not-for-profit boards.

Contact: / 503.943.7507

Rev. John J. Donato, C.S.C., Vice President for Student Affairs

Rev. John J. Donato, C.S.C.

Rev. John J. Donato, C.S.C., is Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Portland. From 2007 to 2015, he served as the Associate Vice President for Student Development. In that role, he had direct responsibility for the Offices of International Student Services, Residence Life, and Student Activities, as well as the Moreau Center. Additionally Father Donato has served as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students and Co-Chair of the Early Alert Program, Director and Senior Associate Director of Campus Ministry and has taught as an adjunct instructor in the Theology Department. During the first nine years of his priestly ministry, he served in parishes in California, Indiana, and Florida. Before beginning his role in university administration, Father Donato served as the Director of Human Formation at Mount Angel Seminary. Father Donato is also currently the pastoral resident for Schoenfeldt Hall.

Father Donato earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, where he also earned a master of divinity degree in 1990 and a master of science in administration in 1997. He completed his doctorate in educational leadership in 2005 at Seattle University.

Contact: / 503.943.8532

Tamara A. Herdener, Associate Vice President for Student Development & Dean of Students

Tamara A. Herdener

Tamara ("Tammy") A. Herdener is Associate Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students at the University of Portland.

Herdener works alongside Vice President for Student Affairs Father John Donato, C.S.C., assisting in the leadership of the Student Affairs Division, specifically within the Student Health Center, the Student Wellness Center, the Care Team, Residence Life, and the Office of Student Activities. She oversees the University's Title IX program and serves as Co-Chair of CARE/BITA team. She guides the assessment practices for the Student Affairs Division, serves on the University's Assessment Committee, and co-chairs the University's Retention Committee. Herdener also co-leads the Women's Leadership Forum, fostering a shared leadership model.

Prior to her appointment at UP, Herdener managed strategic initiatives and projects for the Division of Student Affairs at Oregon State University. She also taught legal studies at American Public University for over 15 years, was the City Attorney for Cannon Beach, Oregon, served as the General Counsel for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and rose to the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. Prior to that, Herdener was a residence director at the University of Notre Dame. Herdener earned her bachelor’s degrees in political science and world languages from Seattle University. She also received her JD from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Contact: / 503.943.7118

Evan T. Leadem, Associate Vice President & Chief of Staff

Evan T. Leadem

Evan T. Leadem serves as Associate Vice President & Chief of Staff at the University of Portland. In this role, he advances the strategic priorities of the President’s Office, provides counsel and support to the President, and manages a wide array of special projects. He also directs operational and governance matters relating to the University’s Board of Regents.

Prior to joining UP in 2018, Leadem practiced civil litigation defense with the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and worked in the president’s office at Wake Forest University. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest. He serves on the Board of Trustees for De La Salle North Catholic High School and as a Reader at Holy Cross Parish in North Portland, and was selected for the 2023-24 Cohort of Leadership Portland, a civic education program for emerging leaders sponsored by the Portland Metro Chamber.

Contact: / 503.943.8088

Michael E. Lewellen, Vice President for Marketing & Communications

Michael E. Lewellen

Michael E. Lewellen joined the University of Portland in 2019 as Vice President for Marketing & Communications, the first person to hold this role in the institution's history. He oversees marketing, public affairs, internal communications, advertising, social media, graphic design, printing/mailing services, and Portland Magazine, UP's alumni publication.

Prior to joining UP, Lewellen served for seven years as Vice President of Corporate Communications for the Portland Trail Blazers, directing corporate communications and public engagement strategies for the Trail Blazers, Rip City Management, Moda Center, Rose Quarter, and Veterans Memorial Coliseum. His award-winning career has also included leadership positions with NIKE, Turner Sports, Fox Sports Net, Black Entertainment Television, NBC Universal, and Heart of Florida United Way.

A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Lewellen holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism from Arkansas State University and is an accredited public relations practitioner through both the Public Relations Society of America and the International Association of Business Communicators. In 2020, the Oregon Chapter of PRSA honored Lewellen with the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to public relations profession – the first-ever African-American practitioner to receive that recognition. He is a board trustee of the Legacy Health Foundation, vice president and board member of the University Club of Portland, and immediate past chairman of the board for the Urban League of Portland.

Contact: / 503.943.7824

Scott R. Leykam, Vice President for Athletics

Scott R. Leykam

Scott R. Leykam, who arrived at UP in 2012 and has worked in NCAA Division I Athletics since 1994, has led the Pilots to impressive growth in athletic success, academic success, fundraising and facility expansion during his tenure on The Bluff.

In his role on The Bluff, Leykam is charged with oversight of the University’s 16 varsity athletic programs, 280 student-athletes, and all campus recreation and intramural programs.

Prior to UP, Leykam spent four years as Senior Associate Commissioner for External Relations at the West Coast Conference and 13 years in the Stanford University Athletic Department in a variety of fundraising and media relations positions. He served as President of the NCAA Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association for the 2019-20 academic year and as Chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Committee for the 2022-2023 season. He was named NACDA Athletic Director of the Year in March 2023.

Leykam received his bachelor's degree in Communications from Saint Mary's College (California).

Contact: / 503.943.8420

Dana Lopez, Vice President for Human Resources

Dana M. Lopez

Dana Lopez joined the University of Portland in 2021 as Vice President for Human Resources. In this role, Lopez leads the University’s efforts to support employees, attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce, and enhance UP’s commitment to becoming an employer of choice in Portland and within higher education. Along with the Human Resources team, Lopez oversees recruitment and onboarding, compensation and benefits administration, engagement and professional development, wellness and employee relations, and more.

Prior to beginning her tenure on The Bluff, Lopez served as Senior Director of Human Resources at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. Her career has included additional HR and student affairs positions at Otis College of Art & Design, UCLA, the American Red Cross, and Loyola Marymount University.

Lopez holds a BA in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University, as well as several employment HR-related certifications.

Contact: / 503.943.8484

Elise M. Moentmann, PhD, Vice Provost

Elise M. Moentmann, PhD

Elise M. Moentmann, PhD, serves as Vice Provost of the University of Portland.

Dr. Moentmann came to UP in 1998. She has previously served as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Students in the College of Arts & Sciences, Chair of the Department of History, and Director of the Summer Salzburg Program. She has also served as the faculty advisor to Phi Alpha Theta and chaired or served on numerous University and Academic Senate Committees. She is a member of the following scholarly and professional organizations: American Historical Association, Society of French Historical Studies, Society of Architectural Historians, and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).

Dr. Moentmann received her bachelor of architecture and master of arts degrees from Louisiana Tech University and a doctor of philosophy in history from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She teaches courses in Modern European history, especially France, East Asian history, and urban history. Her research examines the politics of culture in interwar France, especially the negotiation between a national culture centered in Paris and various regional cultures centered in the French provinces.

Contact: / 503.943.7848

Gregory J. Naleski, Vice President for University Relations

Gregory J. Naleski

Gregory J. Naleski began his service as Vice President for University Relations at the University of Portland in January of 2023. Prior to joining UP, Greg served as Associate Vice-President for Advancement at The Catholic University of America. He has also held senior advancement roles at Washington Jesuit Academy, KIPP DC, the Nativity Miguel Network of Schools, Georgetown Preparatory School, and Loyola Blakefield High School. Naleski also served as Expert in Residence for the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame. 

Naleski holds a bachelor of science in biology from Loyola University of Maryland.

Contact: / 503.943.8009

Rev. Edwin H. Obermiller, C.S.C., Special Assistant to the Vice President for University Relations

Rev. Edwin H. Obermiller, C.S.C.

Father Ed Obermiller, C.S.C., serves as Special Assistant to the Vice President for University Relations. From 1995 to 2005, he was the University's Director of Campus Ministry and Pastoral Resident in Villa Maria and Corrado Halls. During this time, he taught in the Salzburg Program, contributed to the development of UP's Master Plan, and served on several committees related to the University's mission. He then served as Vocation Director and, later, Assistant Provincial Superior for the Congregation of Holy Cross, leading a host of fundraising campaigns and communications strategies on behalf of the Province. He returned to The Bluff in 2013 as Special Assistant to the Vice President for University Relations and Pastoral Resident in Kenna Hall.

Father Obermiller received his undergraduate education at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, and his Master of Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

Contact: / 503.943.7488

Greg Pitter, Chief Information Officer

Greg Pitter

Greg Pitter joined the University of Portland in 2022 as Chief Information Officer. In this role, Pitter oversees the University’s Information Services team, which manages and supports all campus computer and telecommunications infrastructure, enterprise applications, and academic technology. Prior to joining UP, Pitter served as a leader in higher education information technology in a wide range of institutions, including Portland Community College, Portland State University, and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His work focuses on improving diversity in the technology workforce and driving the digital transformation of how we teach, learn, and work.

Pitter holds undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Music Composition from Willamette University, an MA in Music Composition from the University of California Berkeley, and an MSE in Technology Management from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Contact: / 503.943.7000

Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan, EdD, Vice President for Enrollment Management

Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan

Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan, EdD, joined the University of Portland in 2023 as Vice President for Enrollment Management. In this role, Dr. Xiong-Chan oversees the Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid and partners closely with staff and faculty across the University to advance the institution’s strategic enrollment goals.

Dr. Xiong-Chan previously served as Vice President for Enrollment Management, Marketing, and Web Services at Hamline University. She also held senior admissions leadership roles at Saint Catherine University. Dr. Xiong-Chan earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, an MA in Organizational Leadership from Saint Catherine University, and an EdD from Hamline University. She is proud to be a first-generation college student, Hmong-American, and daughter of refugees.

Contact: / 503.943.8085