Meet Our Executive Director
UC Santa Barbara is thrilled to announce that Samantha Putnam has been appointed as UC Santa Barbara’s new Executive Director for Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association.
Alumni Association President, Michael Citron ’10 and Executive Director of Development, Chris Pizzinat led the search advisory and consultation process which helped identify Samantha from a national pool of candidates.
Samantha has led the alumni engagement efforts as the interim director during the search for permanent leadership. During the transitional time, Samantha worked closely with the Alumni Association Board of Directors to identify alumni engagement opportunities and set strategic goals for both the Association and Alumni Affairs. She helped to maintain and strengthen alumni programming despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Working with the Board, Samantha strengthened the financial position of Alumni Affairs, despite losing two years of critical revenue from the closure of the Family Vacation Center, which successfully reopened in 2022.
During her tenure as interim director, Samantha worked to build strong relationships with campus partners, in support of alumni engagement efforts. She also served as the campus representative on the Alumni Association of the University of California.
Samantha joined the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Affairs team in 2016, serving first as the Programs Director and then as the Associate Director for Alumni Affairs. Samantha also previously worked in Development for Bren School. Prior to her time at UC Santa Barbara, Samantha spent 3 years as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Family Relations at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks and in major gifts fundraising at the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco.
“I am thrilled to move permanently into the role of Executive Director of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association. It has been a great honor to work on this campus for the last seven years.
The Gaucho community is very special and our alumni are an integral part of our UC Santa Barbara community. I am dedicated to fostering lifelong connections, empowering our vibrant alumni community. We are working to build bridges back to campus and foster a culture of Gauchos supporting Gauchos. I am deeply grateful for the generous support for, and service to, our campus from our alumni.” - Samantha Putnam
The work of our alumni helps to enhance our campus’ national and international reputation and they play a critical role in building awareness about UC Santa Barbara’s world-class research and teaching. We are excited to congratulate Samantha Putnam, as she continues to serve our campus and alumni in her new leadership role.
Ex-Officio Members of the Board
|Yuval Cohen||Associated Students President|
|Pedro Craveiro||Graduate Student Association Co-President|
|Felicity Stone-Richards||Graduate Student Association Co-President|
|Chris Pizzinat||Executive Director of Development|
|Hua Lee, M.A. ’78, Ph.D. ’80||Faculty Representative|
Edward E. Birch, H ’95
The UCSB Foundation Representative
Nathaly Arriola '10
Joel Raznick '81
Eugene Covington '96
Gary Rhodes '83
Julie Capritto '81
Javier Moreno '05
Shanna Bright '93
Teresa Carranza '09
Carl Clapp '81
Kristen Nesbit '02
Ronald P. Chiarello ’83
Alex Esparza ’99
Ralph Garcia ’83
Mary Moslander ’88
Zach Rentz M.A. ’16
Marisa Yeager ’95
Michael Desmond ’90