June 21, 2010

Daniel Ennis named senior vp for finance and administration

Harvard Medical School executive dean joins Johns Hopkins administration Aug 2.

Daniel Ennis

Getting different parts of a great university working together across disciplines takes more than good ideas, good talent and goodwill.

It also takes creativity, money and someone who knows how to use them both.

Daniel Ennis, Johns Hopkins’ next senior vice president for finance and administration, has learned that lesson well in his current job as executive dean for administration at Harvard Medical School.

From that seat, and in earlier positions in Harvard’s central administration, Ennis helped create a number of that university’s key interdivisional collaborations. Among them were the first cross-school department, the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology; an institute for biologically inspired engineering; and a universitywide effort to target high-priority areas of science and engineering and channel resources to research and teaching programs in those fields.

“The faculty and academic leadership tell us that often the university can have the most impact with an interdisciplinary approach to problems,” Ennis said. “Administratively, navigating those opportunities at the borders [of disciplines] while continuing to support and reinforce the excellence of the schools is complicated. But it’s inescapable, from an academic perspective, that if you don’t actually get at the opportunities at the borders, Johns Hopkins will fall behind.”

Ennis will join Johns Hopkins Aug. 2. As chief administrative officer and one of the university’s top three leaders, he will be responsible for finance, accounting, investment and money management functions; the Real Estate and Audit offices; Facilities Management; Purchasing; Human Resources; and Homewood Campus Safety and Security. He succeeds James T. McGill, who will retire July 1 after more than 12 years in the position.

Ennis’ enthusiasm for making interdisciplinary collaboration possible in a decentralized environment like Harvard’s or Johns Hopkins’ was a key factor in his selection, President Ronald J. Daniels said. Daniels called Ennis “a proven leader with strategic vision and analytic ability.”

“He has demonstrated real imagination and a talent for engineering constructive collaborations across Harvard University and between the medical school and its affiliated hospitals,” Daniels said.

Ennis has served since 2007 as chief administrative officer of Harvard Medical School, a division with a $2.9 billion endowment, a $539 million annual budget, more than 8,000 full-time faculty, more than 8,000 residents and postdoctoral fellows, and more than 1,300 students.

“Daniel has an insider’s understanding of institutions like ours,” said Daniels, who recommended the appointment to the executive committee of the university’s board of trustees, which approved it last week.

“He is deeply committed to supporting the faculty in pursuit of excellence in education, research, patient care and service to our community and to humanity,” Daniels said. “He is dedicated to responsible stewardship of our resources. He will be a marvelous partner for me, Provost Lloyd Minor, the university’s deans and directors, and the leadership of Johns Hopkins Medicine.”

Ennis said he has always considered Johns Hopkins an “amazing place.” He said he looks forward to the challenge of having an impact from a senior position and helping to implement Daniels’ priorities of fostering individual excellence, growing interdisciplinary collaborations and strengthening engagement with the community.

“The opportunity to help a new president achieve his agenda and make his mark is very, very exciting to me,” Ennis said. “Supporting him, Lloyd Minor and the broad academic leadership in achieving their aspirations for Johns Hopkins is a great opportunity.”

Prior to joining Harvard Medical School, Ennis had been Harvard University’s associate vice president for finance and financial planning, interim director of treasury management and director of budgets, financial planning and institutional research. Previously, as a consultant with McKinsey and Co., he led a strategic review of Harvard’s central administration that led to a number of significant organizational changes.

Ennis is a 1992 graduate of Boston College and completed a dual master’s degree program at Harvard, earning a Master in Business Administration from the Business School and a Master in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.