Zanjani Named VP of Institutional Advancement

Tammy Barbin

posted February 15, 2016


Mellissia Zanjani, PhD, CFRE, will join the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown as its Vice President of Institutional Advancement and serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

Dr. Zanjani was selected following a national search. She brings nearly 20 years of senior executive experience to the Pitt-Johnstown campus. She most recently served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ, a private, liberal arts Catholic university. Prior to that, Dr. Zanjani served in various senior leadership positions including Vice President for College Advancement at Mercer County Community College, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Tacoma Community College, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Hartford Community College, and Regional Program Director at the American Lung Association of New Jersey.

Dr. Zanjani received a PhD in Adult Higher Education from Oregon State University, an MS in Human Resource Development from Towson University, and a BA in Political Psychology from Chatham College.

A highly accomplished and experienced development professional, Dr. Zanjani said she looks forward to sharing her passion for higher education philanthropy, and engaging with the Johnstown community. 

“We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Zanjani’s remarkable record of strategic decision-making and donor cultivation join our leadership team,” said Pitt-Johnstown President Dr. Jem Spectar.

Dr. Zanjani received praise from the faculty and staff who met her during a campus visit.  “Dr. Zanjani has the right blend of drive and vision needed for success in this position,” noted Professor Kristen Majocha.

Other members of the campus described Dr. Zanjani an excellent candidate with a wide-range of fundraising expertise who will serve Pitt-Johnstown and the community well.

Dr. Zanjani will assume her role in March.


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success.