Pedro Govantes is the Executive Director of Schools & Institutes at New York University. Pedro is the son of Cuban immigrants and is the only member of his family born in the United States. He has over thirty years of experience working in the nonprofit and higher education sector.
For twenty years, Pedro exercised leadership roles in various faith-based organizations in New Jersey. Of the four organizations he served, he founded two of them. Pedro has extensive experience recruiting, developing, and leading boards, managing paid staff and teams of volunteers, casting and executing visions, and raising the necessary financial support to facilitate the mission of these various organizations.
Higher education became a formal part of Pedro’s professional life in 2001 when he became an adjunct professor in philosophy at The College of New Jersey. Shortly after his arrival, the administration asked him to serve on various committees. He cherishes his time with students both inside and outside the classroom and has taught more than 70 courses over his time with the College.
In 2012, Pedro joined the advancement team at Villanova University, first as a planned giving officer and later as Director of Development for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Five years later, Pedro began a new chapter in his life with the University of Michigan, serving as the Senior Director of Development for the Tri-State and Eastern Pennsylvania region. He was based in New York City where his love for the City truly began to deepen. Prompted by an opportunity to have an even greater impact on the City and simultaneously continue his commitment to higher education, Pedro embarked on a new adventure with New York University in late 2019.
Pedro is a recognized leader in professional development associations and in issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within the higher education advancement community. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia. He served on two different committees at the University of Michigan that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and is currently serving on one at NYU. Pedro leads the Multicultural Advancement Professionals committee for CASE that focuses on helping young people, particularly young people of color, begin and thrive as professionals in higher education advancement. Pedro also mentors young professionals of color through the Association of Fundraising Professionals in New York City.
Pedro has three master's degrees, including an MBA from Villanova, and is currently pursuing a fourth master's at NYU. Pedro also has several certifications and designations in fundraising. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Maryland in Government and Politics.
Pedro and his wife Christy live in Pennington, New Jersey. Christy works as the program manager for The Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University. They have been married for over 30 years and have three children.