Meet Our Executive Leaders
Adelphi is led by a diverse group of leaders who are passionate about fulfilling the University’s mission: transforming the lives of our students.
In their various roles, our executive leaders promote excellence in academics, student life, enrollment and communications, diversity, community outreach and financial health. Together, they guide our efforts to provide an exceptional university experience.
Christine M. Riordan, PhD, is Adelphi University’s 10th president and the first woman to serve in the role. She is an internationally recognized expert in leadership development, team building, and diversity and inclusion, and is recognized for her groundbreaking initiatives to personalize and transform the higher education experience. She is chair, board member and serves on the executive committee for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York (CICU). Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine named her one of 25 Top Women in Higher Education Who Are Making a Difference. Dr. Riordan has published nearly 70 academic and business press articles and is authoring Shift Happens: How to Adapt and Thrive in a Rapidly Changing World of Work. She received both an MBA and a PhD in organizational behavior from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in textile engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.
- The provost is the chief academic officer of Adelphi University and is supported by the Office of the Provost and executive vice president of academic affairs.
An accomplished composer, conductor and professor of music, Steve Everett, DMA, came to Adelphi in 2018 from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he oversaw four schools and several cultural centers as dean of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts. He was a professor of music and assistant vice provost for academic affairs at Emory University from 1991 to 2013, also serving as chair of the faculty council and president of the university senate. His musical compositions have been performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall as well as in performance spaces in 26 other countries. He is guided in his work as Adelphi’s provost by a strong belief in the power of academic research, a deep commitment to social justice and a transformative vision to prepare students for the future of work.
- The Division of Student Affairs is home to several distinct areas dedicated to student life: student involvement, health services, interfaith community, residential life and housing, student access, student counseling and student conduct.
R. Sentwali Bakari, PhD, serves as an ambassador and advocate for Adelphi students. He earned his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado and is also an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He passionately supports promoting and infusing global and multicultural understanding among students—an appreciation he gained through numerous international experiences. A recipient of the International Education Administrators Fulbright Award to the United Kingdom in 2013, he also participated in an African American faculty delegation to Israel; served as dean of students for Semester at Sea; and co-developed travel courses to Israel, Egypt and Turkey. He has responsibility for health services, student involvement, student conduct, residential life, counseling and support services, student access, the Center for Career and Professional Development, and the Interfaith Center, among others.
- Adelphi’s Office of Enrollment Management is committed to recruiting and enrolling exceptional students. The office oversees University Admissions and Student Financial Services.
- University Communications and Marketing manages the Adelphi brand. Its team of writers, editors, designers, content producers, project managers and other communications professionals support institutional goals including enrollment, academic, and advancement priorities.
Kristen Capezza leads Adelphi’s Office of Enrollment Management, committed to recruiting and enrolling exceptional students. This office oversees University admissions, pre-college and high school programs, and student financial services. She also leads the Office of University Communications and Marketing, composed of writers, editors, designers, content producers, project managers and other communications professionals—all of whom support enrollment, academic, advancement and general University priorities. Capezza has served Adelphi in various leadership roles for more than a decade. Additionally, she has served the enrollment industry as an affiliate and past regional president of the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling and as a local executive board member of the Nassau Counselors’ Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Bryant University and an MBA from Adelphi.
- Diversity is an affirmation of the richness of human differences, ideas and beliefs. That statement is the driving force behind Adelphi’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and its commitment to raise intercultural awareness and respect through “The Three Cs”: curriculum, climate and composition.
As chief diversity officer, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, JD, provides her vision and leadership for the continued advancement of Adelphi’s diversity and inclusion resources and programs. A proven innovator and leader, LaMon has been a key contributor to Adelphi for more than 13 years—as a professor of English, former director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, and prior department chair and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She co-chaired the inaugural College of Arts and Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Committee and served as president of Cave Canem Foundation, an organization committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. LaMon earned her bachelor’s degree at Mount Holyoke College, a JD at the UCLA School of Law and an MFA at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Gene Palma is Vice President of Wellness, Safety and Administration for Adelphi University, and has more than 30 years of campus law enforcement and emergency planning experience. Palma has oversight of all operations and resources dedicated to ensuring a supportive, responsive, respectful and safe academic community and environment. He is responsible for the University’s emergency response, environmental safety and public health matters, in close coordination with the Office of University Health and Wellness. The office provides the Adelphi community with resources and opportunities that support physical, mental and environmental well-being. Palma also has direct oversight for the Office of Community Concerns and Resolution, responsible for a centralized approach to addressing and supporting matters related to Title IX, community threat assessment and student conduct and community standards. In his 22 years at Adelphi, Palma has had strategic oversight for many key functions and efforts at Adelphi, including facilities management, auxiliary and event services, mail services, locksmith, public safety and transportation, environmental health and safety, and coordination with local emergency services and governmental agencies.
- Our safe, scenic and accessible campus, with its cutting-edge facilities, is made possible by the Office of Finance and Administration. This division oversees all University resources, operations, personnel and policies.
Jim Perrino is a CPA with more than 30 years’ experience working with not-for-profit and higher education organizations in the areas of finance, audit, strategy, operations and technology. His focus at Adelphi is on strong financial and operational planning in support of our University’s goals. He oversees business services, facilities, public safety, human resources, employee relations, finance, contracts, the Operational Excellence Council, and the Risk Management Council. He implements best practices in cost effectiveness and promotes innovation and transparency in all University functions and departments. Perrino works closely with Adelphi’s various external constituencies and partners, as well as with governmental and community organizations, particularly on items related to financial, operational, human resource and capital matters. Perrino holds a BBA in Accounting from Boston University.
- The Office of the President supports President Christine M. Riordan, Adelphi’s executive leadership and the board of trustees. The office also manages presidential communications and academic ceremonies.
- The Advancement and External Relations team encompasses advancement, alumni relations and special events. The professionals across these areas are responsible for fundraising, alumni engagement, community outreach and producing campus events of all sizes.
Maggie Yoon Grafer leads the advancement and external relations team, encompassing advancement, academic ceremonies, community and government relations, alumni relations, and special events. A Panther through and through, she has been engaging the Adelphi community and its supporters for more than 25 years. Her higher education career began in student involvement and athletics, and since 2004, she has served Adelphi in public affairs, community relations and external relations leadership roles. More recently, she served as chief of staff. She has a BA in political science and an MA in sport management, both from Adelphi.