The Indiana University Foundation has named J Thomas Forbes president and chief executive officer. Forbes has served in the role on an interim basis since former President Dan Smith stepped down last year to return to the IU Kelley School of Business faculty.
IU says the appointment followed a vote of the foundation board’s executive committee and consultation with other board committee chairs.
“I have had the privilege of getting to know J T. since my tenure as IU president began and have been impressed by his abilities, vision and transparent communication,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “J T. has my utmost confidence, and I look forward to working closely with him to support IU’s mission and the essential role philanthropy plays in making a difference in the lives of our students, the work of our faculty and the future of our university.”
Forbes has served as CEO of the IU Alumni Association since 2010. As part of that role, Forbes helped the university establish a public affairs and government relations program and lead the legislative strategy for its life sciences initiatives.
“Never in my wildest dreams as an Indiana University student did I ever imagine being called to serve as the chief steward of its philanthropic legacy and principal champion for all those who work to extend this legacy,” Forbes said. “All members of the Indiana University community form a powerful force for good in the world. Working to strengthen the global network of support for our extraordinary students, faculty and staff is inspiring and meaningful. I accept this role with a resolute heart, venturous mind and reverent spirit wholly dedicated to the promise of my beloved alma mater.”
Forbes has also served as the first director of state government relations for Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) and was the first policy analyst for the Indiana Senate.