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TC Welcomes Laurie Dorf as New Executive Director of Development and Program Services


Laurie Dorf

Laurie Dorf

Laurie Dorf, the new Executive Director of Development and Program Services at Teachers College, has wasted no time in settling into the role. Even though her predecessor, Laura Ellis, only left TC after commencement, Dorf has been training and working in her new position for nearly a month, and she's enjoying the experience.

"I think it's very dynamic here," she said. "The people are terrific-everyone seems very committed to what they're doing...very engaged, and really self-motivated, because of...everyone's passion for the programs at TC."

In fact, Dorf sees her new position as a culmination of her professional experience and interests. Her professional life has been focused on youth programs, health, and education. "Coming to TC was a way to realize all my goals," she said.

Born in Brooklyn, Dorf moved through the public school system and college to land jobs initially at an insurance company, and then at an investment house. But something was missing, she felt: "How does this impact anyone or anything in this world?" Ever since, she's been in the non-profit industry, starting with hospital administration, including a master's degree in public administration from NYU, and then to the West Side YMCA. There, a highlight for Dorf was organizing a fund-raiser that brought in $1.1 million, twice the amount that any fund-raising dinner had reaped before.

Dorf entered education administration with a stint as Director of Alumni Affairs and Special Events at the New York Law School, where she handled the annual fund, alumni relations and special events, including commencement.

Dorf said that her main goal as Executive Director is to grow the annual fund. "It is the bedrock, the basic support of Teachers College." She's looking forward to meeting alumni and working to coordinate efforts of the Alumni Relations staff with TC to keep alumni well-connected to the college, focusing on finding ways to "bring them back, cultivate them and get them involved." She also looks forward to dealing with students, whom she says are the core of TC's future support-and not just financially.

Karen Schnur, Director of Events Planning, said that she looks forward to working with Dorf. "She brings lots of event knowledge and an interesting background to Development and External Affairs."

And Dorf is well connected to the worlds of teaching and administration in other ways. Her husband teaches at a public high school, and her sister is a principal in a public middle school. "Now we can spend all our holidays discussing education," she said.

Outside TC, Dorf enjoys the beach and outdoors, and exercise in general: "Got to keep the serotonin levels up," she said. She also loves to dance and watch movies. Her favorite movie-appropriate for TC, she noted-is The Graduate, which she has seen 13 times.

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