Stephen J. Agostini, a seasoned finance leader with extensive experience across higher education and government, has been named UCLA’s vice chancellor and chief financial officer. He will begin his tenure May 6.

Since 2019, Agostini has served as associate vice chancellor for finance and budget at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In that role, he has worked with senior campus leaders, health administrators and the greater campus community in strategic management of the university’s finances, maintaining oversight of the school’s budget, financial reporting, treasury, debt, procurement and accounting operations.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Agostini led efforts to preserve university activities and employment while managing $48.2 million in pandemic relief funds. He also helped resolve a structural gap equal to 9% of expenses in the general fund and implemented a new allocation model for the university’s facilities and administrative reimbursements totaling $240 million.

In addition, Agostini spearheaded the university’s creation of its first “all-funds” budget, encompassing the 2021–24 fiscal years and totaling more than $4 billion annually. During his tenure, the campus’s AAA rating was affirmed by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.

Previously, Agostini served as chief financial officer for several U.S. federal agencies: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of Personnel Management and the Economics and Statistics Administration.

“Given Stephen’s significant experience in financial leadership and administration for major public organizations, we are confident that he will be an extraordinary addition to our campus leadership team,” Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt wrote today in a message to campus.  

Earlier in his career, Agostini was a senior finance and budget official for Arlington County in Virginia, Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, the state of Wisconsin, the city of Philadelphia, the city and county of San Francisco and the city of Milwaukee. He provided recommendations on a range of economic development issues impacting state and local governments, including plans that resulted in new baseball stadiums for the San Francisco Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Born and raised in New York City, Agostini earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and a master’s in public policy from UC Berkeley.

“I am excited and deeply humbled to be joining UCLA as its next vice chancellor and chief financial officer,” Agostini said. “UCLA is one of the most distinguished higher education institutions in the world, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with remarkable colleagues across the university community to serve students, faculty, staff and the state of California while enhancing UCLA’s preeminence as a leader in higher education.”

Agostini will take over from Allison Baird-James, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for business and finance solutions, who has served as interim vice chancellor and chief financial officer since April 2022.