Date April 23, 2024
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Christopher Keith named Brown’s vice president for information technology

A technology leader with an extensive track record of success in Brown’s IT department, Keith will lead innovative technology, data and digital solutions to support education, research and business operations.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Christopher Keith, a technology leader with a long track record of success managing IT projects and initiatives at Brown University, has been appointed Brown’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, effective May 1, 2024.

portrait of Chris Keith
Photo by Paul Rochford and Mike Spaur

Keith serves currently as assistant chief information officer for enterprise applications, a role in which he oversees the strategic use of software applications and data, and leads teams that manage technology solutions and services ranging from web content management to software development to data warehousing. Keith brings 17 years of experience at Brown, having joined the University in 2007 as director of information technology for the College. He is also an alumnus, having earned his master’s degree in computer science from Brown in 2012.

In his new position, Keith will hold the top information technology role at Brown and will lead technology, data and digital solutions across the University. His responsibilities will include oversight of most IT systems and services that support teaching and learning; technology support for research and business enterprises across campus; oversight of the budget and more than 200 staff members in the Office of Information Technology.

Keith will report to Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Sarah C. Latham, who shared news of his appointment in a Tuesday, April 23, letter to the campus community.

“Chris has made many contributions during his tenure at Brown, most recently assisting in our work to develop an IT roadmap for the campus, institute an IT governance model and advance an effective data governance model to support the information needs of our campus community,” Latham wrote. “Over this time, Chris has become a trusted partner and valued colleague and has gained a reputation for his integrity and his dedication to the Brown University mission.”

Keith said he looks forward to transitioning to the senior role and will aim to draw on his experience at Brown to build on the office’s recent momentum.

“Brown has an amazing team of leaders, and to be able to work with them and contribute to strategies for moving Brown forward as an institution is an amazing privilege,” Keith said. “If there's one thing that I hope to achieve in my tenure, it is to even more effectively position OIT to be a strategic partner across campus in roles that extend well beyond being a service provider. I'm looking forward to those strategic partnership conversations with leaders across campus to dig in and explore how OIT can help enable even more data and technology solutions for faculty, students and staff.”

During 17 years at Brown, Keith has held multiple positions where he’s leveraged technology to improve business and education processes, including  course feedback, advising and student support, identity and access management and student and alumni engagement.

Before coming to Brown, Keith spent seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy — first as a naval flight officer and subsequently as a member of the information warfare community at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998 with a bachelor of science in computer science.

Keith succeeds Sharon P. Pitt, who was named vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Virginia Tech in November.

Latham noted that the decision to elevate Keith followed a national search process and input from campus stakeholders, and the participation of faculty, staff and others during an interview process that began in December. Keith's deep understanding of Brown's technology landscape and his significant contributions to IT governance and strategic planning made him the standout choice for the position and reflects top-level talent being cultivated on College Hill.

“The ability to promote from within demonstrates the wealth of talent we have at Brown and advances our goal of developing better career pathways for our team members,” Latham wrote.

[Editor's Note: Story updated on April 25 with a minor edit to more accurately describe the search process.]