Rodney E. Trapp Named UDC Vice President of University Advancement

Rodney E. Trapp Named UDC Vice President of University Advancement

March 23, 2017


Contact:  John Gordon, Jr.  Communications Director

202.274.5998 (o) or 202.701.8805 (c) or


Washington, DC – The University of The District of Columbia (UDC) is proud to announce the appointment of RODNEY E. TRAPP as Vice President of University Advancement, which includes providing executive leadership of the UDC Foundation. A proven business strategist, Trapp has provided senior management and fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations at the forefront of education access, cultural inclusion, and poverty alleviation for nearly 30 years.

Trapp is credited with achieving a financial turnaround for the distressed Dance Theatre of Harlem, an iconic cultural institution – securing $2.3 million from leading funders such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

He has built development operations infrastructure and launched successful fundraising campaigns and consulting projects for the University of Helsinki, the Robin Hood Foundation, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, the Durham Arts Council and Studio Theatre. Trapp has also served as an adjunct faculty member at New York University, where he taught Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy and the Theory and Practice of Fundraising.

“Higher education is no longer a luxury for the privileged few, but a necessity for individual economic opportunity and workplace competitiveness,” said Trapp. “I am thrilled to be a part of the team that will help UDC provide an affordable pathway to higher education and become one the nation’s premier public universities through heightened levels of philanthropy and fundraising.”

Trapp’s research interests explore the intersection of impact investing, social entrepreneurship and the creative economy.  He has presented at the Social and Sustainable Finance and Impacting Investing Conference at SAID Business School, University of Oxford and is currently a Community Scholar at Columbia University.

“We are excited to have Rodney Trapp join us as Vice President of University Advancement,” said UDC President Ronald Mason.  “He brings a wealth of experience and passion that will help to develop new institutional partners and elevate the University’s profile.”

Trapp is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications and Theatre Arts.  He also holds an International Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Valencia in Valencia, Spain; a Master of Science degree in International Business Development & Consulting from Novancia Business School in Paris, France; and a Master of Arts degree in Arts Management from American University in Washington, DC.

UDC ADVANCEMENT VP’s FIRST OFFICIAL ASSIGNMENT: Development strategist Rodney E. Trapp (right) is pictured with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation president Allan C. Golston, who leads the foundation’s efforts to advance educational opportunity to ensure that all students – and particularly low-income students and students of color – receive a high-quality education that leads to success in college and their careers.