Ms. Phyllis Carter


Phyllis Carter is a seasoned executive with a professional legacy of dynamic leadership, strategic partnerships and life-long learning. She has guided education, nonprofit and for-profit organizations to greater financial health, efficiency and sustainability. She is a business advisor to college presidents, administrators, faculty, staff and students.  She works collaboratively to eliminate organizational risk by leading teams in the implementation of comprehensive improvements to financial and operational management. She has a passion for serving and contributing to institutions which provide access, equity and social justice and which enable students to achieve their educational goals. 

During her extensive career with more than 25 years of experience, Phyllis served as the fiscal officer of several organizations and led innovations which transformed and modernized thinking, culture, systems and processes within Finance and Treasury, Budgeting, Accounting, Audit and Compliance, Endowment and Investment Management, Retirement Asset Management, Human Resources Management, Information Technology, Government Grant Compliance and Reporting, Payroll, Procurement, Accounts Payable, Credit Card Programs, Risk Management and Legal, Auxiliary Services, Dining and Conference Services, Facilities Management, Capital Construction Management and Campus Police Services. In addition, she was an adjunct faculty member teaching general and financial accounting.

Phyllis is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who recently served as Chief Business Officer and held the title of Director of Business and Administrative Services at Laney College, supporting the success of 19,000 students annually at this urban college campus located on 60 acres in downtown Oakland, California. She was a member of the president’s executive cabinet and she had oversight of all campus administrative functions.

Prior to this position, Phyllis was Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). She led administrative functions supporting the premier international math research organization funded primarily by the National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, academic sponsorships and philanthropic donations. The organization provides 2,000+ professorships and fellowships annually to renowned mathematicians sponsored by 100 universities from the US and abroad. MSRI’s purpose is collaborative post-doctoral research performed on the University of California Berkeley campus. The organization also provides K-12 education programs for students and training for educators, nationally.

Previously, Phyllis held executive and management level positions providing strategic advice to Board of Trustees and executive management at various public, private and non-profit organizations with annual revenue of $1 million to $2 Billion, spanning industries such as pharmaceuticals, software, computer manufacturing, telecommunications, corporate venture capital and professional services.

Phyllis earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Washington University Olin Business School and an Advanced Certificate in International Affairs from Washington University. She earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accountancy from the University of Missouri. Her CPA was awarded by the Kansas Board of Accountancy. She is a Fellow of the Executive Leadership Academy at the Center for Studies in Higher Education on the University of California Berkeley campus.

Her professional affiliations include American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA), Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) and Financial Executive Networking Group (FENG).

In summary, Phyllis’ commitment to supporting educational institutions that transform lives is also evident in her civic engagement and global community involvement. She is an active board member on the Diablo Valley College Foundation, reader in Oakland Public Schools and has served in international humanitarian organizations providing education and support.


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