On Tuesday, January 30, President Minouche Shafik announced that Cas Holloway will serve as Columbia University’s first Chief Operating Officer.

On Tuesday afternoon, President Minouche Shafik announced that Cas Holloway will take office as Columbia’s first Chief Operating Officer (COO) on February 5. As University COO, Holloway’s role will include “strategic oversight in key administrative areas,” such as Facilities and Operations, Human Resources, Columbia University Information Technology, and Columbia Health. Holloway will also take part in the University Leadership Team.

In the email, Shafik highlighted Holloway’s long career in public service, law, and business. After graduating cum laude from Harvard in 1996, Holloway worked at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation before attending the University of Chicago Law School. After litigating for multiple law firms, Holloway served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations under former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. As Chief of Staff, he managed the City’s water and sewage infrastructure and helped allot federal funding to assist those with post-9/11 health issues.

In 2011, Holloway was promoted to Deputy Mayor for Operations. This role involved addressing challenges within various agencies, offices, and programs, including the Department of Sanitation and the Mayor’s sustainability agenda. In light of citywide destruction as a result of Hurricane Sandy, Holloway oversaw both the City’s short-term rebuilding programs through NYC Build it Back and long-term reconstruction and resilience planning. He also improved the 9-1-1 emergency response system, planned to double City recycling rates, and consolidated City fleets. 

Following his administrative position, Holloway worked as Deputy COO and Global Head of Technical Operations at Bloomberg LP. Holloway has also assumed roles in New York startups, bringing their technology to the public, particularly in the distribution of COVID-19 relief. Most recently, Holloway has worked in technology consulting, advising companies on their operations at local, state, and federal levels.

President Shafik ended her statement by thanking administrative staff for their collaboration and support within the “functional areas” that will now be overseen by Holloway, including Chief Financial Officer Anne Sullivan and Senior Executive Vice President Gerald Rosberg.

The email announcing his appointment can be found in its entirety below.

Email from Minouche Shafik to the Columbia community on Tuesday, January 30 at 3:04 pm: 

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am delighted to share that I have appointed Cas Holloway as Columbia’s Chief Operating Officer. He will begin on February 5, 2024. As COO, Cas will serve as a member of the University Leadership Team and will provide strategic oversight in key administrative areas including Facilities and Operations, Human Resources, Columbia University Information Technology, Columbia Health, and Columbia Technology Ventures.

Cas joins the Columbia community after a distinguished career as a public servant, business leader, and entrepreneur. After receiving his degree from Harvard, Cas started his career at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. He went on to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School, clerk for a federal judge, and work as a litigator for two New York law firms. In 2006, he joined the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations, where he led efforts to secure federal funding to address the health effects of 9/11. He then became Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, responsible for management of the City’s vast network of water and sewer infrastructure, including a $19 billion capital program.

In 2011, Cas was appointed Deputy Mayor for Operations, overseeing 11 mayoral agencies and offices, including the Departments of Sanitation, Buildings, and Environmental Protection; Citywide Administrative Services; Labor Relations and Contracts; and the Mayor’s sustainability agenda, PlaNYC. He also assisted in the management of the FDNY, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Office of Management and Budget. As Deputy Mayor, Cas consistently took on challenges that required agencies to think and operate differently, including an overhaul of the 9-1-1 emergency response system; restructuring of the administration of technology projects; development of a plan to double the City’s recycling rate; and consolidation of the City’s fleet operations. He also oversaw the City’s response to Hurricane Sandy, including the rebuilding of homes and neighborhoods most affected by the storm, and the development of a long-term citywide resilience strategy.

From 2014 to 2019, Cas worked at Bloomberg LP, where he served as Deputy COO and Global Head of Technical Operations, managing customer support for the Bloomberg Terminal, global network operations, electronic trading operations, and IT infrastructure and support for the firm’s employees. In this role Cas focused on improving every aspect of the customer and employee experience, from the resolution of technical issues to the resiliency of the firm’s global network and electronic trading operations.

Following Bloomberg, Cas had leadership roles at New York-based start-up companies Unqork and Shiftsmart, where he worked to bring new technologies to the public sector, including applications to assist New York and other cities in the distribution of COVID-related relief.  Most recently, Cas has served as a consultant to early-stage technology companies on their public sector strategies and advised organizations on a wide array of local, state, and federal issues.

As we welcome Cas to our community, I express my deep thanks to everyone in these essential functional areas that Cas will oversee. I am especially grateful to Anne Sullivan, our esteemed Chief Financial Officer, for her strategic leadership and for fostering a transformative era for Columbia University Information Technology since 2015. I have asked Anne to undertake additional responsibilities for finance that will benefit from her capabilities and acumen. Of special note, I am, and will remain, deeply indebted to the leadership and wisdom of Senior Executive Vice President Gerald Rosberg, who has been a trusted advisor and friend to so many since his joining Columbia in 2016. Gerry has generously agreed to help facilitate a smooth transition.

Please join me in congratulating Cas on this appointment and in welcoming him to Columbia.


Minouche Shafik

President, Columbia University in the City of New York

Staff Writers Harriet Engelke and Isabelle Oh contributed to the writing of this article.

Cas Holloway via Columbia Office of the President