Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer
Helen Y. Bowman
As Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Drexel University, Helen Bowman has played a vital role in providing strategic leadership and direction to all Drexel campuses since 2011. She leads the Division of Finance and Administrative Services, directing all financial and investment planning and accounting practices for the University, providing oversight of critical administrative functions including human resources, compliance and privacy, internal audit, information technology, business services, equality and diversity, facilities and real estate, and public safety, and collaborating with key stakeholders within and outside of the University.
Bowman led the University’s Strategic Transformation of Administrative Resources (STAR) efficiency review, which resulted in three main initiatives: Student Lifecycle Management (SLM), Responsibility-Center Management (RCM) and Procurement to Payment (P2P). Under SLM, Helen led the initial effort to improve the University’s retention and graduation rates, improve the student experience and ensure increased access and affordability to the University, which led to the creation of the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success in 2014. Under RCM, Bowman is co-leading the charge to increase accountability and transparency of the budget process with the schools/colleges and administrative units. And under P2P, Bowman oversaw the implementation of an eProcurement system and improved policies and processes to ensure strategic versus practical spending. In addition, Bowman created an Office of Organizational Effectiveness to ensure that continuous improvement remains part of the culture at Drexel University.
For her leadership of these initiatives at Drexel, Bowman was named 2017 CFO of the Year by the Philadelphia Business Journal, which profiled Bowman and featured her in the cover story of the July 14, 2017, issue.
Bowman supports the Audit, Buildings and Properties, Finance and Human Resources, and Investment committees of the Drexel University Board of Trustees. She is also the Vice Chair and President/Chief Operating Officer of Academic Properties, Inc., and is a director on the Board of Trustees of Drexel University Online. Additionally, Bowman served on the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.
Bowman came to Drexel with nearly two decades of corporate and higher education financial experience, providing high-level strategic and financial leadership and analysis in corporate banking, corporate finance, insurance and business reengineering consulting before bringing her expertise to higher education. At Franklin & Marshall College, she was Vice President for Finance and Treasurer, and her impressive fiscal management was largely responsible for the College’s rating upgrade to AA. She has also held executive-level positions at CIGNA Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers after beginning her career in corporate banking at KeyCorp.
Bowman holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business and an MBA in finance, strategic planning and accounting from the University of Pittsburgh.