When Rhode Island
native Martha Hirst first visited New York City on a family visit
as a kid, she knew she’d found her future home.
“It was like love at first sight,” she recalled. “And my love
affair with the City has never ended.”
Hirst incorporated her passion for the City into her professional
career, working for over 30 years for the City of New York. In
2010, she decided to transition away from the public sector and, in
December, the Board of Trustees appointed her Senior Vice President
for Operations and Treasurer at St. John’s University.
In this position, Hirst is responsible for Business Affairs,
Enrollment Management, Information Technology, Facilities,
Conference Services, Public Safety, Marketing and Communications
and Global Programs. Her extensive experience working for the City
makes her an ideal fit for the job.
“The City of New York is an enormous and complex entity. While the
scale of operations here at St. John’s is much different, many of
the issues and challenges are familiar, and I believe my work in
government service has prepared me well for this opportunity,” she
As a public official, Hirst worked closely with Mayors Koch,
Dinkins, Giuliani and Bloomberg, serving as an Intergovernmental
Affairs Advisor, Deputy Sanitation Commissioner and the
Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services,
among other positions.
Throughout her career, she focused on making New York City
government more efficient, more technologically advanced and more
environmentally conscious. She hopes to continue this excellent
work at St. John’s.
“The leadership of St. John’s University is really impressive,” she
noted. “Fr. Harrington is a wise and strategic leader, Jim Pellow’s
legacy is stellar, and my new colleagues are just
terrific. I am thrilled to join this team and work to serve
the students of this incredible university.”
Hirst is a double alumna of New York University, holding a Bachelor
of Arts degree in American History and Urban Planning and a
Master’s in Urban Planning.