Princeton names campus dining executive director

Smitha Haneef will lead campus dining staff and facilities.

Starting June 23, Smitha Haneef, will take on the role of Princeton University’s executive director of campus dining. Haneef will report to Chad Klaus, vice president for university services, and lead dining staff and facilities across campus, including six residential college dining halls and the Frist Campus Center food venues, a university announcement states.

“My passion is providing a dining environment that is fun, vibrant, sustainable and focused on the community,” Haneef stated in the announcement. “I am honored to enhance the experiences of Princeton students, faculty and staff through Campus Dining.”

A foodservice and hospitality leader with nearly 20 years of experience in restaurant and hotels around the world, most recently, Hafneef served as district manager for LifeWorks Restaurant Group, an on-site division of Aramark, where she led foodservice operations at multiple Fortune 500 companies and established partnerships with community organizations and global food programs.

“Smitha brings an exciting and fresh perspective on providing inspired offerings to our diverse campus population, as well as building on the partnerships with residential colleges and campus retail and catering clients,” Klaus said in the announcement. “She also has impressive experience with professional development and mentorship programs for staff that I believe will serve our team well at Princeton.”

Prior to Aramark, Haneef was chef and owner of Aha Bite Corp., an award-winning restaurant and catering company outside Birmingham, Ala., where she collaborated with area chefs to develop Indian and fusion cuisines using local ingredients.

Haneef holds a bachelor’s degree from Osmania University, in India, and a degree in hotel management and catering technology from India’s national council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology. 

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