Executive Director of Advancement, Simon Business School
The Executive Director is Simon’s primary development officer
and works closely with University Advancement colleagues, the dean,
and other University and school leaders to set strategic direction
and conceive of and execute fundraising and alumni relations plans.
The executive director manages a select portfolio of prospects,
including some of the school’s most important supporters, and
supervises a staff of six. In addition, the executive director
oversees an operating budget of approximately $250,000 and works
collaboratively across advancement and the broader University to
set new benchmarks for success in philanthropy and donor
The ideal candidate will be a seasoned advancement professional capable of managing and mentoring a diverse staff in a complex environment; a thoughtful strategist; a natural collaborator and convener; and an exceptional steward of internal and external relationships. The executive director will possess ten or more years of progressively responsible management and fundraising experience in advancement with a track record of significantly elevating development programs. They will have personal success cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major individual and institutional gifts at the five-, six-, and seven-figure levels, preferably in higher education. Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
Qualifications and Experience
Ideal candidates will bring many of the following:
• A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible development experience with demonstrable success as a manager and a gift officer, preferably in a complex academic environment, including but not limited to business, engineering, or a comparable school or unit.
• Deep understanding of and passion for business education.
• Previous international major gift fundraising experience for a business, engineering, or other professional school preferred.
• Personal success cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding
high-capacity individual and institutional donors to give gifts of
five-, six- and seven-figures, preferably for an institution of
higher education, and to elevate donors’ philanthropic support to
• Demonstrated success developing and managing fundraising programs in a performance-based culture, an in-depth understanding of advancement and development programs, and a proven ability to effectively manage interactions with a central fundraising staff. Must possess strong critical thinking and analytical skills.
• Superior strategic skills with a strong grasp of best practices and a holistic understanding of all aspects of advancement. Substantial experience assessing and significantly growing existing philanthropic programs.
• Proven success building productive, long-term relationships with senior university administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, and boards. Evidence of building effective, productive relationships with deans and other academic leaders.
• Superior interpersonal skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences, and clear and effective written and oral communication. The experience, maturity, and inclination to be an effective, outgoing representative of the University of Rochester.
• Experience working in and building collaborative relationships across an organization that serves internal and external constituents, often with shared responsibility for advancement and donor cultivation and stewardship. Seek input from and serve as a resource to others. Persuasive, persistent, and determined to achieve goals.
• Solid leadership skills, with evidence of leading by example; a proven ability to establish a team- and goal oriented culture that empowers staff through active communication and delegation and that instills confidence, promotes diversity of thought, brings out the best in staff, and celebrates achievement. A strong commitment to personal and professional development.
• Strong management skills, including expertise in personnel management, program implementation, and accountability. A keen eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; the ability to plan, monitor, and manage a budget.
• An understanding of the importance of and demonstrated success fostering and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among colleagues, staff, and in the recruiting and hiring pipeline.
• Collaborative and collegial; eager and able to engage a diverse audience and build strong professional relationships. A convener who can synthesize many ideas and offer strategies and solutions that address a wide variety of goals and objectives.
• Strong personal integrity and work ethic, as well as a sense of humor and perspective.
• A desire to deeply engage in the University and local community. The ideal candidate will reflect and embrace the University of Rochester’s emphasis on academic excellence and commitment to its role in enriching the City of Rochester.
• Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred. Consideration will be given to those with an undergraduate business degree or an MBA.
This search is being led by Jack Gorman, Jean Jacoby, and Molly Gallagher. For more information, to make a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit: www.imsearch.com/7860