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Chief Advancement Officer - College of Fine Arts

Job Details


Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Fine Arts is seeking a Chief Advancement Officer who will help lead the effort to develop the philanthropic support that will enable CMU and its academic units to fulfill their potential and continue their ascent. The Chief Advancement Officer will join the organization as CMU strives to elevate its Advancement program and build on the success of Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University.

The Chief Advancement Officer, College of Fine Arts will report to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Mary Ellen Poole, with a secondary reporting line to the Associate Vice President for Development, Matt Weinstein. The Chief Advancement Officer will oversee a team of five staff.

The Chief Advancement Officer will partner with the Dean of the College of Fine Arts to set a strategic advancement vision for the college, with oversight of a broad range of unit-level advancement functions encompassing major gifts, donor relations, annual giving, events, alumni and constituent engagement, and management of the unit’s advisory board. The Chief Advancement Officer also will serve as a member of the Dean’s leadership team. The Chief Advancement Officer will be a senior leader within the Division of University Advancement and serve as a member of the CMU Advancement Leadership Council.

The Chief Advancement Officer will manage the advancement staff assigned to their academic unit and will carry a portfolio of the unit’s top prospects, executing cultivation and solicitation strategies and securing major, leadership, and principal gifts. They also will be responsible for identifying, refining, and articulating their unit’s fundraising needs, communicating those needs to internal and external audiences, and generating excitement for the Dean’s top priorities while ensuring that frontline fundraisers across the university are equipped to advocate for their vision.

University Advancement at CMU is a matrixed and distributed organization, with staff based in central units and in the academic units. The Chief Advancement Officer is key to integrating college level advancement operations with centrally based advancement programs and resources. The Chief Advancement Officer will collaborate with fundraisers across CMU’s schools, colleges, and centrally based units to develop cultivation and engagement strategies to achieve maximum impact across the institution. The Chief Advancement Officer will also partner closely with Advancement Information Services to define, measure, and report on their unit’s success.

In the context of the momentum of CMU’s continued ascent, it seeks a Chief Advancement Officer with the skills to ensure that the College of Fine Arts plays a defining role in the continued evolution of the disciplines, and in the future of Carnegie Mellon.

As the Chief Advancement Officer, College of Fine Arts you will:



  • provide leadership, inspiration for, and management of all advancement-related activities in the college;
  • serve as a senior member of the Dean’s leadership team, as well as a member of the CMU Advancement Leadership Council;
  • identify and articulate fundraising priorities for assigned areas in support of strategic objectives;
  • set the strategy for and support development activity for the Dean, the five Heads of Schools, leading faculty members, key administrators, and other essential stakeholders;
  • serve as the primary leadership point of contact with members of the CFA Dean's Council, an enthusiastic and growing advocacy group that meets twice yearly, as well as collaborate with the Dean and advancement staff to ensure engaging, meaningful programming for the Council;
  • coordinate fundraising activities with colleagues in corporate relations, foundation relations, and other advancement offices across the university;
  • collaborate with University Advancement departments, including donor relations, alumni relations, and advancement services;
  • report on the results of all advancement activities;
  • personally manage a portfolio of high-capacity donors and prospects for the College of Fine Arts;
  • be accountable for reaching unit-based fundraising goals;
  • travel domestically and possibly internationally;
  • develop and manage a budget to support advancement activities;
  • lead, coach, and evaluate the performance of assigned staff;
  • create an environment that rewards excellence, creativity, integrity, and teamwork; and
  • help maximize effectiveness across all levels of the organization through additional assignments.

Flexibility, excellence, and passion are vital qualities within the College of Fine Arts. Inclusion, collaboration and cultural sensitivity are valued competencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.

You should demonstrate:



  • advanced knowledge of and experience with major gift fundraising and capital campaigns;
  • demonstrated success in developing and managing relationships with deans, volunteer leadership, and major donors and prospects;
  • management experience including the ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve goals;
  • cultural sensitivity in interacting with a diverse alumni population, both domestically and internationally;
  • the ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate, and update strategic development plans;
  • excellent writing, analytical, and organizational skills;
  • excellent interpersonal skills and a commitment to collaboration;
  • energy, self-motivation, flexibility, and adaptability;
  • a healthy sense of humor;
  • some knowledge of and experience with one or more art forms; and
  • a commitment to Carnegie Mellon University’s mission.


Education :



  • A Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Master’s degree or equivalent combination of training and experience is preferred.

Experience :



  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible development experience is required.
  • 3-5 years of experience leading and supervising teams is preferred.
  • Experience in a campaign environment is desirable.




  • Successful background check




  • This position is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Travel Requirements: You should be able to travel both domestically and internationally and be willing to work outside of normal business hours as needed.
  • Sponsorship : Applicants for this position must be currently legally authorized to work for CMU in the United States. CMU will not sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa for this opportunity.


CMU has retained Aspen Leadership Group to help manage this search.

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé.

Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Carnegie Mellon University as well as the responsibilities and qualifications stated in the position prospectus.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful

candidate has been selected.

To apply for this position visit: Chief Advancement Officer for the College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University

To nominate a candidate, please contact Gregory Leet: .

All inquiries will be held in confidence.

Joining the CMU team opens the door to an array of exceptional benefits available to eligible employees.

Those employees who are benefits eligible have the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of advantages from comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision insurance to an enticing retirement savings program offering a generous employer contribution. You can also unlock your potential with tuition benefits and take well-deserved breaks with ample paid time off and observed holidays . Finally, rest easy knowing you are covered by life and accidental death and disability insurance.

Other perks include a free Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus pass, our Family Concierge Team to help navigate childcare needs, fitness center access , and so much more!

For a comprehensive overview of the benefits that may be awaiting you, explore our Benefits page .

At Carnegie Mellon, we value the whole package when extending offers of employment. Beyond just credentials, we consider the role and responsibilities, your invaluable work experience, and the knowledge gained through education and training. We acknowledge and appreciate your unique skills and the diverse perspective you bring. Your journey with us is about more than just a job; it’s about finding the perfect fit for your professional growth and personal aspirations.

Are you interested in an exciting opportunity with an exceptional organization?! Apply today!


Pittsburgh, PA

Job Function

University Administration and Management

Position Type

Staff – Regular

Full Time/Part time

Full time

Pay Basis


More Information:



  • Please visit Why Carnegie Mellon to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.
  • Click here to view a listing of employee benefits
  • Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran .
  • Statement of Assurance



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