Boston University – Director of Special Initiatives, Development and Alumni Relations

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If you want to join a dynamic, mission-driven team in the best college town in the U.S.—at a prestigious university that knows where it wants to go, and is competitive in its compensation and benefits—consider us. If you want to help bring a $1.5 billion-dollar campaign to a successful conclusion—and maybe do some of your best work as an advancement professional—consider joining our team.

This historic effort will depend upon a dedicated, creative, and diverse staff. Boston University’s Development and Alumni Relations’ top leadership includes outstanding individuals recruited from some of the best institutions in the world and is led by Senior Vice President Scott Nichols.

The Office of Special Initiatives is a new fundraising team to begin immediate and increased fundraising efforts for a number of program initiatives starting with the Data Sciences Center (DSC), the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) and extending to others for consideration. Other program related fundraising priorities will need to be identified and aligned with the University’s strategic priorities. This team works in close coordination/collaboration with DAR colleagues, the Dean of CAS, faculty, and colleagues in the Office of Development & Alumni Relations across disciplines, departments and schools.


Reporting to the Vice President for Development, this critical position will be responsible for advancing the mission of the University through targeted investments in strategic special initiatives. The focus will be to begin immediate and increased fundraising efforts for a number of program initiatives starting with the Data Sciences Center (DSC), the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) and extending to others for consideration.

initial focus will be on exclusively on DSC and ISE. Others will be added as appropriate. The Director will focus on building a prospect pool of individuals, corporations, foundations and possible other private funding sources. The Director will work in close coordination with appropriate deans/faculty, the appropriate liaison with the Provost’s Office and other important stakeholders to build effective, successful relationships to identify and secure philanthropic partnerships that span across both the educational and research missions of the University. Over time, other STEM priorities and strategic priorities may be added to this portfolio of responsibility. In addition, the Office of Special Initiatives will create partnerships with national and international businesses in support of education and research.

Strong and effective collaboration will be necessary with Regional Leadership Gifts, Foundation Relations and Industry Engagement. Primary attention for the Director will be on principal gift prospects in tandem with the VP for Development. The Director will manage annual operating plans and evaluate progress in achieving goals, create and manage a portfolio of principal and leadership/major gift prospects by cultivating, soliciting and stewarding principal and leadership/major gift donors. A key competent to success will be the creation and management of Advisory Boards as a way to engage key alumni and friends directly in efforts to raise support for those departments.

The success of the University’s first fundraising Campaign, Choose to Be Great, has created extraordinary momentum and the opening for the Director to capitalize on this opportunity, to work with strategic partners on further cultivation of this growing network of contacts, and to nurture prospects who can help support the University’s mission.

This role will manage and oversee staff, including an Assistant Director, Special Initiatives, and a Development Associate. This includes supervising staff, budget oversight, and fulfilling administrative duties as required by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) and BU-wide operating procedures.


• Significant senior fundraising experience, stellar oral and written communication skills, knowledge of broad programmatic fundraising and strong collaboration across key development and University Partners will be expected. Ideal candidate will have experience in the health care environment/STEM field and the ability to distill complex scientific concepts into compelling impact statements.

• A successful candidate will be an experienced and talented fundraiser with a successful track record of engagement with prospects and donors and the ability to nimbly and creatively develop partnerships resulting in philanthropic support at the six and seven figure level. He or she will have the particular ability and collaborative acumen to develop and to execute strategy in partnership with the Vice President, Provost’s Office, Deans, faculty and other important stakeholders. There must be especially close coordination/collaboration with DAR colleagues and the Dean of CAS. Direct fund-raising experience with a proven track record of soliciting and closing six gifts is required and seven gifts is preferred.

• He or she will have a demonstrated success in working and understanding the varying priorities and approaches to fund raising at the University (a breadth of understanding of the principal gifts, corporate and foundation relation giving, planned gifts, donor recognition and stewardship, prospect research, and alumni events).

• The successful candidate must also successfully manage up, down and across an organization, as well as individuals and teams. Leadership experience in an institution of considerable organizational complexity typified by matrix relationships of power and influence is critical. Leadership experience in a campaign setting is preferred, and experience in the design of such an effort is a distinct preference.

• While leadership skills and experience are paramount, management experience – including personnel and budgetary management and substantial strength at managing through metrics and analysis – are required.

• The leadership attributes of intelligence, integrity, judgment, creativity, courage of convictions, decisiveness, fairness, empathy, and a sense of humor are necessary for success.

• Ability to travel extensively, including international, work nights and weekends as required

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES (will provide direct links to websites)

• Data Sciences Center
• Institute on Sustainable Energy
• Initiative on Cities
• Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center
• Center for Global Health and Development
• Innovate@BU
• Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilization
• Nanotechnology Innovation Center
• National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory (NEIDL)
• Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health

Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree is preferred. Additionally, advanced written communications, analytical skills, collaboration, and project management skills are required.

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Play a leading role in BU’s $1.5 Billion campaign, and join us today. To learn more about the DAR team

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Interested Candidates should email Maureen Pena/Sr Talent Acquisition Consultant/