Senior Director of Philanthropy

The University of Kentucky, celebrating 150 years of excellence, seeks nominations and applications for a Senior Director of Philanthropy in the top ranking College of Engineering. Reporting to the Dean, the Senior Director of Philanthropy is an integral member of the leadership team that sets the strategic direction for the UK College of Engineering, collaborates closely with the UK philanthropy central office, and communicates effectively and transparently with faculty. The College of Engineering has support from a dedicated and professionally diverse Dean’s senior advisory council that supports the College’s goal to be a top 50 engineering school.

The new Senior Director of Philanthropy will be an experienced advancement professional with a strong track record in fundraising and management. Experience at the leadership level of a comprehensive campaign will greatly help align the College of Engineering with the University of Kentucky’s upcoming capital campaign. The successful candidate will demonstrate a personal track record of success with foundations and corporations in addition to major/principal gift fundraising, including as the primary strategist and/or solicitor of gifts at the seven-figure level. The Senior Director will work closely with marketing and communication to create a branding theme for the UK College of Engineering for the upcoming campaign. The incumbent will lead a talented and motivated staff of six in a division that includes philanthropy, alumni relations and advancement information services. This leader will apply a holistic approach to college relations that values all the ways in which the college’s external constituencies can add value to the College and to the student experience.

The UK College of Engineering is seeking a creative and strategic leader who brings outstanding organizational and communication skills and who demonstrates prior success as the leader of a comprehensive advancement program of similar scope and complexity. At least 10 years of progressively responsible leadership and management experience is required, and candidates with a track record of volunteer management, program development and fundraising for bricks and mortar are strongly desired.

A champion of Engineering, the Senior Director will understand and embody institutional values of diversity and inclusion. Previous experience in an institutional environment similar to the University of Kentucky will be a substantial advantage. The successful candidate will have experience with and appreciation for the application of contemporary research and communication technologies in the advancement context, particularly in efforts to engage an increasingly diverse alumni body. A bachelor’s degree is required and an advanced degree is preferred.

A full position description can be found here: Confidential inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide a resume or CV, letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via email to University of Kentucky’s consultants Mercedes C. Vance and Kim Brettschneider at

Material that must be mailed may be sent to:




Attention: Mercedes C. Vance and Kim Brettschneider

2015 Spring Road, Suite 510

Oak Brook, Illinois 60523


The University of Kentucky values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.