Senior Vice President for Development

The University of Wyoming Foundation is seeking applications and nominations for the position of Senior Vice President for Development. Reporting directly to the President and Chief Executive Officer of the UW Foundation, the Senior Vice President for Development plays the central role in leading the foundation’s development operation with the purpose of maximizing philanthropic support for the University of Wyoming, the state's only four-year public institution.

In this critical leadership position, the Senior Vice President for Development is responsible for formulating plans and executing strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and build relationships with donors, including alumni, friends, corporations, charitable foundations, and other organizations. The Senior Vice President works in close collaboration with key stakeholders, including the UW Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation President/CEO, the Foundation Executive Team, as well as university leadership, including the President, Provost, Deans, and leaders from the UW Alumni Association and Wyoming Athletics. Together, they identify fundraising priorities, devise impactful strategies, and implement campaigns that align with the university's strategic objectives, vision, and mission.

In addition to these strategic responsibilities, the Senior Vice President for Development is expected to be a thought leader, fostering talent, advocating for efficient development operations, and serving as a catalyst for cultivating a culture of philanthropy across the UW community. A deep understanding of philanthropy—coupled with an unwavering commitment to the mission and values of both the University of Wyoming and the UW Foundation—is integral to this role. The ideal candidate will champion best-in-class development operations and promote a deep appreciation for private giving and its impact on higher education. This individual will play a pivotal role in ensuring the university's ongoing success and positioning UW and the UW Foundation for further growth in the future.

As the UW Foundation continues to invest in the fundraising opportunities for the University of Wyoming—including the potential for a comprehensive campaign—the Senior Vice President for Development must be an innovative, collaborative, compassionate, and engaging leader with a commitment to trust and service, building on the UW Foundation’s already established culture of excellence.

Responsibilities and Qualifications for Senior Vice President Position:

Executive Leadership:

  • Play a central role as a member of the Foundation Executive Team, serving as a trusted advisor for development strategy as well as broader organizational matters;
  • Engage with the UW Foundation Board of Directors, the UW Board of Trustees, and the UW leadership team, including the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, and other administrators to help identify and define fundraising priorities;
  • Provide leadership and management oversight of the development team—including major and principal giving, corporate engagement, foundation giving, gift planning, annual giving, and the donor experience program;
  • Effectively represent the university and the Foundation to internal and external stakeholders, including campus partners; leaders in business and industry; local, state, and federal government officials; non-government organizations; and community organizations;
  • Other duties as assigned by the President/CEO.


  • Maintain a portfolio of major, planned, and principal gift prospects and donors;
  • Build and sustain strong interpersonal relationships leading to a demonstrated track record of fundraising success;
  • Create a clear vision for the development team, setting ambitious but achievable goals that match the university's priorities and the interests of donors, aiming for both short- term and long-term success;
  • Collaborate with development professionals to set performance goals, shape strategies, and enhance fundraising efforts;
  • Lead, evaluate, mentor, and motivate team members to maximize their effectiveness and ensure their efforts contribute positively to the fundraising goals;
  • Develop and sustain a workplace culture designed to retain, recruit, and cultivate top development professional talent;
  • Encourage teamwork—promoting collaboration, transparency, accountability, a donor- focused mindset, and professionalism within the fundraising team;
  • Foster a culture of servant leadership, emphasizing trust and service through open processes, engagement, and empowered decision-making;
  • Stay updated on industry standards, trends, innovations, and best practices, making necessary changes to remain competitive and meet the UW Foundation and the university’s strategic goals;
  • Work closely with academic leaders and partners to provide both education and mentorship in fundraising activities;
  • Monitor and analyze fundraising performance, keeping an eye on activities and projected donations to achieve the set goals;
  • Uphold the values of the UW Foundation and the Donor Bill of Rights in all activities and interactions.

This comprehensive approach ensures that the Senior Vice President for Development is responsible for both high-level strategic planning and day-to-day implementation, contributing significantly to the overall success and growth of the university, the UW Foundation, and its fundraising goals and objectives.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor's degree, Advanced degree preferred;
  • Experience: Extensive experience in fundraising and development, preferably in a higher education setting;
  • Licensures, Certifications, Registrations, or other

Desired Qualifications:

  • Proven track record of successfully securing major, planned, and principal gifts and in leading successful fundraising campaigns;
  • Exceptional leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong financial and budgeting experience;
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to align fundraising efforts with institutional priorities;
  • Strong team management and organizational skills;
  • A deep commitment to the university's mission and values;
  • Ability to build and maintain strong donor relationships;
  • Collaboration skills to work across university departments and units.

About the UW Foundation

The University of Wyoming Foundation, established in 1962, is appointed by the University Board of Trustees to raise, receive, and manage private gifts to maximize support for the University of Wyoming. It is an independent, nonprofit corporation with a Board of Directors comprised of up to 20 members.

As a significant financial organization, the UW Foundation has developed a strong public-private partnership with the university and the state of Wyoming. Through the generosity of our many alumni and friends, the UW Foundation raises an average of $50 million a year in private support—funding that goes to students and the faculty, staff, and programs that support them. Additionally, the UW Foundation has a nearly $800 million endowment. This endowment puts UW first among institutions in the Mountain West Conference and on par with much larger universities in the region.

The UW Foundation fosters an environment of trust and service that empowers others to make a difference. In doing so, the foundation is committed to the following values:

  • Excellence: Strive to make an impact in extraordinary ways;
  • Gratitude: Practice intentional, personal, and actionable expressions of appreciation and recognition;
  • Growth: Empower individuals to meet a greater potential;
  • Inclusivity: Nurture a culture of belonging by prioritizing equitable access to resources, growth, and opportunities;
  • Integrity: Commit to strong ethical principles through trust and accountability;
  • Respect: Demonstrate consideration and grace by listening, learning, and understanding;
  • Transparency: Encourage communication that is open, honest, consistent, and intentional.

About the University of Wyoming:

The University of Wyoming holds a singular distinction among public four-year institutions in the United States. As the only university serving its state, UW has not only a significant responsibility but boundless opportunity. Rooted in the traditions of the West and surrounded by the rugged Rocky Mountains, the University of Wyoming was founded in 1886 and is a nationally recognized land-grant research institution with expert faculty, top-ranked academics, and world-class facilities. UW’s 11,000 students hail from all 50 states and 82 countries with 59% of UW students coming from the state of Wyoming. For more information, visit

UW is located in Laramie, a town of 30,000. Located in a high mountain valley near the Colorado border, Laramie offers both outstanding recreational opportunities and close proximity to Colorado’s Front Range, a bustling group of metropolitan cities including Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. This beautiful mountain landscape offers outdoor enjoyment in all seasons, with over 300 days of sunshine annually. For more information about the region, please visit

Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (with a letter of interest, a complete Resume/CV, and a list of at least five references that includes contact information), or expression of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University of Wyoming Foundation. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. Please submit nominations and applications by February 8, 2024. Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the hiring authority.

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Erin Raines, Senior Principal
Scott Gaffney, Executive Recruiting Coordinator
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta GA, 30328
Tel: 770-804-1996 ext. 118 || Fax: 770-804-1917 ||

The University of Wyoming is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

We invite and encourage diverse applicants to consider our employment opportunities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law and University policy. To review the EEO is the Law Poster and its Supplement, please see The Diversity & Fairness page.

We conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment.

Offers of employment are contingent upon the completion of the background check.

Applicants with disabilities may request accommodation to complete the application and selection process. Please notify Human Resources at least three (3) working days prior to the date of need.