Purdue for Life Foundation (PFLF) seeks an outstanding leader as its next President and Chief Executive Officer to lead and coordinate all engagement, development, and advancement efforts on behalf of Purdue University.


About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes — at


About Purdue for Life Foundation

Purdue for Life Foundation exists to serve and advance Purdue University and was created in 2020, by uniting the Purdue Alumni Association and the University Development Office.


Purdue for Life Foundation consists of:

  • Purdue Alumni Association
  • President’s Council
  • John Purdue Club
  • Purdue Parents and Families Club
  • Purdue Foundation Student Board
  • Purdue Alumni Student Experience


Purdue for Life Foundation helps people stay connected with Purdue, get involved at Purdue, and give back to Purdue.



The successful candidate will have significant executive level experience in a similar size or larger enterprise, will be capable of effectively operating in a complex, matrix organization, and will be a proven leader of people in terms of culture, vision, and strategy.


The candidate will ideally possess:

  1. High IQ and EQ – Possessing both strong intellect and strong people skills, the candidate must be characterized by a participative leadership style - engaging and including others in decision-making. The candidate will need to be an effective ambassador, relating well to all types of individuals and able to connect effectively with stakeholders in person and from the platform.
  2. Learning agility – While the candidate does not have to have had experience in an academic environment nor in engagement and development work, the candidate must be able to quickly learn and understand this work and must be able to effectively lead others (both direct reports and those in other parts of the organization) to achieve desired outcomes. An innate curiosity will be beneficial.
  3. Business savvy – Prior executive level experience must have prepared the candidate to be visionary and an effective strategic leader, focused on business results with a strong fiduciary mindset. The candidate must be capable of providing appropriate leadership of pertinent financial and business policies and procedures.
  4. Collaboration – The candidate must be a builder of healthy coalitions, able to find common ground and a way forward in complex situations. The candidate will need to be able to influence for the benefit of the university even in situations when not having authority over resources. A keen perception of who needs to be involved in any given endeavor and the ability to effectively engage those individuals is imperative.
  5. Team orientation – A natural inclination to focus on the mission and the team (the broader Purdue team and the PFLF team) will be key to success. A service mindset that builds healthy partner relationships to advance the university is the expectation. The ability to continue to build an effective PFLF team and enhance the culture will be imperative.
  6. Problem solving and decision-making – The candidate must be able to solve complex problems and make tough decisions in ways that create confidence across the ecosystem.



  • In collaboration with the PFLF Board, PAA Board, the President and Board of Trustees of Purdue University, and various Purdue leaders determine what PFLF needs to accomplish for the next 5- 10 years to most effectively serve and advance Purdue.
  • Develop, articulate, and implement long-range vision and strategy for PFLF.
  • Align with university academic leadership to maximize the fundraising and alumni engagement potential to take Purdue to the ranks of the top five public universities nationally.
  • Collaborate with Provost, EVPs, Deans, and other leaders to establish and ensure on-going alignment on all efforts.
  • Create and constantly nurture an environment in which people (300+ team members) can excel.
  • Establish and lead high functioning PFLF leadership team.
  • Serve as primary ambassador for PFLF with alumni, donors, partners, and within the university.
  • Support the constituency of the organizations that make up PFLF to continually enhance engagement.
  • Optimize engagement/development/advancement/stewardship integration for efficacy and productivity.
  • Optimize PFLFs contribution to external partnerships across the Purdue ecosystem.
  • Build support for Purdue University by developing and leading an integrated, comprehensive program aimed at alumni and friends, including individual, corporate and foundation partners.
  • Develop a culture of philanthropy, allowing Purdue University to reach for its full potential.
  • Provide vision and leadership for campaigns and advise President and Boards on planning and implementation.
  • Work with President, Boards, and CFO to cooperatively plan to strengthen university financial resources.


This position reports to the Purdue for Life Board of Managers, with the President of the University, who Chairs that Board, having direct supervisory responsibility. Given the nature of the role and its leadership responsibilities, the next President and CEO will be a strong local presence in West Lafayette and the state more broadly.


With an anticipated early August appointment date, and start date reasonably soon thereafter, applications will be reviewed as they are received. Interested parties are encouraged to transmit their application materials electronically to:


Purdue for Life Foundation

Funk Associates

ATTN: Krisha Creal, Chief of Staff

2911 Turtle Creek Boulevard - Suite 300

Dallas, Texas 75219

214-522-1222 (o)