Senior Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations

Boston University (BU) seeks an experienced, enterprising leader to head its development and alumni relations organization. Working closely with President Robert A. Brown and the Board of Trustees, the Senior Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations (SVP/DAR) will develop the strategy and implementation plan for continuing to increase philanthropic support for Boston University as it rises in the ranks of the leading private research universities in America.

The SVP/DAR will build on the radical transformation of BU's development and alumni engagement activities in the last decade. This transformation has been the cornerstone of BU's first-ever comprehensive campaign, Choose to Be Great, which will culminate in September 2019 and is on a path to raise $1.7 billion, 70 percent above the initial campaign goal. As of June 30, 2018, Boston University's endowment totaled $2.1 billion and, as a result of this success, the university was invited to join the prestigious CASE 50, a consortium of the 50 most productive fundraising institutions in the world.

Today, Boston University is a leading private research university that enrolls more than 33,000 graduate and undergraduate students in 17 schools and colleges located on the Charles River, Medical, and Fenway Campuses in Boston. With more than 10,000 international students from over 140 different countries, BU ranks among leading universities in international students in the United States and embraces the richness that diverse cultures and ideas bring to a global research institution. It has attained its leadership status by focusing on attracting world-class faculty, by offering the highest-quality undergraduate and graduate programs to an increasingly academically qualified and diverse student body, and by strategically focusing resources to maximize the impact and the quality of the research, scholarship, creative work, and outreach of the university. BU was admitted to the Association of American Universities (AAU) in 2012.

The Senior Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations at Boston University will work with a highly successful President and senior leadership team to design and implement the university's next phase of alumni engagement and fundraising efforts. A new strategic plan, reflecting the university’s extraordinary progress during the past decade, is being developed and will articulate new priorities to drive the university’s development efforts. This plan will be ready in early 2020. The SVP/DAR will work with senior leaders to develop and support ongoing fundraising efforts and to set the stage for the next comprehensive campaign. The SVP/DAR will lead a team currently numbering over 220 individuals that is anticipated to grow significantly over the coming decade. Effective fiscal planning and accountability will be key to success as the SVP/DAR builds and trains the next generation of senior development officers and designs the structure and processes best suited to optimize support of the university and its substantial ambitions.

Boston University’s academic range and aspirations require that the Senior Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations understands the academic and research enterprise in its full complexity. The SVP/DAR will demonstrate a history of innovative and effective leadership and management in a consultative academic environment as well as a record of building effective and diverse teams to launch and support a successful comprehensive campaign. Of critical importance are strong communication skills and the ability to engage people at all levels of the DAR organization, as well as senior university leaders, deans, the Board of Trustees, and individual donors. The SVP/DAR will appreciate and embrace the history and core values of Boston University, particularly its deep history of inclusiveness and civic engagement, and must have a consistent record of transparency, moral seriousness, a record of success in recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in developing front line and support teams, a commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment, and a generosity of spirit in dealings with others.

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. A full leadership profile is available at Nominations, inquiries and applications may be sent via email to: Applications should include a statement of application, resume and the names and contact information for five references (references will not be contacted without the permission of the candidate). Questions also may be directed to the Witt/Kieffer consultants supporting this search: Dennis M. Barden and Elizabeth K. Bohan at 630-575-6152.


Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks to recruit candidates of diverse backgrounds.