President, Rutgers University Foundation & EVP, Development & Alumni Engagement

Expiring today

Rutgers University
New Jersey, United States
Competitive Salary
May 19, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Rutgers University seeks an accomplished, transformational, and intuitive advancement leader to assume the role of President, Rutgers University Foundation & Executive Vice President, Development & Alumni Engagement.


It is a pivotal moment to join this celebrated institution between the recent appointment of Dr. Jonathan Holloway as the University’s 21st president and an anticipated comprehensive campaign that promises to be Rutgers’ most ambitious fundraising effort in its 255-year history.


The next President, Rutgers University Foundation will partner closely with President Holloway to propel the institution to new levels of fundraising success, chart a bold course for the next campaign, align the efforts of an established fundraising team with strategic university-wide priorities, and in return, be inspired each day by the many lives transformed through a Rutgers education, as well as the chance to be of service to the Rutgers community.


About Rutgers


Founded in 1766, Rutgers is the eighth-oldest university in the nation. Its presence spans the Garden State with three locations as well as the state's largest academic and clinical health center, each led by a Chancellor: Rutgers-New Brunswick, Rutgers-Newark, Rutgers-Camden, and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). In all, Rutgers encompasses 29 schools and colleges, numerous centers, institutes, and departments, with the support of broad centralized administrative services that ensure the University achieves excellence in teaching, research, service, and healthcare.


Rutgers is an academic, health, and research powerhouse that plays a crucial role in educating students, creating jobs, contributing billions to the economy, improving community health, and discovering solutions to real-world problems. Its multi-campus structure enables the University to deliver academic programming, research initiatives, and civic partnerships uniquely situated in specific regions of the state while consistently achieving the highest levels of excellence across the entire University.


Ranked among the top 25 public universities in the nation, Rutgers delivers 150+ undergraduate majors and 400+ graduate programs with the help of 23,600+ faculty and staff. It is among the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation with more than 71,000 students from all 50 states and over 125 countries. Among peer public research institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU), Rutgers ranks first in the number of master’s degrees earned by African Americans, second in the total degrees earned by African Americans, sixth in total degrees earned by Asians, sixth in the number of master’s degrees earned by Hispanics/Latinx, and fourth in the number of doctoral degrees earned by women.


Rutgers also drives innovation, expending more in research and development than all other New Jersey universities and colleges combined. With an early beginning in agriculture and the mechanical arts related to its land-grant mission, Rutgers has grown into a leading hub for respected researchers tackling society's largest challenges.


In 2019, the University received 3,818 research awards and $754M in research grants and sponsored programs. As a member of both the AAU and Big Ten Academic Alliance, Rutgers is afforded meaningful connections to other world-class research institutions with significant opportunities for collaboration.


The birthplace of college football, Rutgers-New Brunswick is part of the Big Ten athletic conference with 27 teams participating at the Division I level. Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden both compete in regional conferences at the Division III level.




In July 2020, Dr. Jonathan Holloway, an eminent historian and author, took office as the 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He also serves as a University Professor and Distinguished Professor.


Prior to accepting the presidency of Rutgers, Dr. Holloway was Provost of Northwestern University and before that, Dean of Yale College and the Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies. President Holloway’s scholarly work specializes in post-emancipation U.S. history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians, and he was appointed to the Mellon Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2020. Dr. Holloway, who began his academic career at the University of California San Diego, received a bachelor’s degree with honors in American studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University.


President Holloway has outlined three propositions that will be the touchstones of his presidency: the relentless pursuit of academic excellence; developing greater strategic institutional clarity; and the achievement of a beloved community – a culture that emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect as Rutgers refines its mission of becoming the very best in public research universities. To better position Rutgers to address these urgent priorities, President Holloway has added senior vice presidents for equity and strategy, elevated the role of the chief academic officer, and expanded outreach to University constituencies. He was also instrumental in helping secure a $15 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to establish an Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging & Anti-Racism


Rutgers’ mission to create access to education has attracted a richly diverse student body. Many of its students are first-generation college undergraduates, others come from low-income backgrounds or families where English is not the primary language. Of its 71,000 students, 60% are non-white, and the majority of alumni will be people of color over the next five years. Rutgers remains committed to making a success of each person’s educational, professional, and personal journey, and to creating an inclusive university environment that brings to life the ideals of a beloved community – a culture that emphasizes diversity, inclusion, and respect.


In ratifying these goals, President Holloway commissioned an internal equity audit and the development of a strategic plan to identify and take concrete and measurable actions to address racial/ethnic, social, and economic inequities across the campus community and the larger external community that engages with the University.


Rutgers further established The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity, which serves as an integral part of the University’s central leadership and advances, promotes, and advocates for inclusiveness, diversity, and equity as key elements to achieve Rutgers' strategic vision to be prominent in research, excellent in teaching, and committed to community.




The University will continue to draw strength from the rich variety of perspectives and life experiences of its beloved community. Diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism are strategic imperatives.


Rutgers University Foundation


Rutgers University Foundation inspires philanthropic support and enduring connections with alumni and friends, enabling the University to transform lives. It is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization whose sole mission is to support the Rutgers community. With more than 200 staff, many of whom are embedded in schools and units, Rutgers University Foundation includes a fully integrated alumni association, in-house communications capabilities, and an administrative infrastructure comprised of IT, human resources, and data analytics.


In 2014, Rutgers successfully completed a $1 billion campaign, Our Rutgers, Our Future: A Campaign for Excellence. The Foundation continued its momentum in the post-campaign period, experiencing a 69% rise in fundraising during 2015-2019. Support for the University’s academic health division drove some of the largest increases as did growth in principal gifts for programs at RBHS, New Brunswick, and Newark. 


The institution has also enjoyed great support from the private foundation sector. Rutgers is the top higher education grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the University has maintained a decades-long partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among other existing and burgeoning relationships.


Overall, Rutgers has experienced an increase in private giving across verticals, from annual giving and season ticket sales to foundation grants and principal gifts. In 2019-2020, nearly 50,000 donors contributed $240M to make it the second-highest fundraising year in Rutgers’ history. Moving forward, opportunities exist to increase principal gifts ($5M+), significantly grow major gifts ($100K-$5M), and further build the endowment, which now totals $1.65B.


In anticipation of its next comprehensive campaign and as part of the preliminary planning process, the Foundation recently released the concept of Rutgers Big Ideas – bold, large-scale, multi-disciplinary philanthropic initiatives that can drive transformational change and, when realized, will improve the human condition. Big Ideas will form a cornerstone of the University’s campaign and stir the Rutgers community and its philanthropists.


The most ambitious campaign in Rutgers’ history will be planned and executed against this backdrop. Rutgers will look to the new President, Rutgers Foundation & EVP, Development & Alumni Engagement to lead campaign planning, messaging, and goal setting, harness the power of the Foundation Board of Directors to raise the institution’s profile, bring forward innovative and ambitious fundraising and engagement strategies that deepen the culture of philanthropy and broaden the donor base, and inspire a fundraising organization of 200+ to raise their sights and reach new levels of success.


The Position


Reporting to the President of Rutgers University and the Board Chair of the Foundation, the President, Rutgers University Foundation will guide all advancement efforts and serve as the principal liaison between University leadership and the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Additionally, as the Executive Vice President, Development & Alumni Engagement, they will serve as a member of the Rutgers University senior leadership team and a thought partner to the President of Rutgers.


The President, Rutgers University Foundation & EVP, Development & Alumni Engagement is responsible for the following:




  • Leveraging the time and talents of the President, who is the University’s chief fundraiser, to engage, cultivate, and solicit top donors and prospects.
  • Raising principal and transformational gifts. Uplifting the philanthropic capacity of all constituencies, identifying areas for growth, and developing strategies to meaningfully involve staff, volunteers, and donors at all levels.
  • Leading the Foundation through its next successful campaign while readying it for future fundraising and engagement efforts. Inspiring innovation, excellence, and expansive thinking when considering opportunities across the institution.



  • Managing the Foundation's functional areas of development, alumni relations, communications, advancement services, finance, and talent management with a style that is empowering, highly communicative, encourages teamwork, provides mentorship, and creates a high-performance culture.
  • Establishing the Foundation as an integrated center of excellence focused on best-practices and right-sized systems and tools. Collaborating with the University to identify and implement operational efficiencies. Achieving high-performance targets through focus and drive towards a measurable standard of excellence.
  • Ensuring that the priorities of the Foundation are aligned with the objectives of the University. Building trusted relationships with institutional and academic partners, and aligning campaign goals and fundraising strategies with the mission.
  • Providing a work environment that values diversity and inclusion and establishes belonging among all community constituents including staff and volunteers regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or disability.

Relationship & Partnership Building


  • Further engaging the Foundation's 39-member Board of Directors in the fundraising process. In partnership with the President, supporting the engagement of the University's Board of Governors and Board of Trustees.
  • Continuing to nurture meaningful relationships with Rutgers' diverse alumni population and the Rutgers community overall.
  • Strengthening the Foundation’s connection to the University by keeping the President, Chancellors, Deans, and members of the central administration's Senior Leadership Team updated about the Foundation’s work on the University’s behalf and by inviting them to participate in the process at many levels.
  • Contributing to the senior leadership dialogue and serving as a trusted and collaborative partner to University colleagues.

Qualifications & Characteristics


  • Minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in advancement as both a senior level manager and frontline gift officer, with a record of accomplishment leading an advancement team in higher education.
  • Personal track record of cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding principal level gifts.
  • Demonstrated success as an engaging and effective leader with the ability to anticipate, develop, and communicate long-term vision, values, and strategies that focus and drive the creative energy of an advancement operation.
  • Strategic thinking abilities with a strong grasp of best practices and a holistic understanding of all aspects of advancement.
  • A growth mindset when evaluating the strengths of existing philanthropic programs and identifying opportunities for improvement and collaboration. Evidence of elevating programs to higher performance levels across all metrics.
  • Skilled as an outstanding coach, mentor, and motivator of professionals with a dedication to hiring, retaining, and developing diverse teams consistent with the ideals of a beloved community.
  • A keen eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; the ability to plan, monitor, and manage a budget.
  • A skilled narrator with extraordinary communication and interpersonal skills and a customer service orientation. Poised, professional manner with the ability to express oneself clearly and thoughtfully through all forms of communication.
  • Thinks big picture while paying attention to the detail and separating the critical from the routine.
  • Acts in a selfless manner and models the ethical values of the University. Exhibits sound decision-making in response to rapidly changing and often complicated situations. Brings a sense of humor and perspective.
  • Appreciates the nuances of serving as both a member of the University’s senior leadership team and President of the Foundation. Commits to fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between the two that advances Rutgers’ future state.
  • Professional credibility and maturity to effectively engage and build authentic relationships across the University and Foundation, as well as with the greater Rutgers community.
  • Interprets, adapts, and further develops the "language" of Rutgers in describing the institution’s collective work, aspirations, and impact.
  • When it is safe to do so, will be able and willing to travel domestically and internationally to develop and maintain relationships with prospects and donors.
  • A Bachelor’s degree.

Application Information

Pearl Street Collective, a national women-owned executive search firm, has been retained to conduct this search. Adele Mezher and Maeve Clifford, Co-Founders and Managing Partners, are leading the engagement.

You can find additional information on the search and a full list of search committee members by visiting the Office of the President.

Rutgers strives to provide equal opportunity in employment and education to all employees, students and applicants. No employee, student or applicant shall be discriminated against or harassed on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, marital or parental status, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other basis protected by applicable federal or state law, in the administration of Rutgers’ employment policies, education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other University administered programs.

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