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Director of Strategic Initiatives Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Oct 29, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Alumni Affairs
Academic Centers
Salary Band
Not Specified
Employment Type
Full Time
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Director of Strategic Initiatives - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Analysis and Planning Consultant 5)

As Penn State looks forward to the conclusion of its historically successful fundraising campaign, A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, the Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR) is seeking a talented development professional with a collaborative and entrepreneurial approach to grow its proficiency in fundraising for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the University by pioneering the newly created role of Director of Strategic Initiatives - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I).

Penn State has initiated a comprehensive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in response to the tragic events of the last year which has led to national introspection regarding areas such as racism and bias. In response to national events and events involving Penn State directly, the President and Board of Trustees empaneled a Select Commission on Racism, Bias and Community Safety. The recommendations of that committee, as well as the expressed desire to stand up a new Chief Diversity Officer, foreshadow an ever-increasing focus of DE&I issues. New program development to augment existing DE&I programming across the University will require strategic philanthropic inputs and will grow opportunities to engage donors in the DE&I space.

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Principal Gifts and working within the Strategic Initiatives team, this position will act as liaison and strategic partner with the newly created Chief Diversity Officer as well as coordinate interdisciplinary thematic fundraising projects identified as priorities for University-wide DE&I imperatives. With a high level of visibility and momentum, the director will create a sense of excitement and confidence while supporting all DDAR units in their efforts to increase funding in support of DE&I goals. Specifically, the Director of Strategic Initiatives - DE&I will:
  • In collaboration with deans, chancellors, vice presidents, and the Chief Diversity Officer, lead the planning and implementation of major University fundraising imperatives regarding DE&I. Assist in convening discussions among academic leadership about the cross-unit collaborations essential to achieving DE&I fundraising goals as they develop.

  • Rigorously pursue gifts toward DE&I designations by developing and executing short- and long-range strategies to identify, cultivate, and solicit prospects with major and principal gifts capacity in coordination with Directors of Development, the Office of Principal Gifts, and other central DDAR units including the Office of Planned Giving, Corporate Engagement Center, and Office of Foundation Relations.

  • Conduct face-to-face visits with prospects to successfully fulfill a prescribed set of annual metrics.

  • Play a central role in working with Development Communications to develop and disseminate
    marketing materials regarding DE&I-related giving opportunities.

  • Work with Office of Prospect Management and Analytics to identify current and prospective donors
    who may have an interest in funding DE&I priorities, and effectively partner with all fundraising
    teams to secure major and principal level gifts toward these priorities.

  • Help to monitor high-level donor cultivation and solicitation activity to ensure closure of DE&I
    related gifts while working with volunteers and volunteer committees as needed to achieve greater exposure for and giving to DE&I imperatives.

    This job will be filled as a level 5, and typically requires a Master's degree or higher plus five years of related experience. The successful candidate will also have:
  • Strong interpersonal skills, as well as a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and
    professional settings. A dedication to and understanding of the skills required to build relationships
    with diverse communities.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with an understanding of complex,
    comprehensive institutions, an appreciation for and understanding of diverse audiences and
    communities, and an ability to engage those groups in the life of the University.

  • Proven success in closing gifts at the six and seven-figure and above level. Experience fundraising for
    diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as well as a demonstrated ability to understand and
    convey the complexity of DE&I needs and opportunities.

  • A background and ability to work with a wide range of constituents is a must, with a background
    working with diverse populations and/or programming including, but not limited to BIPOC, veterans, the LGBTQA+ community, persons with disabilities, and others from traditionally minoritized groups is strongly preferred.

  • Demonstrated leadership ability in developing strategic plans, implementing programs, organizing, and motivating staff, as well as interacting with faculty and academic leadership.

  • A commitment to professional development, learning, and being mentored.

    Operation of a motor vehicle as part of the position's duties and a valid driver's license are required. Successful completion of a motor vehicle records check, in addition to standard background checks, is also required.

    A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence Campaign and beyond
    Penn State is a leading institution in furthering the public good while fulfilling our land-grant mission for a new era. This record-setting strategic fundraising initiative reflects our commitment to three core imperatives:;

    Building a Career and a Life at Penn State (
    Penn State is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education University Rankings, the Center for World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities:

    Penn State is also committed to ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the success of a world-class research institution. We are concerned uniquely with the institutional change required for visioning and realizing a more socially just University:

    This position is based at the University Park campus, located in State College, Pennsylvania. State College is ranked among the lowest-stress and safest small cities in the country, with excellent public schools, beautiful parks and other natural assets, and a broad range of cultural and athletic events and venues: and

    To Apply, visit:

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