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Chief Development Officer

National Symphony Orchestra, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Aug 3, 2022

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Position Type
Fundraising, Annual Fund, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Fundraising Administration, Major Gifts, Other Fundraising
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with the National Symphony Orchestra, an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in the search for a Chief Development Officer.

Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Development for the Kennedy Center, the Chief Development Officer will develop and execute giving strategies that ensure that the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) fulfills its mission. Working in partnership with the NSO Board, the Executive Director, the Music Director, and the Kennedy Center’s matrixed Development Department, the Chief Development Officer will be responsible for raising $12 million+ in annual funding for the NSO. In addition, the Chief Development Officer will continue to grow the NSO’s Noseda Era Fund, identify new opportunities for growing annual support, and launch an endowment campaign, all in coordination with overall Kennedy Center fundraising strategy and the matrixed Development team. The Chief Development Officer will lead a fundraising strategy that is consistent with the short- and long-term plan for the NSO, its artists, productions, and other initiatives, including education, community engagement, and digital media. The Chief Development Officer will offer strategic input and guidance as it relates to overall NSO strategy and Kennedy Center development strategy while working collaboratively across the institution.

The Kennedy Center is the Nation’s Cultural Center and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Located on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., the Center presents performances across all genres, and is also home to artistic affiliates Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra.

The 2021–2022 season marks the National Symphony Orchestra’s 90th anniversary, and Gianandrea Noseda’s fifth season as its music director. The Italian conductor serves as the Orchestra’s seventh Music Director, joining the NSO’s legacy of such distinguished leaders as Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Antal Doráti, Howard Mitchell, and Hans Kindler. Its artistic leadership also includes Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke and Artistic Advisor Ben Folds.

Since assuming the leadership of the NSO, Gianandrea Noseda has brought a renewed sense of energy and focus to the orchestra, which has resulted in wide-ranging recognition from local, national, and international publications; increases in subscription and single ticket sales; and the expansion of the Orchestra’s reach through live streamed concerts and recordings. The New York Times called the NSO and Noseda’s 2019 Carnegie Hall appearance “spectacular,” while the Washington Post wrote that “There’s a certain flair going on at the National Symphony Orchestra,” consistently reinforcing that this artistic partnership continues to gain momentum.

Founded in 1931, the Orchestra has always been committed to artistic excellence and music education. In 1986, the National Symphony became an artistic affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where it has performed a full season of subscription concerts since the Center opened in 1971. The 96-member NSO regularly participates in events of national and international importance, including official holiday celebrations through its regularly televised appearances on PBS on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol for Capital Concerts, live-streamed performances from the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on, and local radio broadcasts on Classical WETA 90.9FM, making the NSO one of the most-heard orchestras in the country.

Additionally, the NSO’s community engagement projects are nationally recognized, including NSO In Your Neighborhood, an annual week of performances in schools, churches, community centers, and other unexpected venues; Notes of Honor, which offers free performances for active, veteran, prior service, and retired members of the military and their families; and Sound Health, a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its affiliated organizations. Career development opportunities for young musicians include the NSO Youth Fellowship Program, the acclaimed, tuition-free Summer Music Institute, and the newly launched Washington Musical Pathways Program, an initiative to provide opportunities to high school-aged BIPOC musicians in collaboration with the DC Youth Orchestra Program and the Levine School of Music.

Eight years of professional fundraising including the management of a dynamic and highly competent fundraising team in a matrixed environment with shared service resources is required for this position.  A bachelor’s degree is desirable but not required. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and resume. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of the National Symphony Orchestra and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as well as the responsibilities and qualifications stated in the position prospectus.

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