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Chief Development Officer

District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 12, 2023


With an annual operating budget of $133.8MM and a total staff of 60, USA for UNHCR serves people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes because of violence, conflict, and persecution. Through the generosity of the American people, they help refugees survive, provide hope for recovery, and prepare them for independence in a new and permanent home. Emerging conflicts in 2022 pushed the number of refugees and forcibly displaced to a staggering 100 million. 

Every year, USA for UNHCR’s donors make the lifesaving decision to meet these difficult challenges by supporting families in their greatest moment of need. Their compassion fosters the safety, security and hope for the future that every refugee deserves. USA for UNHCR has experienced incredible growth in the past four years. Since 2019, the organization has more than doubled its revenue, from $58MM in 2019 to an expected $125MM in 2023 (with the Ukrainian crisis last year, $220MM was raised in 2022). Reporting to the newly appointed CEO & Executive Director (effective January 1, 2023), USA for UNHCR is seeking a Chief Development Officer (CDO) to join its world-class executive team as the lead fundraising strategist to usher them into the next phase of sustainable and scalable growth.

This is an incredible opportunity to take a well-performing team with incredible momentum to the next level. A bold thinker and an empowering executor, the CDO will have extensive experience to lead a development organization with fluency in all areas of fundraising. An ability to see new opportunities for mission-aligned fundraising and impact, and to move nimbly to execute is critical. This individual will develop state of the art campaigns, and fundraising programs that will raise resources and supporters across the United States today, while building new sustainable revenue streams for the future. The CDO is responsible for the cultivation and growth of the USA for UNHCR donor base and the creation of a best-in-class donor experience. They will bring the newest trends in partnerships, philanthropy, donor experience and cultivation to the organization. As the leader of the Development Team, the CDO collaborates and coaches an expert team of six Directors and Senior Directors with a total team of 32.

While USA for UNHCR will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experiences:

Track record of setting priorities and leading a fundraising department, or organization through change and to success. Proven ability to inspire trust, lead and facilitate with strong interpersonal skills, and move from ideas to action. A strong thought leader with a keen understanding of the evolving nature and dimensions of philanthropy, including motivations for giving. Serve as an ambassador for USA for UNHCR at national and international fundraising and donor facing conferences and meetings.

Manage the fundraising departments at USA for UNHCR: Private Philanthropy (individual major donors and mid-level giving), Direct Response (Offline Marketing and Digital Marketing), Partnerships (corporate, foundation, community, and field engagement), Innovative Partnerships & Strategy (non-traditional revenue sources and in-kind giving), and Donor Care (includes gift operations). Experience designing an optimized and unified development enterprise rooted in modern best practices. A global orientation and knowledge of strategies and trends in global philanthropy. Familiarity with international fundraising and the cultural sensitivity it requires. 

Lead and oversee effective cultivation and solicitation opportunities that involve the CEO & Executive Director and Board who are committed partners in fundraising. Ensure appropriate staffing and briefings for these leaders in their revenue-raising activities. Actively seek the participation of the CEO & Executive Director and Board leaders on fundraising initiatives. Partner with Board members about their role in advancing a culture of philanthropy at USA for UNHCR. Cultivate and solicit their financial support, leveraging their respective networks to expand financial support, and develop action plans that maximize the skills and abilities of Board members to further the goals of the institution. 

Proven ability to lead a cohesive, goal-oriented, and successful development team. Oversee the hiring and management of an experienced and talented staff, fostering an environment of commitment, passion, and professionalism. Set appropriate annual goals and monitor progress on a regular basis in order to maximize staff performance in prospect identification, strategy development, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and events. Develop the organization’s resource budget, monitor team performance on a monthly basis, and maintain an on-going forecast for year-end projections. 

Collaborative teamwork and taking time to adapt to organizational culture will be a key factor in the success of any candidate. A patient and thoughtful partner to internal audiences and external stakeholders, in particular staff, donors, foundations, and corporate partners. An inspiring communicator who can articulate vision and direction to a dynamic team and serve as the connective tissue in weaving together ideas, and campaigns across the department.  Liaise with UNHCR counterparts, showcasing a commitment to learning UNHCR's systems, timelines and reporting deadlines with regular communication around messaging and campaigns to foster harmony in the partnership. Ability to influence and collaborate internally and externally through political savvy and networking – while bringing sensitivity and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

A team player, who can relate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, entrepreneurial work environment. Demonstrated leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. Personal creativity and strategic vision coupled with an ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas. Ability to serve as an equity leader across the entire organization and in the field.

Passionate commitment to USA for UNHCR’s mission. Commitment to USA for UNHCR Values. These values represent the best of who we are and who we want to be.

  • Passionate – The heads and the hearts of our team members are committed to our mission.
  • Dynamic – We are committed to continuous evolution – finding the best course of action and taking it.
  • Transparent – We are open and honest, with each other and with our donors, partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Cutting Edge – We aspire to be pioneers and find new approaches to connect others with our mission.
  • Data Driven – We analyze data, facts, and trends to understand our circumstances, and act on what we learn.
  • Forward Thinking – We are outcome oriented and focused on what’s ahead.


  • 15 + years of professional experience in a nonprofit organization, ideally in a global setting; demonstrated success in a development function.
  • Bachelor's and/or master’s degree highly preferred. In lieu of education/degree requirements, a successful candidate will: 
    • Understand how to collaborate with a variety of different people and roles.
    • Show a strong growth mindset and are able to learn from setbacks.
    • Be comfortable with ambiguity and can break it down as part of a cross-functional team.
    • Be willing to confront complex problems head on, without fear of lack of solution. 
    • Be relationship-driven, partnership driven, and adaptable.
    • Value diversity and take pride in cultivating an atmosphere of inclusion of various thoughts, perspectives, identities, and expressions.

Hybrid + New York, NY or Washington, DC, strongly preferred. It’s important that the CDO be present, both in-person and virtually, as a regular collaborator. The CDO is expected to travel up to 25% of the time, which includes international travel to partner meetings in Geneva and Copenhagen, as well as mission trips all over the world.  

The annual salary range for the position starts at $275,000 commensurate with experience. 

USA for UNHCR offers an exceptional benefits package, which includes:

  • Employer covers 85% of base plan for medical, dental and vision. 
  • Lifestyle spending account of $750 per year.
  • 401(K) Retirement/Roth- eligibility, vesture and match begin immediately.
    • 200% up to 4% match
  • 457B/Non-Qualified Plan- pre-tax contributions up to IRS maximum annually.
  • Strategic financial planning administered through Financial Advantage Associates, Inc. to discuss your long-term financial goals.
  • Executive coaching is available to all executive leaders.
  • Commuter and transit- may contribute $280 monthly.
  • Technology stipend- $135 per month for in-home technology needs.
  • Cell phone stipend- $100 monthly for personal cell phone usage for business use.
  • Vacation, sick leave, volunteer leave, personal days and holidays which includes organization-wide closure the last week of December.

In 2020, 2021 and 2022, USA for UNHCR was recognized as a Great Place to Work® for its strong workplace culture, approachable management and consistent positive experiences of employees. In a survey, 96 percent of USA for UNHCR employees said the organization is a great place to work – nearly 40 percent above the average U.S. company. USA for UNHCR employees feel a great sense of pride about the work done on behalf of refugees. 

Quotes from development team leads:
 “We have the best benefits of any organization I’ve ever seen. The culture is really great. I haven’t worked for an organization before that demonstrates the same level of care for employees as I’ve experienced here. With what we are building towards, USA for UNHCR is the place to be!”

USA for UNHCR is a great place to work. It’s a group of people who rally together in support of refugees and those displaced, and a group of people that really like each other. We are very respectful of each other and what we bring to the table. I have stayed because of the people, culture and the mission.”

Calibrated Search, who specializes in partnering with mission-driven nonprofits and conscious companies, has been retained by USA for UNHCR to assist in this confidential hiring process. To express interest in this role, please share your candidate materials through our website -

To nominate candidates and/or ask questions, please contact Kara Teising and Heather Ferguson directly at and

Calibrated Search is aiming to present a shortlist of candidates by the week of May 1, 2023. Interviews will begin in early May with the goal of concluding the interview process by the end of May. The start date of the CDO will depend on the selected candidate’s transition needs. Please do not delay in expressing interest.

USA for UNHCR will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. USA for UNHCR is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. Refugees and all other protected classes are encouraged to apply.

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