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Executive Director, West Coast Regional Office

Northwestern University
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Sep 28, 2023

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time

Job Details




Evanston, Illinois

Note: This position is based in San Francisco, CA


Northwestern University seeks a highly relational and proven fundraising professional for the role of Executive Director (ED) of the West Coast Office to provide strategic direction and leadership for the University's advancement efforts in the state of California and to manage the West Coast team. This team is responsible for the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of principal and major gift prospects for the University in the state of California with a significant focus on San Francisco, East Bay, Marin County, and the San Jose / Palo Alto region as well as the Los Angeles / Orange County / San Diego area. The ED will collaborate with staff across Alumni Relations and Development (ARD), including with colleagues in the professional schools, to support fundraising and alumni relations goals and engagement for the West Coast. The ED will also maintain relationships with Trustees in the region.


Based in the landmark 44 Montgomery Street building in San Francisco, the ED and their team will be embedded in Northwestern San Francisco, a dynamic teaching and learning environment where innovation and collaboration thrive. As the West Coast regional office leader, the ED will serve as a highly visible, externally facing Northwestern ambassador. The ED will report to the Assistant Vice President for Development, Regional Offices; directly manage a seasoned fundraiser; recruit a gift officer and a Program Coordinator; and personally cultivate the highest capacity donors in key emerging markets within a metrics-driven program. The ED will also lead efforts to build a strong service orientation across the team in support of academic leaders and development colleagues who are traveling to the West Coast for events and donor visits.


The ED must be a driven, highly collaborative, and seasoned professional who excels at building frontline programs and teams. The successful candidate will be a proven fundraiser with a strong track record of securing seven-figure gifts.


The ideal candidate will possess a high degree of professional experience and knowledge of fundraising best practices within a large, complex, and fast-paced organization. Superior communications skills to ensure effective messaging for a variety of audiences will be essential, along with a high level of integrity and emotional intelligence to effectively engage and partner with key internal and external constituents. The ideal candidate must be a self-starter who operates with a sense of urgency and can demonstrate an established track record of increasing philanthropic revenue from diverse constituencies. Expertise within the Bay Area’s philanthropic community is desirable. A bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent combination of education, training, and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired) is required.


Northwestern University has retained Rachel Ellenport of the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to conduct this important recruitment. For more information, to submit a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:


Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.


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