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Chief Advancement Officer

Bard Graduate Center
New York, United States
$150,000.00 - $175,000.00
Closing date
Jan 5, 2024

ABOUT BGC: Founded in 1993 by Dr. Susan Weber, the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) is a unique degree-granting graduate institute and exhibition space in New York City. BGC’s gallery exhibitions, MA and PhD programs, research initiatives and public programs explore new ways of thinking about decorative arts, design history and material culture. Its academic and library facilities, Gallery, and administration are located in two lovingly restored brownstones on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

BGC is a graduate academic unit of Bard College, and offers two programs of study, one leading to a Master of Arts degree and the other to a Doctor of Philosophy degree. With a faculty of scholars, researchers, educators, and practitioners in the decorative art and design fields, BGC’s core curriculum includes a wide range of subjects that cover design history, material culture, and the decorative arts. The 2023-2024 academic year marked the thirtieth anniversary of BGC.

BGC is also a leader in research, with faculty involved with intramural and leading federally and foundation-funded research projects. A member of the prestigious Association of Research Institutions in Art History (ARIAH), BGC’s excellence in research is widely recognized.

In addition to its education and research offerings, BGC also operates a major exhibition facility. For more about BGC’s extensive academic, research, exhibition, and public programs, please visit


THE OPPORTUNITY: The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) will work with BGC leadership to design and implement an advancement program to foster and expand a culture of philanthropy, primarily focused on major individual gifts. This role presents a unique, visible opportunity to shape and build a dynamic advancement program appropriate to the Center’s funding priorities. This is a position for an experienced, enthusiastic front-line major gift fundraiser who enjoys focusing on cultivation, solicitation and “deal-making.” A key priority for the new CAO is to significantly expand the depth and breadth of the fundraising operation at BGC, increasing annual contributions from $1-2 million to $3-5 million in a 2–5-year timeframe. Additionally, BGC has recently acquired a new building at 8 West 86th Street which will undergo complete renovation. A major fundraising campaign of $20-40 million is expected in connection with this renovation.

The CAO reports to BGC’s Founder and Director, Susan Weber, and is a member of the leadership team. Reporting to the CAO is a team of three with experience in fundraising, grantmaking, research, data management, and event management. The compensation range for this role is $150,000-$175,000, commensurate with experience and accomplishments, plus attractive benefits.


FUNDING: BGC has a current annual operating budget of $16 million, of which more than half is provided by an endowment distribution and the remainder is secured through tuition revenue, revenue from faculty and graduate housing, several foundation and government grants, and giving from generous and committed major donors.

In support of its strategic direction, BGC must broaden its traditional base of philanthropic support by successfully instituting a comprehensive, strategic development program and a robust culture of major gift philanthropy to generate increased support for BGC’s ongoing priorities as well as to ensure the Center’s continued success and growth. While an academic unit of Bard College, BGC is financially independent from the College.



  • A genuine interest in the BGC mission and passion for the arts.
  • Creating and building successful development programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and steward relationships with high-net-worth individuals and their representatives, foundation program officers, and others.
  • Frontline major gift fundraising.
  • Identifying non-traditional new prospective donors.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team and cultivate talent.
  • Working effectively with advisory and board members.
  • A superior communicator; able to articulate a compelling case for support for BGC.
  • Familiarity with the New York City philanthropic community.
  • History of serving as a strategic partner to a chief executive.
  • Able to serve as a credible external ambassador.
  • Education and interest in history, art history, decorative arts, design, or related subjects.
  • Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge and Slate is a plus.
  • A global citizen who is culturally sensitive and able to work with a broad range of individuals.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is a plus.

Howe-Lewis is pleased to assist BGC with this important search. Please click here to apply online via the Howe-Lewis Talent Portal. You may also email your resume and letter of interest to

Bard College/Bard Graduate Center is an equal opportunity employer, and we welcome applications from those who contribute to our diversity.


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