Assistant Vice President for Development, Sciences

University of Chicago | Chicago, Illinois

Job Summary

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. In all it does, UChicago is driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage knowledge to enrich all human life.

A firm belief in the power of inquiry—the fearless pursuit of understanding and discovery in education and in research—has brought the University of Chicago to an era of unprecedented momentum. Intelligent, questioning young people from around the globe seek out a UChicago education to make their mark on the world as thinkers and creators, healers and scientists, leaders and entrepreneurs. Scholars come to Hyde Park and UChicago centers around the world to open their ideas to debate and produce the work that will define their careers and often their disciplines. Students and faculty collaborate with artists on campus and in the community to create new avenues for scholarship and expression. New and expanded partnerships with national laboratories create more opportunities to educate, explore, and innovate.

UChicago’s preeminence and continued, positive trajectory is fueled by a pervasive culture of excellence and historical strength in its administrative, academic, and research leadership. This foundation is being complemented by the vision, strategic focus, and energy of various new senior leaders to the University, including Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development Sharon Marine, as well as new leaders in the sciences such as Dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences Angela Olinto, Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory Nipam Patel, and the Head of The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Increasing excellence is obvious in the University’s Alumni Relations and Development programs, as total contributed revenue has grown significantly over the course of the University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact. During this period, the Office of Alumni Relations and Development has doubled in size, its prospect research and analysis function has become a national model, and gift solicitations are more donor-centered and ambitious than ever before. All the while, the levels of communication, collaboration, and best-in-class leadership across Alumni Relations and Development continue to be enhanced, helping to ensure sustained philanthropic success.


Amid this positive backdrop, the Office of Alumni Relations and Development seeks candidates for the role of Assistant Vice President for Development, Sciences (AVP). Reporting to the Vice President and Associate Dean, Medicine and Biological Sciences Development, who is also the Senior Associate Vice President for Development, Sciences, the AVP will manage University-wide fundraising for the Physical Sciences Division, the Institute for Molecular Engineering, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Corporate and Foundation Relations, as well as other key science-related University priorities. S/he will directly manage four directors of development corresponding to these programs and a total team of approximately 25 individuals. The AVP will guide direct reports, among other colleagues, in prospect strategy and making appropriate linkages between programmatic areas to maximize giving. The AVP will collaborate with University leaders and academic partners and provide strategic direction to deans, associate deans, other divisional or unit-based administrative leaders, and directors of development to facilitate activity that advances priorities and maximizes philanthropic support. The AVP will partner with senior Alumni Relations and Development leaders to set fundraising goals and guide planning and strategy to achieve those goals, both annual and campaign. S/he will personally manage a small portfolio of high-level giving prospects.


Required qualifications and experience:

  • Passion for the education and research mission of a world-class university, particularly in improving the life prospects of disadvantaged individuals.
  • Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of professional work experience in nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales, or similar professional work experience. A minimum of four years of soliciting and closing major gifts experience, and a minimum of three years of experience working closely and collaboratively with senior leadership, trustees and board members. Experience working with the sciences, in a complex, decentralized academic environment, and in a large, multi-year comprehensive campaign environment is preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and direction with at least five years of significant supervisory experience, and a minimum of three years of experience developing and monitoring budgets.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to best practices for higher education development.
  • Strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives. Ability to identify stakeholders and build strong collaborative relationships with them across departments and units of a large, multi-faceted organization.
  • Expertise managing a complex prospect and donor pipeline. A history of securing six to eight-figure gifts, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual giving strategies for grooming the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic communications to complement philanthropic initiatives and achieve goals.
  • Experience identifying, nurturing, and motivating board or other volunteer leaders, and a sophisticated understanding of their role in building an effective philanthropic network.
  • Highly developed skills in organizational efficiency and project leadership, including demonstrated accomplishments while working with cross-functional teams. Skill at goal setting and measuring success.
  • Ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about prospect/constituency engagement strategy and process.

How to Apply

The University of Chicago has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:

Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.

Managing Director

Founder and Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy

Diversified Search

The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174

[email protected] | 111.542.2587

University of Chicago


Organization: Educational Institutions