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Columbia University Assoc Dean, Devel & Alumni Rel in New York, New York

  • Requisition no: 504675

  • Work Type: Full Time

  • Location: Campus|Medical Center

  • School/Department: null

  • Categories: Development/Alumni Relations

Position Summary

The associate dean of development and alumni relations directs all phases of a comprehensive development and alumni relations program for Columbia Mailman School of Public Health (MSPH), including principal and major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving and stewardship; serves as primary liaison in conjunction with the Dean's Office to the Board of Overseers; and provides oversight of the alumni relations program, including life-long engagement and volunteer and philanthropic cultivation.

Taking an innovative and results-oriented approach to advancement, the associate dean will create a case for philanthropic support and build consensus around a plan that will further engage and inspire existing and new donors. The associate dean will increase philanthropic capacity through creative strategies, diversification of the donor pool, creating a compelling case for support and building meaningful relationships with donors. The associate dean sets goals, monitors work and evaluates results to ensure that objectives are met and metrics are consistently measured.

As a strategic partner committed to the school’s success, the associate dean must be a results-oriented, high-performing leader who thrives in a dynamic, collaborative and resourceful environment. The associate dean will be a highly-strategic, driven, innovative and skilled leader and manager, dedicated to individual and team growth, who values deep engagement with leadership, colleagues, faculty, board members, alumni and other stakeholders. The associate dean must be exceptionally adroit in employing contemporary strategies and seek to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in service of transformational results.


  • serve as a senior strategic thought partner to the dean and other senior school leaders, including members of the Board of Overseers;

  • serve as a member of the school's 10-person senior management team, advising the dean on major strategic decisions for the school;

  • maintain active contact with approximately 50 qualified principal gifts prospects capable of making 8- or 9-figure gifts to MSPH;

  • identify, cultivate, solicit and provide recognition and stewardship to major and principal gift prospects for restricted and unrestricted giving to the school;

  • serve as a primary liaison with the dean's office to support the school’s 44-member Board of Overseers, including directly staffing its development committee and working to develop philanthropic giving from its members;

  • build strong relationships with leaders of the school’s academic departments and research centers, educational enterprise and other colleagues, to understand their aspirations and pursue the support needed to realize them;

  • mentor and provide opportunities for professional development to all staff members and be a source of inspiration, guidance and collaboration; refine the team structure and create a culture of accountability to increase fundraising skill, campaign readiness, secure major gifts, grow annual giving and increase alumni engagement;

  • work effectively and often with the university's development and alumni relations division ensuring that the school's fundraising and engagement strategies align and compliment the vision for the university's broad philanthropic goals and objective; harness opportunities for cross-collaborative philanthropic pursuit to ensure a donor-centric approach to cultivation and solicitation;

  • operate with a high degree of fiscal responsibility, prepare and provide oversight of the department budget and report on financial forecasts and projections; and

  • assess the return on investment for engagement, cultivation and prospecting activities relative to the school's fundraising objectives; be a good steward of fiscal and staff resources.

Minimum Qualifications

  • The Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations will be a highly aspirational, collaborative and result-focused fundraiser, who has depth and breadth in all aspects of development and a proven track record in personally cultivating and stewarding major and principal gift prospects. The associate dean must have the ability to inspire and excite donors by making a compelling case for MSPH's academic priorities, overall impact and aspirations. As a member of the dean's cabinet, the associate dean will be asked to add value to a wide array of strategic discussions and demonstrate enthusiasm, the ability to take risk and the courage to speak and act on convictions.In addition, the successful candidate will possess many of the following:

  • Bachelors Degree required; Master’s degree preferred

  • 10 years of progressive experience in philanthropic endeavors including fundraising and planning and executing campaigns;

  • detailed knowledge and understanding of the current fundraising trends and techniques with a primary focus on major and principal gifts;

  • demonstrated ability to effectively leverage the time of volunteers, and academic and administrative staff in contacts with donors; this includes strong preparation and good judgment about the extent to which cultivation can effectively be staff driven;

  • a seasoned manager and team builder who can provide mentorship and inspire a strong team, while also balancing their own portfolio of donors;

  • an understanding of development and alumni relations best practices and a willingness to be innovative and forward thinking;

  • strong communication, interpersonal and relationship-building skills, including the ability to represent the school in public, engage diverse people and audiences individually and collectively, write and speak in a compelling manner and listen effectively;

  • dedication to the mission of MSPH and the capacity to clearly and passionately communicate the school's impact;

  • strong personal work ethic and unquestioned personal integrity;

  • diplomacy and tact when dealing with highly complex and sensitive issues;

  • flexibility and the demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, juggling numerous projects simultaneously; and

Other Requirements

  • Mailman School of Public Health has retained WittKieffer to assist in this search. Please visit for a full leadership profile.Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Candidates should provide a resume and a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile. These materials should be sent electronically via email to the Mailman School of Public Health's consultants Melissa Fincher and Alejandra Gillette-Teran at Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.Information that cannot be sent electronically may be forwarded to:Christine MaciasWittKieffer2015 Spring Road, Suite 510Oak Brook, Illinois 60523Phone: 630-990-1370

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.