Senior Director of Foundation Relations


The University of Utah (the U), the state's flagship institution of higher learning and a major teaching and research university, is conducting a national search for the Senior Director of Foundation Relations.

The Senior Director of Foundation Relations will lead continued funding growth for a wide range of research and program initiatives by expanding partnerships with national foundations and by working collaboratively with a diverse constituency of faculty and professional staff. 

The senior director will manage a staff of fundraisers, work closely with campus and health advancement staff – especially principal giving – and will lead a proactive development plan that includes identifying emerging trends across the field of funders.

The senior director position is a critical role within the University's efforts to deepen relationships with national foundations. Reporting to Sarah George, Campus Chief Philanthropy Officer, and Marika Jones, Interim Chief Philanthropy Officer for University of Utah Health, the senior director is responsible for providing effective management of, and inspiration to, the Office of Foundation Relations (OFR) officers in the University Advancement and Health Advancement office, each of whom has a portfolio of foundations and thematic prospects. The OFR and senior director are responsible for identifying, developing and soliciting relationships with high-end foundation prospects by focusing on national foundations, with an emphasis on major ($100,000+) and principal ($1 million+) gifts for the University through both foundation gift and grant support. At the same time, this leader will design, implement and manage a proactive development plan focused on expanding and enhancing top-level foundation partnerships.

It will be important for the senior director to develop, implement and manage a suite of central services and professional development resources available to the campus community (faculty/staff/leadership) for national foundation-related fundraising programs. This leader will coordinate campus-wide activities related to obtaining major funding and support, including working with faculty and all programs on campus that touch on areas of interest to top-level foundation partners. The OFR team will work with units and faculty across campus to develop, refine and implement foundation fundraising strategies, as well as, implementation and operation of a high-quality stewardship process for active foundation prospects and donors. The senior director will have a team of four. This person will have a minimum of nine years' experience, a bachelor’s degree is required and a master’s degree is preferred.

This is a wonderful opportunity to work within a thriving and enthusiastic philanthropic team and contribute to a nationally renowned research academic institution. Salt Lake City, Utah is an area known for its beauty and its cultural and recreation opportunities. All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, found at WittKieffer is assisting University of Utah in this search, which will remain open until an appointment is made. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Ben Haden and Mercedes Vance at:

As a part of the University of Utah, the University Advancement division is deeply committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We embrace this commitment to grow and maintain a diverse, safe, and inclusive workplace culture for all employees in University Advancement. With an increasingly diverse population of alumni and donors, we recognize that nationally the most successful advancement offices employ individuals who can connect with these diverse communities and understand approaches that mirror a broad perspective of cultures, values, and experiences. The long-term strength and viability of the University of Utah stem from the ongoing EDI practices, and we work intentionally to ensure these efforts are reflected in all aspects of our fundraising and advancement work. We highly encourage applications from historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, persons who have served in the military, and others who would bring additional dimensions of education and experience to our team.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, University of Utah policy of equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, veteran’s status, status as a qualified person with a disability, or genetic information. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law.

To inquire about this posting, email: or call 801-581-2300. Reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities. To request an accommodation or for further information about University AA/EO policies, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 S. Presidents Cr., Rm 135, (801) 581-8365 (V/TDD), email: .

Specific details

Organization University of Utah
Contact Person Ben Haden and Mercedes Vance
Phone 1.888.281.1370
Closing Date 2020-12-17