New Mexico State University

Director of Development, Engineering

Las Cruces, NM

Position Description

Executive Summary

New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico’s flagship land-grant and space-grant institution, and the NMSU Foundation seek a highly-collaborative, thoughtful, and entrepreneurial fundraising professional to serve as Director of Development, College of Engineering. The Director will join a dedicated advancement team at the Foundation, contributing to the Foundation’s growth, and will play a critical role in identifying opportunities to support the College of Engineering. Responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals capable of making gifts of five- and six-figure and up, the Director will manage and develop a diverse portfolio and will collaborate closely with College faculty, staff, and alumni. This is a wonderful opportunity for an accomplished fundraiser to raise philanthropic support to greater heights at a top-tier College of Engineering and join a vibrant community at NMSU.

Founded in 1888, New Mexico State University is the oldest institution of higher education in New Mexico. NMSU ranks in the top 20% of all selective public colleges in moving students from the lowest income tier to the middle and is among the best in the nation at moving people from the bottom tier to the top. Over 50% of NMSU students are first generation college students and over 60% are Hispanic, meaning NMSU is one of the most important and effective drivers of economic mobility in the state. Rated as a military and veteran friendly university, NMSU dedicates significant resources and support to active-duty military, their dependents, and veterans. The University also has a storied history of top-tier and deeply impactful research.

This is particularly true in the College of Engineering, which has strong partnerships with institutions such as Stanford University around innovation and private collaborations with companies like Intel, Boeing, Sandia Labs, and the University of Texas-El Paso dating back to the Manhattan Project. Led by a dynamic and visionary Dean, Lakshmi Reddi, the College of Engineering is ranked 12th among the 50 Best Value Engineering schools. Graduates have gone on to work at NASA, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, and Raytheon. An exciting moment for the College of Engineering, Dean Reddi has outlined a two-pronged mission: 1) to break the top 10 of Best Value Engineering schools, and 2) invest deeper in the most impactful areas of scholarship, like water resources innovation and renewable energy. Recently, the state of New Mexico approved a $20 million bond to help build an exciting new student-focused center.

For the NMSU community, private philanthropic support is vital to increased accessibility. The recently-completed Ignite Aggie Discovery Campaign, the largest in the university’s history, raised over $125 million across three distinct pillars – student discovery, faculty and staff discovery, and NMSU achievement. Of the total, $39 million alone was dedicated for student support, and $55.6 million was raised for programmatic and research support. With an endowment of around $200 million, NMSU and the NMSU Foundation have a massive opportunity to raise even more for student, faculty, and community success.

The Director of Development will capitalize on this success, building off the momentum from the Ignite campaign to engage donors and alumni more strategically to unlock potential value for raising private support and partnerships. With a new Foundation President joining in Spring 2020, there is an energetic eagerness throughout the advancement team to develop and execute on an ambitious growth plan. To do so, NMSU is looking to attract professionals with the unique balance of fundraising success, authenticity, and passion for the New Mexico community.

Ideal candidates will be dedicated, hard-working, and curious. They must possess the proven ability to work with a widely diverse set of stakeholders and have the personal maturity and political acumen to communicate effectively with University leaders, state politicians, prominent alumni, and donors of all kinds. A personal and professional commitment to valuing the differences in who we are, what we’ve experienced, and how we think, is vital. Excellent leadership and organizational skills in addition to superior verbal, written and interpersonal skills are essential. While not required, Spanish-speaking ability is always a plus. Regular travel (around 40%) and evening/weekend work are required. Candidates with experience in nonprofit environments, particularly higher education, and the demonstrated ability to work directly with donors and volunteers are preferred.

The position requires a Bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of fundraising experience or a combination of fundraising and other directly-related experience successfully soliciting gifts of five-figure and over. While the distinction between Development Officer and Senior Development Officer is not codified in stone, the latter level of the position requires demonstrated fundraising success well over the six-figure amount and some dedicated management/mentorship experience.

To Apply


Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your interest, the reasons why you are best suited for the position and would be a great addition to the NMSU community, and where you learned of the position. Nominations and applications should be sent directly to NMUS-MG@talentcitizen.com
Position Description

Search Team

Tracy Welsh  

Connor Daley  

Eva Kotilinek