Oregon Health & Science University Foundation

Senior Director for Cancer Fundraising

Portland, Oregon

Position Description

Executive Summary

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has a tradition of taking on the impossible—and delivering. Since its founding 125 years ago as the first medical school of the then-wild frontier of the Pacific Northwest, OHSU has challenged the status quo in pursuit of better care and quality of life for the people of the region and beyond. More recently, OHSU has become distinguished for its record of bold breakthroughs in health and science—innovations that have broad sweeping improvements to the treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, macular degeneration and neurological disorders.

Such an audacious vision requires a bold approach to fundraising—OHSU’s ONWARD campaign is on track to raise $2 billion by 2020. A rally point of the campaign has been the Knight Cancer Challenge, in which $1 billion was raised in 22 months with the support of 10,000 donors and a $500 million pledge from Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight and his wife Penny. This infusion of philanthropic dollars reinforces OHSU’s standing as a magnet for creative researchers and clinicians unafraid to take big risks and unorthodox approaches to accelerate progress.

OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute Director, Brian Druker, M.D., exemplifies this radical approach. Druker altered the course of cancer research, and ushered in the era of personalized cancer medicine, by proving for the first time that cancer cells could be shut down by disabling the molecules that drive their growth without harming healthy cells. The drug that resulted from that research, Gleevec®, revolutionized how cancer is treated and inspired a new wave of exploration of treatments that target cancer-causing molecules.

OHSU has an unprecedented opportunity to realize the full potential of precision medicine by finding new methods of detecting and shutting down cancers at their earliest phase. It’s time to further accelerate these advances. In support of these bold endeavors, the OHSU Foundation seeks a strategic, relationship-focused, high-capacity development leader to serve as Senior Director for Cancer Fundrasing (Senior Director).

While the Senior Director will seek to propel the work of the Knight Cancer Institute and cancer-related research at OHSU by harnessing the full range of fundraising, marketing and outreach activities at OHSU and the Foundation’s disposal, the primary responsibility of this role is to raise significant levels of philanthropic support for cancer-related research, capital projects, and clinical pursuits. The Senior Director will bring dynamic, fresh leadership and motivational guidance to the development process; provide day-to-day oversight of a team of assigned development officers; and collaborate with other Foundation units (principal/transformational gifts, gift planning, foundation relations, donor relations and development services) in pursuit of philanthropic goals.

S/he will personally manage a prospect portfolio of the Institute’s most significant donors with direct involvement in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of principal gifts (seven-figure and above) and will become an active and visible member of the social fabric that includes OHSU and the Knight Cancer Institute’s key donors, volunteers and supporters located regionally and nationally.

The Senior Director will build deep relationships with Knight faculty and staff, serve as primary liaison to the Knight Cancer Institute Council, and increase philanthropic support for and awareness of the groundbreaking work of Dr. Druker and his colleagues. Building upon the tremendous momentum generated by the $100 million naming gift, as well as the transformational realization of the $1 billion Knight Cancer Challenge, the Senior Director will lead fundraising activities aimed at strengthening alliances with current donors while launching a systematic initiative to identify and target new donors capable of major gifts in support of the Institute’s current and future priorities. These priorities include the on-going construction of a new 320,000 square foot research facility which will house the Institute’s expanding team of researchers—leading to more discoveries, new tests and treatments, and expanded clinical trial opportunities. The only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center between Seattle and Sacramento, the Knight is not only a vital source of scientific research, clinical leadership and cancer treatment, but also a significant economic driver in the region, fueling jobs and attracting powerful research collaborations with technology leaders such as Intel Corporation, FEI, Organovo and Cepheid.

The successful candidate will possess at least 7 years of progressively responsible development experience preferably within a complex research-driven and/or academic medical/health center environment. Working knowledge and passion for the cancer research sphere, on the regional and national level is highly desired. S/he will have a proven track record of growing and implementing development strategies and programs with demonstrated results in the full spectrum of philanthropic fund development, including major and principal gifts, comprehensive campaigns, annual and special gifts, proposal development, special events, planned gifts and donor relations.

A collaborative and accessible leadership style, well-suited to management in a complex, rapid change environment, is a prerequisite, as is the creativity, energy and political savvy needed to prioritize and champion new ideas. Strong managerial and motivational skills are required, as well as the compassion, clarity, and communication skills necessary to articulate clear philanthropic goals and empower OHSUF staff, OHSU faculty and the Institute’s influential supporters. An undergraduate degree is required and an advanced degree is preferred. The Senior Director will travel frequently both regionally and nationally.
Position Description

Application Form

Search Team

Tracy Welsh  

Connor Daley  

Maeve Clifford