Boston University

Director of Development, Special Initiatives, Computing & Data Sciences
Location: Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) seeks a collaborative and entrepreneurial Director, Special Initiatives (DSI) to build donor relationships resulting in increased philanthropic giving in support of a new academic unit that brings together students and faculty from across disciplines with a shared passion for societal impact through computing and data science. Interdisciplinary research has always been core to the BU ethos. Members of the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences come from 23 departments in 11 of BU’s schools & colleges, bringing data science expertise in everything from theology to public health to engineering. In its first year as a major, Data Science has more than 150 declared majors and is on track for course enrollment to grow by 370 percent. This is an excellent opportunity for an enterprising development professional to work in partnership with Dr. Azer Bestavros, Associate Provost for Computing and Data Sciences, at a critical time of momentum and investment.

The Special Initiatives (SI) team, led by Associate Vice President, Special Initiatives Ron Gray, is focused on securing leading philanthropic gifts in support of select university priorities, including the Center for Antiracist Research (CAR), Computing and Data Sciences (CDS), the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research (CEID), the Institute for Global Sustainability (IGS), and the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories (NEIDL). This team works in close coordination/collaboration with Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) colleagues, center directors, the Associate Provost for the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, and affiliated faculty. The team’s work centers on identifying prospects through discovery and in partnership with DAR’s research team to develop tactical engagement strategies. These prospect activities require collaboration with the development teams at BU’s 17 schools and colleges, and often involve mapping out high-level cultivation and solicitation strategies, leading to philanthropic investments that create impactful and meaningful change.

This is an exciting opportunity for an enterprising leader in major gift fundraising to join an institution at the outset of a campaign that will propel ever-more ambitious achievement. In partnership with the AVP, the DSI will be responsible for leading a donor-centric fundraising program. The next DSI will use creative and sophisticated identification, cultivation, and solicitation methods for solicitation of gifts of $100,000 and above from alumni, foundations, friends, and corporations, with a focus on building sustained and growing philanthropic support for CDS.

The successful candidate will ideally bring at least eight years of fundraising experience, academic or professional experience in STEM, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in developing successful fundraising strategies in a complex university. A proven track record of personally identifying, cultivating, and soliciting major and principal gifts is a key criterion. The next Director should have a collegial style with a demonstrated ability to cultivate productive, collaborative relationships with faculty and staff across the university. The successful candidate will be an inspiring leader and an effective advocate with all constituents. In accordance with its core values and mission, BU is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a commitment to antiracism.

Application Instructions

Boston University has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please contact President Tracy D. Welsh and Senior Associate Rachel K. Partin to share your resume and cover letter via email at:

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer and gives consideration for employment to qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the employment application process, please contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 617-353-6474 or

Please note all newly hired staff and faculty, will need to be in compliance with Boston University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy within 30 days of date of hire.  For further information on the university’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Back2BU site.

The Talent Citizen Search Team

Tracy D. Welsh

President | She/Her
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Rachel K. Partin

Managing Associate | She/Her
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Alicia Paquette

Search Coordinator | She/Her
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