Boston University

Assistant Vice President, School Development
Location: Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) seeks a strategic, inclusive, and intellectually curious Assistant Vice President, School Development (AVP) to lead and maximize fundraising and alumni engagement activities for a portfolio of five renowned schools and colleges, elevating advancement capabilities in support of strategic priorities as the university moves into its next multi-billion-dollar comprehensive campaign.

In partnership with Associate Vice President for School Development Lara Brown de Fuenmayor, the AVP will lead a team of 21 development and alumni relations professionals, including five direct reports who serve as the fundraising leads for the College of Engineering, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Questrom School of Business, School of Law, and Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. The incumbent will advance strong partnerships and collaboration among schools and colleges, regional teams, and other Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) staff, encouraging a strategic and integrated approach that taps into the expertise, best practices, and myriad resources of teams, deans, and colleagues across DAR.

DAR’s impact on the University’s mission and legacy is exemplified by the high growth in fundraising and alumni engagement activities, with the AVP’s portfolio of five schools and colleges collectively raising approximately $35-40 million annually. Each school and college’s strategic plan provides ripe ground to be innovative and opportunistic in identifying philanthropic prospects, engaging high-level volunteers, and cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding impactful gifts.

The AVP will build upon a strong foundation to engage leaders of their assigned schools and colleges in strategically aligned development efforts as the university welcomes Dr. Melissa Gilliam, a medical doctor, MacArthur-grant winning researcher, and adolescent health advocate as its new president on July 1, 2024. Founded in 1839, Boston University has grown into one of the largest nonprofit universities in the country, comprising 17 Schools and Colleges. BU has always been a hub for impact and innovation. As a university, it was the first to open all divisions to female students in 1872 and that same year, BU School of Law started admitting students regardless of race, gender, and religion—less than a decade after the end of the Civil War. BU continues to prepare students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world by promoting an interdisciplinary approach exemplified throughout its schools and colleges such as: the Pardee School of Global Studies’ seven research centers and institutes, which serve as hubs for multi-disciplinary research and knowledge dissemination; the Questrom School of Business’ 2024 Top 20-ranked undergraduate business program in which students are prepared to make the most responsible decisions for their future organizations and society; Wheelock College of Education & Human Development’s focus on dismantling systemic barriers that limit learning and human development; and the commitment of the School of Engineering to create societal engineers.

The next AVP will possess a minimum of fourteen years of development experience, a keen understanding of best practices in fundraising and alumni engagement, and experience managing a school- or college-based team ideally across departmental and unit matrices in a complex organization. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of using data-focused and metrics-driven strategies to grow fundraising programs in academic settings. The incumbent must have extraordinary communication skills with a collegial, team-building style and a demonstrated ability to motivate high achievers as well as to cultivate productive, collaborative relationships across campus. The AVP will foster a professional work environment that rewards individual and collective success, builds confidence, and promotes diversity in all its forms. In accordance with its core values and mission, BU is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals who will promote and uphold the values embodied within the University’s Diversity Statement.

Application Instructions

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

Boston University is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, natural or protective hairstyle, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. Boston University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. 

Information about BU’s COVID-19 policies is available here.


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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José Cisneros

Associate | He/Him/Él
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Alicia Paquette

Search Coordinator | She/Her
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