Oregon Health & Science University Foundation

Assistant Vice President of Development
Knight Cancer Institute
Location: Portland, OR

Oregon Health & Science University Foundation (OHSUF) seeks a relationship-focused, strategic, and highly collaborative fundraising professional to serve as Assistant Vice President of Development (AVP) for the nationally renowned Knight Cancer Institute. The AVP serves as a vital leader within the OHSU Foundation by strategically leading fundraising initiatives for the Knight Cancer Institute, working closely with related units such as dermatology, cardiology, and surgery. Success for the next AVP will be defined in part by the ability to harness the vision and stellar reputation of Knight Cancer Institute Director Dr. Brian Druker and the groundbreaking Knight Cancer Challenge, which raised $1 billion 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. The AVP will seek to propel the work of the Knight Cancer Institute and cancer-related research at OHSU by leading a team of dedicated fundraisers, harnessing the full range of fundraising, marketing, and outreach activities at OHSU and the Foundation’s disposal.

Founded in 1887, OHSU serves as the premier center for Oregon medicine, public health, nursing, and dentistry programs. OHSU is one of the leading medical treatment, education, and research centers in the country. In 2021, OHSU educated more than 4,700 students, treated more than 310,000 patients, and received over $586 million in research grants. Among OHSU’s leading research centers is the Knight Cancer Institute, led by the visionary Dr. Brian Druker. At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, a world-class team of doctors and scientists is working to end cancer in three ways: through early detection, immunotherapy, and precision medicine. Dr. 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. This 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 AVP will have primary responsibility for raising significant levels of philanthropic support for cancer-related research, capital projects, and clinical pursuits. The AVP will bring dynamic, fresh leadership and motivational guidance to the development process; provide day-to-day oversight of a team of five development officers and support staff; and collaborate with other Foundation units in pursuit of philanthropic goals. The AVP will personally manage a portfolio of the Institute’s most significant donors with direct involvement in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of principal gifts (seven-figures 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 AVP 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 $500 million naming gift, as well as the transformational realization of the $1 billion Knight Cancer Challenge and some recent principal gifts, the AVP 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 raising the profile of the Knight nationally and creating a destination cancer treatment facility on par with other nationally known brands, an endeavor that will be enhanced by increased patient capacity with the Oregon Hospital Expansion Project. 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.

The successful candidate will possess at least 10 years of progressively responsible development experience preferably within a complex research-driven and/or academic medical/health center environment. Candidates 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 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, faculty, and the Institute’s influential supporters. In accordance with its core values and mission, OHSUF is especially interested in recruiting members of diverse communities and individuals with a commitment to anti-racism.

Application Instructions

The OHSU Foundation has partnered with Talent Citizen to assist in this recruitment. Please reach out to President Tracy D. Welsh and Senior Associate Rachel K. Partin to share your resume and cover letter via email at: ohsuf-avpkci@talentcitizen.com.

OHSU believes that diversity and equity are imperative to its success, which is why it is committed to creating and sustaining a culture where all employees are empowered to do great work—and where the best decisions are made because they’re informed by multiple, diverse perspectives.

The OHSU Foundation provides equal opportunities to all individuals without regard to age, color, current or future military status, disability (physical or mental), gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran, or any other status protected by law.



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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