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University of Rochester Executive Dir. of Advancement, Simon School - 228268 in Rochester, New York

Executive Dir. of Advancement, Simon School Job ID 228268

Location Central Administration Full/Part Time Full-Time Favorite Job Regular/Temporary Regular Opening

Full Time 40 hours Grade 058 Ofc Sr Vice Pres Advancement





The University of Rochester seeks an experienced and ambitious executive director of alumni and advancement (Executive Director) for the Simon Business School (Simon). Both the University and Simon are at exciting and transformative moments in their respective histories. The University welcomed Sarah C. Mangelsdorf as its new president in July 2019, and in July 2020, Simon welcomed its eighth dean, Sevin Yeltekin, who most recently served as the Rohet Tolani Distinguished Professor of Economics and senior associate dean of education at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. These milestones present an exceptional opportunity for a dynamic, seasoned, and forward-thinking advancement professional to join the University and Simon as they chart a new course into the future, and to play a key role expanding the philanthropic capacity of Simon.

Founded in 1850, the University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading research universities and is the cultural, artistic, and educational leader for the region. The university’s motto, Meliora, embodies the goals of the University, which are to “learn, discover, heal, create – and make the world even better.” The University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is regularly ranked in the top 35 national universities by U.S. News and World Report. Simon, one of the nation’s leading graduate education institutions, offers full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs, as well as other Master of Science programs. In addition, the School offers substantial academic research opportunities and PhD programs in several disciplines.

Reporting to the associate vice president for annual giving and school programs, the executive director is Simon’s primary development officer and works closely with University Advancement colleagues, the dean, and other University and school leaders to set strategic direction and conceive of and execute fundraising and alumni relations plans. The executive director manages a select portfolio of prospects, including some of the school’s most important supporters, and supervises a staff of six. In addition, the executive director oversees an operating budget of approximately $250,000 and works collaboratively across advancement and the broader University to set new benchmarks for success in philanthropy and donor engagement.

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned advancement professional capable of managing and mentoring a diverse staff in a complex environment; a thoughtful strategist; a natural collaborator and convener; and an exceptional steward of internal and external relationships. The executive director will possess ten or more years of progressively responsible management and fundraising experience in advancement with a track record of significantly elevating development programs. They will have personal success cultivating, soliciting, an

stewarding major individual and institutional gifts at the five-, six-, and seven-figure levels, preferably in higher education. Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

The University of Rochester has retained Jack Gorman of the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in this important recruitment. All inquiries, applications, and nominations should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document and will be held in the strictest confidence.


The University of Rochester ( is one of the country’s top-tier research universities. With more than 200 academic majors and more than 2,000 faculty and instructional staff, the University is noted as being exceptionally collaborative. It offers both the intellectual excitement of a major research university with a top medical center, and the intimacy and opportunities of a great liberal arts college.

The University enrolls more than 12,000 students annually, of whom nearly 77 percent are undergraduates and half are women. The School of Arts and Sciences and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are home to most undergraduate students. Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels enjoy access to the Eastman School of Music, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing, the Simon Business School, and the Warner School of Education. The University is home to the Memorial Art Gallery, which boasts more than 12,000 objects in its permanent collection and serves as the community’s art gallery; the Eastman Theatre which offers three state-of-the-art performance venues for more than 20 student ensembles from the Eastman School of Music; and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, which operates two of the world’s most powerful high-energy and high-intensity lasers. Academic strengths include optics, political science, economics, physics, and engineering. Among the faculty are recipients of MacArthur Awards, Guggenheim, Sloan, and Packard Fellowships, and members of the National Academies.

The Simon Business School

With origins as a regional business school that enrolled primarily undergraduate students, Simon ( is now an internationally-acclaimed graduate institution. Today, incoming MBA students hail from 19 countries and represent a broad variety of career stages and ambitions. Simon enrolls more than 970 students in its programs each year, maintaining a graduating class of approximately 130 full-time MBA, 400 Master of Science, and 40 Executive and Part-Time MBA students.

As a member of the University of Rochester community, Simon’s character is defined by “Meliora” – a relentless endeavor to be ever better – in the ideas it contributes to the world, in the opportunities it offers to students, and in its commitment to inclusiveness. Simon’s mission to develop business leaders with an exceptional level of clarity, both about business and about themselves, is furthered through a strong focus on data, analytics and economics. In fact, Simon was the first business school to secure STEM designations for all of its degree programs, regardless of specialization. In addition, the School is ranked among the top 5 business schools for finance and economics (Financial Times), the top 10 for return on investment (The Economist), and received an “A” for teaching quality (Bloomberg Businessweek). Simon has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International (AACSB) since 1966. In a new 2021 ranking from US News, Simon had the #1 most diverse MBA student body. Other recent rankings are as follows: Financial Times, 2021: #31 among US business schools; The Economist, 2021: #16 among US business schools; Bloomberg Business Week, 2019: #4 among US business schools for learning, and #29 overall among US business schools.

The Simon community looks to its faculty of renowned industry experts, most of whom are graduates of the nation’s top business schools, including Columbia University, Northwestern University, Stanford University, and The Wharton School, for the research and top-ranked teaching excellence that helped propel Simon to a rank of 29 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2019-2020 ranking of US business schools (an increase of 16 places).

More than 17,500 Simon graduates are managing, leading, and contributing across a wide range of global enterprises, including Fortune 500 companies such as Citibank, Amazon, Google, McKinsey & Co., Morgan Stanley, Starbucks, Travelers Insurance, and many other industry leaders, as well as in the government, nonprofit, and higher education sectors. Simon alumni bring to their careers a distinctly Simon/Rochester way of doing business: hands-on, data-focused, economics-based, analytical, global, and interdisciplinary in perspective.

Simon has built tremendous momentum in alumni relations and fundraising in recent years. The school raised $96 million in the Meliora Challenge campaign, surpassing its goal of $85 million and securing a $20 million gift – the largest single gift commitment in the School’s history. Recently, Simon completed a career-focused curricular reform of its MBA program, and the School is nearing the completion of a $10-million renovation to its learning environment.

Dean Yeltekin is leading a school-wide strategic planning process, which is in the early stages. This is a collaborative effort among all the School’s key constituents, including alumni, and the School hopes to unveil its plan in the fall of 2021.


The University of Rochester and the University Advancement division are dedicated to cultivating an equitable, respectful, and welcoming pluralistic culture and have taken steps to accelerate diversity efforts. The Diversity Steering Committee for University Advancement was recently formed to ensure leadership, guidance, and feedback on the division’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) guidelines and initiatives. These efforts have resulted in a clear mission for the University Advancement team to purposefully acknowledge and embrace individual differences in all aspects of their work; to collaboratively grow and evolve their understanding of one another; and to take responsibility for living in adherence to the below guiding principles (ADVANCE):

  • Acknowledge the need for change and growth in the area of DEI

  • Demonstrate that the team’s strength relies upon its diversity

  • Value all unique identities and backgrounds, which enrich the work of the organization

  • Advocate for an open culture that encourages dialogue, mutual respect, and shared responsibility

  • Nurture an inclusive environment that operates with fairness and justice

  • Commit to infusion the team’s vision for DEI into all aspects of the work with alumni, friends, and


  • Educate one’s self and provide resources to allow team members to achieve this vision

Simon’s commitment to diversity has been a guiding principle for decades, and the Simon community actively seeks and includes individuals from diverse origins and backgrounds who bring their own valuable and important perspectives. In fact, the Simon MBA student body is the most diverse among the top-50 U.S. business schools (U.S. News & World Report 2021). Simon stands firmly against all forms of hatred, bigotry, and discrimination, and is committed to ending the vicious cycle of systemic racism, intolerance, and violence through education and Empowerment. Simon has a long-standing relationship with the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management (the Consortium or CGSM). The Consortium is an alliance of leading American business schools and some of our country’s top corporations. It is dedicated to enhancing diversity in business education and leadership by increasing African-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American representation in member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management. As the fourth business school to join the Consortium in 1968, we remain dedicated to promoting student diversity to elevate the academic experience and reflect modern business's multicultural nature.

The last four years have shown significant growth in African American, Black, Hispanic American, and Native American matriculated students from 14% to 32% of the total Full-Time MBA incoming cohort. Simon has also fostered close collaboration with other organizations whose mission is to increase the representation of outstanding candidates in traditionally underrepresented groups, including: Prospanica, Forte Foundation, and ROMBA to name a few.

The Rochester Model: 2021 Strategic Plan for University Advancement

The University of Rochester concluded The Meliora Challenge campaign on June 30, 2016, raising more than $1.37 billion. This was the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in the University’s history, exceeding the initial goal by more than $168 million.

With the campaign’s completion, University Advancement launched The Rochester Model: 2021 Strategic Plan for University Advancement. The six-year plan sets forth specific, measurable ways to grow private giving, advocacy, and engagement in support of the University’s mission.

The Rochester Model balances ambitious metrics with a commitment to long-term, meaningful engagement. It recognizes that by developing lasting relationships with our alumni, parents, and friends, the broader community will be fully invested in—and responsible for—the University’s success.


Martha Cassidy Krohn, Associate Vice President of Annual Giving and School Programs

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education advancement, Martha Cassidy Krohn is a proven leader managing and growing fundraising and engagement programs. Krohn joined the University of Rochester in 2008 and currently holds the position in Advancement of Associate Vice President. Krohn oversees several of Advancement’s fundraising academic programs including Simon Business School, Eastman School of Music, Warner School of Education and the Memorial Art Gallery. Her portfolio includes a comprehensive annual giving program for the University, which tripled in annual dollars raised per year under her leadership as part of the $1.2 billion Meliora Challenge campaign.

Prior to Rochester, Krohn was responsible for the annual giving programs at Carnegie Mellon University and Emerson College and served in several fundraising and Advancement roles at the University of Connecticut.

Sevin Yeltekin, Dean, Simon Business School, Professor of Marketing

Sevin Yeltekin became the eighth dean, and first woman dean, of the Simon Business School in July 2020. As dean, Yeltekin oversees the administrative and academic functions of the Simon Business School, shapes the School’s vision and priorities, and serves as the leading advocate for its faculty, programs, students, alumni, the business community, and other external constituencies.

Previously, Dean Yeltekin was the Rohet Tolani Distinguished Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Education at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business from 2005-2020. In addition to her duties as senior associate dean, she was a professor of economics. Earlier in her career, Dean Yeltekin was a faculty member of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Dean Yeltekin is a highly respected macroeconomics scholar and is well known for her research in the design of monetary and fiscal policy. Her research spans tax policy design, government debt management, social insurance design, computational economics, and asset pricing implications of macro policy. She has served as a board member and associate editor of numerous academic economics journals and has been a member of the advisory board for the Carnegie Rochester NYU Series on Public Policy since 2012. The series has been a semi-annual event occurring on a rotating basis at each university and encourages the interchange of scientific ideas among analysts with different approaches and gives greater understanding by academic economists of practitioner's environments.

Dean Yeltekin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and mathematics from Wellesley College, and a master of arts and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.


The executive director of alumni and advancement is the primary development officer for Simon. In collaboration with University Advancement, Dean Yeltekin, and other academic leaders, the executive director will play a significant role setting strategic direction for advancement and to conceive of and execute fundraising and alumni relations plans. The executive director personally manages a portfolio of high-level prospects, including some of the School’s most important supporters, as well as a staff of six.

Major Functions and Responsibilities

Serve as a valued member of the Simon Business School and overall University Advancement office, providing strategic insight on a broad range of programs and initiatives, and modeling success and best practices in major and principal gift fundraising.

  • Personally manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects, both domestic and international; meet or exceed personal metrics of 75-100 visits, 30 solicitations, and 10-12 closed gifts per year at the major and principal gift levels ($100,000+).

  • Collaborate with University Advancement officers, appropriate deans, and senior management in supporting all major and principal gift work for Simon, participating directly as appropriate to ensure maximum coordination of activities across advancement units.

  • In preparation for future campaign efforts, assess philanthropic capacity across all constituencies, identify areas for growth, strategically augment advancement staff and resources as necessary, and craft fundraising strategies to engage volunteers and donors more deeply at all levels.

  • Serve as a volunteer manager for unit-specific and regional advisory councils and boards as appropriate, pushing their commitment and participation to ever higher levels.

Supervise an office focused on producing major and principal gifts for Simon, as well as alumni relations programs that are integrated with development priorities.

  • In collaboration with University Advancement, conceive of and implement management systems to measure activity and progress.

  • Hire, train, and evaluate staff with appropriate consultation with the dean and University Advancement.

  • Guide and motivate staff members to perform at a high level and realize their career aspirations through mentoring, meetings, and conversations.

  • Promote a collaborative team culture internally and with other advancement departments, maintaining clear focus on the common goal of moving prospects and donors to ever-higher giving levels to support key priorities.

Through in-depth conversations and meetings with the dean and senior University Advancement leadership, maintain thorough knowledge of Simon programs and funding priorities to support effective management decisions and prospect strategies.

  • Closely collaborate with the dean and other key academic leaders to promote development efforts that support feasible/fundable Simon priorities.

Collaborate with the associate vice president for annual giving and school programs to establish development strategy for the Simon School.

  • Establish plans and policies that are supportive of University Advancement goals and school priorities.

  • Work closely with key University Advancement department leaders to ensure strong working relationships, delegating oversight of these relationships to staff as appropriate.

  • Assure that University Advancement officers have sufficient knowledge of Simon programs and priorities to be effective representatives for the school and that they know whom to contact when they need more extensive and detailed information.

  • Serve as a liaison with University Alumni Relations on collaborative regional programming for Simon and other University alumni.

  • Ensure that all work is done in collaboration with partners across the University while demonstrating University Advancement values:

  • Innovation

  • Team-based approach

  • Inclusion

  • Service excellence

  • Mission-driven

  • Communication

  • Integrity

  • Job satisfaction

Qualifications and Experience

Ideal candidates will bring many of the following:

  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible development experience with demonstrable success as a manager and a gift officer, preferably in a complex academic environment, including but not limited to business, engineering, or a comparable school or unit.

  • Deep understanding of and passion for business education.

  • Previous international major gift fundraising experience for a business, engineering, or other professional school preferred.

  • Personal success cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding high-capacity individual and institutional donors to give gifts of five-, six- and seven-figures, preferably for an institution of higher education, and to elevate donors’ philanthropic support to higher levels.

  • Demonstrated success developing and managing fundraising programs in a performance-based culture, an in-depth understanding of advancement and development programs, and a proven ability to effectively manage interactions with a central fundraising staff. Must possess strong critical thinking and analytical skills.

  • Superior strategic skills with a strong grasp of best practices and a holistic understanding of all aspects of advancement. Substantial experience assessing and significantly growing existing philanthropic programs.

  • Proven success building productive, long-term relationships with senior university administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, and boards. Evidence of building effective, productive relationships with deans and other academic leaders.

  • Superior interpersonal skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences, and clear and effective written and oral communication. The experience, maturity, and inclination to be an effective, outgoing representative of the University of Rochester.

  • Experience working in and building collaborative relationships across an organization that serves internal and external constituents, often with shared responsibility for advancement and donor cultivation and stewardship. Seek input from and serve as a resource to others. Persuasive, persistent, and determined to achieve goals.

  • Solid leadership skills, with evidence of leading by example; a proven ability to establish a team- and goal- oriented culture that empowers staff through active communication and delegation and that instills confidence, promotes diversity of thought, brings out the best in staff, and celebrates achievement. A strong commitment to personal and professional development.

  • Strong management skills, including expertise in personnel management, program implementation, and accountability. A keen eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources; the ability to plan, monitor, and manage a budget.

  • An understanding of the importance of and demonstrated success fostering and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among colleagues, staff, and in the recruiting and hiring pipeline.

  • Collaborative and collegial; eager and able to engage a diverse audience and build strong professional relationships. A convener who can synthesize many ideas and offer strategies and solutions that address a wide variety of goals and objectives.

  • Strong personal integrity and work ethic, as well as a sense of humor and perspective.

  • A desire to deeply engage in the University and local community. The ideal candidate will reflect and embrace the University of Rochester’s emphasis on academic excellence and commitment to its role in enriching the City of Rochester.

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred. Consideration will be given to those with an undergraduate business degree or an MBA.


This search is being led by Jack Gorman, Jean Jacoby, and Molly Gallagher. For more information, to make a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

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