Chief Advancement Officer

Amherst College Amherst, MA

Amherst College, one of the nation’s preeminent liberal arts colleges, seeks an experienced, strategic and aspirational fundraising professional to serve as its next chief advancement officer (CAO). Joining the institution at a pivotal moment in its history, the CAO will report directly to President Biddy Martin and will work closely with her and key senior leaders to help develop and achieve a bold and ambitious vision for the College. The CAO will define a culture of philanthropy that supports key institutional priorities and fosters lifelong relationships between Amherst and its alumni, parents, and friends.

In 2013, the College celebrated the conclusion of the Lives of Consequence campaign, exceeding its $425 million campaign goal and raising a total of $502 million in the largest fundraising campaign in the institution’s history. In 2015, the College released an exciting and ambitious strategic plan to guide the institution through its bicentennial celebration in 2021 and well into its future as a residential community of learning. The aspirations highlighted in the plan include a set of seven priorities and recommendations that reaffirm the College’s commitment to the liberal arts in an era of dramatic change, emphasizing connections between academic programs and residential offerings and preparing graduates to be effective and active contributors to the world.

The CAO will serve as President Martin’s principal advisor on all advancement matters. The CAO will be an active and collaborative participant on the president’s leadership team and will facilitate relationships with and support the work of the Board of Trustees. The CAO will direct, design, and implement strategies that maximize personal engagement and produce increasing levels of philanthropic support for the College. The CAO will conduct a strategic assessment of existing philanthropic strengths and opportunities and design a road map for long-term growth and success in advancement. With responsibility for a talented staff of 80, the CAO will set clear and achievable goals, promote and strengthen alumni and parent involvement through creative and relevant programming, ensure collaboration and coordination across the College and mentor, and inspire staff to meet and exceed expectations. The CAO will set a personal example of frontline fundraising success for the entire advancement team, carry a portfolio of prospects and donors, and work with the president, dean of faculty, senior leadership team and others to cultivate and steward transformational gifts to Amherst. The CAO will also develop strong relationships with members of the Amherst faculty, whose commitment to the life of the College and its students is extraordinary.

The ideal candidate must possess strong leadership skills, a keen understanding of best practices in alumni relations and fundraising, and a proven ability to achieve aspirational goals with a track record of accomplishment in developing successful strategies to build an exceptional advancement program. The CAO will have the comprehensive knowledge of all major development functions, the ability to plan and complete annual and capital campaigns and to develop new and creative approaches to increasing philanthropic support, and personal success in donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship at the major and principal gift levels. The ideal candidate will possess at least ten years of experience in leading successful advancement programs, preferably within higher education. Candidates will have a passion for the mission, goals, and culture of Amherst and a strong understanding of and commitment to the liberal arts.

Jack Gorman is leading this search with Becky Wei Piper.

Amherst College does not discriminate in its admission or employment policies and practices on the basis of factors such as race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, color, religion, national origin, disability or veteran status. The College complies with federal and state legislation and regulations regarding non-discrimination.