Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.



Senior Director of Advancement, Patients and Friends Program, Surgery St. Louis, MO

Washington University in St. Louis seeks an experienced, strategic, and ambitious senior director of advancement, patient and friends programs for Washington University School of Medicine. This individual will identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gifts from individual donors, grateful patients/families, organizations and faculty for the department of surgery within Washington University School of Medicine. 

The Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is an academic surgery department with a threefold mission of providing advanced surgical care, conducting research, and training surgical residents and fellows. The department receives $22 million, on average, in total funding, has 4 residencies and 19 fellowships, has produced over 750 clinical research studies, and is ranked 7th in the U.S. general surgery residency program. The department’s surgeons provide care within five divisions – General Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Urologic Surgery – that also serve as referral centers for their respective specialties. Another division, dedicated to Public Health Sciences, contributes to research, education and outreach in its field with the goals of preventing disease, promoting health and improving quality and access to health care. 

The Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) has prospered over the past century, distinguished as a first-tier medical school, and ranked for over a generation among a handful of leading medical schools in the United States. As an essential part of a renowned university, and the partner of an equally successful healthcare system, WUSM has prospered in every dimension. It has a profound commitment to the three traditional missions—research, teaching, and care—and has increasingly embraced community engagement as a fourth. Its partnerships, clinical care, endowment, and philanthropy have created an unusually generous net for investment in its missions. 

Reporting to the executive director of development for clinical programs, the senior director will serve as a key major gift fundraiser for the medical advancement team. The senior director will identify, cultivate, solicit, and secure major gifts for the department of surgery and proactively work with faculty to identify new prospects, coordinate fundraising strategies, and communicate and visit with prospects and donors capable of making gifts of $100,000 or more. Additionally, they will complete prospect qualification and cultivation, and develop and maintain a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors for the department of surgery. The senior director will develop a comprehensive understanding of the research, teaching, and patient care components of the department of surgery to effectively articulate a case for support. The senior director will build upon existing momentum to advance major gifts in support of current goals and in preparation for future efforts. 

The medical advancement program is currently comprised of a 38-person team, including the grateful patient, medical corporate and foundation relations, and WUSM teams; in total, this group raises an average of $170 million annually, which represents approximately one half of the funds raised by Washington University’s advancement division. The senior director is responsible for increasing private funding from individuals, family foundations, and organizations directed to the assigned departments and divisions within the school of medicine. 

The successful candidate will have at least seven years of successful fundraising experience, including major gift experience. Preferably, the ideal candidate will have major gift fundraising experience in a medical school or health sciences environment and/or clinical and basic research with a knowledge of grateful patient fundraising best practices. Essential qualifications include the ability to meet and exceed fundraising performance benchmarks and goals; effectively analyze opportunities and develop and execute strategy to secure private support; superior organizational skills; exceptional verbal and written communication skills; the ability to effectively articulate the needs, interests, and accomplishments of the School of Medicine and the department of surgery to a wide range of audiences; and the ability to navigate a highly complex organization. 

Jack Gorman is leading this search with Bryce Ervin and Ryan Cheung. 


Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing equal opportunity to all qualified individuals in its employment and personnel practices. The university practices affirmative action by taking assertive steps to recruit, hire, and promote minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.


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