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Director for Institutional Advancement

Job Description

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a leading, nonprofit research and educational institution that has defined the cutting edge of biomedical science, creating a legacy of research excellence and academic eminence since 1982.? Wholly independent in its governance, finances and research programs, Whitehead shares a teaching affiliation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), offering the intellectual, collegial and scientific benefits of a leading research university.? Whitehead’s Faculty Members and Fellows run pioneering programs in cancer research, immunology, developmental biology, stem cell research, regenerative medicine, genetics and genomics—programs with a record of success.?

We offer excellent benefits including a choice of health insurance options; a generous retirement plan; comprehensive dental, disability and life insurance coverage; competitive salary, substantial vacation and holiday time; and programs for tuition reimbursement, dependent care assistance, pre-tax spending accounts, and subsidized public transportation or parking.

Whitehead Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

CLASSIFICATION: Exempt; Management Staff

DEPARTMENT: Institutional Advancement

REPORTS TO: Vice President for External Relations


Reporting to the Vice President for External Relations, this key director-level position oversees all fundraising programs and executes a multi-year, comprehensive development strategy that supports the Institute’s advancement agenda. The Director for Institutional Advancement (DIA) oversees a high-functioning development team comprising seven professionals, including two senior managers. The DIA manages a portfolio of individual prospects and plays a key role in planning and fundraising for institutional priorities and initiatives. The DIA mentors the team in best practices for fundraising and operational support. This unit leader builds and nurtures a collaborative team where front-line and operational staff understand their important roles in contributing to the fundraising effort— and their responsibilities as members of a diverse, respectful community. The DIA embraces and upholds the Institute’s core values of belonging, courage, ingenuity, and learning. In all these ways, the DIA supports the Institute’s mission: Whitehead Institute forges new frontiers in science, uncovering insights today that unlock the potential of tomorrow.


? Works closely with the Vice President for External Relations on major Institutional Advancement projects, notably including assessment of the Institute’s fundraising potential through the engagement of philanthropic consultants and strategic thought partners, internally and externally.

? Proposes and executes upon a multi-year strategic plan that includes ways to diversify the funding base, increase unrestricted and restricted funds from all constituencies, and ensure internal resources are appropriately leveraged.

? Leads efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward new individual and institutional donors capable of seven-, eight-, and nine-figure contributions. Educates donors and prospective donors about Whitehead’s mission, values, priorities, and programs; and develops specific strategies and tailored cases for support.

? Assures that all advancement and operational functions operate to their fullest capacity, and are implemented with the fullest attention to detail.

? Manages a portfolio of institutional major and principal gift prospects capable of gifts of at least $1 million.

? Collaborates with the Director of Strategic Communications to assure that Institutional Advancement (IA) is well-equipped with communications collateral; and to ensure that IA is well-informed about existing content and how it is distributed. Oversees the development of all fundraising case statements and materials, and contributes to planning for ongoing dissemination of development messaging via the Institute’s website, social media channels, electronic newsletters, and other mechanisms.

? Develops, leads, and mentors a high-quality fundraising staff. Empowers staff through an open and fluid leadership style that incorporates active communication, collaboration, and delegation.

? Develops collaborative working relationships with colleagues across the Institute, notably including faculty and PIs.

? Exhibits a curiosity for Whitehead Institute science and maintains a conversant knowledge of its research thrusts and initiatives.

? Other duties as assigned.


? Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree strongly preferred.

? Seasoned development professional with 10+ years of progressively responsible experience.

? Superior communications and relationship-building skills; and the ability to rapidly comprehend and communicate complex scientific concepts in a clear and concise manner.

? Proven track record of raising major, principal, and transformational gifts from individual and institutional prospects.

? Ability to innovate and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Ability to think strategically and operationally, with a demonstrated ability to successfully initiate change.

? Proven team leader with significant managerial experience and the ability to motivate staff members at all levels.

? Experience working in an entrepreneurial capacity; and demonstrated success building organizational infrastructure and developing new programs and processes. Ability to assess current needs and align fundraising strategies with the overall mission of the organization.

? Track record of building strong relationships with a variety of constituencies, including faculty, donors/prospects, and philanthropic advisors.

? Experience cultivating a non-alumni-based constituency. Familiarity and experience working in an academic research environment.

? Must be able to travel with and staff the President/Director, the VP for External Relations, volunteers, and faculty on key meetings with prospects and donors as required.

? Computer literate and fluent in use of Microsoft Office and Excel, as well as donor database management software.

Interested candidates should apply online or submit a resume to resumes@wi.mit.edu

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