Jobs at Western

Vice President for University Advancement and President/CEO of the WWU Foundation

Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: University Advancement

Position Title Vice President for University Advancement and President/CEO of the WWU Foundation
About the Position

Western Washington University (WWU) invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for University Advancement and President/CEO of the WWU Foundation (VP/CEO). The VP/CEO serves as the chief development officer and leads the University in all matters pertaining to the management and operation of university development, alumni relations, and donor development. This position also serves as the president/CEO of the WWU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising private funds to benefit the University. The VP/CEO position reports to and serves at the pleasure of the president. The president works closely and collaborates with the WWU Foundation and the Chair of the Board in setting direction and expectations for the position.

The VP/CEO provides strategic leadership for all University fundraising efforts and serves as a chief fundraising officer. The VP/CEO is responsible for the development, implementation, and overall success of the University’s comprehensive advancement program consistent with the University’s strategic plan. This includes annual giving, principal giving, capital campaigns, special-needs campaigns, planned and deferred gifts, and foundation and corporate grants. The VP/CEO is also responsible for the development of robust alumni relations, constituent relations, stewardship, and prospect research.

The VP/CEO is a member of the President’s Executive Team and is an active participant in shaping strategic directions and priorities for the institution.  In addition, the VP/CEO is entrusted with the responsibility to:

  • Provide vision and leadership in creating WWU Foundation’s strategic direction and managing implementation plans and programs that enhance fundraising efforts;
  • Lead and provide oversight of private fundraising activities for the University;
  • Provide stewardship of foundation assets and resources;
  • Provide executive leadership and administrative support to WWU Foundation Board of Directors and its associated operating committees;
  • Plan and implement significant fundraising initiatives to advance the work of the University;
  • Oversee the management of constituent donor base, including alumni, parents, friends, donors, and corporate partners;
  • Personally cultivate, solicit, and steward principal gifts;
  • Work in close partnership with the university president to develop philanthropic relationships with the highest-level donors, influencers, and potential supporters;
  • Work with academic leadership to identify opportunities for private support and to develop donor pipeline; and
  • Foster foundation and corporate partnerships to advance the fundraising function of the University.

More broadly, and as an institutional leader, the VP/CEO is responsible for:

  • Participating actively in university-wide strategic and resource planning and implementation activities;
  • Creating and implementing a compelling vision for advancement in the context of the University’s strategic plan;
  • Overseeing the management of two 501(c)(3) organizations: the WWU Foundation and WWU Alumni Association;
  • Building and sustaining a team and organization that advances the mission of the Division;
  • Advocating and enhancing the Division’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and
  • Developing and implementing effective strategies to connect the University with its alumni and strengthening their engagement with the University.
Required Qualifications

Western seeks exceptional candidates with senior-level leadership and management experience who have demonstrated success in creating, leading, and managing advancement and fundraising programs. The VP/CEO will need to work collaboratively with internal and external partners by advancing alumni development and fundraising initiatives across a broad university community. The VP/CEO must exhibit exceptional communication, motivational, and leadership skills.

WWU maintains an active commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and aspires to provide an environment responsive to the needs of underrepresented groups and constituencies at Western and in the surrounding community. The VP/CEO must be able to demonstrate a commitment to promoting and enhancing institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

The successful candidate should possess the following qualifications and experiences:

  • A bachelor's degree;
  • Substantial executive management experience in planning, coordinating, and directing comprehensive fundraising programs;
  • Experience with cultivating and closing major gifts;
  • Experience with stewardship of donor funds and Foundation resources;
  • Experience in promoting and advancing institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion goals;
  • Superb written and oral communication skills;
  • Administrative ability, including strategic and policy planning, financial management, personnel management, and public relations;
  • Leadership skills to develop and sustain a high-performance team, including establishing and executing goals and priorities and developing internal and external collaborations and partnerships; and
  • High degree of integrity and trustworthiness.
Preferred Qualifications
  • A master’s degree 
  • Experience with the development of robust alumni relations, constituent relations, stewardship, and prospect research;
  • Understanding of the decentralized higher education culture and environment, and knowledge of trends and innovations in fundraising within higher education.
About the University

The main campus of Western Washington University is located on 212 picturesque acres in Bellingham, Washington, a city of about 90,000 people situated between Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and adjacent to the beautiful San Juan Islands, Bellingham is nationally recognized for its quality of life, outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship. As the third-largest university in the State of Washington, Western enrolls over 16,000 students in more than 160 academic programs at the Bellingham campus and seven satellite locations around the Puget Sound area. 

Western, which was founded in 1893, is perennially ranked among the top five public, master's-granting universities in the West, according to U.S. News & World Report college rankings. Kiplinger’s ranks Western among the top 100 public colleges and universities in the nation that offer the best quality and affordability. U.S. News & World Report has named Western one of the most cost-efficient in the country among highly ranked universities; and for several years in a row, the Chronicle of Higher Education has recognized Western as a “Great Place to Work.” Western is particularly proud of its position as a leader in multidisciplinary environmental education and sustainable campus operations.

Western provides an active student-centered learning environment with a liberal arts and sciences foundation and robust co-curricular, internship, research, creative, and service-learning opportunities.  Western’s vision is to be a leader in a culturally responsive 21st-century learning environment, applying its critical strengths to societal issues as well as creating a welcoming community for a diversity of people, ideas, and programs. To that end, Western has embraced a style that is collegial, transparent, and timely in its engagement and communication with on-and off-campus stakeholders.

Western is not only committed to the academic growth of its students but to empowering them to be engaged and active agents of positive change in the world. Western is one of the top-ranked universities in the nation among medium-sized universities for Peace Corps participation and for the number of its graduates awarded Fulbright Fellowships. Western is classified as a Carnegie Community Engagement University. Western has been designated a “Military Friendly School” for six consecutive years by G.I. Jobs Magazine.

Western Washington University is composed of seven colleges and the Graduate School:

  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Huxley College of the Environment
  • Woodring College of Education

The University’s Strategic Plan, completed in 2018, defines aspirational goals for Western over the next several years around three core themes: advancing inclusive success, increasing Washington impact, and enhancing academic excellence. The strategic plan makes good on Western’s commitment to an equitable and transformative education for all students and its commitment to increasing Western’s impact in the state and beyond. Private fundraising is central to advancing Western’s aspirations. For more information about Strategic Plan 2018 – 2025, please visit:

To learn more about the culture of WWU, its commitment to academic excellence and to take a virtual campus tour, please visit:


Accreditation is a voluntary system of self-regulation, carried out by peer-review, in which an institution or program is assessed against a set of standards. Colleges and universities are authorized to award degrees by a regional authority. The Council of Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education recognize eight regional accreditation agencies with this authority. Western is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). This regional accreditation represents the highest form of accreditation a university can achieve and communicates the value of Western's degrees and certificates to stakeholders, employers, and the public. It also permits Western students to receive federal financial aid and facilitates transfer between institutions.

About the Department

The Division of University Advancement is comprised of 44 staff members who support the engagement and philanthropy work. The three leadership units are: advancement services including financial and database work; major giving including donor relations and research; and alumni and constituent relations, advancement communications and marketing, and annual giving. Advancement transitioned to the Ellucian CRM in 2020. Main offices are on campus with satellite offices in downtown Bellingham and Seattle.

The WWU Foundation manages assets of over $115 million. Current extended campaigns include a one-year $20 Million capital campaign as part of a state-funded electrical engineering and computer science building and a multi-year Campaign for Student Success, which focuses on recruitment and retention scholarships plus program excellence.

The WWU Alumni Association informs, connects, and engages the 125,000 alumni with each other and with Western. More than half of Western alumni live in Washington with significant pockets along the West Coast and in major cities across the U.S. Signature programs include Distinguished Alumni Awards, Paint B’ham Blue, an annual welcome back to students event, and WeConnect, an online mentoring program connecting alumni with each other and with students.

Leadership volunteers serve on the boards for the Foundation and Alumni Association to set strategic direction and policy, raise friends and funds, and steward the community of donors and potential donors.

About Bellingham

On the shores of Bellingham Bay with Mount Baker as its backdrop, Bellingham is the last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border. The City of Bellingham, which serves as the​ county seat of Whatcom County, is at the center of a uniquely picturesque area offering a rich variety of recreational, cultural, educational, and economic activities. Bellingham is a port for ferries to Alaska. East is Mount Baker, a huge snow-capped volcano with ski runs. In the city center, the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention contains hands-on science exhibits. The Whatcom Museum showcases art, nature and regional history across 3 sites, including the Lightcatcher building with its curving, translucent wall. 


For additional information about Bellingham, please visit:


The position is a full-time, 12-month administrative position with an excellent benefits package. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions

Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC is assisting Western Washington University in this search. Applications and nominations are now being accepted. For best consideration, please submit a cover letter, CV, and list of five references by January 29, 2021. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be directed to Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC. Submission of application materials as PDF attachments is strongly encouraged. The search will be conducted with a commitment of confidentiality for candidates until finalists are selected. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made.

Inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be directed to:

Jan Greenwood

Founder, Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC

Vice President & Managing Partner, Kelly



Ann Bailey

Senior Executive Search Consultant

Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC


Closing Date Notes Open until filled

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 498230
Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

Back to search results Refer a friend

Share this:

| More