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Director of Development, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

Stanford University

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Job Details

Director of Development, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
Office of External Relations, Stanford, California, United States

Schedule: Full-time
Job Code: 4296
Employee Status: Regular
Grade: M
Requisition ID: 95088

Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

Stanford is taking the historic step of creating a new school that will be focused on climate and sustainability, the first new school at the university in more than 70 years. The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, which just announced its successful $1.7B foundational lead fundraising efforts, will be focused on a unifying goal of creating a future in which humans and nature thrive together in concert and in perpetuity. Faculty, students, and staff will pursue this goal through three primary pathways to impact:
  • Advancing knowledge critical to sustaining life on Earth.
  • Preparing students as future sustainability leaders through rigorous, engaged education and research.
  • Catalyzing informed action globally to generate and accelerate local, national, and global solutions to the defining challenge for humanity.

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability will be composed of 9 academic departments; 3 institutes, including the Woods Institute for the Environment, the Precourt Institute for Energy, and a new Institute for Sustainable Societies, which will house 13 themed initiatives to support faculty and student collaboration within and beyond the new school; and a Sustainability Accelerator which will be focused on externalizing policy and technology solutions at scale. It will offer disciplinary and interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate degrees, courses and student experiences designed to enable all Stanford students to engage with sustainability scholarship, as well as professional education programs. The new school will eventually be based in a new Sustainability Commons which includes two new buildings that will become an intellectual hub and a visible and welcoming environment for the entire Stanford community and beyond.


Reporting to the Senior Associate Dean for External Relations, the Director of Development will lead development efforts and execution of fundraising goals and activities for the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability (SDSS). This position will manage a team of frontline fundraisers that will secure major ($250K+) and principal ($10M+) level gifts in close coordination with OOD colleagues for SDSS. The Director of Development will establish fundraising priorities and strategies, develop plans with stated objectives and key results (OKRs), and manage their own portfolio and the performance of their fundraisers towards their individual and the team's goals. Emphasis will be placed on stewardship to ensure the funds received are having the maximum impact as intended by the donor, including monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on gift implementation. This position relies on extensive collaboration university-wide across the SDSS and the Office of Development.

  • Work with the Dean, volunteers, and faculty to develop fundraising priorities, goals, and activities.
  • Set strategy and develop plans with stated objectives and key results (OKRs); Plan and implement fund-raising programs (e.g.,SDSS, Institutes, Accelerator, etc.).
  • Lead development efforts and execution of activities towards fundraising goals.
  • Oversee the translation of academic priorities and needs into fundraising objectives and activities that can be readily used by fundraisers and operationalized SDSS faculty and project teams.
  • Direct efforts of major gift officers and support staff; manage performance of staff towards individual and team goals.
  • Manage a portfolio of major and principal level donors and achieve personal fundraising objectives. Oversee the preparation of funding proposals, talking points and scripts, assessments of potential support, briefings, and stewardship reports for assigned prospects. Ensure that all interested parties are involved in key efforts focused on specific prospects.
  • Partner closely the Senior Associate Dean of External Relations to manage the SDSS' advisory councils, coordinate engagement with principal and major gift level donors in partnership with fundraisers from the Office of Development (OOD) and other campus units, and prepare and staff the Dean of SDSS for donor visits and meetings.
  • Partner closely with SDSS' Community Engagement and Marketing & Communications teams on donor stewardship, communications, and events.
  • Work collaboratively with the Dean of SDSS, faculty and executive directors in SDSS' Institutes and Accelerator, and External Relations staff and colleagues in the central office, SDSS, and across campus.
  • Provide opportunities for professional growth of team members focusing on retention to increase capacity and stability of the team.
  • Inspire and motivate staff by fostering a work environment that encourages new ideas, risk-taking, team-based efforts, celebrating current achievements, and setting/meeting philanthropic goals.
  • Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff, career coaching, and personal development for direct reports and accountable for the performance of employees.
  • Ensure appropriate resources are allocated towards programs and resolve internal allocation issues.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.


Education & Experience:

Bachelor's degree and seven years of relevant experience and management experience, preferably in an educational institution or nonprofit or a combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Demonstrated fundraising experience, sensitivity, and diplomacy.
  • Excellent judgment, interpersonal and communication skills. Ability to lead and motivate others and earn the respect of associates at all levels.
  • Strategic skills to craft and help implement fundraising plans.
  • Demonstrated managerial talent in guiding major gifts efforts.
  • Customer service expertise serving faculty, donors and volunteers.
  • Proven ability to meet fundraising goals with a strong track record in managing and balancing donor and faculty relationships.
  • Ability to manage a large number of fundraising activities simultaneously.
  • Solid verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective management experience and excellent interpersonal skills; demonstrated experience recruiting, evaluating, mentoring, and placing staff.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging and motivating groups of diverse individuals, including strong volunteer management skills.

  • Frequently perform desk-based computer tasks, sit, and use a telephone, stand/walk.
  • Occasionally light/fine grasping, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds, writing by hand.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • May require working flexible hours, including nights and weekends. Regular travel may be required.

  • When conducting university business, must comply with the California Vehicle Code and Stanford University driving requirements.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,


Stanford University is one of the world's premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As a major Silicon Valley employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. In turn, the university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives. We believe Stanford's future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community.

The Office of Development (OOD) advances Stanford's mission by raising philanthropic support from alumni, parents, families, friends, and institutional funders. Working in concert with volunteers and academic leaders, OOD staff members strive to accelerate Stanford's purposeful impact in the world.

Stanford is committed to a donor-centric approach to development. Every member of the Office of Development staff plays a role in providing the university's donors with the service and attention that ensures an exceptionally positive and fulfilling philanthropic experience.

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:
  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Change the world. And yourself.

Stanford University has changed the world, over and over again.

We are one of Silicon Valley's largest employers - and also one of the most unique. Our mission is to educate future leaders and promote interdisciplinary, world-class research and teaching. This passion makes Stanford an intensely creative, rewarding, and challenging place to work. At the same time, our traditions of respect and collaboration sustain a humane, supportive environment in which to pursue your life and your career. 

At Stanford you'll work with bright, diverse, dedicated people. You'll find encouragement to learn and grow. You'll enjoy excellent benefits and an outstanding environment.

Stanford Facts at a Glance

Opened 1891

Student Enrollment

  • Undergraduates: 6,980
  • Graduates: 8,897


  • 8,180 contiguous acres in six governmental jurisdictions
  • Nearly 700 major buildings
  • 97% of undergraduates live on campus


  • 5,300 externally sponsored projects
  • $1.33 billion total budget


  • 2,043 faculty members
  • 21 Nobel laureates are currently members of the Stanford community
  • 5:1 student to faculty ratio

Stanford University is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and is committed to recruiting and hiring qualified women, minorities, protected veterans and persons with disabilities.

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