Executive Director, Advancement, School of Advanced Computing – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is. 

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering seeks an Executive Director, Advancement to join the team and lead fundraising and strategy for the new USC School of Advanced Computing (SAC), the cornerstone of the university’s Frontiers of Computing Initiative—a $1 billion, 10-year investment to meaningfully accelerate advanced computing and its impact on the world. As part of the Viterbi Advancement team, this new role will bring creativity and entrepreneurial skills to expand outreach to and identification of new high-end prospects and develop innovative tactics to cultivate and solicit prospects to generate major, principal, and planned gifts. Role will work alongside the new director of SAC, who also serves as Executive Vice Dean, Viterbi, to develop and execute comprehensive fundraising strategies, initiatives, priorities, multi-disciplinary opportunities, set goals and growth plans, build a board/committee and portfolio for the new school.

Reporting to the Senior Associate Dean for Advancement, the ideal candidate for this position is a seasoned leader and fundraiser capable of working collaboratively, transparently, and strategically within the Viterbi advancement team and across the university landscape.  The Executive Director will work alongside the Senior Associate Dean on prospect development, goals, and strategy in partnership with the Central Advancement Frontiers of Computing leadership. Integrity, strong relationship building and management skills, communication skills, coupled with a problem solving and growth mindset are integral for this role. Experience and familiarity working with faculty, top executives and community leaders is desired.

Will be responsible for managing a portfolio of approximately 45 prospects with an emphasis on gifts of $1,000,000 and above, including identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of gifts. 

Domestic travel, evening and weekend events will be required from time to time. Candidates must reside within commuting distance to the Downtown Los Angeles office.


  • Raise principal gifts for the School of Advanced Computing’s most important priorities, researching, identifying, developing, managing, and soliciting potential high-net-worth prospects.

  • Develop and manage a portfolio of approximately 45 principal gift prospects.

  • Utilize knowledge of prospects’ interests to develop and execute sophisticated, donor-centered solicitation strategies for prospects. Plan long-range, multi-step engagement strategies.

  • Plan and conduct face-to-face meetings and visits with donors and potential donors.

  • Develop advisors/board/committee for the SAC and partnerships to advance fundraising.

  • Provide leadership and strategic direction to board members, volunteers, champions who assist in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation, stewardship of major and principal prospects.

  • Work independently and collaboratively with the Viterbi Advancement team, in creating and implementing strategies for engagement, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and financial support.

  • Responsible for meeting or exceeding assigned annual and monthly goals including, but not limited to, goals for face-to-face visits, solicitations, successful gift closures, and dollars raised.

  • Develop and execute comprehensive fundraising strategies, initiatives, priorities, multi-disciplinary opportunities, set goals and growth plans for the new school.

  • Prepare well-written correspondence, visit briefings, strategy documents, solicitation proposals, gift propositions, case statements, one-pagers, and stewardship reports, working both independently and with colleagues.

  • Coordinate development research, data analysis and integrity, and prospect management with advancement services team. 

  • Strategically leverage academic leadership, including Director, Dean, Senior Associate Dean, faculty, and other Viterbi advancement leadership, and other fundraisers in the process of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors to SAC.

  • Partner with university faculty and central and university advancement leaders to align and organize multi-disciplinary stakeholders to advance key priorities for SAC and Frontiers of Computing.

  • Promote an environment that fosters inclusive relationships and creates unbiased opportunities for contributions through ideas, words, and actions that uphold principles of the USC Code of Ethics.

  • Ensure compliance with all University fundraising policies, goals, and procedures, including responsible for following all protocols for prospect and donor management established and implemented by USC Advancement.

  • Performs other related duties as assigned or requested.  The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experienced senior fundraising professional with a demonstrated track record of fundraising success, strategic planning, volunteer, board and relationship management.

  • Highly motivated professional with solid success at setting, achieving or surpassing ambitious fundraising targets.

  • The ideal candidate will bring the highest levels of professionalism, organization, collegiality, self-motivation, and a strong desire for continuous improvement.

  • This position requires a sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of fundraising best-practices.

  • Exceptional active listening skills: ability to draw out interests, motivations, and objections to advance gift conversations.

  • Strategic and conceptual thinker with ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and handle even difficult situations with assurance and a sense of humor.

  • High level of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and initiative.

  • Team orientation and natural inclination toward collaboration and leading through influence.

  • Excellent verbal and communication skills, including public speaking and fundraising proposal writing.

  • Ability to develop and implement creative prospect and donor solicitation strategies. 

  • Demonstrated experience in developing new fundraising programs, building portfolios and initiatives.

  • Must be capable of working across disciplinary and interdisciplinary lines and interacting successfully with a diverse constituency of varying abilities, backgrounds, interests, and beliefs.

  • Knowledge of complex research university or institution and experience staffing senior academic leaders in development work. Interest in engineering, sciences, computing, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship welcomed.

Minimum Skills & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in fundraising and development, with 5 or more years of major campaign, fundraising, and senior volunteer group management experience, preferably at a complex research university or institution in an engineering/computing/science or professional school.

  • Experienced senior fundraising professional with a demonstrated track record of personally closing gifts of $500,000-$5M+.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • A valid driver’s license is required.

  • Ability to follow established USC and department policies, procedures, objectives, performance improvement, attendance, safety, environmental, and infection control guidelines, including adherence to the workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan. Practices a high level of integrity and honesty in maintaining confidentiality.

Required Documents and Additional Information

Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

This is a hybrid position, with the expectation of on-site presence at USC University Park Campus and our downtown Los Angeles office (USC Tower). This position is not eligible for remote work.

The budgeted salary range for this position is $168,000 – $225,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations. 

USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions once you meet Program’s eligibility; tuition benefits for staff & their family; free professional development online courses; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses & free tram pick up services; discounts to football, basketball & other campus events.

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Why join the USC Viterbi School of Engineering?

Founded in 1905, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering is named for Andrew Viterbi who developed an algorithm to connect the world. Similarly, the school, located in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology, and international business in the heart of the Pacific Rim, is a hub for entrepreneurship that connects students from across the globe.

USC Viterbi is a pioneer in restoring sight to the blind; restoring memory to sufferers of Alzheimer’s, and socially assistive robots to aid seniors with stroke or children with autism. It is the home of the first operational quantum computing center in academia. Our alumni include Neil Armstrong, the first human on the moon; A.C. Mike Markkula, co-founder of Apple; and Wanda Austin, former CEO of the Aerospace Corporation.

As the school’s faculty and students extend the frontiers of engineering knowledge through their research, they also apply engineering and technology to address societal challenges. The school stimulates and encourages qualities of scholarship, leadership, ambition, and character that mark the true academic and professional engineer — to serve California, the nation and the world. At USC Viterbi, we call this the enabling power of Engineering+.

 For more information on the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, visit: https://viterbischool.usc.edu/

Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s degree

Addtional Education Requirements
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:
7 years

Minimum Skills:
Major campaign, fundraising, and/or senior volunteer group management experience.

Preferred Education:
Master’s degree

Preferred Experience:
10 years

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