Charleston, SC

Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director of the College of Charleston Foundation, College of Charleston

The Organization

 The College of Charleston (the College) continues its steep upward trajectory, the campus seeks an entrepreneurial and innovative Chief Advancement Officer for the College and Executive Director of the College of Charleston Foundation (CAO/ED).

Founded in 1770, the College is the oldest educational institution south of Virginia, and the 13th oldest in the United States. Located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina, it is among the nation’s top universities for quality education, student life and affordability. Its beautiful campus, combined with contemporary facilities, cutting-edge programs and accessible faculty attracts students from across the U.S. and around the world.

Nearly 10,000 undergraduates and approximately 1,000 graduate students at the College enjoy a small campus feel blended with the advantages and diversity of a mid-sized, urban university. They work closely with a committed faculty, made up of more than 500 distinguished teacher-scholars. And the city of Charleston – world-renowned for its history, architecture, culture and coastal environment – serves as a living and learning laboratory for experiences in business, science, technology, teaching, the humanities, languages and the arts.

Position Overview

The Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director of the College of Charleston Foundation serves in a wide variety of roles at the College. The CAO/ED is chief fundraiser, lead alumni relations executive, key advisor to the President, partner to the other cabinet members and manager of a broad team of development professionals. This team’s primary responsibility is to secure private philanthropic funds and resources to advance the strategic plan of the College as well as to build long-lasting relationships with alumni and other key constituents. This position also serves as Executive Director of the College of Charleston Foundation, the private, nonprofit fundraising and fund management entity supporting the College. The position works closely with the Foundation Board of Directors to raise, invest, budget and steward private contributions.

The next CAO/ED will have the opportunity to build on the storied history of the College as well as the partnership offered by President Andrew Hsu, volunteer leaders, alumni and others who have contributed to the College’s philanthropic success over the past decade. To realize this opportunity, the CAO/ED will be a seasoned leader who has successfully managed a significantly sized advancement operation and has an appreciation for well-coordinated alumni relations and development programs. Specifically, candidates are required to have five to seven years of progressive leadership experience and must be skilled in inspiring staff and organizing multiple projects. Previous college foundation experience is vital.

In addition, the next CAO/ED must have a high energy level and be self-motivated. The ideal candidate will have the demonstrated ability to plan, execute and successfully complete a significant comprehensive campaign and a track record of soliciting and closing gifts of seven figures or more. Excellent communication skills, poise, diplomacy, honesty, integrity, enthusiasm and perspective are also essential. A bachelor’s degree is required for this role, and an advanced degree is preferred.

How To Apply

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile available at

WittKieffer is assisting the College of Charleston in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by January 21. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries may be directed to Mercedes Vance, Greg Duyck and Jevon Walton at

The College of Charleston is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, genetic information, or disability

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