Vice President for Development
Wellesley College

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Posted in Education and Training

This job has expired.

Job Info

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Job Posting Title
Vice President for Development

Job Description Summary
Admin Exempt

Job Description
The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with Wellesley College in the search for a Vice President for Development.

The Vice President for Development will serve as the College's chief development officer, advising the President and other senior leaders on all development matters. The Vice President will provide overall leadership for the comprehensive development efforts of Wellesley College. As the College's lead fundraiser, the Vice President will manage a centralized development operation that seeks financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations. As a senior officer of the College, the Vice President will contribute to the formulation and communication of institutional priorities and strategic plans. The Vice President will collaborate closely with the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, the faculty, the Alumnae Association, and volunteers to build philanthropic support for key educational, research, and campus-life priorities to meet the needs of students, to support the faculty in their educational and research endeavors, and to maintain the College's facilities. As a key member of the President's Senior Leadership Team, the Vice President will participate in strategic planning and work collaboratively with leadership across the institution to support College priorities, initiatives, and opportunities. The Vice President will be an inspirational team builder, embedding development best practices within institutional values and aspirations, and will serve as an encouraging manager and mentor capable of bringing further cohesion to a department of eager, committed, and engaged development professionals.

Wellesley College was founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, who were passionate about the higher education of women. The first president, and nearly all the College's early faculty and staff were women. Today, Wellesley is still known as a unique community that continues to send accomplished women out into the world, committed to making a difference. Situated on a breathtaking campus in the quintessentially New England town of Wellesley, and home to nearly 2,400 of the highest-achieving female undergraduates in the world, Wellesley is a lively learning community dedicated to probing inquiry and creative, cross-disciplinary thinking. With a focus on collaboration, students are encouraged to question, debate, and refine their points of view with each other, and the world-class faculty. As a private, liberal arts institution, Wellesley places a great deal of importance on preparing its graduates for the real world in all senses. The College's full-engagement philosophy ensures that the student voice is central in decision-making with students serving on major committees of the Board of Trustees, participating in faculty searches, and contributing to strategic planning. Accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Wellesley grants bachelor's degrees in more than 50 majors and boasts an 8:1 student to faculty ration.

Over 90 percent of students participate in at least one internship during their time at the College, and several hundred students choose to spend a semester, or longer, abroad each year. With a commitment to the importance of experiences beyond the traditional classroom, Wellesley offers more than 150 student organizations and provides both cultural centers and multifaith life on campus. The College also fields 13 athletic teams that compete in the NCAA Division III New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference, which includes the 2022 NCAA Division III rowing champions. With an alumnae base of more than 35,000, the women of Wellesley continue to support the institution, and one another, long after they leave the beautiful campus. This powerful network of alumnae helped the College raise a record breaking $514 million in its most recent campaign, The Wellesley Effect.

Wellesley's motto, Non Ministrari sed Ministrare (Not to be ministered unto, but to minister), is evident in the College's mission to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world. This mission is advanced by working together as a community, focused on shared values of intellectual discovery and excellence; gender equality; diversity, equity, and inclusion; connection and community; empowerment and social change; and integrity and academic freedom.

Wellesley graduates are ready to make a difference in the world, evidenced by the fact that 98 percent of the class of 2021 were in jobs, graduate education, the military, or service within six months of graduation. US News and World Report ranks Wellesley College as the fifth best national liberal arts college in the nation, #24 in best undergraduate teaching, and fourth in best value schools. Wellesley received an A+ rating from NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education). Wellesley is the only liberal arts college that consistently rates in the top 50 colleges and universities in producing the largest number of women Ph.D.'s in STEM. Considered to have created the most powerful women's network, Wellesley College was ranked #32 in the top colleges and universities of 2021 by Forbes and #21 in private colleges. Not forgetting the beautiful setting of Wellesley, the College was voted first among the best river and lake colleges by College Consensus.


Wellesley is committed to creating the conditions that make it possible for all students and all members of its community to excel. Inclusive excellence represents the strength of difference and the power this gives Wellesley to fulfill its mission.

Wellesley was founded on the radical idea that women have an equal right to the best education in the country. Itstill believes-in fact, it knows from experience-that the boldest ideas, the brightest solutions, and the healthiest communities draw on a range of voices, perspectives, and experiences. It is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the Wellesley community have an equal opportunity to flourish, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical ability, or any other category that can be used to divide people.

Wellesley students come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. They hail from 87 countries of citizenship and 59 countries of residence. At least one language other than English is spoken in 47% percent of students' homes; over 30 languages are spoken on campus. 52 percent of the class of 2023 identify as students of color. 18 percent of students in the class of 2023 will be the first generation in their families to graduate from college. The Office of Intercultural Inclusion and Engagement -whose mission is to promote cultural competence through intercultural programs and activities-equips students with the skills they need for life and leadership in a diverse, inter-dependent, and every-changing world. There are also a multitude of formal and informal advising and mentoring for students of color and LGBTQ+ students. 13 religious organizations serve students from agnostic to Zoroastrian and everything in between.


The Vice President for Development will report to the President, Paula A. Johnson and serve on the President's Senior Leadership Team. The Vice President will oversee a team of approximately 40 staff.


Wellesley matters to the world because we are more than a college. A Wellesley education is an experience of intellectual discovery leading to lifelong empowerment. It is also an intervention in the world-a loud statement about the principle of valuing the capacities and concerns of all of our students, and about the potential of women's education and leadership to unlock brighter futures for everyone. (Wellesley College Strategic Plan 2021)

Last year Wellesley completed a strategic plan that embraces a bold vision for advancing Wellesley's mission as a college and as a force for change in the education, lives, and careers of our students and alumnae, and in the world. The new Vice President for Development at Wellesley will have a key role in working with me and other members of senior leadership to bring that vision to life as we begin to lay the foundation for the College's next comprehensive campaign.

I truly believe the mission of Wellesley as the preeminent women's college in the world has never been more relevant or more urgent. We are looking for a strategic partner who can help the College seize this moment to help strengthen and energize our relationship with donors in new and powerful ways. This is an especially exciting time to be part of the growth and development of the Development team at Wellesley. The incoming Vice President will have a strong foundation on which to build. At the same time, they will have tremendous opportunities to make their own mark on the institution through important strategic initiatives such as the next comprehensive campaign, which we hope to time to coincide with the College's 150th anniversary in 2025, and the launch of a new institute to honor Wellesley's most famous alumna, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The next Vice President for Development will play a leading role in all these efforts, while being part of the vibrant and purpose-driven community that is Wellesley College.


The Vice President for Development will

  • provide the Office of Development with innovative, energetic, and strategic leadership;
  • develop staffing and budget plans to meet the mission of the Office of Development and to plan for the future;
  • recruit, train, and develop staff to serve as representatives of Wellesley College as well as in the development profession;
  • develop a strong sense of teamwork and establish an environment of mentoring and support;
  • as a key member of the President's Senior Leadership Team, participate in strategic planning and work collaboratively with leadership across the institution to support key College priorities,
  • initiatives, and opportunities;
  • provide active counsel and support for the President, establishing a strong working relationship that maximizes efforts in the development of private support;
  • partner with the President to work in close concert with the Chair of the Board of Trustees to ensure optimal involvement and impact of members of the Board within the development program;
  • develop and maintain effective relationships with internal stakeholders, educating and informing them of development strategies and tactics;
  • cultivate, solicit, and steward a select group of principal and transformational gift prospects;
  • provide vision and active leadership to the principal and major gift team in their work to secure major, principal, and transformational gifts;
  • develop plans and resources to strengthen the College's base of fundraising volunteers and develop strategies to improve individual giving, particularly among alumnae and friends;
  • broaden the reach of the College through relationships with prospective donors on the national and international front to expand the scope of sustained, meaningful engagement among a larger percentage of Wellesley College's alumnae;
  • work with academic departments through the Provost's Office to increase the College's ability to raise funds to support the academic program, to enhance collaboration across campus, to cultivate the next generation of major donors, and to nurture loyal and supportive alumnae;
  • recognize the important role alumnae relations plays in the long-term success of the Wellesley College fundraising effort by fostering collaboration between College administration and the Alumnae Association;
  • work with the Chief Communications Officer to ensure alignment in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies, communications, cultivation, and stewardship activities;
  • develop and execute programs and events that produce measurable results and visibility;
  • represent Wellesley College to a broad range of constituencies, including members of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, alumnae, friends, senior corporate executives, government officials, and foundation leaders; and
  • support a national presence for Wellesley in the development field.
Paula A. Johnson

Paula Johnson is the 14th President of Wellesley College. Throughout a groundbreaking career in academic medicine, public health, and higher education, President Johnson has focused on creating the conditions that allow women to thrive.

Since joining Wellesley in 2016, she has put the College at the forefront of STEM education for women and has led the creation of its bold new strategic plan, which places inclusive excellence at the heart of the Wellesley experience.

As a physician-scientist, President Johnson has improved health outcomes for women around the globe by revealing and addressing gender biases in both clinical care and medical research. The founder of the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, she shifted paradigms by recognizing that disease presentation is often influenced by sex, a biological factor, intersecting with the social determinants of health, including race.

In 2018, President Johnson co-chaired the landmark report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, titled Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

A cardiologist, President Johnson was the Grayce A. Young Family Professor of Medicine in Women's Health at Harvard Medical School prior to coming to Wellesley, as well as Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

She earned international acclaim for her 2013 TED Talk, "His and," which continues to raise awareness of the crucial need to understand sex differences in treating disease. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her honors include the Alma Dea Morani Renaissance Woman Award from the Women in Medicine Legacy Foundation and the Stephen Smith Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine and she has received several honorary doctorate degrees. She holds A.B., M.D., and M.P.H. degrees from Harvard University.

Wellesley College seeks a Vice President for Development with
  • a commitment to the mission of Wellesley College-to provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world-and a desire to embrace Wellesley's distinct traditions, values, and vision;
  • substantial leadership and management experience, a history of establishing personal and professional credibility and respect, and building trust internally and externally;
  • a deep understanding and knowledge of the complexities of running a comprehensive fundraising program, including annual, major, principal, planned, corporate, and foundation giving;
  • superior communication skills including engaging speaking skills, strong writing and active listening skills, and an ability to communicate effectively across constituencies;
  • outstanding interpersonal and relationship management skills with the ability to navigate a complex environment, to understand and relate effectively with diverse constituents, and to partner in a sophisticated manner across the College community;
  • a collaborative, forward-thinking, and goal-oriented development approach;
  • a track record as a major and principal gift fundraiser and manager of a sophisticated fundraising operation with a leadership role in managing one or more comprehensive campaigns of considerable size and ambition, clearly articulating campaign priorities to a variety of internal and external stakeholders;
  • a track record in fundraising in higher education or in a large nonprofit organization at the major and principal gift level;
  • a professional and seasoned approach to the overall fundraising process at the highest levels of giving, and an ability to think strategically at the institutional, departmental, and individual prospect level;
  • an ability to build, motivate, and provide strategic direction and leadership for a strong team;
  • experience serving as a key consultant and advisor to a president or other senior leader on matters of donor and board relations as they pertain to philanthropic initiatives, and an ability to apply professional expertise as the chief fundraiser and fundraising strategist to the broader Wellesley community, its leadership, and internal stakeholders;
  • an appreciation of difference and a strong commitment to inclusiveness, an understanding of nuance, and the ability to think intentionally with an awareness of the various ways in which the campus is experienced differently by different communities and how that may affect development strategies;
  • experience building trusting and open relationships with donors, recognizing and acknowledging their gifts, while also identifying individual strategies to deepen their interest and involvement;
  • vision, innovation, initiative, and comfort with calculated risk taking in the implementation of best and emerging practices in development and the execution of both complex and routine strategies and initiatives; and
  • a strong sense of accountability, integrity, and authenticity.
A bachelor's degree is required for this position as is at least 10 years of experience in a major leadership role in a development or advancement program at an institution of significant complexity and

Wellesley College offers a competitive salary and comprehensive package of benefits

This position is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Wellesley College as well as the responsibilities and qualifications stated in the prospectus.

Wellesley College has partnered with Aspen Leadership Group in the search for a Vice President for Development. You may view the position prospectus or submit an application via this link: .

T o nominate a candidate, please contact Don Hasseltine:

Worker Sub-Type

Time Type
Full time

EEO Statement
At Wellesley, we embrace and honor difference and diversity. We believe the best ideas-the best solutions-draw on a range of voices, perspectives, and experiences. As a college, and as a community, we are dedicated to assuring that all members for the Wellesley community have an equal opportunity to flourish.

Wellesley College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we are committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum. Wellesley College and all its subcontractors shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that Wellesley College and all of its subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status. Candidates who believe they can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply.

This job has expired.

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