Senior Director, University Development Office International, Asia

Harvard University
  • Location
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 07

Position description

As a Principal Gifts fundraiser in the University Development Office, the Sr. Director plays a leadership role in shaping the University’s international fundraising strategy and engagement of individual principal gifts donors located outside the United States and those in the U.S. Diaspora, leveraging the platforms of the President, Provost, and Vice Provost for International Affairs. 

The position reports to the Associate Vice President and serves as a senior leader within the University Development Office.  The Sr. Director will be Cambridge based with a portfolio focused on University principal gifts prospects based in Asia, and U.S. based Asian Diasporas, with an emphasis on prospects in China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, but encompassing the broader region and top international prospects and donors. 

Fundraising activity will advance University academic priorities. The Sr. Director will represent to donors priorities of all Harvard Schools as well as the priorities of the University and President.  The Sr. Director will work in close collaboration with the Vice Provost for International Affairs to engage international prospects and donors, as well as work closely with senior academic and development administrators across the University, and fundraisers at Harvard schools.

The Sr. Director will build and manage a principal gifts portfolio of select 50+ active prospects, donors and volunteer leaders, and will expand the portfolio by identifying, engaging prospects with the capacity of giving $25 million or more. The Sr. Director will need to be creative in identifying new prospects beyond the traditional Harvard donor base, as well as working closely with University volunteer leaders to identify and engage large donors in support of campaign priorities.


1. With colleagues in UDO and across the schools lead the overall international advancement strategy and continue to build the University International principal gifts program.

2. Identify and develop robust principal gifts prospect pools from Asia, and U.S. Asian and International Diasporas, as well as top international donors more broadly. Work with campaign leaders and volunteer leaders to build prospect and donor activity in Asia and internationally.

3. Manage a personal prospect portfolio with the donor capacity to give $25 million or greater.

4. Manage the international donor engagement of the Vice Provost for International Affairs, and assist with the international donor strategy and activities of the President and Provost and deans as appropriate and needed.

5. Serve as an active member of the Principal Gifts Team in helping to develop the best strategy for principal gifts prospects across the University

6. Manage a small UDO team of fundraisers, a coordinator, and staff assistant focused on advancing international principal gifts.

7. Work closely with fundraisers and University service teams across Harvard to develop and manage engagement, solicitation and stewardship strategies for high capacity prospects and donors. 

8. Plan to travel to Asia at least three times per year, and other international and domestic locations as needed for fundraising.

9. Plan, staff and brief senior academic administrators and faculty for prospect/donor visits and events as necessary. 

10. Create and execute on events for cultivation, stewardship and solicitations with a focus on the activity of the newly created 1879 Society. 

11. The above covers the most significant responsibilities of this position.  It does not, however, exclude other duties, the inclusion of which would be in conformity with the level of the position.


The ideal candidate has a minimum of 12 years of experience in business, government, finance, fundraising or related professional experience.

Additional Qualifications

In addition, the candidate must have an understanding of Asian cultures and an ability to succeed in different cultural settings with a general global sophistication. 

It is preferred that the Sr. Director has Mandarin language proficiency and a strong familiarity with the countries being covered. 

The Sr. Director will exhibit strong soft skills that include an ability to form strong relationships within the University and externally, an ability to leverage volunteer leadership in advancing donor relationships and gift discussions, an intellectual curiosity about the work of the University and an ability to translate a broad range of academic areas into inspiring visions for donors, and a high level of adaptability and flexibility as needs and priorities change.

Due to frequent interaction with senior administrators and faculty, the Sr. Director must possess excellent communication skills, the ability to process and maintain confidential information, and ably lead others in moving prospect strategy forward.

The Sr. Director will demonstrate professionalism, collegiality, self-motivation, and organization. 

Application instructions

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