The Executive Director, Alumni Relations and Development, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, will provide strategic direction and leadership for the advancement activities of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry (Schulich), raising an average of $16M annually, with planned growth to $30M+ annually.

The role will lead the design, implementation, coordination and management of the alumni relations and development programs and campaigns within Schulich. The Executive Director will provide strategic and operational leadership to a team of alumni relations and development professionals and will support and advance institutional objectives related to University Advancement. The role will participate as a member of the Development leadership team and as a member of the Schulich leadership team, interacting with leaders at all levels, including the President, Deans, Chairs, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, Professors and student leaders on development projects and strategy. The Executive Director will serve as an expert, coach and partner for Schulich faculty and staff related to alumni relations and development activities. The role will also serve as a critical liaison between central advancement programs and Schulich.

Reporting to the AVP, Development and with dotted-line reporting to the Dean, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Executive Director will work closely with the Chief Administration Officer, Schulich, and interact with Schulich academic and administrative leaders and faculty to develop and implement cultivation and solicitation strategies that advance the strategic priorities of the Faculty.

The salary range for this position is $155,000 – $175,000 per annum, plus a comprehensive suite of benefits and pension.  This is a permanent, full-time position and will be based on campus at Western University in London, Ontario


Western has an impressive track record of success – achievements we take pride in and that have paved a road towards an even brighter, bolder future. But never settling for the status quo, Western seeks to maximize its potential as an academic community and increase the impact of its research, teaching, and community engagement. The University’s newly released Strategic Plan, Towards Western at 150, outlines a bold, inclusive vision for Western’s future, and outlines our priorities and aspirations while serving as the cornerstone of our public accountability.

Combining academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social, and cultural growth, Western has been preparing future leaders for careers of impact in their communities since 1878.

A vibrant centre of learning with nearly 45,000 students from 128 countries, we offer more than 400 combinations of undergraduate majors, minors and specializations offered through 12 faculties and schools, and three affiliated university colleges. This includes 88 different graduate degree programs, many of which are interdisciplinary, offered through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, as well as professional programs in Medicine, Business, Law and Engineering.

Ranked among the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide, Western is Canada’s third-largest research-intensive university and is a founding member of the U15 group of Canada’s most distinguished research universities. As one of the region’s largest employers, Western has an operating revenue of nearly $800 million, and more than 11,000 full and part-time staff and faculty.

One of the oldest and most beautiful universities in Canada, Western is located on over 55 hectares (1,120 acres) along the banks of the Thames River in London, Ontario providing a unique community feeling. The main campus offers nine student residences, housing either first-year students or upper-year students, plus three on-campus apartments strictly for upper-year and graduate students.

The University Community Centre serves as Western’s student activity centre, with spaces for student government, social, cultural, entertainment and recreational activities. The University Students’ Council recognizes more than 180 student organizations and clubs which cover a wide range of interests such as academics, culture, religion, social issues, and recreation.

Athletics at Western is managed by Sports & Recreation Services. The university’s varsity teams, known as the Western Mustangs, compete very successfully in U Sports, the Ontario University Athletics conference.

As we look towards our 150th anniversary in 2028, we are energized and ready for greater impact. We will educate, support, and encourage leaders who think and act boldly in response to the grand challenges of our time – to serve the public good. As we chart an innovative path over the next 150 years, we will build a university more energized, more influential, and more inclusive than ever before.


The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry plays an integral role in the health of our society. The School’s world-class educational experiences and healthcare innovations improve the health and well-being of people within our region and beyond our borders. With this opportunity to impact the lives of our citizens comes great responsibility. In embracing this responsibility, the school strives for excellence. Schulich Medicine & Dentistry’s rich healthcare legacy, continual investments in medical research, strong partnerships, and trusted role in the region have uniquely positioned it to be a global leader in healthcare.

With its new strategic plan, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry has adopted an ambitious mandate – one that will propel the school to the forefront of health education, research, and innovation for generations to come. The plan seeks to centre the school as a premier destination for health education and research; to attract and retain the best and the brightest minds; enhance the future of health; and strengthen the Western University/Schulich Medicine & Dentistry reputation across the country and around the world.

The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry provides outstanding education within a research-intensive distributed learning environment, where tomorrow’s physicians, dentists, health researchers and other scholars learn to be socially responsible leaders in the advancement of human health. The Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry is the largest Faculty on campus and employs over 2,000 part-time and full-time faculty and over 1,200 staff.


The University Advancement division plays a leading role in strengthening awareness of and support for the University’s mission and goals by leading alumni relations and fundraising efforts across campus and beyond. All departments within the Division build enduring alumni and public trust through understanding and support for Western University in a coordinated campuswide effort that results in the engagement and funding needed to make an impact. There are 3 departments within the Division – Departments of Development, Alumni Relations and Advancement Operations.

Key Goals of the Unit:

  • To connect Western’s alumni, friends, students, parents, faculty, staff, corporations and foundations through strategies and programs that build long-term relationships and philanthropic support for the University.
  • To establish, grow, foster, and maintain relationships with the donor community to maximize financial support for Western.
  • To actively participate in ensuring the successful implementation of strategies to meet the annual and long-term goals and targets set for specific priorities.
  • To align closely with the alumni relations and development process across Western to leverage and foster philanthropy.
  • To provide donors and prospects with a high degree of service and timely response.
  • To recognize donor contributions to Western and appropriately develop plans for recognition/stewardship activity of donors.
  • To represent the Department of Development and Western University, advocating and adhering to professional values and evidencing exemplary professional conduct in all interactions.

Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, friends, faculty, staff, students, and volunteers, Western celebrated the conclusion of a multi-year capital campaign, Be Extraordinary, in 2018 which raised $805 million. This historic achievement would not have been possible without their support. Together, we have created a university with a sharpened focus, enhanced Canada’s best student experience and continued a legacy of exceptional teaching and research.

University Advancement is actively engaged in the early stages of the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in its history, a key priority outlined in Towards Western at 150: Western University Strategic Plan.

Closing On: September 18, 2023

Location: London, ON

Employment Type: fulltime Level: management

Salary Range: $155,000 – $175,000




  • Leads and plays a key role in designing, implementing, managing and evaluating alumni relations and development activities in Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry (Schulich), and is accountable for raising $15M – $20M annually with planned growth to $30M+ annually.
  • Maintains a personal portfolio of major and principal gift prospects, including individuals, corporations, and foundations (manages 80 to 100 prospects and donors to raise $5 million annually).
  • Leads the development, management and evaluation of funding priorities, cases for support and annual and long-term goals for Schulich to contribute to the growth of fundraising performance across the university.
  • Acts as a liaison between Schulich academic and administrative leadership, University Advancement leadership, and University academic and administrative leadership in the cultivation and solicitation of philanthropic support. Provides expertise to the Dean, Chief Administrative Officer, and members of Schulich leadership on major and principal gifts cultivation and solicitation.
  • Provides expertise to the Dean (Schulich), AVP (Development), Vice-President (University Advancement), and the President & Vice-Chancellor for individual prospect, donor and alumni meetings as well as University events and on cultivation and solicitation of gifts for Schulich, both within Canada and internationally.
  • Provides strategic and integrated leadership to the Schulich Alumni Relations and Development team (approximately 10 staff with planned growth to meet campaign needs), while articulating a clear vision which supports and enables staff to excel in the delivery of services and fundraising efforts.
    • Manages the performance of Schulich fundraising and alumni relations professionals including establishing and monitoring individual goals (including fundraising targets, call activity, and number of solicitations) and overall faculty fundraising goals.
    • Works with alumni relations and development staff as a coach and mentor; develops staff to reach their maximum potential in generating philanthropic funds.
    • Works in collaboration with the Prospect Management team to ensure effective prospect and portfolio management.
    • Ensures compliance with University policies and with University Advancement procedures and business processes in faculty development activities.
    • Works in collaboration with Advancement Operations and Schulich Human Resources on recruitment to meet current and future needs.
    • Provides leadership to external volunteers involved with Schulich solicitations, either directly or indirectly.
  • Participates with University Advancement Leadership in setting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating long-term advancement strategies and campaigns for Western.
  • Partners with Advancement Operations and their team to support operational initiatives within University Advancement (e.g., orientation and onboarding programs, culture and employee engagement, talent development, subject matter experts on CRM and business intelligence initiatives, prospect identification and portfolio review).
  • Partners with the Executive Director, Principal Gifts and their team to develop strategies, and to coach, mentor and monitor the development of principal gifts capacity at Schulich.
  • Partners with the AVP Alumni Relations and their team to develop and implement strategies to engage alumni to advance Schulich alumni engagement goals and objectives.
  • Partners with the Executive Director, Annual, Leadership and Legacy Giving and their team to develop strategies for cultivating and soliciting annual, leadership and legacy gifts to support Schulich.
  • Partners with the Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship and their team to ensure appropriate and meaningful recognition and stewardship of Schulich donors.
  • Develops strong, collaborative working relationships with Schulich and Western Communications colleagues to ensure smooth and successful delivery of communications activities related to Schulich alumni relations and development.
  • Works in collaboration with the Chief Administrative Officer, Schulich, on the budgeting process for their portfolio (approximately $1.9M) ensuring resource allocations align with the strategic priorities of the unit.
  • Participates with AVPs and EDs in University Advancement, and the VP, University Advancement, in setting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating long-term development strategies and campaigns for Western.
  • Working collaboratively with the Dean, the Chief Administrative Officer, the AVP, Development and VP (University Advancement), creates and ensures adherence to the Partnership Agreement with Schulich.
  • Presents on key performance indicators related to their portfolio and prepares reports for University Advancement and Schulich leadership on the implementation of projects and programs, successes and areas of improvement.

Outcomes the Role is to Achieve

Advising and Guidance

  • Senior leaders, fundraising staff and other stakeholders receive informed guidance regarding development policies, practices and procedures.

Client Services

  • The University community is served by an engaged and motivated team focused on delivering excellent customer service.


  • Skilled and collegial leadership to a unit of direct and dual reports, through management and evaluation through metrics on program activities, regular performance feedback and support of development plans.
  • Projections for annual and long-term campaign plans are well-prepared and monitored throughout the year, adjusting strategies and plans as required to achieve objectives.
  • A steady pipeline of transformational support will be developed for Schulich.
  • Implemented fundraising and alumni engagement metrics are met and ongoing evaluation and maintenance ensues.
  • Fundraising goals are realized.
  • Efficient and effective financial and human resources plans for the portfolio that comply with administrative controls, contracts and other relevant practices.
  • Change initiatives are supported by implementing new directions and providing appropriate information to clients.

Problem Solving

  • Sound decisions based on a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience and judgment.
  • Guidance and consultation is provided to team members in resolving complex or novel development issues within their portfolios.


  • Mutually beneficial relationships with donors that enable engagement with, maximize gift support for and foster continued giving to Western.


Required Education and Experience

  • Experience fundraising within a university, healthcare, or other complex non-profit environment.
  • Experience executing gifts at the $1m + level, as well as gifts that are complex, multi-divisional, and/or pan-institutional.
  • Leadership experience in a fundraising, or revenue-generating portfolio with multi-million-dollar targets, with accountability for leading staff, budgets, and projects.
  • A minimum of an undergraduate degree.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Attributes

  • In-depth knowledge of fundraising principles and techniques.
  • Effective and creative communication skills (both written and verbal), public speaking, presentation and facilitation.
  • Expertise in working in an academic or healthcare environment.
  • Business acumen with an advanced understanding of quality standards relative to operational improvement, strategic planning and business growth.
  • Project management skills and the ability to manage multiple projects at once from conception to completion with tightly prescribed timelines.
  • Ability to establish and build healthy working relations and partnerships with clients, peers and external stakeholders.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to manage activities both for self and others effectively.
  • A well-defined sense of diplomacy, including solid negotiation, conflict resolution and people management skills.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to develop a shared vision to lead employees to excellence.
  • Flexible, resourceful, creative and proactive work style and a can-do, enthusiastic attitude.
  • Emotional Intelligence (self-knowledge, self-management, empathy, and social skills) to ensure own work-life balance, health, energy, and good collegial relationships are maintained.
  • Readiness and willingness to learn and stay informed about best practices among peer and competitor institutions, as well as explore the suitability of new methodologies and technologies.
  • Advanced computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office software applications and client/donor relations management software.


London is Canada’s 11th largest city and an ideal environment in which to work, live, and play. Set in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, midway between Toronto and Detroit, London is the region’s economic, entertainment, and cultural hub.

With its numerous educational offerings, extensive public health care system, and lower cost of living than many Canadian cities, London is a highly desirable community for people at all stages of life. Affectionately known as the Forest City, London sports more than 200 treed areas and public parks with an extensive trail system that runs along the Thames River.

London has a population of more than 500,000 and it continues to play a key role as a regional hub for Southwest Ontario, a region of about 2 million people. Merging our historical expertise in manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare with emerging sectors like robotics, digital creative, and financial technology, London is a leader in commerce, culture, and innovation.

For More Information

KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this Advancement leadership search on behalf of Western University. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik at All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To view full position brief, visit

Please send a resume and letter of interest, to the email address above, and note that the deadline for submission is September 18, 2023.

This position is open to all Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those legally able to work in Canada. The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

We are grateful to live, work and play on these lands.  Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.

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Executive Director, Alumni Relations & Development, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Western University

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