Position Description

Senior Director of Development for Biology and Biological Engineering
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Exempt
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech's extraordinary faculty and students are expanding understanding of the universe and inventing the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

Caltech is small but prizes excellence and ambition. The contributions of Caltech's faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including 40 Nobel Prizes. The institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, sending probes to explore the planets of the solar system and quantify changes on Earth; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories; and cofounded and comanages LIGO, which, in 2016, observed gravitational waves for the first time.

Job Summary

The purpose of Advancement and Alumni Relations (AAR) is to foster a thriving and engaged community of support for Caltech. By connecting the people who share and support Caltech’s mission and values, we will ensure the Institute receives the necessary resources to achieve Caltech’s aspirations and sustain its excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship in perpetuity. 

Reporting to the Executive Director of Individual Giving, the Senior Director of Development manages and executes the major and principal gift fundraising for the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering (BBE) at Caltech, providing resources that spur breakthroughs in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, and more. The Senior Director is personally responsible for a portfolio of donors affiliated with the division and its many interdisciplinary institutes and centers, as well as Institute-wide funding priorities, such as student support. Partnering with a dynamic Division chair, this position will raise critical funds for a wide range of initiatives: graduate fellowships; capital projects, such as the Tianqiao & Chrissy Chen Neuroscience Research Building and Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory; research centers studying environmental and microbial interactions and single-cell genomics; and many world-class laboratories throughout BBE.

One of six academic divisions at Caltech, Biology and Biological Engineering focuses on advancing investigations of and expanding knowledge about the nature of life–from a single molecule to an entire organism. Through interdisciplinary programs of study and research, faculty and students address complex questions related to how living things evolve, develop, and function, and then use their findings to engineer innovative biological systems as well as medicines and other therapies.

Job Duties

  • Execute the Division’s major and principal gift fundraising plan engaging established and prospective donors, building a major and principal gift pipeline, collaborating with faculty members, organizing events, and performing other activities to promote and achieve the fundraising goals of BBE and the Institute
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director of Individual Giving; Vice President of AAR, Associate Vice President of Development, BBE Division Chair, and others to develop, direct, and implement all aspects of the Division’s development program
  • Consult with the BBE Division Chair to identify the Division’s fundraising goals, including the Division’s priorities, and develop a comprehensive plan to meet those goals
  • Work with BBE Division Chair to build and manage the Chairs’ Council, a group of key volunteers for BBE. Create meaningful engagement opportunities for the Council that strengthen the commitment of Council members to BBE and ultimately lead to increased support for BBE priorities
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of BBE, its programs, and priorities to leverage emergent opportunities within the framework of the Division’s and the Institute’s strategic development priorities
  • Actively identify and manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and develop and implement donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies
  • Represent BBE to stakeholders (donors, parents, alumni, faculty, Associates, students, campus leadership, etc.) and ensure their involvement in supporting BBE and contributing to the direction of its development function. Build strong relationships with donors and prospects, faculty, alumni and volunteers
  • Work with Advancement and Campaign Communications to create a compelling case for support of BBE’s fundraising priorities that are consistent with the communications strategy and support Caltech’s brand strategy
  • Prepare proposals to established and prospective donors
  • Provide leadership and ensure coordination with other AAR colleagues regarding Campaign, annual, major, and planned gifts, and corporate/foundation gifts and grants
  • Collaborate and communicate with colleagues to ensure strategic focus, outcomes, and documentation of prospect identification and management, and gift agreements and documentation

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7-10 years of progressively responsible development experience
  • Proven experience raising major gifts, including raising six-figure gifts from individuals
  • A working understanding of a research university environment and working with prominent faculty along with the grace and enthusiasm necessary to engage high net worth individuals on behalf of Caltech
  • Demonstrated success persuading and influencing groups and individuals to support the organization’s agenda with respect to colleagues, team members, volunteer leadership, and other potential stakeholders
  • Outstanding demonstrated success building, cultivating, and stewarding new relationships leading to measurable results i.e. larger donor base, increase in campaign revenue, increase in volunteer participation and partnership
  • Demonstrated success personally soliciting significant principal and major gifts
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and a track record of successfully managing current and prospective benefactors at the principal and major gift level along with outstanding social skills, instincts, judgment, and integrity are required for success. The ideal candidate will be an ambitious and motivated professional, who values a collaborative working environment and who will be able to establish strong, interpersonal relationships with academic leaders, donors, and development office staff
  • Must demonstrate a highly sophisticated understanding of all aspects of the cultivation and solicitation process, whether staffing senior administrators such as the Institute's President, members of the Board of Trustees, BBE Division Chair, and key faculty or making successful solicitations him/herself
  • Candidates must be comfortable with a flexible work schedule, including travel for major donor cultivation and some evening and weekend work
  • Demonstrate the ability to practice and adhere to organizational values

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proven experience raising seven and eight-figure gifts from individuals
  • Advanced degree
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising for biology, engineering, or science related centers
  • Candidates will have an authentic curiosity about basic science as well as a strong appreciation for the extraordinary intellectual accomplishments and challenges of Caltech's faculty and students
  • Familiarity with Excel and Power Point is helpful

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter


EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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