USC Careers – Senior Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California, founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles. As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family.”

USC values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment. USC University Advancement is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which all advancement staff and our stakeholders have the opportunity to connect, belong, and grow while supporting USC’s mission, values, and goals.

USC seeks a

Senior Executive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

to join its University Advancement team. The position reports to the Assistant Vice President, Research Initiatives in University Advancement. The Senior Executive Director will lead a team of corporate and foundation relation officers responsible for coordinating activity, developing strategies, building relationships, and raising funds from corporations and foundations. The Senior Executive Director is the principal liaison between University Advancement and the corporate and foundation relations officers based in USC’s schools and units. In this highly visible role, the Senior Executive Director advises and supports central- and school-based fundraisers with corporate and foundation relations activities and participates with academic leaders, faculty, and development staff in solicitations when necessary.

The Senior Executive Director will identify and solicit grant opportunities in support of the president’s strategic priorities, including but not limited to scholarship support and student access, sustainability, AI and advanced computing, and USC’s Campaign for Health. The successful candidate will be able to engage with faculty in all disciplines, particularly health, medical, and life sciences research, and identify strategic opportunities aligned with relevant corporate and foundation funders. The position requires excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively across disciplinary and interdisciplinary lines and to interact successfully with a diverse constituency of varying abilities, backgrounds, interests, and beliefs.


Working closely with the Assistant Vice President, Research Initiatives, USC’s advancement leadership, academic leadership, and colleagues across the university, the Senior Executive Director:

  • Personally manages a portfolio of top corporate and foundation prospects, which includes several foundations designated as presidential foundations.
  • Participates in prospect management and prospect strategy meetings.
  • Builds internal relationships with faculty and staff across the university to acquire a broad and deep understanding of the academic and research portfolio to identify strong matches with potential funders.
  • Participates in stewardship and ensures that required reporting on funded projects is completed on a timely basis.
  • Drafts high-quality and timely proposals, grant requests, correspondence, impact/stewardship reports, and other documents to support best corporate and foundation relations practices.
  • Builds strategic relationships with key internal partners, including the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, Office of Research, Department of Contracts and Grants, and others.
  • Leads a team of corporate and foundation relations professionals and a university-wide effort to increase support from corporations and foundations. Plays a key role in developing strategies to strengthen relationships with current prospects and identify and build relationships with new prospects.
  • Develops an annual corporate and foundation relations plan that includes measurable goals and specific strategies for expanding both levels and sources of support.
  • Coordinates on an as-needed basis the corporate and foundation cultivation and solicitation activity in USC’s schools and units.

Keys to success in this role include

  • Strong leadership, management, and interpersonal skills
  • Strengths in analysis, strategy, and problem-solving
  • Results-driven motivation
  • Individual initiative and strong teamwork
  • Excellent written and oral communication of complex topics for a general audience
  • Professionalism in collaborating with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders
  • Fundraising or business development experience and expertise

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree
  • 7 + years of experience fundraising or business development experience.
  • Leadership and management experience – demonstrated ability to lead and manage a team of fundraising or business development professionals.
  • Results-oriented: comfortable with production goals, accountability, independence, initiative, and teamwork
  • Strong communication skills (verbal, written, and presentation)
  • Ability to work effectively with colleagues, faculty, and foundation staff
  • Capacity to understand and communicate research or programmatic information to a variety of stakeholders; adaptable communication style

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in Life Sciences or Engineering
  • Familiarity with and experience in an R1 research university setting is preferred.
  • Ideal candidates will have 10 + years of experience in Foundation Relations, Corporate Relations, Business Development, and proven success managing fundraising projects and programs.

Documentation and Additional Information

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter (which may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.

The annual base salary range for this position is $168,491.09 – $225,000.00. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern Californi a considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff & their family with access to the renowned university medical network; retirement plans with employer contributions once you meet Program’s eligibility; tuition benefits for staff & their family; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses & free tram pick up services.

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree Additional Education Requirements Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 7 years Minimum Skills: Major campaign, fundraising, and/or senior volunteer group management experience.

Job Details:

Company: University of Southern California

Job Type: Full Time

Job Location: Los Angeles, CA

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