Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

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Director of Development

Director of Development:

Position:              Director of Development (Full-time exempt) View Posting as PDF

Reports to:           Director

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in Berkeley seeks an ambitious, enthusiastic, team-oriented, experienced fundraising professional to become MSRI’s Director of Development. The ideal candidate will possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills and will have a strong background in major gifts fundraising. 

Position Overview

The Director of Development works closely with the MSRI Director and the Board of Trustees, ­to secure funds for the organization by stewarding a group of high net worth donors and by identifying and cultivating new major gift prospects. The ideal candidate will be someone who enjoys helping donors fulfill their passions and interests through their giving to MSRI.

The Director of Development will help prepare the Institute for, and lead it into, a campaign to raise endowment on the order of $100 million dollars. The Director is assisted by an Associate Director, a Development Assistant, and a communications officer.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities­­

  • Manage the development and outreach team (Associate Director of Development, Development Assistant, Communications & Events Coordinator, and National Math Festival Project Lead)
  • Help build a strategic development plan
  • Staff, and work closely with the Director and Board of Trustees to manage key relationships with MSRI’s major donors and prospects
  • Create individual solicitation and stewardship strategies for high-net worth donors
  • Develop individualized proposals matching the donor’s passion with the needs of the Institute
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program for major donors; adhere to the highest ethical standards; reflect optimistic and positive attitude, and convey sensitivity to needs of the donors.
  • Analyze development efforts and report on them to MSRI’s leadership
  • Perform other activities as may be required


The Director of Development will be an innovative individual with a track record of successfully building long-term donor relationships and closing gifts in five to nine-figure ranges.

  • A Master’s Degree is required;
  • A minimum of ten years development experience, with at least five years in a senior role, and at least five years experience in major gift fundraising, preferably in a higher education environment, with a proven track record in cultivating and soliciting major gifts
  • Experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating cultivation and solicitation strategies for high-net worth individual donors
  • Demonstrated experience working with leadership volunteers
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated capacity to initiate new relationships and to understand the needs and interests of major gift donors
  • Enthusiasm for the mission of MSRI as a premier international research center, and a resource for math education and the public understanding of mathematics
  • Experience with Raiser's Edge donor database software or similar; knowledge of RENXT a plus.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with prospect research tools
  • Willingness to travel

About MSRI: 

The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) is one of the world’s preeminent centers for collaborative research. A Board of Trustees, composed of accomplished business and academic leaders, currently including both a Nobel Prize winner and a Breakthrough Prize winner, oversees the Institute’s strategy, and assures its operational and financial welfare. A committee of ten renowned mathematical scientists governs the Institute’s scientific program providing a vision of the field that is perpetually renewed.

MSRI has been advancing knowledge through advanced mathematical research since 1982, and has enjoyed the continuous core support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) throughout that time. The Institute hosts some 1700 mathematicians each year, for stays of up to one academic year. The intense research-level activity serves researchers from the postdoctoral stage through the most renowned and senior professors. In addition, the Institute has programs for graduate students, programs in mathematics education, and an array of programs to help the general public experience the pleasures, as well as the importance, of mathematics. 

Though MSRI is an independent 501(c)3 corporation, MSRI's Director is also a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, which donates 100% of his time to the running of the Institute. MSRI takes advantage of its close proximity to the University and to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and also collaborates nationally with organizations such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  The Institute’s prize-winning, purpose-designed forty-eight-thousand-foot building enjoys spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay. 

MSRI has become a model for institutes around the world, and its reputation is such that mathematicians from far and wide make it a professional priority to participate in the Institute’s programs. A sense of the activity and physical plant of MSRI can be had through the short video at http://vimeo.com/65172787

Nearly half of the Institute’s $9.3M annual budget now comes from individual donors, foundations, corporations and academic institutions. MSRI successfully completed a $12M capital campaign in 2006 to add a new wing to the building, and a $15M Endowment campaign in 2013.  The endowment is currently $21M. 

This is a full-time, exempt position with a competitive benefits package.

Salary $115,000 - $175,000 annually, depending on experience.

Applying for this position


Please submit, in MS Word or Adobe Acrobat file format, the following 3 items of information addressed to Personnel by email to personnel-hr@msri.org. Only complete applications will be considered.

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Three business references