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Job #: F726
Posted Date: August 30, 2017
Closes On: Open Until Filled
Job Title: Senior Director, External Relations
Status: Regular Full Time
Benefits Eligible: Yes
Laboratory/Department: Development
The Development department has primary responsibility to implement and execute strategies to meet Salk's specific fundraising needs through local, national and international philanthropic efforts.
Position Description:

Reporting directly to the Vice President, External Relations (VPER), the Senior Director, External Relations, Cancer Center will have the responsibility for building a principal gifts program ($1m+ gifts) for individual and foundation donors primarily to the Cancer Center at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. The Senior Director will create strategies, implement plans, and set clear annual fundraising goals with the VPER for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and tracking of prospects and donors of six, seven, and eight figure potential. Working closely with the VPER, colleagues within ER, key faculty, and senior administrators, the Senior Director will pursue fund raising strategies to gain access to high net worth individuals and major foundations with a demonstrated history of supporting foundational research at the principal gift level ($1m+), particularly in the area of cancer. The Senior Director will pursue prospects on a national and potentially international level and may be expected to travel to represent the Institute.



  • Bachelor's degree from a fully accredited academic institution.


  • 7 or more years experience in Development, with significant history of major gifts work and achievement (please include specifics on your resume). This includes working with the public in cultivation, gift solicitations, stewardship, and donor recognition.
  • Demonstrated success at raising principal gifts ($1M +) in development and implementation of strategic solicitation plans that incorporate a concise definition of goals, targeted audiences and strategies in line with an institution’s goals and initiatives.
  • Proven success in writing proposals directed to individuals, foundations and corporations.
  • 5 or more years experience with supervision and budget management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in the technique of donor prospect research with the ability to extract the pertinent/critical information from various sources.


  • Knowledge of foundational research and experience in fundraising for biomedical or health related research.
Special Requirements:
  • Must have access to reliable transportation and a California driver's license.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work is required to attend donor events.
  • Travel may be required, 0-10%
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Successful completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Must sign an employee confidentiality agreement.
Application Instructions:

To be considered as a candidate for this position you must provide a list of gifts obtained for previous employers or clients. Failure to follow these instructions will exclude you from any further consideration.