Vice President for Institutional Engagement - Rhode Island School of Design in Providence Rhode Island

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Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island 02903

United States

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Detailed Job Description

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks a strategic, innovative and creative Vice President for Institutional Engagement. The successful candidate will work closely with RISD’s newly appointed president, Rosanne Somerson, to further and promote philanthropy for the Institution. S/he will lead a transformative fundraising effort for RISD to achieve academic program, campus renewal, and financial aid goals.

RISD is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S., with an accomplished faculty of artists and designers and a renowned studio-based approach to learning. Its mission, through its college and museum, is to educate its students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. Each year, approximately 2,400 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors.

Reporting to the President, the Vice President for Institutional Engagement must bring visionary fundraising leadership, marked by a solid track record of increasing philanthropic support, the purposeful expansion and diversification of philanthropic revenue, extensive campaign and management experience, and success in soliciting and achieving significant gifts. Ideally, the Vice President’s experience will be within a higher education institution, preferably one with broad based programs in fine arts and humanities. The Vice President will inspire the staff through effective motivation, mentoring, and team building; possess the management acumen to leverage existing capacity and strengthen performance; and effectively manage and build the comprehensive operation, while maintaining best practices, collegiality and shared accountability with clearly defined goals.  Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

The Vice President for Institutional Engagement, in collaboration with RISD’s senior leadership team, will have primary responsibility for fundraising success, advancing this new paradigm of engagement for alumni, families and friends, and furthering the culture of philanthropy across the Institution.

RISD has retained Freeman Philanthropic Services, LLC (FPS) to assist with this recruitment. Please send confidential inquiries and applications directly to FPS via e-mail:

To be fully considered, applications must include: an up-to-date resume and a formal letter of interest that specifically cites the experiences that best prepare the applicant for this role and why this particular opportunity is desired.  Additional materials and information will be requested during the search and interview process.

Keyword Phrases

  • Development
  • Engagement
  • Fundraising
  • Campaign
  • Vice President
  • Development and Fund Raising Executives
Employment Type:Higher Education Executives
Degree Required: Bachelors
Experience: See Job Description
Salary: Commensurate with Experience
Type of School:4 - Year / Masters Institution
Application Requirements: See Job Description