Sr. Director, External Relations

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Apr 13, 2020
Full time   Deans & Directors External Relations, PR, Marketing

Job Description


Job #: G972

Posted Date: April 10, 2020

Closes On: Open Until Filled

Job Title: Sr. 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 will have the responsibility for building a principal gifts program ($1M+ gifts) for individual and foundation donors primarily for the Optimal Aging Initiative at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, as well as other initiatives and fundraising programs as assigned. 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 6-, 7- and 8-figure potential. Working closely with the VPER, colleagues within ER, key faculty and senior administrators, the Senior Director will pursue fundraising 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 optimal aging. 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+ years’ experience in Development, with significant history of major gifts work and achievement. 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+ 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.
  • Prior experience in a larger (500+) non-profit organization.

Special Requirements:

  • Must have access to reliable transportation and a California driver's license.
  • Occasional evening and weekend work are required to attend donor events.
  • Travel is required.
  • Willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.
  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Satisfactory completion of the lnstitute's background investigation.

Physical Requirements:

This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing, working in a confined area and working inside.


Application Details

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Application Deadline

Open Until Filled