Senior Director, International Relations

Pennsylvania, United States
25 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
25 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

The World’s First Business School

In 1881, American entrepreneur and industrialist Joseph Wharton established the world’s first collegiate school of business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Wharton’s pioneering vision was to produce graduates who would become ‘pillars of the state, whether in private or in public life.’ The Wharton School maintains a long tradition of educating visionary business leaders in academia, business, government, and not-for-profit organizations.

Today, Wharton has expanded the scope of this vision to become the most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world – with over 225 faculty members, 95,000 alumni, 5,000 students across 10 academic departments, 20 research centers, and more than 9,000 executive education participants annually.

Reporting to the School’s Senior Executive Director of Development, the Senior Director will oversee the Wharton School’s international development efforts. This includes enabling Wharton to expand and enhance its engagement of and support from constituents in the international community and within targeted communities with an international focus within the United States. The three primary goals for this position are to increase fundraising in international markets; aid in developing a more cost efficient and sustainable approach to international outreach; and build a long-term model for international alumni engagement and philanthropy.

Serving as the primary point and coordinator for all fundraising efforts outside the United States, the Senior Director will understand how to appropriately engage the Dean of the Wharton School and Vice Dean of External Affairs internationally, with an appreciation of the School’s commitment to regions. The Senior Director will work closely with development and communications colleagues at Wharton to tailor messages and prioritize need for international audiences. This person manages three frontline fundraisers and an administrative staff member, as well as the Wharton Japan office, which consists of a contract staff member, physical space, and independent budget. Further, as a senior member of the External Affairs staff traveling internationally, they will represent alumni relations as needed and appropriate, as well as other Wharton divisions including Executive Education and the Wharton Graduate Division.


  • Engage and develop relationships with prospects, with a goal of managing a pool of 200 major/principal gift prospects, with special emphasis on those capable of gifts of more than $250,000 in Asia.
  • Propose and implement cultivation activities, solicitations, and reporting and stewardship plans.
  • Stay well-informed about international development constituencies, School and university-wide activities, Penn Alumni, other appropriate units; collaborate, coordinate, counsel as appropriate.
  • Oversee strategy for three international boards: Asia, Latin America, and Europe/Middle East/Africa. Serve as the main development liaison for Wharton Asia Advisory Board.
  • Understand incentives or disincentives, i.e., tax laws, which affect charitable giving in key international markets.
  • Help develop appropriate gift opportunities in line with School priorities that resonate with international prospects.


  • Supervise a team of gift officers and administrative staff.
  • Establish objectives, including core fundraising and visit goals, and monitor staff performance.
  • Mentoring and developing staff is a priority.

Cross-Unit and Staff Collaboration

  • Work closely with the Wharton international development team and when appropriate, central international development staff, to ensure appropriate solicitations are made of international alumni and friends for Wharton priorities.
  • Coordinate campus visits by international alumni, parents, and other prospects.
  • Staff academic leadership on international and institutional trips, as appropriate.
  • Build strong personal and professional relationships with colleagues, faculty, academic leadership, alumni, and friends throughout the university community, and serve as a resource, advocate, and spokesperson for development programs at Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania.

Attributes of the Ideal Candidate

  • 7-10 years of successful experience in development or external role in an international academic or nonprofit environment required; Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree is preferred; or equivalent combination of experience.
  • Ability to function with a high degree of independence with an assigned group of prospects yet interact collaboratively with colleagues in centralized framework of fundraising, participating in and contributing to total team effort.
  • Entrepreneurial inclination and capacity for success within intensely goal-oriented and collaborative environment.
  • Perform as a senior administrator of the School with the ability to respectfully and adeptly communicate, interact, and facilitate conversations with high-level prospects and donors in cross-cultural settings; fluency in a second language is desirable, but not required.
  • Comfort with diversity in all forms, with different cultural values and norms; understanding of international issues that affect American higher education.
  • Excellent listening skills and the ability to understand individual, institutional, and cultural nuances and respond creatively.
  • Understanding of and appreciation for all constituent elements of a high-functioning development department such as Wharton, especially the critical role major giving plays to drive annual giving success and stewardship of principal giving, and experience with planned giving.
  • Strong interest in and commitment to the work of The Wharton School.
  • Sense of humor, optimistic outlook, resiliency.
  • Excellent planning, organizational skills; able to manage multiple issues and projects simultaneously and creatively, thoroughly and confidentially; work independently and under pressure; be comfortable with ambiguity.
  • The ability to travel extensively is required, both internationally and domestically, and without regard for U.S. national holidays; must hold a valid passport from country of citizenship.
  • Familiarity with database manipulation and other computer software, preferably Microsoft Office.
  • Strong desire to effect change for a global community that reaches beyond Wharton’s physical campuses.

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.