Director of Strategic Partnerships

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Job title: Director of Strategic Partnerships

Reports to: Vice President

Status: Exempt position with full benefits, including 401k with employer match

Compensation: $78,000 – $80,000 DOE

Preferred start date: April 15.  Open until filled.

The mission of Ashesi University is to educate ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa.
Since its founding in Ghana in 2002, Ashesi has established a reputation as a leader in
undergraduate education in Africa, with an educational experience that fosters ethical
leadership, an entrepreneurial mindset, and the ability to solve complex problems.
These qualities are what set Ashesi students and alumni apart. Across various industries
today, Ashesi graduates are highly sought, and over 90% have stayed to work for
progress in Africa.

Based in Seattle, the Ashesi University Foundation (AUF) amplifies the University’s
impact by raising funds and building a global community of supporters dedicated to
contributing to an African renaissance. With its dynamic international board, highly
engaged staff, and a broad community of advocates, AUF is a core partner that helps
ensure that Ashesi University has the resources it needs to help transform the

Director of Strategic Partnerships
A key member of the AUF team, the Director of Strategic Partnerships works with an
international team of staff, trustees, and advocates to identify, cultivate, solicit,
negotiate, and steward gifts in support of Ashesi’s work, with a focus on gifts of $50,000
or more. The majority of the Director’s time is focused on gifts from individuals;
however, the position may also require interaction with corporate and foundation

As a part of this work, the Director will:

  • Effectively represent Ashesi to globally-minded individuals, foundations, and
    corporations who have an interest in cultivating ethical, entrepreneurial leaders
    who will be catalysts for systemic social and economic change in Africa.
  • Manage a diverse portfolio of 100 major gift prospects capable of making gifts of
    $50,000 or more and consistently close major gifts.
  • Make at least 100 substantive contacts each year, the majority of those with
    prospects in their portfolio. In order to accomplish this, the Director will work to
    identify major gift prospects and develop and implement a solicitation strategy for
    each assigned major gift prospect.
  • Solicit a minimum of 12 major gifts each year
  • Prepare written proposals, informational materials, endowment agreements, gift illustrations and
    other materials needed to secure major gifts and support the work of AUF and Ashesi University.
  • Participate cooperatively in Ashesi’s prospect management and tracking system.
  • Proactively reach out to qualify leads through cold calls and emails to qualify / disqualify new
    prospects each year. Identify engagement opportunities for these new relationships.
  • Work with the AUF Vice President to develop gift strategies to engage a wide variety of diverse,
    global donors and move them through the donor commitment continuum to a gift conversation.
  • Coordinate the participation of university administrators, academic leaders, volunteers, and
    advancement staff in major gift fundraising activities.
  • In consultation with the AUF Vice President, establish personal goals, objectives, and strategies for
    major gift fundraising.
  • Support the AUF Vice President, Ashesi University President, and the volunteer board members in
    their advancement efforts on behalf of the University when necessary.
  • Represent Ashesi University at conferences and events when necessary.
  • Manage award nominations for campus leadership and faculty when needed.
  • Provide major gift fundraising training opportunities for advancement staff, academic leaders and
    volunteers when needed.
  • Work alongside a growing team of Directors of Strategic Partnerships.
  • Work as part of the foundation team on projects to develop, cultivate and engage the Ashesi
    community – pitching in wherever needed.

Responsibilities require considerable professional independence, personal initiative, and the ability to
effectively and quickly respond to a variety of situations involving University constituencies. The
Director of Strategic Partnerships will travel within the US up to two weeks per quarter, with occasional
additional international trips.

Ashesi University Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building a diverse and
inclusive environment in which all team members can excel irrespective of race, national origin, age,
gender, faith, or sexual orientation. We offer a competitive salary, a positive work environment with
flexible hours, and full benefits (health, dental, and vision insurance, and 401k with employer match).
Although based in Seattle, remote work situations within the US may be considered on a case-by-case
basis for an ideal candidate.


  • Deep commitment to Ashesi’s mission of educating ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa
  • Demonstrated success building relationships across cultures and backgrounds
  • Experience working in advancement in a higher education setting preferred
  • Proven track record in individual, corporate and foundation major gift fundraising
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and ability to work independently
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to effectively and flexibly communicate in a wide variety of mediums and settings
  • Experience with donor database programs, Salesforce preferred
  • Demonstrated strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and
    PowerPoint for correspondence, reports, spreadsheets, databases, forms, etc.
  • Availability to travel up to two weeks per quarter. Availability to periodically work outside of US standard working hours to accommodate global partners.
  • Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience

To apply: Email your resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Director of
Strategic Partnerships.”

About Ashesi University: For almost two decades, Ashesi University in Ghana has cultivated a new
generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders capable of solving complex problems and bringing forward
innovations that will drive systemic social and economic change in Africa. The curriculum combines
majors in business, computer science, MIS, and engineering with a liberal arts core and a four-year focus
on leadership development.

At the heart of the Ashesi experience is its interdisciplinary core curriculum and its campus culture.
Ashesi’s 1,200+ students come from across Africa to learn, live, and innovate together; almost half are
on scholarships, and 45% are women. On campus, these students join with faculty and staff on a shared
mission to transform the African continent.

Over 90% of Ashesi’s 1,600+ graduates have chosen to stay in Africa and work for progress on their
continent, and approximately 90% of Ashesi graduates find placement in careers or graduate school
within six months of starting their search. The Ashesi model is working, and Ashesi’s founder, Patrick
Awuah, has received the WISE Prize for Education and was named a MacArthur Fellow in recognition of
Ashesi’s impact and potential.

Since its founding, Ashesi University has partnered with Ashesi University Foundation in Seattle, WA to
cultivate a global community of donors and advocates. Ashesi Foundation donors help fund the
University’s growth, program development, and student scholarships. In 2011, the Ashesi community
celebrated the inauguration of our new campus home in Berekuso, Ghana. In 2015, we launched our
engineering program with a commitment to gender balance. Ashesi University and Foundation have
jointly raised over $140m to fund the University’s growth to date and are now working to scale up
Ashesi’s fundraising capacity exponentially as we look towards the next phase of strategic planning. The
Director of Strategic Partnerships will play a vital role in helping Ashesi reach its ambitious fundraising
targets over the coming decade.

For more information, click here.

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