Company Name
Swarthmore College
Job Title
Vice President for Advancement

Vice President for Advancement

BACKGROUND: Swarthmore College is a place of rigorous intellectual pursuit in the liberal arts and engineering that celebrates the life of the mind and also has a strong commitment to athletics. Swarthmore prepares leaders for the common good. Ranked #3 by U.S. New and World Report for 2021 among national liberal arts institutions, Swarthmore is also global in outlook and diversity.

The College’s pastoral 425-acre campus is located 11 miles from Philadelphia. True to its Quaker roots, Swarthmore still values the guiding principles of that community, including but not limited to social justice and a commitment to making the world a better place. Swarthmore is a collaborative, culturally rich community with a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to providing the resources necessary for all students to thrive and belong.

The Tri-Co Consortium connects Swarthmore with Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges and allows students to expand their social and academic opportunities across three stellar institutions.

Valerie Smith, a distinguished scholar of African American literature is Swarthmore’s President. Her significant priorities include attracting more low-income and first-generation students, innovating the curriculum, increasing diversity, and strengthening relationships between the College and the region.

THE OPPORTUNITY: The Vice President for Advancement leads a team of 48 and reports to and works closely with the President and Board of Managers. The VP provides strategic direction and innovative approaches to building a robust philanthropic culture. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity to help Swarthmore engage with increasingly diverse constituencies, reduce reliance on the endowment and ensure that the College has the resources to fulfill its mission now and into the future.


  • Successful leadership in the advancement field, ideally in a higher education setting.
  • Candidates who bring relevant, transferable experience from other successful not-for-profit settings or the commercial and philanthropic communities will also be considered.
  • Demonstrated success partnering with a CEO and working with a board of directors.
  • Record of cultivating and soliciting major, principal, and other transformational gifts (7-8 figures) from existing and new donors.
  • Major capital/endowment campaign experience.
  • Record of innovation and growth.
  • Strategic, data-driven; tech savvy and committed to best practice in the field.
  • Familiarity with the national philanthropic community.
  • Experience building, leading, and inspiring diverse, high-performing teams.
  • Firm commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
  • Generous, respectful colleague and institutional player.
  • Relationship management skills at all levels; a high “EQ”.
  • Authentic commitment to higher education and the value of the liberal arts in contemporary society.
  • Outstanding written and presentation skills; a persuasive communicator.
  • Intellectual curiosity.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is highly desirable.

Swarthmore College is committed to excellence through diversity in its education program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with a demonstrable commitment to a more inclusive and just society and workplace.

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