Senior Director of Development, Metropolitan Policy (Job ID: 2020-2297)

Posted Date 5 months ago(2/3/2020 10:29 AM)
Metropolitan Policy Program
Job Function
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


This search is being managed by the search firm Carlson Beck, please send resumes to

Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


Since 1996, as one of the Institution’s five research programs, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program (Metro) has delivered research and solutions that have strengthened the capacity of cities and regions to achieve economic prosperity. Metro is uniquely positioned to help cities and metropolitan areas innovate in a fast‐changing global economy in ways that benefit more places and more people. It produces trusted, cutting‐edge analysis that links people, place, and economy, making it the go‐to resource for practitioners and policymakers who want to think and act comprehensively. Brookings Metro forges close relationships with civic, philanthropic, business, and government leaders across dozens of cities, which enables it to maintain a comprehensive understanding of what matters in communities and influence bottom‐up change through its research. It also seeds and scales local solutions, using its role as a national think tank to spur replication through peer‐to‐peer learning networks and policy reforms at the national and state levels.  In short, Metro is a thought leader and catalyst for the field in creating globally competitive regional economies that work for all.


Please note: This position is based in Brookings' Washington, DC office. In response to COVID-19, Brookings staff are temporarily teleworking through September 7, 2020. Once the Brookings office reopens, the person hired for this position will work in the Brookings Washington, DC office.



Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Senior Director of Development will lead and manage strategy, activity, and staff of Brookings Metro development office. As a member of the Metro senior management team, the Senior Director of Development will play an integral role in setting the strategic direction for the Program’s long-term, sustainable growth. The Senior Director of Development will build and oversee an integrated approach to stewarding and growing resource development with a focus on institutional giving strategies to drive research and programmatic growth. The Senior Director of Development will identify prospects, cultivate relationships, and develop written proposals and materials for solicitation and stewardship. The Senior Director of Development will oversee a staff of three, including a Senior Director of Principal Gifts and Strategic Initiatives, and will have personal responsibility for Institutional giving. The Senior Director of Development will work with Brookings’s central development office to leverage relationships and enhance fundraising efforts throughout the Institution.



Strategy and Vision

  • Serve as a member of the senior management team, lending a powerful voice in setting the strategic direction of the Brookings Metro program.
  • Work with Brookings VP and Director of Brookings Metro, Brookings Metro leadership, scholars, and development staff to develop, implement, and manage an integrated, strategic, and sustainable annual and multi-year fundraising plan for the Program. 
  • Oversee strategy for engagement with members of the Brookings Metro Advisory Circle and Metro Council, coordinating closely with the External Relations team on building strategies and agendas for meetings and other related activity. 
  • Oversee the Program’s campaigns and special fundraising initiatives as a core component of the Program’s overall fundraising strategy.
  • Engage the Senior Director of Principal Gifts and Strategic Initiatives in key strategy discussions and leadership meetings, as appropriate. 


Organizational Leadership and Management

  • Develop a team-based culture of development to meet strategic development goals and targets; ensure the necessary processes are implemented for the execution of the strategic development goals.
  • Lead the Development team in executing strategies to not only secure and renew annual and major gifts, but also to move donors through the “pipeline” toward larger, more transformative gifts. 
  • Develop individual and team productivity and fundraising goals for the Development team as well as manage and support members of the team in executing strategies toward meeting these goals. 
  • Lead, coach, and mentor all members of the Brookings Metro Development team toward overall program success, as well as individual and team performance goals and professional development. 
  • Lead a comprehensive effort among the Development team -- leveraging best practices in prospect research and donor engagement – to build a robust donor pipeline of individuals and institutions.



  • Advise and guide Brookings Metro leadership and scholars on the development strategy for specific fundraising opportunities, particularly with institutional donors.
  • Build relationships with Brookings Metro scholars to maintain a current understanding of relevant research topics and how to position them to generate fundraising opportunities. 
  • Represent Brookings Metro and its scholars in meetings with institutional prospects and donors; provide briefings for and follow-up to donor meetings with Brookings Metro leadership and scholars.
  • Partner with senior leaders in the Central development office and other Brookings research programs to leverage Brookings’s overall partnership with current and potential donors, particularly as it relates to institutional donors. 
  • Identify fundraising opportunities and research new prospects for Brookings Metro and its initiatives, with a particular focus on institutional opportunities. 
  • Write and edit/submit concept notes, solicitation letters, and proposals, coordinating closely with the Deputy Director of Research and other Brookings Metro scholars; edit concept notes and proposals drafted by scholars to ensure compliance with institutional policies, consistency with other documents, and relevance to donor interest and intent. 
  • Manage a personal portfolio and travel in support of qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of institutional donors, as well as to identify additional prospective institutional (i.e., corporate and foundation) donors through engagement with current volunteers and donors to expand Brookings Metro’s reach. 
  • Work closely with the Senior Director of External Relations to ensure a unified external voice and clarity on Brookings Metro’s impact throughout the United States, including a reinvigorated stewardship plan.
  • In partnership with the Senior Director of Principal Gifts and Strategic Initiatives, collaborate with Senior Directors of Development across Brookings’s program areas to ensure strong communication and coordination with prospective donors, fundraising strategies, events, and donor engagement. 
  • Work with Brookings Metro scholars and Brookings Metro External Relations staff to draft and direct the production of institutional grant reports and impact reports; submit reports to donors, as appropriate. 


Financial Management

  • Design and implement effective fund development programs, while maintaining an acceptable level of quality and solid return on investment.
  • Develop and meet/exceed annual and multi-year fundraising targets to support Brookings Metro’s strategic programmatic priorities.
  • Assure sound fiscal operation of development function including timely, accurate and comprehensive development of charitable contributions income and expense budgets, reporting, monitoring and implementation.
  • Work with the finance team to track deliverables and manage grant modifications or special reporting needs for institutional donors; liaise with funders to obtain grant modifications and extensions, as needed.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements:


A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 10 years of successful fundraising experience in a large complex institution. Proven ability to conceptualize and operationalize a development plan, including support and coaching of programmatic staff as development partners. Ability to quickly absorb programmatic content and creatively package it to pursue development opportunities. Proven history of successful solicitation of six- and seven-figure gifts, especially in the foundation and corporate marketplace. A comprehensive understanding of development encompassing the management of information systems, prospect research, stewardship, and related activities. Demonstrated strong and persuasive writing and communication skills. Experience successfully leading and managing a diverse team.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


A record of success in establishing financial goals and organizing and implementing strategies, analyzing and identifying problems, and formulating creative solutions. Experience developing solid working relationships with senior leadership team and high-level volunteers and donors. A track record as an effective communicator who is articulate and persuasive in written and verbal communications.


Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.







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