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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Senior Vice President, Development, Special Events & Volunteers

Washington, DC

Job Description

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is both the national cultural center and the living memorial to President Kennedy. In keeping with its institutional vision, the Kennedy Center is “the nation’s beacon for the performing arts, engaging artists and audiences around the world to share, inspire and celebrate the cultural heritage by which a great society is defined and remembered.” Producing and presenting more than 2,000 performances annually and celebrating both a brand and programmatic reach that spans the nation and the world through artistic and educational programs, the Kennedy Center is a national treasure.

Under the leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman David M. Rubenstein and President Deborah F. Rutter, the Kennedy Center seeks a senior vice president to lead its fund raising, special events and volunteer programs. The Kennedy Center’s development program is exceptionally productive, raising approximately $80 million annually in unrestricted operating support. In accomplishing this exceptional feat, it works closely with extremely highly-placed board members and volunteers and stewards the support of philanthropists across the country and around the world. Six major special events—including the nationally-broadcast Kennedy Center Honors and Mark Twain Prize for Humor—introduce new generations of patrons and prospects to the Center and are the responsibility of this senior vice president and the development department. In addition, the development department coordinates the efforts of more than 500 volunteers across all of the Center’s activities. When added to special efforts such as the current campaign, which seeks to raise $200 million in support of facilities expansion on the institution’s footprint on the Potomac in Washington, D.C., the development department is clearly at the nexus of the Center’s plethora of activities and ambitions.

The new senior vice president, then, must be a development professional of exceptional skill and experience. The successful candidate will demonstrate considerable success as both a major/principal gift fund raiser and as a leader of a comprehensive and productive development enterprise. The senior vice president will be steeped in best practices across the profession and will possess the judgment and perspective necessary to tailor those best practices to suit the culture of the organization. A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible managerial and leadership experience is required, as is a track record of successful management of extremely highly placed board members and volunteers. As would be expected of a development professional at this level, exceptional communication and relationship-building skills, including strong and active listening skills, are sine qua non. Of greatest import are a strategic mind and the experience necessary to form and articulate strategies for long-term success.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is one of the best known and most admired arts organizations in the world. Its new senior vice president will have the opportunity to have a personal impact on the future of this storied institution.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by December 1, 2017. Candidates should provide a resume and letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in this leadership profile.

Inquiries and application materials should be sent via e-mail to the university’s consultants, Dennis M. Barden and Melissa Fincher of Witt/Kieffer, at Questions may also be directed to the consultants through the office of Laurie Adams at 630-575-6152.

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