Miller Center

Careers at the Miller Center

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Director of Major and Planned Gifts

The Miller Center Foundation, the 501(c)(3) supporting arm of the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, seeks a talented, experienced, and energetic development professional to serve as the Director of Major and Planned Gifts. Working closely with the Miller Center Foundation team, the Director of Major and Planned Gifts will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a portfolio of major prospects/donors as well as the development of a more sophisticated and robust planned giving program. The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university; (a bachelor’s degree and significant development experience may be considered instead); at least seven years of experience in development, marketing, or a related field; strong oral and written communication skills, and the ability to travel frequently. The successful candidate also will have exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to develop collaborative relationships with members of various constituencies, including Miller Center faculty and staff, the Miller Center’s governing council, and the University of Virginia Advancement Office. The successful candidate must be motivated by a team-oriented and collaborative environment, have a sense of humor, and have an interest in and passion for the mission of the Miller Center.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and phone numbers of three professional  references before November 30 by e-mail to:, Subject Line: Major/Planned Gifts Position.

View the full job description (PDF).

Executive Director

The Miller Center has engaged Korn Ferry to conduct this search. Click here to view this opportunity on

Organization Background

Established in 1975 through a generous gift from entrepreneur and philanthropist Burkett Miller, the Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy and political history. It strives to apply the lessons of history to the nation’s most pressing contemporary governance challenges. The Miller Center is committed to the examination of significant public policy issues in a manner that encourages civil debate and engagement. 

The Miller Center’s endowment stands at $70 million. Its annual operating budget in 2014-15 is approximately $7.75 million. The Center employs 30 staff members and houses a faculty and research staff of over 20 scholars.

The Center comprises three units: academic, public and policy programs. Academic Programs focus on presidential and political history. The Miller Center’s presidential studies initiatives have set the standard for illuminating the history and functioning of the executive branch. The Center has carried out detailed oral histories of each administration from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, and it houses the on-going analysis and publication of presidential tape recordings, especially from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon presidencies—an unmatched resource for understanding presidential leadership.  The Center’s academic conferences and symposia on a wide range of historical and policy issues make scholarly expertise available to the public, the media and the policy community. And the Center houses the National Fellowship Program, awarding year-long grants to 10 Ph.D. students each year to foster a new generation of scholarship on American and global governance.

Public Programs focus on outreach. Each week, renowned public officials, scholars and journalists gather in the Miller Center’s Forum Room, modeled on the Williamsburg legislative chamber, to exchange ideas with informed public audiences. Nearly 100 PBS television affiliates around the country broadcast the hour-long American Forum program, produced by the Center. 

Policy Programs incorporate a variety of on-going research projects that address contemporary governance issues and offer nonpartisan solutions to them. Endowed conferences and national commissions composed of distinguished public servants have addressed topics such as federal election reform, immigration, health care, war powers and the future of the American middle class.

The Miller Center’s resource development is led by the Miller Center Foundation, which was established in 1987 as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation to foster the work of the Miller Center by serving as the nexus for the Center’s fundraising efforts. The Foundation is governed by a distinguished board of directors and managed by a professional foundation staff that is committed to supporting the work of the Miller Center.

The Miller Center occupies a historic 19th-century mansion, with two modern wings, that is situated on eight beautifully landscaped acres, located near the historic Grounds of the University, and adjacent to the Law School and Darden School of Business. 

The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, is one of the top public universities in the nation. It is located in Charlottesville, 120 miles from Washington, D.C. and 70 miles from Richmond. The University’s Rotunda and its “academical village” were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic homes of three presidents are nearby: Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier and James Monroe’s Ashlawn. Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is frequently cited as one of the best places to live and work in the United States.

Chief Responsibilities of the Executive Director

  • To advance the mission of the Miller Center;
  • To provide executive leadership to the Center;
  • To establish the intellectual agenda of the Center; 
  • To work with the Governing Council to shape and implement the Strategic Plan;
  • To shape and execute a vigorous fundraising strategy;
  • To oversee all hiring and supervision of staff and recruitment of faculty;
  • To supervise the operations, budget and finances of the Center;
  • To collaborate with University leaders in advancing the Center’s goals.

Goals for the Next Five Years

In cooperation with the Miller Center’s Governing Council, the Executive Director will strive:

  • To expand the national and international recognition of the Miller Center as the preeminent institution for the study of the American presidency, public policy and political history;
  • To promote the impact of the Center’s scholarly and public affairs programs;
  • To lead a fundraising effort that will take the endowment above $100 million;
  • To integrate Miller Center units into a cohesive and coordinated whole;
  • To implement a creative digital media and communications strategy for the Center;
  • To bring greater focus to issues of global significance as they impact the United States;
  • To develop collaborative partnerships with other schools in the University and beyond;
  • To ensure the long-term fiscal health of the Miller Center.


The Executive Director of the Miller Center should have significant executive management experience in government, academia, journalism, philanthropic foundations or similar public-minded organizations. The Executive Director will also have:

  • A talent for implementing strategic plans and leading fundraising efforts;
  • A proven record of organization, planning and decision-making;
  • A capacity for fiscal stewardship and budgetary discipline;
  • An interest in intellectual engagement with significant historical and policy questions;
  • An ability to inspire faculty, staff and donors.

Qualifications and Leadership Characteristics

The Executive Director of the Miller Center must be a person who will bring creativity and passion to the next phase of the Miller Center’s growth. 

In addition to management and organizational experience, the Executive Director must have superior communication and interpersonal skills; must have a willingness to build long-term relationships with Miller Center supporters, friends and donors; and must be able to recruit, lead and inspire a dedicated, diverse and highly accomplished faculty and staff. 

The Executive Director should have familiarity with the Washington, D.C. policy community and be able to represent the Miller Center in the nation’s capital. The Executive Director must have an interest in academic scholarship and be eager to develop ties between the Center’s scholars and the policy world. 

As the leader of a research-focused organization that is located in a world-class university, the Executive Director must possess intellectual curiosity and be willing to collaborate with stakeholders across the University, representing the Miller Center effectively inside a large and complex institution of higher learning. If appropriate, the Executive Director may also hold a faculty appointment at the University. 

The Executive Director must be a person of absolute integrity and high character. 


A bachelor’s degree is required.  An advanced degree is preferred.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to attract the most qualified candidates.

How to Apply

Interested parties are encouraged to submit a résumé or CV and cover letter to  The University of Virginia is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity and inclusiveness. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Korn Ferry Contacts

Charles Ingersoll
Senior Client Partner
1700 K Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 256 – 2267

Joanna Martin
1700 K Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 955-0932


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis. Korn/Ferry shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the performance of duties pursuant to this Agreement, including but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws to the extent applicable.