American University (AU) seeks an experienced fundraising professional to serve as the Director of Development for the Investigative Reporting Workshop, an award-winning research center in the School of Communication (SOC). 

The Director of Development has primary responsibility for developing and implementing fundraising strategies to realize the Investigative Reporting Workshop (IRW)’s annual budget of approximately $2 million.  Working with principal investigators and senior staff, as well as AU’s Office of Development & Alumni Relations, the position works to secure funds from private foundations and individual donors (small to major gifts).  To ensure its journalistic independence, IRW does not accept corporate or government funding.

Key responsibilities of the position include:

  • Work with PIs to develop, implement, monitor and report on annual fundraising plans.
  • Provide prospecting, cultivation, and solicitation of individual and foundation funders.
  • Serve as IRW’s primarily liaison with key stakeholders, including sponsors and internals administrators.
  • Author and shepherd proposals, providing full pre- and post-award support.
  • Ensure that AU and sponsor policies/procedures are adhered to in the submission, compliance, and reporting of awards.
  • Leverage university resources to raise IRW’s profile with external stakeholders, especially within the arena of foundation and individual philanthropy.
  • Provide guidance and resources as to philanthropic best practices.
  • Assist PIs and senior staff with developing strategic plans and facilitating interdisciplinary research opportunities. 
  • Work with PIs, administrators, and sponsors to resolve complex issues related to sponsored projects.

The Director of Development leverages AU resources to support IRW’s growth, coordinating with AU’s Office of Development & Alumni Relations, the Office of Sponsored Programs, and Grants & Contracts Accounting.

As one of the oldest university-based centers emulating a professional newsroom environment, the Investigative Reporting Workshop pairs journalism faculty (each with substantial experience as professional reporters) with undergraduate, graduate-student and post-graduate interns and fellows to conduct in-depth, long-form journalism and determine industry best practices. Research topics include issues such as the environment, health, criminal justice, national security, immigration, and the economy.  Research findings are co-published across print, web, television, film, and radio with major media partners and nonprofit newsrooms, including The Washington Post, NPR, and Reveal.  IRW houses the only university-based production team to co-produce documentaries for PBS’s award-winning series FRONTLINE.  IRW and SOC have an innovative, on-going partnership with The Washington Post that provides graduate students with an impressive experience working directly with the newspaper’s reporters.

IRW was founded in 2008 by Charles Lewis, a 1998 MacArthur Fellow and previous founder of the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, both Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organizations.  Lewis has served as a tenured professor in the School of Communication since 2006.  IRW’s faculty editors also include Lynne Perri (Senior Professorial Lecturer and Journalist-in-Residence), Jennifer LaFleur (Professorial Lecturer and Data Journalist-in-Residence), and John Sullivan (Investigative Reporter-in-Residence).


  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 5-7 years demonstrated progressive and successful development experience, preferably within higher education.
  • Prior responsibility for institutional and project budgets and goals.
  • Excellent skills communicating orally and in writing with diverse audiences.
  • Proven ability to work independently to meet goals and deadlines.
  • Demonstrated creativity and resourcefulness in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies.

Benefits (including, but not limited to):

  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health and Dental
  • Life insurance
  • Tuition remission (including family members)
  • For more details, visit

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted through American University.  No phone calls or emails, please.

Additional Information:

  • The position is fully contingent on external funds. 
  • Occasional travel may be required. 
  • Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on a successful completion of a background check.

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.  The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively “Protected Bases”) in its programs and activities.