Position Description

Position Description

Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI)

(Pasadena, CA)

Title: Chief Development Officer

View Position Brochure Here


Huntington Medical Research Institutes (HMRI), founded in 1952, is an independent, nonprofit organization with the mission to improve lives through patient-focused research.

Dedicated to enhancing knowledge of diseases in order to improve health and save lives, for six decades HMRI has been making biomedical discoveries and developments that have set new precedents in medical knowledge across the nation and around the world.

HMRI conducts internationally recognized research in the areas of neuroscience (migraine, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury), cardiovascular (heart attack, chronic heart disease), clinical research (hepatitis, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, and pelvic floor disorders), and advanced imaging research. In 2018, the organization moved into a new $30 million, 35,000-square-foot world-class research facility in Pasadena. HMRI currently has an annual operating budget of approximately $12 million with over $60 million in assets and a staff of 50 employees.

For more information please visit: www.hmri.org


Reporting to the President and CEO as a key member of the leadership team, the Chief Development Officer will be responsible for managing the strategic direction and oversight of a comprehensive fund development and communication program to ensure HMRI’s ongoing success and sustainability. The successful candidate will be focused on developing strong relationships with diverse constituencies to drive major gift commitments from funders and meet fundraising goals. The Chief Development Officer will provide necessary leadership, motivation, and support to identify new opportunities in addition to developing and executing effective cultivation and solicitation strategies for existing funders. The Chief Development Officer manages a team of two staff members who together raise approximately $3 million annually through private philanthropy.

Specific duties will include but are not limited to:

  • In collaboration with the CEO and the Development Committee of the Board, developing, leading and implementing HMRI’s annual and long-term development strategies, continuing to chart the future course in fund development while ensuring that efforts are carried out in keeping with HMRI’s mission, vision, and plans.
  • Identifying, cultivating and soliciting a personal portfolio of current and new funding sources and opportunities for HMRI to include support from individuals, foundations and corporations.
  • Providing fundraising leadership and support to the CEO, helping to identify resource cultivation goals and support needs, prospecting donors, and leading or participating in asks, as appropriate.
  • Engaging and collaborating with diverse internal and external constituencies, including board members, staff, volunteers, donors, and members of the medical and scientific communities.
  • Overseeing and motivating a strong development team which currently includes the Vice President of Development and a Development Coordinator.
  • Establishing goals and metrics to evaluate implementation of strategy and tactics and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the development program; assessing the team to ensure that the department/function is effectively structured and staffed; overseeing performance measures and monitoring results. 
  • Providing general oversight to all HMRI development activities, managing the day-to-day operations of the development function, and monitoring the adequacy of activities through coordination with the CEO and staff.
  • In collaboration with a team of consultants, oversee all communications and marketing for HMRI to ensure consistent messaging and outreach strategies, including: development and production of all collateral materials and publications for donor cultivation and solicitation, such as the annual report, newsletters, event materials, and HMRI photos and videos. Oversee HMRI’s brand strategy and efforts to communicate with external audiences using its website and social media.
  • Working with the CEO and the Board to assure sound fiscal operation of the development function including timely, accurate and comprehensive development of charitable contributions income and expense budgets, reporting, monitoring and implementation.
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of best practices and significant developments and trends in philanthropy relevant to HMRI and adapting fundraising strategies as necessary.


The successful candidate will be a hands-on and forward-thinking development professional with exceptional interpersonal skills and a high degree of professionalism and integrity. A compelling, charismatic leader with the ability to move ideas forward by inspiring and motivating people with creativity and energy, the Chief Development Officer should not only possess excellent verbal and written communication skills but should also be able to thrive in a collaborative, pioneering environment that is conducive to open and direct communication with individuals of varying degrees of involvement with HMRI and its work. The Chief Development Officer should be a resourceful, results-oriented leader with the ability to think strategically, generate new ideas, prioritize, plan, multitask, and set goals and objectives, as well as implement and follow-through while meeting financial goals and deadlines. The ideal candidate will be both a skilled manager and an individual contributor who works and thinks independently yet can also build on group dynamics and set high expectations for the team. A commitment to the mission of HMRI and the ability to communicate its impact and future goals passionately and persuasively are essential.


The Chief Development Officer should have at least ten years of progressively responsible, related experience from either the nonprofit or for-profit sector. Leading candidates will have a proven track record of raising significant support and proven success with fundraising from both individual and institutional supporters, plus a working knowledge of information systems that support fundraising. Candidates will be expected to have experience leading and articulating a vision as well as the demonstrated ability to make and execute plans, reach goals, and develop staff and volunteers into a highly functioning team. A background in a medical research/health care environment and a strong working knowledge of the medical science research community are preferred.


An undergraduate degree is required; a graduate degree is preferred.


Salary range is $175,000-$200,000 annually.


To apply for this position, visit www.morrisberger.com/searches.php

Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203-1923

1 (818) 507-1234