Senior Director of Development

Senior Director of Development

About Cohen Veterans Bioscience

Cohen Veterans Bioscience (CVB) is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to fast-tracking the discovery and development of precision diagnostics and personalized therapeutics for maintenance and restoration of brain health. CVB leads focused programming on veterans and trauma-related disorders, and partners on research in Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Rett’s Syndrome and other brain diseases.

Globally, 2 billion individuals are directly affected by brain disorders with a catastrophic personal and societal cost exceeding $2 trillion USD. These disorders, which number in excess of 600 diagnosable conditions, include neurologic conditions (such as multiple sclerosis and dementia), psychiatric conditions (such as depression and PTS), brain injuries (such as TBI), and pain and substance abuse disorders. We do not know the causes and mechanisms of most brain diseases, and consequently we have inadequate treatments, few definitive diagnostics or cures.

CVB is a pioneer in the development of next-generation diagnostics and treatments for brain disorders harnessing the power of biotechnology (including neuroimaging, ‘omics, and biosensors) in combination with high-performance computing and data analytics, to understand the underlying mechanisms of disease and discover new ways to improve brain health.

CVB operates intramural research programs and Public-Private Partnership cooperative alliances which organize networks of partners who each contribute complementary and synergistic data, capabilities, or expertise to support a common roadmap for identifying diagnostic biomarkers, building predictive brain disease models, digital wellness and precision treatments. CVB’s approach is to build enabling platforms with strategic partners and to adopt a team science approach to fast-track solutions in years, not decades.

Founded in 2014 as Orion Bionetworks, the organization was transformed to Cohen Veterans Bioscience with major seed funding from hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen and has supplemented this support with funding from foundation and government sources, as well as some gifts from individuals. CVB’s essential work in transforming science to advance brain health will require expanded philanthropic support from a broader community of funders.

About the Opportunity

CVB is in search of an exceptional fundraising professional to join the organization’s growing development program. Reporting to the Executive Director of Development, the Senior Director of Development (SDOD) will be an ambassador for the organization, deepening engagement with constituency groups and driving broader awareness and philanthropic support for the organization. This position is based in CVB’s New York City office.

This individual will be responsible for growing CVB’s philanthropic revenue significantly over the next several years. A key initiative will be diversifying the organization’s funder base.

The selected candidate will have proven success within a high-performing development operation, and will have aggressive annual fundraising and activity goals. The incumbent will have experience in moves management and successful one-on-one major gift prospect qualification and engagement, donor cultivation, solicitation experience and stewardship strategies, and working with partners to support the efforts of a comprehensive development effort.

Key Responsibilities

  • Build and maintain deep philanthropic relationships with a portfolio of high-net-worth individual and institutional prospects.
  • Work with the Executive Director to build a strong donor pipeline that focuses on institutional and high-net-worth individuals; will independently identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit donors, and close and steward gifts.
  • Conduct research on foundations, corporations and individual donors and prospects to proactively identify new high-level prospects. Review lists of funders from various sources, and develop individual strategies to engage, cultivate and solicit donor prospects for new gifts.
  • Prepare letters of inquiry to prospective funders, and design and execute fundraising proposals around key programs, in close collaboration with organizational peers.
  • Research and write briefings to prepare for effective meetings with major gift prospects.
  • Manage follow-up correspondence and objectives resulting from donor interactions.
  • Develop strong and collaborative working relationships with members of the organization to best understand CVB’s mission and programs, and effectively articulate this information to donors and the public.
  • Report regular progress against goals, including key donor engagement, solicitation and closed gifts metrics, and moves management progress.
  • Suggests potential prospects for the board and advisory councils.
  • Identify emerging trends and opportunities in philanthropy that are relevant to the mission and programs of CVB.

Key Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, is required.

Experience and Core Competencies

  • At least 10 years of development experience with progressively increasing responsibility.
  • 5-7 years of frontline major gift experience with demonstrated ability to grow a donor prospect base and successfully close five and six-figure individual and institutional gifts.
  • Desire to reach aggressive goals, and the ability to independently solicit and secure private gifts.
  • Experience building and sustaining relationships with high-net-worth individuals, foundations, and corporations.
  • Success supporting organizational leadership in donor cultivation and solicitation.
  • A strong understanding of and ability to communicate the mission and programs of CVB.
  • Ability to conceptualize and describe funding needs in a way that is compelling to prospects, donors, board and advisory committee members, and other stakeholders.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Results-oriented self-starter with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit.
  • Passion for CVB’s mission and the ability to serve as an ambassador for the organization.
  • Experience working in academic medical or complex research institutions preferred.
  • Some experience working with foundations and/or corporations is preferred.
  • Authorization to work in the U.S. required.


To Apply

Please visit to apply. CVB is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Publication Date: 7/28/20

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