Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd announced this morning the appointment of John Gardner as new vice president for development and CEO of the WSU Foundation. Gardner will assume his new responsibilities effective July 1.

John Gardner, Ph.D.
John Gardner, Ph.D.

“John brings with him a wealth of experience that includes leadership roles at five land grant universities,” said Floyd. “He has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to help organizations realize their potential with a leadership style that is thoughtful, innovative and collaborative. I am confident he will successfully advance private investment and fundraising activities to benefit research, teaching and outreach at Washington State University for years to come.”

Gardner returns to WSU after serving for three years as dean and provost of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, now part of Pinchot University. He was WSU’s vice president for economic development and extension, and later vice president of advancement and external affairs, July 2007-April 2011.

During that time, he oversaw the successful launch of the public phase of the university’s $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University, which will conclude in 2015.

He has continued his relationship with WSU while at BGI, especially in support of the Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment being led by WSU and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As chief liaison between the center and business, industry and nonprofit partners, Gardner coordinates the solicitation and participation of non-university partners with the research and development of the center.

“I am honored to be associated again with WSU and to be able to contribute to the foundation’s progress and role in placing this great university among the nation’s best,” said Gardner.

“I’ve learned much about entrepreneurship, impact investing and business solutions to social problems,” he said. “I believe many of these strategies are directly transferrable to higher education. Private support plays an increasingly important role for all universities, and I look forward to working on the how and why one might invest in Washington State University through the work of the WSU Foundation.”

Gardner will be responsible for the vision, leadership, strategy and management of fundraising activities on behalf of the foundation and university. The WSU Foundation averages more than $100 million in total private commitments annually from individuals and corporate and foundation partners.

“John’s talent and experience bring an immediate ability to help continue the momentum of the university’s current campaign effort and to focus on the future needs of the foundation,” said Judy Rogers, vice president of the foundation, chair of its Board of Trustees and chair of the CEO search committee. “We look forward to working with John to continue the success of the foundation and in advancing it to the next level.”

Since July 2006, The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas has raised $891.6 million toward a goal of $1 billion to increase support for WSU’s students, faculty, research and programs and to leverage the university’s impact across the state, nation and world.