Darden School Foundation


Senior Director of Business Development, Military and Government Programs


Charlottesville and Rosslyn, Virginia, USA

Position ID:



The Darden School Foundation, the 501(c)3 organization that supports the Darden Business School, seeks a Senior Director of Business Development, Military and Government Programs on its Client Solutions Team to support the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning (EELL) and the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning. The Senior Director will focus on growth in the portfolio of customized executive education clients across Military and Government organizations.

The Senior Director will partner with Executive Education colleagues and faculty with a primary objective to cultivate new client relationships and leading successful proposal processes. The position will focus on the military and government market helping to grow this important part of Darden EELL’s work. This focus is critical to UVA and Darden’s mission to develop “Citizen Leaders” and has been a long-standing area of focus for the University. Through these efforts, the Senior Director will drive new client development, expanding Darden’s reach and relationships globally with Military and other Government organizations (and the industry partners focused on serving them) to increase relevance and engagement for the Executive Education enterprise and the Sands Institute.

This position is critical to the Darden’s mission and the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning, an institute formed by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors in 2020. The Sands Institute aims to establish Darden at the forefront of innovation in pedagogy and delivery of transformational lifelong learning experiences for working professionals and executives worldwide. The Client Services Team (CST), of which the Senior Director is a key member, is currently responsible for ~80% of Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning top line and aspires to $2M+ top line growth per year over the next 5 years. The CST serves as a growth engine for Executive Education and Lifelong Learning and is highly entrepreneurial.

The position will work with a newly formed Military and Government Hub of Excellence which includes two Managing Directors, a Senior Program Manager, Program Manager and Program Administrator that will primarily focus on this market. Darden is currently celebrating its 50th year in collaboration with the U.S. Navy for Executive Education and leadership development solutions. The position will report directly to the Military and Government Special Project Lead (Managing Director) as the role is principally focused on Military and Government efforts. This role is a key part of the broader Darden EELL Business Development effort. Accordingly, it will require this individual to work collaboratively with the two Managing Directors who focus on Corporation and Association related Business Development to ensure consistency and connection of the BD effort across the enterprise.

The position requires a seasoned and proactive client and business development/sales director with experience in the military and government sectors. Direct experience in executive education or Mil/Gov learning and development, or emergent adult/professional education platforms, is strongly preferred. The successful candidate must have senior sales/client development experience at a top academic institution, a professional services firm or ‘solution sales’ in the Military and Government environments. It is preferred that the role be based in either of Darden’s locations — Charlottesville, VA area, or the greater DC area. The role may also be configured as a hybrid role, with a mix of on-location and work from home to support Mil/Gov market pursuits and operations in Charlottesville, DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) or elsewhere.

Primary duties and responsibilities include:

The Senior Director is expected to execute independently all of the below-listed duties and responsibilities, or to oversee those activities as appropriate, with a consistently high level of effectiveness and impact.

  • New Client Development 
    1. Identify and recommend strategic target accounts in the Military and Government sector, establish criteria for selection and proposal of client programming, and orchestrate efforts across the CST to reach new accounts in support of annual growth goals of EELL.
    2. Consult on an ongoing basis with potential clients on their talent and leadership development challenges to understand prospect and client needs and articulate possible custom or executive level open enrollment solutions.
    3. Originate and/or develop proposals from networks and/or in response to inquiries and formal requests for proposals (RFPs).
    4. Maintain current information on leads, contacts, opportunities and proposals, utilizing the Salesforce system connected to the overall business management.
    5. Support continuous improvement of our account planning and business development processes, reporting and tracking, and account management approaches.
    6. Partner with the leaders of the Military and Government area of CST to align on key priorities, connections and growth efforts.
    7. Collaborate with faculty and executive education colleagues to coordinate custom account start-up activity and to ensure client needs are met for program design and delivery.
    8. Deliver on agreed-to annual new client development targets and productivity levels.
    9. Track and update new client development opportunities, activities and forecasts in Salesforce.
  • Market and Relationship Development 
    1. Continuously grow a network and set of consultative relationships with Executive and Learning and Development executives particularly in the Military, Government and Public Sector that serve as a foundation for growing client opportunities for EE and the Darden School of Business.
    2. Develop and nurture relationships with Darden School faculty, alumni and administrative leaders, and actively position faculty expertise and thought leadership within the context of market and client needs.
    3. Cultivate and establish partnerships within the University of Virginia, in support of business development activities and bringing the ‘whole of the University to bear’ in delivering best-in-class solutions.
    4. Potentially engage with other parts of the Darden School, such as the Board of Trustees, Darden’s Leadership Advisory Boards and alumni engagement team, to support outreach to executives and companies to broaden the top of our corporate client funnel. [ST1] [BD2]
    5. Stay current and familiar with Mil/Gov domain-specific and global business issues/trends and capability building/leadership development challenges.
    6. Engage in key business development events and conferences within Executive Education, representing Darden and building awareness and credibility for our solutions.
    7. Collaborate with Darden’s communication and marketing organization to support effort to build Darden’s awareness and reputation in the corporate/Association segment, including supporting/leading Darden sponsored events for the L&D community to build Darden and Sands Institute reputation.

In addition to the duties and responsibilities above, the Senior Director will provide support, as needed, to colleagues with primary ownership over the ongoing current client portfolio to help retain and grow revenue from existing clients and support activities to expand client relationships through follow-up and value-added inquiries and information sharing relevant to the client.

Successful candidate will have a proven track record that includes:

  • Proven ability to develop productive long-term client relationships and experience driving increased revenue and profit to achieve organizational financial goals particularly in the Military and Government sector.
  • Track record in management and leadership positions that required strategic planning, communication, revenue generation, pipeline and sales management, brand deployment, and fiscal responsibility.
  • Seasoned professional with 7 -10+ years of experience and familiarity with global business issues/trends and capability building/leadership development challenges.
  • Experience selling learning and development, and/or education and training-focused talent management services at the B2C and/or B2B level in the Public Sector
  • Experience using a CRM system to track leads, opportunities and closed won/lost pipeline. Experience using Salesforce is strongly preferred.
  • Clear record of academic and professional excellence and achievement at respected institutions
  • Demonstrated understanding of and ability to navigate the client sales cycle in the Military and Government sector at a Federal, State, Local, and (potentially) International level.

Leadership Characteristics

  • Ability to engage at a strategic level and to be viewed as a peer by client and colleague leaders.
  • Ability to influence client thinking and action and to orchestrate the efforts of internal colleagues and deployment of resource to achieve profitable growth.
  • Ability to address current and envision future client needs when designing, implementing and operationalizing creative program design and delivery to ensure Darden’s reputation as an executive education provider of excellence.
  • Drive for excellence and growth, with willingness to ‘roll up his/her sleeves’ to get the work done.
  • A global mindset and ability to develop relationships with culturally diverse organizations.

 Personal Characteristics

  • Interest, awareness, and fluency in the learning and development needs of Public Sector organizations
  • A bias for action and ability to manage deadlines and budgets.
  • Excellent communication skills with all levels of management, faculty and military and Government community
  • Fluency with trends in business/management thinking, and executive development
  • Ability to collaborate with clients, across the school and the University.
  • Strong orientation towards client satisfaction and results
  • Integrity, personal values, and a belief in Darden’s mission
  • Commitment to continued personal growth; self-motivated.
  • Excited and driven by growth and entrepreneurial environment.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution; an MBA or other advanced degree preferred.

Please attach a cover letter and résumé when applying for this position. 

The Darden School Foundation is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity or expression), national or ethnic origin, race, religion, pregnancy, veteran status, or genetic information. We participate in E-Verify.

About Darden and the Darden School Foundation:

UVA’s Darden Graduate School of Business delivers Degree Programs and Executive Education in its Charlottesville and Washington D.C. locations, as well as at client sites around the world. The Darden School Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation established in 1952 with the mission of supporting and advancing the Darden School in its academic mission. The Darden School Foundation provides this support through promoting philanthropic support, managing endowment funds and other assets for the School’s exclusive benefit, running Darden’s top ranked Executive Education and Lifelong Learning programs and Darden Sands Family Grounds in Rosslyn. An elected Board of Trustees oversees the Foundation’s strategy and provides a critical link between the Foundation, School, and business communities.

The Darden School has been ranked the number one MBA education experience in the world by The Economist magazine for eight consecutive years, number one for campus environment and faculty by Princeton Review, and number one for alumni satisfaction with their MBA education by Forbes.