Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer, Guggenheim Museum
'12SPS, Nonprofit Management
Leah Heister is Deputy Director and Chief Advancement Officer for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. As the architect of a robust advancement strategy, Heister oversees the raising of funds for all areas of the museum, including exhibitions, acquisitions, conservation, and education, as well as spearheads the Campaign for the Guggenheim to increase the endowment. She leads a department that seeks support from individuals and affinity groups, foundations, corporate sponsorship and global partners, membership, special events, and annual fundraising. She works closely with the Board of Trustees and sits on the Advancement Committee of the Board.
Heister’s areas of expertise include overall strategy development across a number of fundraising functions, including annual giving, corporate and foundation relations, major and planned giving, and board development. Prior to her role at CCS, she served as the Interim Regional Director and Associate Director for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in New York, where she oversaw fundraising initiatives for the greater New York and New Jersey area in support of the hospital. She previously was the Director of Development for St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, where she managed a prospect portfolio, developed strategies for donor solicitation and cultivation, and prepared the organization for campaign readiness.
Heister serves as an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University in the Master of Nonprofit Management program, where she teaches fundraising fundamentals and nonprofit governance. She received her Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a focus in fundraising from Columbia University. A member of the Columbia University School of Professional Studies Alumni Council, Heister is also a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York City, and received the National Young Professional of the Year Award from AFP in 2017.
- M.S., Columbia University
- B.A., Knox College