Skip to main content
Give now

About the Division of Institutional Engagement

Founded in 1957, the Division of Institutional Engagement at RISD includes a development team of frontline fundraisers, a campaign planning and strategy team responsible for implementing programming and communications, an alumni relations team that engages alumni and families, and an advancement operations team responsible for data integrity and technology.


The Division of Institutional Engagement advances RISD’s mission by strategically fostering lifelong relationships with alumni, parents, friends and organizations to strengthen goodwill and philanthropy.


Our vision is to ensure that any person or organization who engages with RISD becomes an advocate and donor.


The RISD Strategic Plan has identified the following core community values:

  • Creative thinking and making
  • Rigorous immersion and serious practice
  • Engaged curiosity and experimentation
  • Respect and inclusion

In addition, the Division of Institutional Engagement has identified the following complementary values:

  • Agility
  • Collaboration
  • Generosity
  • Integrity
  • Intentionality

Division of Institutional Engagement Goal: Be the BEST

  • Build an organization and campaign that position philanthropy as a vital revenue stream for the college and museum
  • Create sustainable opportunities to Engage alumni, parents, friends, students, staff and donors in support of the priorities of the college and museum
  • Invest in staff, systems and processes that support a long-term performance-based high-achieving culture, essential to the Success of the institution
  • Create an IE communications organization to Tell the impact of philanthropy on the college and museum, inspiring pride and advocacy


Staff Directory


O’Neil A.S. Outar | Vice President

O’Neil A.S. Outar joined RISD’s leadership team in January 2018, bringing more than 20 years of fundraising and leadership experience from some of the world’s leading public and private research universities. He began his career at Tufts University, where he served as director of the Fund for Arts, Sciences and Engineering during the University’s $609 million “Tufts Tomorrow” campaign. From there, Outar held several ascending leadership roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leading the work that secured some of MIT’s largest-ever donations.

Following MIT, Outar held fundraising positions at the University of Alberta and Harvard University, where he led the $2.5 billion “Campaign for Arts and Sciences.” Most recently he served as interim vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the University of Pittsburgh.

Currently a special adviser to The Guyana Foundation and a board director at Project Citizenship, Outar was a trustee on the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, a Commonwealth Study conference leader, a member of the Word Economic Forum’s Knowledge Advisory Group and an MIT Leader-to-Leader Fellow. A first-generation college student, he was born in New Amsterdam, Guyana and is named in honor of his father’s favorite Australian cricketer, Norman O’Neill.

Work with us

The Office of Institutional Engagement has several exciting career opportunities to join our team. We currently have the following positions open:

Alumni Relations Officer, Special Programs
This position identifies, recruits and provides support to alumni volunteers serving on the Leadership Council, committees and task forces of the Alumni Association and special interest affinity groups. Read more

Alumni Relations Officer, Volunteer Engagement
This position supports supports increased alumni engagement by coordinating and executing various new and established programs offering volunteer opportunities within the Alumni Association. Read more

Associate Director, Donor Relations (Recognition)
This position is responsible for developing, planning, and executing the stewardship of donor recognition societies and designated funds at Rhode Island School of Design. Read more

Database Administrator and Application Specialist
This position is responsible for the implementation and support of Institutional Engagement’s (IE’s) Raisers Edge CRM and related platforms. This role provides applications support including coding, testing, documenting, troubleshooting, refinement and installation of programs/systems in order to satisfy user requirements. Read more

Development Associate
This position is a key team member, responsible for providing proactive administrative support to the Executive Director, maintaining accurate CRM data and reporting; providing logistical support for events, stewardship and communications; and, liaising with and between key internal and external constituents to help foster and build relationships. Read more

Get in touch


toll-free: 844 454-1877
phone: 401 454-6403
fax: 401 454-6802

Mailing Address

Institutional Engagement
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College Street
Providence, RI 02903

Office address

123 Dyer Street, floor 4
Providence, RI 02903

Staff Directory