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About the Office of Institutional Engagement

Founded in 1957, the Office 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 Office 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 Office of Institutional Engagement has identified the following complementary values:

  • Agility
  • Collaboration
  • Generosity
  • Integrity
  • Intentionality

Office 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


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:

Director of Prospect Management and Analytics
The Director of Prospect Management and Analytics leads the prospect development program, identifies and qualifies new major and planned gift prospective donors, provides strategic analysis for donor development and employs statistics and data visualization to communicate information. Read the full posting here.

Director, Alumni Communities
The Director of Alumni Communities will increase alumni engagement, with a focus on expanding participation in alumni clubs in major markets and developing an alumni affinity program including using data analytics and engagement metrics to measure success and lead the exploration and implementation of innovative ways to engage alumni of all ages and multiple affinities. Read the full job posting here.

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

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