Researcher looking through microscope





Our Background

Food allergies are a severe public health threat affecting 32 million children and adults in the U.S. alone. There are many unknowns about the science behind food allergies, and diagnostics and treatments remain very limited. A pioneer in food allergy science, the Food Allergy Science Initiative (FASI) is a nonprofit research organization with an urgent mission: accelerate the development of breakthrough discoveries to transform the lives of people living with food allergies. Our research will improve how we diagnose, treat, and prevent food allergies for the millions of adults and children living with them.

FASI was launched at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in 2016 and became an independent nonprofit organization in 2021. In 2023, FASI appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, established its internal scientific team and administration and developed a strategic research plan to accelerate the development of therapies for food allergies and associated diseases.

FASI’s work has attracted significant funding and prominent researchers from across the country, including Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University. Dr. Medzhitov is the scientific thought leader behind FASI and has brought together a group of scientists in neuroscience, immunology, gastroenterology, and infectious diseases to collaborate on this scientific effort. FASI is now working with 21 different laboratories and a network of 100+ scientists. In a short time, FASI has catalyzed transformative discoveries in the neuro-immune axis, gut cell atlas and advanced fundamental questions underlying the immunological pathways in food allergy science. The next chapter of FASI will be in translating the breakthrough scientific research into transformative diagnostics, treatments, and prevention of food allergies



Open Positions

This is an exciting opportunity to become part of a dynamic team working to support innovative research to advance transformative treatments of food allergies. FASI is seeking an experienced, seasoned, and creative Director of Philanthropy to advance the ambitious fundraising program that will fuel FASI’s next step in its growth and impact. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Carlos Bosques, and working closely with FASI’s Board of Directors, the position will be responsible for leading FASI’s strong philanthropy and engagement program to the next level to raise a minimum of $40 million over five years in the areas of Foundational Science, Translational Research and Drug Discovery. 

The ideal candidate will be an experienced frontline major and principal gifts fundraiser, delivering high touch stewardship and engagement along with a track record in building relationships and securing transformative gifts in a scientific research environment. The new Director of Philanthropy will work to secure federal funding, when possible. The candidate should have the ability to translate and relay scientific information and content, attracting interest and philanthropic support from individuals, families, corporations, and philanthropies with a vested interest in accelerating translational research and drug development to cure food allergies. 


Role and Responsibilities: 

Partnering closely with the Chief Executive Officer and FASI’s Board of Directors, the Director of Philanthropy will: 

  • Lead the next chapter of FASI’s fundraising program by overseeing the establishment and execution of a multi-year fundraising campaign to raise $40 million over the next 5 years. The plan includes the launch of a friends group, overseeing the development and execution of events, annual support, donor recognition, and ongoing case-making. 
  • Establish close working relationships with a wide variety of external partners in order to successfully cultivate, solicit and steward major and principal gift donors. 
  • Grow and transform FASI’s base of donor and partner support into a nationwide community of major donors. 
  • Design and execute a targeted philanthropic strategy that engages FASI’s existing pipeline of top prospects while surfacing new opportunities. Support FASI’s Board of Directors and community of generous supporters to maximize their participation in advancing FASI’s mission through their networks and relations. 
  • Develop strong relationships with industry partners to facilitate effective collaborations between FASI and the Biotech and Pharmaceutical industries. 
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson for FASI’s mission and scientific activities through verbal and written communication and representing FASI at donor and partner events, meetings, and conferences.
  • Raise the profile of FASI and FASI scientists through the identification and advancement of opportunities around speaking engagements, communications, and events.
  •  Complete additional duties as required.

Critical Competencies for Success: 

  • Demonstrated track record of initiating a broad strategy for development; creating bespoke strategies to cultivate, solicit, and close gifts and steward donors at the 6-and 7-figure+ level. 
  • Experience identifying and connecting donors to create a nationwide pipeline of principal and transformational donor prospects dedicated to scientific research. 
  • History of public relations and marketing experience to drive the strategy and messaging of an organization’s PR partner and position an organization and raise its profile in a deliberate way. 
  • Track record of projecting confidence and inspiring trust to establish relationships with donors, scientists and partners. 

Ideal Skills and Experience: 

  • Minimum 10 years of progressive experience in fundraising, preferably in a scientific research, center of excellence, or disease or medical institution. Campaign experience a major plus. 
  • Serve as an ambitious thought-partner to the CEO; able to create plans and follow up quickly. 
  • Ability to understand the science to a degree to communicate confidently with donors and scientists. 
  • Demonstrated success in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, closing, and reporting impact on 6/7-figure gifts and pledges.
  • Experience engaging and stewarding a sophisticated and dedicated network of individual, corporate and foundation partners. 
  • Champion the strategies, insights and solutions of FASI’s CEO, and mentor the team and network of scientists on them. 
  • Identify and create donor recognition and case collateral, including the development of naming opportunities and named funds and initiatives. 
  • Sophisticated written and oral communication and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated diplomatic acumen and a professional demeanor and attitude. 
  • High attention to detail and excellent organization skills. 
  • Excellent judgment and discretion. 
  • Experience utilizing donor databases and mentoring staff to do so. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred. 

Other Characteristics: 

Intellectual curiosity and personal motivation, combined with dedication to FASI’s mission, are essential to the Director of Philanthropy. The successful candidate will be collaborative and demonstrate flexibility in adapting to shifting institutional priorities and must possess the maturity, poise, and sophistication to understand and manage complex relationships with researchers, colleagues and high net worth individuals. They will have demonstrated expertise in philanthropy and its best practices, making them a trusted advisor to the Executive Director, Board and scientists. 

The new Director of Philanthropy will use high-leverage strategy to build on a growing and successful philanthropic program. The Director of Philanthropy will gain the trust of colleagues in order to gain their support and bring them along on strategy. The candidate should thrive in a high-performing and fast-paced environment. The candidate is interested in engaging with industry partners around issues of intellectual property and will have a demonstrated ability to bring team spirit, enthusiasm and integrity to the role to motivate and achieve results. 

The Director of Philanthropy is expected to be a self-starter who is adept at working independently and as part of a small team in a start-up environment, equally skilled at being entrepreneurial and deeply collaborative. The placement will possess the demonstrated ability to manage competing demands and the changing pace of priorities. 


The current work environment is hybrid, mostly remote and in the office 1 day every 2 weeks. 


Lisa Byala 

Principal, ByalaSearch LLC 

T: (646) 898–2093 

EEO Statement

The Food Allergy Science Initiative (FASI)  is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any candidate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other factor protected by federal, state, or local law.