A.J. Nagaraj has been named assistant vice president for Campaign Operations and Fundraising Strategy at Stony Brook University.
At Stony Brook, Nagaraj will enhance strategic fundraising initiatives that support all aspects of the $600 million comprehensive Campaign for Stony Brook, the largest fundraising effort in SUNY history. To date, more than $553.5 million has been raised from over 43,300 donors.
“We’re excited to add A.J. to the advancement team and look forward to the expertise and leadership he’ll bring into this new position,” said Dexter A. Bailey Jr, senior vice president of University Advancement, “His knowledge of best practices and his experience developing models and strategies designed to maximize individual and team fundraising performance will bring immeasurable value to our program.”
Nagaraj comes to the University after four years with the EAB, a global best practice firm that provides advice to health care and higher education institutions on improving performance. With more than 1,100 college and university members, EAB produces sophisticated peer-tested research in the areas of advancement, university systems, student success and more.
Nagaraj served as senior consultant for EAB’s Advancement Forum, where he managed an advancement investment and performance benchmarking initiative for 10 private research universities and conducted best practice research on fundraiser performance management. Before joining EAB, he worked in human capital strategy roles at the District of Columbia Public Schools and the Teach for America national office in New York City.
In order to create initiatives and strategies designed to maximize the fundraising potential at Stony Brook, Nagaraj will work closely with Major Gifts, Advancement Services, Alumni Relations, Annual Giving and other senior level members of University Advancement and the Stony Brook Foundation.
With experience in higher education and the K–12 sector, Nagaraj has steadily built upon a passion to provide students from lower-income families the opportunity to succeed at the university level and beyond. “I’ve realized just how much of an engine for socioeconomic mobility a Stony Brook education has been for tens of thousands of students,” Nagaraj said. “I’m deeply inspired by the work the University has completed over the years in providing students form lower-income families with the educational and social experiences that position them to advance in their careers and achieve success. I’m excited to play a part in that.”
As a former history teacher, Nagaraj believes past is prologue and plans to start his tenure with the University by speaking with Stony Brook staff, faculty, alumni, students, volunteers and community members to learn more of the institution and how to best affect engagement with donors and its progress on campaign initiatives.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with a diverse group of over 150 colleges and universities and have seen which ideas work across these institutions and which do not,” Nagaraj said. “This prior experience in advancement will bring best practice solutions to many of the challenges facing SBU Advancement.”
Nagaraj holds a masters of education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he focused on education leadership and policy analysis, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California.