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Appointment of Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Stony Brook Foundation

June 8, 2021

After a competitive national search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Fincher, PhD, as Stony Brook’s vice president for advancement and executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation, effective August 23, 2021. Justin is an experienced advancement leader who embraces collaboration and teamwork, and whose education and career have been shaped by public universities. He believes that they create opportunity and make a meaningful impact like no other educational institutions. In fact, as a high school student, Stony Brook was the very first college campus on which Justin set foot. It is profound to think that same high school student is now coming back to his Long Island roots, ready to bring his leadership and expertise to our fundraising and alumni engagement efforts.

Since 2013, Justin has served as the vice president for advancement at The Ohio State University, where he has been responsible for the strategy, operations, and resources to mobilize multibillion-dollar campaigns effectively and engage hundreds of thousands of alumni and donors in developing philanthropic support for the institution’s mission and goals. In that role, he manages a team of 125 staff and cultivates philanthropic support for academic departments and medicine. He led the successful conclusion of OSU’s previous $3 billion campaign, one that engaged 750,000 donors, and oversaw the planning and launch of its latest $4.5 billion campaign. Also, he served as chief operating officer of the OSU Alumni Association and worked closely with its board. In addition, he is currently providing interim leadership for the 80-person fundraising team for Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center and Health Science Colleges, which raises $200 million annually. Before his work at Ohio State, Justin held leadership roles at Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University.

A higher education leader with a growing national reputation in the advancement profession, Justin is an active volunteer leader in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He also developed and leads the Advancement Leadership Lab, a joint venture of nine public research universities to accelerate the growth of senior leadership in their advancement organizations. He will help us grow development and alumni professionals at Stony Brook, as well as elevate Stony Brook’s national reputation.  

Justin earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Rutgers University, and his master’s in college student personnel and PhD in higher education administration from the University of Maryland. He has taught and advised master’s and doctoral students at both Maryland and Ohio State. 

As we welcome Justin and prepare to have him join us, I want to express my gratitude to the search committee, co-chaired by Deans Paul Shepson and Laura Lindenfeld Sher, for cultivating and recruiting an excellent pool of candidates. I also want to recognize the leadership of Interim Vice President for Advancement Deborah Lowen-Klein and Stony Brook Foundation Chief Operating Officer Jason Hsueh. They and their teams have kept Stony Brook moving forward during the transition and we appreciate their service.

I can think of no better person than Justin to join the Stony Brook family, play a key leadership role in the Stony Brook Foundation, and help the university, Stony Brook Medicine, and the Long Island State Veterans Home realize all of our ambitious aspirations in research, teaching, and service. I look forward to welcoming him to campus. 

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Maurie McInnis