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Healthcare + Science

Director of the SURF Foundation

SURF Foundation
Lead, South Dakota

The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is a premier scientific research institution located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Previously the site of the largest gold mine in the Western Hemisphere, SURF now hosts cutting-edge research at the deepest underground laboratory in the United States, operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) in the city of Lead. Scientists from around the world come to SURF to conduct advanced experiments, particularly in geothermal energy and particle physics, including the study of dark matter and neutrinos.

Established in 2019, the SURF Foundation supports these scientific endeavors by driving public and private philanthropic investment, aiming to further develop SURF’s impact and initiatives through the forthcoming Institute for Underground Science. The Foundation plays a crucial role in inspiring the next generation of scientists through its robust education and outreach programs. Since 2015, these initiatives have impacted over 115,000 students, with a special focus on underserved rural populations.

The Opportunity

The Director of the SURF Foundation is a key leadership position responsible for developing and executing comprehensive fundraising strategies to support the mission of SDSTA and SURF. Reporting to the SDSTA Executive Director, the Director will elevate SURF’s visibility and engage stakeholders through effective donor cultivation, grant writing, and organizing special events. This role demands a dynamic and entrepreneurial individual with a proven track record in fundraising, excellent communication skills, and a passion for science and education.

Functional responsibilities include managing all Foundation planning activities, overseeing donor relations and solicitation, supervising staff, and developing grant requests. The Director will also organize public events, manage the Foundation’s budget, and ensure efficient and effective management of the Foundation.

The Director should embody the SDSTA’s core values of safety, care for others, professionalism, and teamwork, while also ensuring compliance with safety protocols and performing occasional physical tasks associated with the underground research environment.

This is an ideal role for a visionary leader passionate about science and education, with a proven track record in fundraising and stakeholder engagement.

To Learn More and Nominate Qualified Candidates


Chandra Montgomery

Senior Consultant + Director, Equity and Inclusion Practice

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