Cynthia McKee Named Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the Aspen Institute

August 26, 2021

McKee will assume leadership of the Institute’s Office of Institutional Advancement this fall

Ben Berliner
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, August 26, 2021–This week, the Aspen Institute announced the appointment of Cynthia McKee as Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement. McKee is currently Senior Vice President for Development at the global nonprofit organization Conservation International and will join the Institute this fall. As Executive Vice President, she will lead fundraising and donor relations through oversight of the Office of Institutional Advancement, which includes principal, major, and planned gift fundraising; corporate and foundation relations; annual giving and membership programming through the Society of Fellows; major events; and Advancement Communications. She will also serve as a strategic partner to programs across the Institute in supporting program-led and program-specific fundraising and partnerships.

“Cynthia is an outstanding professional with 30 years of success as a principal gift fundraiser, team leader, and strategist,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “She’s a brilliant collaborator, and I could not be more excited to partner with her to take the Institute’s work to new levels of aspiration, impact, and support.”

In McKee’s current position, she works directly with Conservation International’s Board of Directors, CEO, and senior leadership to ensure the organization’s high-impact conservation goals are securely funded. Among other initiatives, she led the highly successful $1.1 billion People Need Nature campaign, which concluded in 2020.

Before joining Conservation International in 2011, McKee led development and marketing at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, served as Acting Chief Development Officer and Vice President for Major Gifts at the Special Olympics, and oversaw principal, major, and planned gifts for The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. At The Nature Conservancy, she led a $1.4 billion campaign and spearheaded the $100 million Wilson Challenge.

“The Aspen Institute is in a class of its own. By bringing together some of the world’s most critical and creative leaders and doers, they are helping to enlighten and provoke vital social change,” said McKee. “I am thrilled to be joining the Institute team and can think of nothing more exciting or rewarding than working closely with them to help ensure the organization’s mission resonates for generations to come.”


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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