UCSF Appoints Erin Hickey as Vice Chancellor for University Development and Alumni Relations

By Lisa Cisneros

Headshot of Erin Hickey
Erin Hickey

UC San Francisco has named Erin Hickey, a successful fundraiser with a passion for health care, as vice chancellor of University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) after a national search.

During her 20-year fundraising career, Hickey has secured millions of dollars in commitments from some of the nation’s top donors in philanthropy. Prior to joining UCSF, she served as a consultant with CCS Fundraising, the largest fundraising consulting firm in the US that partners with nonprofit organizations.

At UCSF, Hickey was part of the UDAR leadership team that raised $6.2 billion during UCSF: The Campaign – the largest capital campaign in UCSF’s history – surpassing its goal by almost 24 percent. Previously, Hickey helped lead fundraising projects for the construction of several buildings at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, including UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, and the Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building.

In 2018, Hickey was named among the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40 for leadership in fundraising. When asked why she chose to make a career in health care philanthropy, Hickey responded, “I always think of philanthropy as the key to unlocking potential. New cures, new discoveries, new leaders, and new ways of improving and saving lives. The pebble in the pond analogy is so strong: one discovery in one lab, funded by one donor, can profoundly affect countless lives.”

Hickey succeeds Jennifer Arnett, who served as vice chancellor of UDAR from January 2018 to October 2021. Upon Arnett’s departure, Hickey was tapped to serve as interim vice chancellor overseeing a team of about 230 employees in UDAR. She currently leads fundraising efforts for two major UCSF priorities – the revitalization of UCSF’s oldest campus at Parnassus Heights and the construction of a new hospital at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and works closely with the UDAR team in securing principal gifts and grants for research programs and faculty.

I always think of philanthropy as the key to unlocking potential. New cures, new discoveries, new leaders, and new ways of improving and saving lives.

Erin Hickey, Vice Chancellor of University Development and Alumni Relations

“Erin has been a champion of UCSF’s public mission, inspiring donors to see how their contributions can transform human health for generations to come,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. “She is well positioned to lead us as we continue to cultivate new and existing donors to support projects and programs that will advance health and science and ultimately improve and save lives.”

The breadth and depth of Hickey’s experience is critical to the success of current fundraising initiatives to raise an additional $1 billion for the Parnassus Heights campus revitalization and $350 million for a new children’s hospital in Oakland.

As vice chancellor for UDAR and chief fundraising officer, Hickey will report directly to the Chancellor to garner philanthropic support in partnership with colleagues across UCSF Health, the four schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, and the Graduate Division.

Hickey also will serve as the vice president of the UCSF Foundation, an ex-officio member of the UCSF Investment Company, and a member of the UCSF Health Executive Council and Benioff Children’s Hospital Board. She also will partner with the chair of the Board of Directors and Board leadership to advance UCSF’s development goals and leverage volunteer expertise to the benefit of UCSF.

Hickey joined UCSF in 2007 as the lead consultant and campaign manager for a fundraising campaign exceeding $500 million for the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay. She was appointed as the assistant vice chancellor, Children’s Health at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in February 2016 when she helped accelerate fundraising for programs and research for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Under her direction, the children’s health enterprise has increased its annual fundraising revenue by more than 20%. She was appointed associate vice chancellor in 2021.

Hickey is a founding member of UDAR’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee and initiated an internal task force to address microaggressions.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Oregon.