Shaun Keister

Portrait of Shaun Keister

Position Title
Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations


Shaun Keister, a veteran fundraiser with experience in higher education, arts and conservation philanthropy, became UC Davis’ first vice chancellor for development and alumni relations in 2011.

Keister functions as the campus’s chief fundraising officer, leading a team of over 300, and president of the UC Davis Foundation. In his role as vice chancellor, Keister also serves on the Chancellor’s Leadership Council. Keister led UC Davis in completing its first comprehensive campaign, The Campaign for UC Davis, raising more than $1.1 billion from 110,000 donors. Under his leadership, UC Davis became one of the top 2 percent of fundraising programs in the U.S., according to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He is currently leading the execution of the university’s $2 billion Expect Greater campaign.

Previously, Keister served in leadership development roles at Penn State, Florida State, and Iowa State.

Keister is a nationally-renowned fundraising expert having been quoted in local and national media outlets including CNN Money, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, CASE Currents magazine, The Sacramento Bee and Fox 40 News. Additionally, he has nearly 20 years as an independent fundraising consultant serving clients including the San Francisco opera, Steppenwolf Theatre, World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy, and more than 60 public and private universities.

Keister is an active member and volunteer of CASE, having both chaired and participated in many district, national, and international conferences. He is a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple award in recognition of his outstanding performance at CASE international educational programs. Keister has served on the CASE Philanthropy Commission.

Keister has a bachelor's degree in political science from Penn State and a master's and doctoral degree in sociology from Iowa State.