Gregory R. Leet will join UC Irvine as vice chancellor for university advancement, effective Monday, Sept. 19. He will take charge of fundraising as UCI passes the halfway mark in its $1 billion campaign and as campuses across the country seek alternative funding sources in response to dwindling state support.

“The University of California, Irvine stands out as one of the nation’s best models of an innovative, adaptive and energized approach to making a meaningful impact for society through its research, education and knowledge creation,” Leet said. “These are critical ingredients for success in an increasingly competitive global market. Through UC Irvine’s advancement and development efforts, we can secure the catalytic resources that will both underpin and advance this work. I’m honored and tremendously excited to play a role in helping to bring this to fruition at UC Irvine.”

With nearly 20 years of fundraising and management experience, Leet most recently served as vice president at Grenzebach Glier & Associates in Chicago. There, he consulted with universities, arts and cultural organizations, and private foundations to elevate their advancement and development functions. Among his clients were UCLA, the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Villanova University’s School of Law.

As vice president of development at the Arizona State University Foundation from 2006 to 2010, Leet managed a staff of 70 and helped lead a then-planned $1.3 billion campaign. During his tenure, ASU raised more than half a billion dollars in private gifts and pledges and tripled its contacts with donors and potential supporters. Leet also collaborated on ASU’s institutional rebranding initiative and an innovative advancement services program. Both garnered national awards from the Council for Advancement & Support of Education.

“In addition to excelling at fundraising and donor relations, Gregory Leet is an accomplished recruiter, mentor and team builder,” said UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. “We take great pleasure in welcoming him to UCI and look forward to working with him.”

Leet previously was at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., serving in a variety of management and regional fundraising positions. He was closely involved with a $50 million outright gift, the largest in Creighton’s history. In 2007, the university received the CASE Circle of Excellence Award for having one of the nation’s top 30 development programs.

Before joining Creighton, Leet directed the library campaign at the Kansas State University Foundation. As an undergraduate there, he coordinated and recruited volunteers for the university’s first “phonathon.”

Leet is a member of CASE and has participated in its leadership summits across the country. He belongs to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and serves on the board of 1n10 Inc., a nonprofit organization supporting disadvantaged and homeless LGBT youth in Arizona. He holds a master’s degree in nonprofit studies from Arizona State University.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit

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