Kim O’Neill, a Western Washington native who has been a leader in university advancement in Idaho and Texas, is Western’s new vice president for University Advancement and president and CEO of the WWU Foundation.
O’Neill, who began July 1, most recently served as associate vice president of Advancement at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, leading a team of fundraisers with a shared goal of raising $100 million in each of the last two fiscal years. In addition to leading the team, she was personally responsible for facilitating more than $44 million in solicitations, including a public-private partnership, naming of a school, and a challenge grant to address racial equity.
Prior to Texas Tech, O’Neill served in a number of progressively responsible positions at the University of Idaho beginning in 2005, ultimately as associate vice president of Development for the university; she led a team of 25 fundraisers that contributed to Idaho’s highest fundraising years to date, from nearly $39 million in fiscal year 2017 to $52 million in 2019.
A native of Stanwood, O’Neill began her career as a substitute teacher in the Enumclaw and Stanwood school districts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Washington State University, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications and Innovation at Texas Tech.
During O’Neill’s first few weeks at Western, she’s working alongside Stephanie Bowers, who is retiring after two decades as Western’s vice president for University Advancement.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Western community to lead University Advancement and the WWU Foundation as we work together to advance the mission of Western through philanthropy,” O’Neill says. “I look forward to meeting Viking alumni, donors, faculty, staff, students and community members as I begin this journey.”