Smithsonian external affairs executive joins Virginia Tech Advancement Division
Virginia Tech’s Advancement Division has appointed Monecia Taylor, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, as associate vice president for principal gifts, effective Sept. 1.
In this role she will oversee fundraising by the university’s principal gifts and gift planning operations as a member of the Advancement Division’s senior leadership team, reporting directly to the division’s vice president, Charlie Phlegar.
For the past 12 years Taylor has served in positions of increasing responsibility at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., most recently as associate director for external affairs. She has more than 20 years of fundraising experience, including significant time at educational institutions.
“Monecia is one of the most trusted and senior advancement professionals at the Smithsonian Institution, and we’re very excited to have recruited her,” Phlegar said. “She will oversee an area of our operations that we will depend on to generate one-third or more of our annual income from donations.”
Taylor said the opportunity to oversee one of Virginia Tech’s primary fundraising units excited her both professionally and personally.
“I’m a Hokie wife, a Hokie mother, and a Hokie stepmother, and I have a lot of connections to Virginia Tech,” Taylor said. “I look forward to moving to Blacksburg, and Virginia Tech is such an amazing university in terms of what it’s doing in research and some of the advancements it’s making within colleges and programs. And there are no more passionate alumni than those from Virginia Tech. As an advancement professional, how could you not want to be a part of that?"
Taylor has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Mary Washington and served in several fundraising roles at her alma mater earlier in her career, including director of annual giving, director of community and organizational development, and director of development. She has also served as assistant head for development at St. Margaret School, as director of development for George Washington University’s Fredericksburg Foundation, and as a fundraising consultant.
Taylor served as major gifts director and then as director of development at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum before becoming associate director for external affairs for the museum. In that role, she continued to be the museum’s chief fundraising officer. During her tenure, the museum has raised over $225 million, including many principal gifts of $5 million or more.
“The Smithsonian functions much like a research university and has structures and complexities that are not unlike Virginia Tech’s,” Phlegar said. “Monecia’s expertise interacting with a diverse group of donors, administrators, prospects, and stakeholders will serve her well, and her collaborative spirit and understanding of Virginia Tech’s culture make her an ideal fit.”