Spelman College has announced the appointment of Salena Gray Jegede, C‘2003, as senior vice president for Institutional Advancement. Jegede, who previously served as the chief of donor advising for political organization Way to Win, will join Spelman on January 2, 2024. Jegede brings a wealth of experience in fundraising, including raising more than $37 million for voting rights activist and attorney Stacey Abrams’, C’95, 2018 campaign for governor.
“We are pleased to welcome alumna Salena Gray Jegede to Spelman College. She will play a pivotal role in advancing the College’s fundraising and development efforts and initiatives,” said Helene Gayle, M.D., MPH, president of Spelman College. “Jegede’s extensive fundraising, fund management and humanitarian experience across multiple industries and organizations, coupled with her passion for and understanding of Spelman College, makes her an ideal choice for this position. She will be a valuable asset to our community.”
As the head of the Division of Institutional Advancement, the senior vice president is responsible for establishing and implementing a strategic vision that informs the College’s fundraising and alumnae engagement efforts. As the chief adviser to the President on fundraising efforts and strategy, Jegede will lead and coordinate all fundraising efforts for the College, direct and evaluate all Institutional Advancement programs, oversee alumnae affairs, and secure the resources required to keep the promise of Spelman as the premier liberal arts institution for women of African descent.
“I am honored to join the Institutional Advancement Team at my beloved alma mater, Spelman College. Spelman’s contribution to the strength of our society is unmatched,” said Jegede. “I look forward to working with President Gayle and the Spelman community to achieve our fundraising goals. We have bold ambitions to reduce the financial burden on students who come to Spelman in the continued pursuit of educational excellence for Black women for generations to come.”
Prior to joining Way to Win, Jegede served as the chief advancement officer for Sierra Club in Oakland, Calif., where she managed a $1 billion comprehensive campaign by raising funds via multi-year, annual, and monthly fundraising strategies. She spent three years at Fair Fight Action, serving in multiple roles including chief development officer and managing director. In that time, she managed a $91 million budget and developed and executed a growth strategy to scale from a statewide organization.
Notably, Jegede served as the national finance director and deputy national finance director for Abrams’ 2018 campaign for Georgia governor, where she raised over $37 million during the six-month general election campaign. In addition to managing fundraising for the campaign, Jegede oversaw fundraisers with guests, including now Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. Her professional affiliations include serving as the chairwoman of the Board of Directors for Fair Fight Action, and she holds memberships to The Association of Fundraising Professionals and Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy.
Jegede earned a master’s degree in political science from Georgia State University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics from Spelman College.