By Alexis Parrin
Jim Murphy was an accomplished fund-raising professional with more than 30 years of experience in leading fundraising operations, creating strategic initiatives, and securing substantial contributions and public support for educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations. In addition, he was engaged on the frontlines of major political campaigns in the United States and abroad.
Clients included Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for Secondary School Science Teachers; Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), a national social venture enterprise focused on reducing poverty through education and job creation; NJ SEEDS, a Newark, NJ organization that prepares motivated, high-achieving, low-income students for admission to private schools and leading colleges across the country; National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME); National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Inter-American Dialogue.
University and education associations included the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Polytechnic Institute (NYU Tandon School of Engineering); University of Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Texas at El Paso; the Luther Henderson Scholarship Fund at Juilliard.
Murphy served in Ireland for two years as chief executive of the Maynooth University Foundation where he directed philanthropic activities for the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He established the university’s first foundation office, supporting the Campaign for Maynooth—an ambitious $100 million building program that transformed an historic campus with more than two centuries of national education prominence into a modern secular university that, today, serves 14,000 students. While there, he was instrumental in creating innovative partnerships to advance academic programs in history and historic preservation, music, theater, and science and engineering, and in fostering vigorous fundraising relationships with alumni and the Maynooth community.
Earlier, Murphy spent eight years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at NACME, a U.S. non-profit corporation focused on engineering education and science and technology policy. NACME offers the nation’s largest private engineering scholarship program for economically disadvantaged students. During his tenure, the organization achieved record contributions (providing annual scholarship support for more than 1,000 students nationwide), established groundbreaking fundraising partnerships, and provided support for visionary awareness programs for primary and secondary school students and their parents, including Math is Power, a multi-million-dollar public service advertising campaign developed with the Ad Council. Murphy was liaison officer to NACME’s board of directors, comprised of senior executives from leading global corporations and university presidents, and provided management support for its development and governance committees. During his term of office, NACME was recognized with a White House Presidential Award for Excellence and a U.S. Department of Labor EPIC Award, given for institutional leadership in advancing engineering education and enhancing career opportunities for minorities and women.
Previously, Murphy was Deputy Executive Director of the Citizens Committee for New York City, a citywide support organization for neighborhood and block associations, where he was responsible for one of New York’s most prestigious annual fundraising dinners, creating a model for New York’s first million-dollar events. Earlier, he was Director of Development for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, the largest federation of social service agencies in New York City.
Murphy began his career in the Peace Corps, first as a volunteer secondary school teacher in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and subsequently as a recruiting and public affairs officer in Washington D.C. Since then, he had consulted on public affairs, fundraising and institutional advancement, and program planning with leading education and public service organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), National Urban Coalition, Project HOPE, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), and the Washington Urban League. He worked in senior positions in election campaigns for national and international political figures and as a volunteer fundraising consultant for a variety of community and education organizations including Rice High School in Harlem, New York. Murphy served for three years on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advisory Board for Institutional Transformation and Faculty Diversity at the University of Texas, El Paso, now a Carnegie ranked top-tier doctoral university.
A native of New York City, James Murphy earned a BA degree in history from Manhattan College. He lived in Manhattan, and had dual US/EU citizenship (Ireland).