President and Chief Executive Officer
Mark Stuart is a fundraising and community building professional with nearly 30 years of experience in all aspects of operations and leadership. As President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation, he reports to and collaborates with the Board of Governors and is responsible for developing and managing relationships with a wide range of stakeholders as well as for the operating health of The Foundation.
Mark’s career has been devoted to helping donors realize their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Prior to joining The Foundation, Mark managed a staff of 64 and a budget of $14 million at San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG), including development, membership, and government and community relations. Under his leadership, SDZG raised $530 million in its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Mark also served as the founding President of the Foundation for San Diego Zoo Global. He worked with the Board of Directors to fuel the vision for highly impactful programs like San Diego Zoo Kids TV channel, Wild Heroes for military veterans, and Teacher Workshops in Conservation Science to increase science literacy across the U.S. He is also the founder of an industry-wide collaborative to increase capacity, data-sharing and best practices for accredited zoos and aquariums.
Mark was Associate Dean of Development and Alumni Relations for the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. During his tenure, the School raised $100 million in a campaign that was the largest fundraiser for any veterinary school at that time.
Mark serves on the McDaniel College Board of Trustees and the Certified Fundraising Executives International Board of Directors. He is also an internationally recognized expert on the art and science of fundraising, and a frequent presenter and lecturer on fundraising at national and regional conferences, as well as at San Diego State University and National University’s Sanford Institute of Philanthropy.
Mark has lived in San Diego for 13 years and has a lifelong interest in leadership studies and philanthropy. He is described by his peers as strategic, creative and driven to build and enhance relationships and by his colleagues as a selfless leader and dedicated staff coach with a high level of integrity, versatility and a strong spirit of innovation.
Mark has been recognized as Outstanding Fundraising Professional by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego and achieved accreditation as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
He received a master’s degree in educational administration with a focus on the support and evaluation of personnel from McDaniel College and a bachelor’s degree in English, political science and public service from Albion College.