Chris M. Biehn

Chris has over 35 years of experience as a leader in higher and secondary education. His primary areas of focus are engagement, philanthropy, external relations, board development, leadership coaching and strategic planning. He believes that sustainable philanthropy, inspired by meaningful engagement, can transform our world. For the past 21 years he has served as chief advancement officer at four prominent institutions. His vision has inspired teams to create strategies designed to deliver results and measurable growth. He is highly skilled in process design, development, and successful execution of multi-year year strategic and campaign plans. Chris is also an experienced coach to staff, leadership, and board members. He is optimistic, has a healthy sense of humor, and a passion for leadership and organizational development.

Currently he is serving as vice president for institutional advancement at St. John Fisher College. He is leading the largest comprehensive campaign in the college’s history, Fisher Forward now over goal prior to the original deadline. Prior to that he served as vice president, college relations and advancement at Ithaca College. There, Chris focused on planning and executing a successful campaign. He was also responsible for marketing, public relations, and crisis communications. He led in the creation of a student to alumni paradigm which supports the integrations of enrollment, student educational experience, and alumni engagement.

Chris led the development of a strategy around inclusive excellence in the advancement division to ensure that alumni, parents, and friends are aligned with the campus philosophy and approach.

Prior to Ithaca College, Chris served as the vice president for university advancement at Drew University where he led the development of the institutional strategic plan. He also reinvigorated the comprehensive fundraising campaign while aligning the advancement teams to increase philanthropic and engagement results.

Before Drew, Chris served as the chief advancement officer for the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts where he also taught a senior elective course in philosophy and served as assistant secretary to the trustees. He designed and led a comprehensive campaign to successful conclusion. The campaign was three times as large as the previous one, focusing on the growth of unrestricted endowment, capital projects, and sustainable growth of the school’s annual fund.

Chris loves travel, the Adirondacks, snow skiing and waterskiing, running, and organizational design and leadership. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Hobart College. His passion for philosophy is a core element in his leadership style and he often will apply philosophical paradigms to frame his work.