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Meet the ASU Foundation’s talented leadership team.
Gretchen E. Buhlig joined the ASU Foundation in January 2012, and serves as chief executive officer. Under her leadership, the ASU Foundation has seen record-breaking fundraising success year after year, an enriched culture of philanthropy across ASU, and the successful launch of ASU’s first multibilliondollar comprehensive campaign. Buhlig works directly with ASU President Michael M. Crow, the foundation’s board of directors, provost, academic deans, institute directors, and athletic director in formulating and implementing development and advancement strategies for ASU.
Through her tenure with ASU, Buhlig is credited with shaping the ASU Foundation’s 2025 Strategic Plan alongside representatives from across the development staff, strengthening the endowment, increased collaboration amongst deans and fundraising volunteers, and continuous growth of the ASU Foundation’s engagement programs, including President’s Club and Women and Philanthropy, which she helped found. Prior to her appointment at ASU, she served A.T. Still University, the founding school of osteopathic medicine, for nearly six years as associate vice president of institutional advancement. While at A.T. Still, Buhlig helped build and manage collegiate development and alumni relations programs for the university’s Arizona campus and its three schools — Arizona School of Health Sciences, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. She received her bachelors from Augustana College, masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University and a graduate certificate in Authentic Leadership from Harvard University.
Jacqueline Smith, J.D., joined the ASU Foundation in January 2020 and serves as vice president. Smith designs opportunities for external constituents to invest in Arizona State University as a New American University.
She previously served as associate vice president of university initiatives and advisor to the president for social embeddedness at Arizona State University. She is also a professor of practice in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College where she teaches courses in university design and higher education law and policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and law degree from Georgetown University.
Lauren Brown joined the ASU Foundation in May 2016. She serves as chief of staff, providing oversight of strategic initiatives, central operations and management of the Foundation board of directors.
Prior to stepping into her current role, Brown developed and led the Foundation Initiatives team, which is comprised of project directors focused on building the infrastructure behind many of its transdisciplinary fundraising initiatives at ASU. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked in healthcare and nonprofit organizations in the Valley. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and her master’s degree in nonprofit leadership and management from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at ASU.
The directors establish policy and annual goals, oversee fiduciary responsibilities and business affairs, and oversee management of the endowment and investments.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Arizona State University
Election Year: 2016
About: José Cárdenas is senior vice president and general counsel of Arizona State University. A 1977 Stanford University Law School graduate, he was a partner in the law firm of Lewis and Roca before joining ASU in 2009. Cárdenas has served on many boards including Chicanos Por La Causa, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association, and ASU Enterprise Partners. He is the host Horizonte, an Eight/KAET weekly public affairs program focused on Arizona issues through a Hispanic lens.
CEO, Fulton Homes
Election Year: 2019
About: Doug Fulton is CEO of Tempe-based Fulton Homes, a position he has held since 2007. Prior, he served as the president of Fulton Homes Sales Corp. Mr. Fulton also serves as a special deputy to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, flying helicopters for its Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association. After Hurricane Katrina, he assisted law enforcement agencies in delivering medical supplies to the New Orleans area. In addition to serving on the ASU Foundation Board, Mr. Fulton is a trustee and parent of ASU graduates.
Ira A. Fulton
Election Year: 2016
About: Ira A. Fulton was born in Tempe, Arizona in 1931. After attending Arizona State University on a football scholarship, Fulton went to work for National Cash Register. There, he rose to the heights of National Salesman of the Year. From NCR, he formed his own companies, serving the computer needs of many corporations. In 1974, Fulton became a consultant for Eagleson’s Big and Tall men’s clothiers, in southern California. During this same time-period, he formed Fulton Homes in Arizona, which he still runs today.
Former Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
Election Year: 2016
About: Bill Post is a Valley leader and director of First Solar, Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Arizona, the City of Hope, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and ASU Enterprise Partners. Under Post’s leadership, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation and its subsidiary, Arizona Public Service, became leaders in Arizona’s sustainable business. He founded Arizona Businesses Advancing Sustainability with Intel, which focuses on internal sustainable research and operations.
Wayne S. Doran
Former VP, Ford Motor Co.; former Chairman, Ford Motor Land Development Corp.
Election Year: 2016
About: Wayne S. Doran served as a vice president of Ford Motor Company until 2000. Doran joined Ford Motor Company in 1969 and became chief executive of Ford Land when it formed in 1970. Before joining Ford Motor Company, he served as vice president and general manager of the land development division of Del E. Webb Corporation, Chicago, from 1963 to 1969. He has served on many boards including the Arizona Historical Foundation, Barrow Neurological Foundation, and ASU Enterprise Partners.
The ASU Foundation builds partnerships and relationships, uniting ideas, people, philanthropic support and investments to advance ASU’s goals for inclusion, student success, discovery and local and global impact.
To become nationally recognized as the model for A New American University Foundation.
The ASU Foundation was incorporated on June 22, 1955, as the Arizona State College Foundation.
The foundation drew inspiration from the generosity of George and Martha Wilson of 20 acres of land in 1885 to create the Tempe Normal School, which would later become Arizona State University.
In the 1930s, the Bulldog Boosters organization actively raised support for athletic programs for the Arizona State Teachers College, as it was known at the time. In the mid-1940s, the fundraising group changed its name to Sun Angels, concurrent with the renaming of the college’s mascot to the Sun Devils.
In 1947, Grady Gammage, president of the newly named Arizona State College, established the Agricultural Advisory Council to advocate for and raise funds on behalf of the school’s agricultural activities. In 1955, the council was incorporated and renamed the Arizona State College Foundation, with its philanthropic mission broadened to serve the entire college.
A state referendum in 1958 renamed the college Arizona State University, with a concomitant name change for the foundation to Arizona State University Foundation, more commonly referred to as the ASU Foundation. In 2008, the foundation was renamed the Arizona State University Foundation for A New American University to reflect the vision laid out for the university by President Michael Crow.
Embracing its innovative reputation, in 2016, the ASU Foundation for A New American University reorganized as ASU Enterprise Partners, which comprises five diverse resource-raising entities, including the foundation, which maintains its singular focus on philanthropy and development on behalf of ASU.
If you’re ready to change the future of fundraising, let’s connect. Building a movement requires all hands on deck, from entrepreneurs to graphic designers, fundraisers to accountants, filmmakers to investors.
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