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Richards, Zak

Zachary M Richards

Chief Development Officer
College of Natural Sciences


Phone: 512-232-0699

Office Location

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712


Zak Richards serves as Chief Development Officer for the University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences. 🤘🏻 He leads a team of development professionals who are responsible for working with donors, foundations and corporate partners to advance the teaching and research mission of the College. The team is focused on principal and major gifts fundraising, annual giving, alumni relations, stewardship, endowment compliance and engaging the College's Advisory Council. Their work is guided by a commitment to serving the College's faculty, students and alumni, and collaborative leadership in the TEXAS Development community. 
Mr. Richards was previously Chief Principal Gifts Officer for the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science in Charlottesville, VA. In that role, he led the major gifts team, worked with a global network of donors and leadership volunteers and supported strategic planning for UVA’s $5 billion campaign. In his previous roles as Senior Director of Advancement and Director of Development, he worked closely with alumni, Fortune 500 companies and foundations to secure major gifts to fund the school’s top research and education priorities. He began his higher education career at the School of Engineering in 2007 as Senior Writer and Production Manager. His communications work supported student recruitment, national rankings and development initiatives for UVA’s $3 billion “Knowledge is Power” campaign.
Before UVA, he worked as Public Relations Coordinator for the Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia. Mr. Richards started his career as a cub reporter for the Charleston Daily Mail, which now operates as the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He earned his B.S. in News-Editorial Journalism from the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University and his M.A. in Advertising from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University.