CFAES names new chief advancement officer

Keith DiDonato Photo: Ken Chamberlain

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Keith DiDonato has been appointed as the new chief advancement officer of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). Starting on May 20, DiDonato will lead and develop the CFAES Office of Advancement, which includes fundraising, alumni relations, and marketing communications.

Currently the associate vice president for development at The College of Wooster, DiDonato oversees the major and planned giving programs, annual giving, and the parents and family giving program. In that role, he is directly involved with the largest fundraising year in the history of the institution, adding $40 million to the school’s campaign.  

DiDonato also worked as the director of leadership giving at Oberlin College, where he was directly responsible for approximately $60 million added to the Oberlin Illuminate campaign, which ended in 2016 with a record $317 million. Prior to that, he worked at Cargill Corporation in the Animal Nutrition Division.

DiDonato received a Bachelor of Science from Ohio State, served on the Emerging Leaders Campaign Committee for CFAES, and was elected to the Conference for Developing the Future of Agricultural Education in Ohio for the Ohio Department of Education.

“Keith brings extensive fundraising, donor relations, stewardship management, and leadership experiences to the college,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES.

“Keith is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, specifically CFAES, where he was a member of the Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity and chair of their alumni association’s fundraising committee,” Kress said.“He has a passion for higher education and a deep commitment to advancing the college’s education, outreach, and research missions. His leadership and experience will be an asset as he joins the CFAES leadership team.” 

“I am honored to lead the advancement goals for CFAES and to work to advance the significant research and outreach that our college does on behalf of Buckeye Nation,” DiDonato said. “My goal is to capitalize on our strengths to continue to create awareness and engagement to support our impact, mission and relevance at Ohio State.”

Tracy Turner