Buhlig, Friedman appointed to key VP roles with ASU Foundation

Gretchen Buhlig

Gretchen E. Buhlig, associate vice president of institutional advancement at A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Mesa, Ariz., and Joshua M. Friedman, senior director of individual giving for National Public Radio (NPR) in Washington, D.C., have been appointed to key vice president positions at the ASU Foundation for A New American University. The appointments were announced by R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr., chief executive officer of the ASU Foundation.

“The addition of Gretchen and Josh to our executive staff is an important step in the growth and continued success of the foundation and its mission to advance ASU and the transformation of higher education,” said Shangraw. “Their energy and their knowledge of the philanthropic marketplace make them perfect fits with the foundation, and we look forward to the impact we know they will make here and across ASU.”

Buhlig, who will join the foundation Jan. 9 as vice president for leadership giving, served A.T. Still for nearly six years where she helped build and manage collegiate development and alumni relations programs for the university’s Arizona campus and its three schools – Arizona School of Health Science, Arizona School of Dentistry& Oral Health, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. Working with university leadership, she was a key figure in the expansion of A.T. Still’s new donor engagement and fundraising programs, including the Founding Member Program for the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, the Women’s Wellness Program, Business/Technology/Education Blue Ribbon Committees, Still Symposium, University Council, Corporate Relations Program, and the Arizona Campus Employee Investment Campaign.

Her appointment marks a return to ASU and the foundation. Buhlig, who earned a bachelor’s in English from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and a master’s in nonprofit management and leadership from Walden University in Baltimore, served in leadership positions with the foundation from 1995 through 2005, including associate vice president of presidential programs, assistant vice president and director of Women & Philanthropy, and director of the ASU President’s Club.

“This is a wonderful homecoming,” Buhlig said. “ASU is tackling head-on some of the greatest societal challenges, and leadership cannot do it alone. In order to achieve success, it will take a blend of transformational investments and the willingness to partner together to make an impact.

“Today’s donors are more engaged and decisive with their philanthropy; they expect to see an immediate return on their charitable investments. Because of ASU’s bold vision and the leadership of President Crow, these community leaders who believe in the value of higher education and the promise of a New American University will be able to partner with the university and the foundation.”

Friedman will join the foundation Feb. 1 as vice president for strategic philanthropy after three years with NPR. While working in the nation’s capital for NPR, Friedman’s team raised more than $40 million for the capital, program, endowment and annual needs of the 800-member-stations broadcast network. He more than tripled individual giving by reorienting the program to focus on principal gifts.

Prior to joining NPR, Friedman was director of development at Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute of Bioethics, one of the largest of its kind and home for collaborative scholarship and teaching of ethics in clinical practice, public health and biomedical science. There he led a comprehensive external relations program responsible for all aspects of fundraising and marketing communications for the institute. He has also been director of development for the Nobel Prize-winning Physicians for Human Rights and a fundraising director within the Partners HealthCare hospital network, which includes Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from Johns Hopkins University.

“The more I’ve learned about ASU, the more excited I’ve become,” said Friedman. “ASU’s students and faculty are having impact locally, regionally, nationally and globally in a way few research universities can boast.

“These are undeniably difficult times for our nation and, in an interconnected economy, for our world. There are challenges everywhere and what are needed now, more than ever before, are solutions  – rigorously tested, fact-based and implementable solutions. That’s what ASU is all about, and this focus on solutions provides the real promise for philanthropic investors to have big impact and partner with an institution with bold ideas.”

“Gretchen and Josh bring strong credentials in philanthropic development to the ASU Foundation,” said Shangraw. “Just as important as their past successes is the passion they have for ASU’s vision and their enthusiasm for sharing the incredible opportunities available with others.”