Cynthia Riley joins Rice Engineering to lead fundraising

New senior director of development comes to Rice with 30 years of experience.

Cynthia Riley headshot

Cynthia Riley, with more than 30 years of experience as a fundraising professional, has been named senior director of development and chief development officer for the George R. Brown School of Engineering, effective Nov. 1.

Most recently, Riley served as the inaugural vice president for development for Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, setting up its major gift fundraising program. Earlier she devised the Faith in our Future Campaign for the University of St. Thomas, helping to raise $146 million.

Riley served as vice president for development at the Methodist Hospital System for five years starting in 2007. There she established its first strategic development program and completed its first major $200-million fundraising campaign.

She has worked for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, KUHT Channel 8 in Houston, and KWGS 89.5, the National Public Radio station in Tulsa, Okla.

Riley earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in communications from Southern Methodist University in 1985 and a master of liberal arts degree from St. Thomas University in 1995. She has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 1990, and was named its outstanding fundraising professional in 2013.