New fundraising leader joins UCI Health

December 05, 2016
J. Christopher Smith joins UCI Health Advancement as associate vice chancellor on Dec. 5, 2016.
Associate Vice Chancellor J. Christopher Smith, MBA, CFRE, comes to UCI Health from the University of Cincinnati.

Veteran university fundraiser J. Christopher Smith joins UCI Health Advancement as associate vice chancellor, effective Dec. 5.

In this strategic role, Smith will work with volunteers, alumni, friends, grateful families, corporations and foundations, connecting them to passions that serve the UCI Health mission: Discover. Teach. Heal. Smith also will partner with UCI Health Sciences and University Advancement leaders to align philanthropic engagement with priorities identified in the UCI Health strategic plan.

Smith brings nearly 25 years of university-based fundraising experience to the position, serving most recently as the University of Cincinnati’s vice president for academic health center development and alumni affairs and as president of the University of Cincinnati Health Foundation. He managed all aspects of the university's academic health center and university health advancement enterprise, from designing effective grateful patient programs to instituting large capital campaigns.

Smith is a member of the Council for Advancement in Support of Higher Education, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, and Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He is chair-elect of the AAMC Group on Institutional Advancement Steering Committee.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Georgetown University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Miami. He also holds a certified fund raising executive (CFRE) designation from CFRE International, an organization founded to uphold standards of ethics, competence and service in philanthropy.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 411-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 16 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, the university has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UC Irvine, visit

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