Patricia A. Watson

Senior Vice President

I define fundamental problems and opportunities facing an organization, and then effectively marshal the resources to address them while maintaining the longer-term vision. My contributions and achievements lie not only in direct action, but also in working with and through other people.


Patricia Watson, Senior Vice President, utilizes her 40+ years of experience in providing fundraising best practices counsel to our clients. She specializes in change management, strategic planning, operational execution and talent management.

Before joining GG+A, Patricia was recruited by the newly appointed president of Brown University to lead the University’s Advancement division and to build an advancement enterprise capable of fulfilling Brown’s aspirational goals set forth in its new strategic plan, Building on Distinction. As Senior Vice President for University Advancement from December 2012 to August 2017, Patricia instituted best practices, established or restructured all fundraising programs, and developed the culture of collaboration and transparency necessary to launch the $3 billion BrownTogether campaign in October 2015. Patricia’s strategic planning put the campaign on an upward trajectory to increase average new gifts and pledges from $210 million to more than $300 million by 2023. As of August 2017, new gifts and pledges totaled $1.375 billion.

Before her work at Brown, Patricia held a number of development positions with Cornell University. As Senior Associate Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development, and as Associate Vice President of University Development from 2009 to 2012, Patricia executed division-wide restructuring which transformed the Alumni Affairs and Development division from a centrally-organized fundraising and engagement operation to a hybrid structure. She was also instrumental in phasing out the $4 billion Far Above campaign to better position Cornell for its sesquicentennial in 2015, and she helped relaunch and rebrand the campaign in October 2011 with a new goal of $4.75 billion. During her tenure with Cornell University, Patricia also served in the roles of Associate Vice President for Development and as Director of College & Unit Alumni Affairs and Development. She also participated on a number of University development committees, and participated in GG+A’s Advanced Leadership Forum and CASE Peer Review Program.

Additionally, she formerly served as Development Director, as well as Assistant Dean for College Advancement for the L.C. Smith College of Engineering at Syracuse University, overseeing all aspects of the college’s relations with alumni, corporations, foundations and community organizations in order to secure financial support for faculty and students.

Previously, Pat worked for several years as a senior manager in design, manufacturing, and consulting engineering firms. She utilized this experience to oversee the implementation of a regional job-creation strategy for an economic development agency in upstate New York.  Before transitioning to the private sector, Watson spent more than 20 years as a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor.

Patricia holds an MA in Public Administration from Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; and a BS in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University College of Human Ecology.

Areas of Expertise
  • Change Management
  • Identifying Resource Requirements
  • Operational Execution
  • Strategic Planning
  • Talent Management

Meet the Team

GG+A consultants and staff are dedicated to serving our clients with data-driven insight.

See Our People