Brad Cheves

Vice President of Development and External Affairs
Southern Methodist University

Brad E. Cheves serves as vice president for Development and External Affairs (DEA) at SMU and is responsible for fundraising and public relations for the university, including oversight of the $1 billion Second Century Campaign and the five-year Second Century Celebration marking the centennial of SMU’s founding in 1911 and opening in 1915.

Since his appointment in June 2004, Cheves has initiated aggressive and innovative use of new technologies in SMU’s outreach programs targeted to alumni, potential students, and national media, resulting in increased attention and an enhanced reputation for SMU. As well, the numbers of new donors at all levels have increased dramatically, resulting in significant growth in the number of endowed scholarships and faculty positions.

Reporting to Cheves are the offices for Marketing and Communications, Principal and Major Gifts, School and Project Development, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Development Services, and Program Services and Donor Relations, which produces the SMU Tate Lecture Series, the SMU Athletic Forum Luncheon Series, and the Doak Walker Award. The Office of the Vice President includes Strategic Affairs, Staff Development, and Leadership Projects.

This is Cheves’ second appointment at SMU. From 1998 to 2001, Cheves was SMU’s associate vice president for Development. In that capacity, he also served as associate director of The Campaign for SMU.

From 2001 to 2004, Cheves was vice president for Advancement and Public Affairs and an assistant professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, where he reorganized the advancement operation and began a branding project that resulted in the establishment of Pepperdine’s Office of Marketing. He previously served Pepperdine as associate dean at the School of Public Policy and director of alumni relations at Pepperdine’s School of Law.

A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cheves earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Abilene Christian University and a juris doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and has worked with the Texas State Legislature.

Cheves currently serves in several Dallas community leadership roles, including the board of Dallas Assembly (VP Seminars), Dallas Summer Musicals, and YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, as well as the advisory board of Circle Ten Boy Scouts. He is also a member of the Texas Lyceum.