Kari Schlachtenhaufen, JD, Named UA Department of Surgery Director of Development

Kari Schlachtenhaufen, JD, has joined The University of Arizona Department of Surgery as its first director of development.

Kari Schlachtenhaufen, JD, has joined The University of Arizona Department of Surgery as its first director of development. She is responsible for designing and managing the department’s long- and short-range fundraising strategies.

“We are delighted that Kari has agreed to join the Department of Surgery,” said Rainer Gruessner, MD, chairman of the UA Department of Surgery. “Given her extensive experience and her background in law, she is highly qualified to guide the department in its fundraising efforts. She will work closely with me, our faculty, our communications director, friends and supporters in the community, and The University of Arizona and University Medical Center Foundations to promote our programs and cultivate major gifts for our department.”

Schlachtenhaufen has 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including higher education, health care and social services, with an emphasis on improving society through planned giving, major gifts and strategic grant-making.

She moved to Tucson from Edina, Minn., (a suburb of Minneapolis), where she ran Foundation Board Resources, Inc., a consulting practice centered on private foundations and philanthropists. In nearby St. Paul she also served as interim president of Northwest Area Foundation, an organization dedicated to reducing poverty in eight states.

Previously, in Minnetonka (another suburb of Minneapolis), she was vice president of corporate affairs of UnitedHealth Group’s Ovations division, which is dedicated to the health and well-being of people age 50 and older. At the Skillman Foundation, a $500 million private foundation committed to bettering the lives of children and youth in metropolitan Detroit, Mich., she was the first program officer before becoming president and chief executive officer.

In 2002, Schlachtenhaufen was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of “Detroit's 100 Most Influential Women” for her work in founding City Connect Detroit, a network of community leaders helping organizations identify funding opportunities.

“I am privileged to join this outstanding group of surgeon-scientists and our excellent chairman, Dr. Rainer Gruessner,” says Schlachtenhaufen. “The UA Department of Surgery presents an exciting opportunity to build a development program that will advance surgical treatments for diabetes, trauma and cancer patients, among others.

“The University of Arizona and The University of Arizona Foundation provide an excellent platform for the department’s new development program, which will focus on increasing the number of surgeon-scientists through endowed chairs, enhancing basic and translational research funding and expanding residency and fellowship opportunities. I feel fortunate to have access to such deep expertise and resources.”

Originally from Portland, Ore., Schlachtenhaufen earned her law degree from the University of Oregon. Her husband, Harold Schlachtenhaufen, is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).