May 25, 2018
Perkins School for the Blind Names First Chief Dev. Officer

David Whalen
December 18, 2016 — Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, a nonprofit that provides education, services, and products to people who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired, last week announced that David Whalen has been named as the organization's first chief development officer.

“Perkins is on a path to prepare even more students to take their places in the world and, in fact, to better prepare the world for our students. That will require an even more robust development strategy,” said Dave Power, president and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind.

“David Whalen will help us get there. A teacher, a team builder, he will guide our development strategy to connect with donors whose values align with Perkins as our mission expands, nationally and internationally.”

Whalen assumed his new role at Perkins on Dec. 12.

Whalen’s experience includes development roles with Catholic Charities, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Partners in Health, and the New England Aquarium. For 15 years, Whalen has been teaching philanthropy and sustainable international development to MBA candidates at Brandeis University.

Whalen, who has worked extensively on global health issues facilitating funding to maximize opportunity for populations on the margins of society, noted, “You’re a liaison between the incredible work of the organization, its mission, and its aspirations and people who value that, who want to share in the mission.”

Whalen is charged with growing and strengthening the Perkins Trust, a development group. Perkins global mission is diverse.

“Good philanthropy is always patient and never transactional,” he said. “By that I mean, if it’s to be genuine, it must be built on solid relationships and that takes time. I want my contributions to be worthy of the storied history of this place.”

Whalen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Georgetown University, a Master of Science degree in human services from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a Master of Business Administration degree in nonprofit management from Brandeis University.

Perkins School for the Blind, founded in 1829 as the first school of its kind in the United States, works around the world to prepare children and young adults who are blind with the education, confidence and skills they need to realize their full potential. Its Watertown campus serves about 200 students and operates as the headquarters for its Community Services programs including itinerant services, independence courses for public school students, evaluations and assessments for communities, and training for professionals.

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