Robert Wood Johnson Health System’s Brian Agnew a Leader in Development

By Sheryl Estrada


Brian D. Agnew, Ph.D.

It’s not surprising that in his spare time, Brian D. Agnew, Ph.D. is a volunteer firefighter lieutenant in Piscataway, N.J., since in his professional career he works to impact thousands of lives each day.

Agnew, 34, is the senior vice president for development and corporate chief development officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Health System (RWJHS), headquartered in New Brunswick, N.J. He is responsible for strategic and operational oversight for three foundations across New Jersey raising over $15 million annually.

RWJHS is comprised of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ) New Brunswick and Somerset, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospitalat RWJ, RWJ Hamilton, RWJ Rahway and Children’s Specialized Hospital, the nation’s largest provider of pediatric rehabilitation medicine.

“We strive to be a nationally distinguished medical center,” Agnew said. “And with our partners Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, we continue to do that.”

Agnew explained community outreach is important and includes providing breast cancer screening for underinsured and uninsured women, as well as partnering with community organizations to do prostate screenings for men who may not have done so on their own.

“We have our hands in so many activities in the community that really impact health and wellness, which is the next phase of healthcare,” he said.

Prior to joining RWJHS in June 2013, Agnew spent much of his career in higher education, first at Utica College as director of annual giving, and most recently as the assistant dean of advancement and external relations at Rutgers for six years.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Agnew earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and journalismfrom Utica College and an MBA in organization and management from Syracuse University.

He then studied at Rutgers University, completing a doctorate degree in organizational leadership from the School of Communication and Information.

Agnew has received numerous awards and honors, including the NAACP W.E.B. DuBois Leadership Award and a Congressional Citation for outstanding service to his community. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

So how did heget his start in fundraising and higher education In this video, Agnewdiscusses his career journey, notable fundraising and development accomplishments and the value of mentoring and sponsorship.

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