Perot Museum of Nature and Science Names Veteran Fundraiser and Strategist Katherine Stenesen as Chief Development Officer

Lauded for her strategic and organizational expertise and deep connections in the community, Stenesen successfully led monumental fundraising initiatives at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and SMU

After an exhaustive national search, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science has named veteran nonprofit leader Katherine Stenesen as its Chief Development Officer. Stenesen joins the Perot Museum after working since 2012 for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (UWMD), where she most recently served as Chief Development Officer. She will assume her duties Jan. 13.

“Katherine is a powerful addition to our team, and her exceptional expertise in strategic planning as an underpinning for fundraising paired with her deep knowledge of North Texas will be especially crucial as the Perot Museum builds its institutional funding locally, regionally and nationally,” said Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “Everywhere Katherine goes, success has followed, so we’re delighted to have her join us as we deliver upon our mission of inspiring minds through nature and science.”

Bringing a commitment to excellence in every role tackled, Stenesen successfully built an operation at United Way that resulted in substantial growth of their major gifts and investments. She also positioned the organization to exceed revenue goals and to increase investments into a variety of mission-focused programs.

Stenesen led the fundraising team to secure more than $60 million in annual commitments through corporate campaigns, corporate gifts, community giving and major gifts. Additionally, she restructured the United Way Foundation’s Unite Forever campaign, successfully propelling the growth of resources for their endowment.

Prior to her tenure at United Way, Stenesen spent nearly eight years at SMU where she successfully rebuilt the donor relations program for the University’s $1 billion campaign. Her focus and team leadership resulted in significant increases in donor acquisition, retention and giving levels.

Silver added that the Museum’s chief development position marries several elements of Stenesen’s considerable skill set – from her background in education to her family’s love of science education. She is a consummate relationship builder adept at cultivating long-term relationships, developing high-performing teams, optimizing resources and leading cross-functional collaborations.

“This is an opportunity that allows me to return to my roots in education and aligns with a mission that is very personal to me – inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, leaders in technology, innovators in medicine and those who believe the possibilities are endless,” said Stenesen.  “The Perot Museum also provides a place and resources for families, like mine, to learn together.  I am honored to be a part of casting the future for the museum.”

Stenesen has a bachelor of arts in speech communications from the University of Washington and a master of arts in student development administration from Seattle University.

She and her husband reside in East Dallas with their two children.

(Report provided by Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Photo by Kelly Alexander.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.