Longtime Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony Named Executive Director of The Fuller Foundation


The Fuller Foundation and Fuller Seminary are pleased to announce that Brent Assink has been appointed executive director of The Fuller Foundation beginning May 1, 2017. With nearly four decades of nonprofit leadership experience, Assink is a consummate strategic leader recognized for his creative thinking, deep personal integrity, financial stewardship, passionate advocacy for the broad work of nonprofits, and considerable fundraising experience.

“I have long admired the essential ministry of Fuller Seminary, and have become ever more aware of the great need that its faculty and students have met and will continue to meet throughout the world,” said Assink. “To have the opportunity to support this vital kingdom work through the leadership of the foundation and through connections with Fuller’s constituency is truly a gift from God that I humbly receive.”

Assink comes to The Fuller Foundation having served 18 years as executive director of the San Francisco Symphony, recognized as one of the world’s most innovative and successful orchestras. A top leader in the classical music field, Assink’s long tenure at the San Francisco Symphony included a successful partnership with music director Michael Tilson Thomas; frequent orchestra tours of Asia, Europe, and the US; Grammy Award-winning recordings; and a year-long celebration of the orchestra’s centennial season in 2011–2012. Dedicated to making classical music accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, Assink led efforts to create the groundbreaking PBS television series “Keeping Score,” significantly expanded the reach of the institution’s acclaimed education programs, and created a new innovative performance venue, SoundBox, now the most coveted ticket in San Francisco. His strategic leadership responsibilities included managing a budget of nearly $75 million while working closely with the institution’s 80-member Board of Governors, 107 full-time musicians, and an administrative staff of 140. Under his leadership, the institution navigated financial challenges brought on by economic cycles and changing ticket-buying preferences. A hallmark of his tenure was the Symphony’s Second Century Campaign, which raised over $140 million in new endowment and program support, well exceeding its original goal of $100 million. Assink’s tenure at the San Francisco Symphony also included four years as general manager from 1990 to 1994.

An organist and pianist, Assink holds dual bachelor degrees in business administration and music from Dordt College and a Master of Arts in musicology from the University of Minnesota. After completing his master’s degree, Assink began his career with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 1981. Following his stint as general manager at the San Francisco Symphony, he returned to The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as president to lead the organization through a financial crisis. After helping turn The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s budget deficit around through artistic and educational initiatives, expanded marketing efforts, and the largest fundraising campaign in its history up to that point, Assink was invited to return to the San Francisco Symphony in 1999 as executive director, where he remained for the following 18 years.

As executive director of The Fuller Foundation, Assink will work with seminary and foundation staff to deepen relationships with generous friends of the seminary and generate involvement and support for Fuller’s vision. Under his direction, the seminary and foundation will work collaboratively toward the goal of raising funds to grow the Fuller Endowment through fundraising, investment management, estate planning, and planned giving. The Fuller Endowment provides the seminary with needed funding for professorships, teaching, research, lectureships, scholarships, fellowships, and library resources to achieve its mission. Growing the endowment is an important step in securing the future viability of the seminary.

Fuller Seminary President Mark Labberton is delighted to welcome and work alongside Assink and the foundation with shared aspirations for the future. “Brent Assink brings a remarkable blend of strengths: experience and humility, intelligence and professionalism, vision and management, relationships and strategy, collaboration and innovation, character and faith. We are thrilled he is going to lead The Fuller Foundation and its unique partnership with Fuller Seminary.”

“Brent Assink will be a great fundraiser and will grow the endowment for the benefit of Fuller Seminary,” said Roy Rogers, chairman of The Fuller Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Brent brings great fundraising and administrative skills developed as executive director of the San Francisco Symphony. Upon his retirement from the symphony, he had many different career opportunities, but I am glad he chose to work with the foundation and the seminary.”

A lifelong Christian, Assink was born and raised on a 40-acre dairy farm near Lynden, Washington—a small community comprised primarily of Dutch immigrants. His faith began as part of family life, and he has sought God’s call in all areas of his life through church leadership roles, nonprofit board service, college life involvement, and throughout his professional career.

Assink is a faculty member of the Orchestra Leadership Academy and serves on the board of the League of American Orchestras and the Russell/Engleman Rheumatology Research Center at the University of California San Francisco. He has published articles on church music, is a published composer, and has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Dordt College. He and his wife, Jan, an alumna of Dordt, have three adult children.

About The Fuller Foundation

Since 1987, The Fuller Foundation has helped raise millions of dollars in funding to advance Fuller Seminary’s mission. The foundation manages the Fuller Endowment and facilitates charitable giving for the seminary’s supporters. The Fuller Foundation’s comprehensive professional services, available to the seminary’s donors, include investment management, trust administration, estate planning, planned giving, donor-advised funds, and charitable giving education.

The Fuller Foundation’s investment management services are provided by Fuller Investment Management Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Fuller Foundation. Fuller Investment Management Company, an SEC registered investment advisor, provides investment management services on behalf of the foundation for the seminary and its supporters. To learn more, visit

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