University of Michigan – Senior Executive Director, Marketing & Communications

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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. In your cover letter, please indicate how you discovered this opportunity. In your cover letter, please indicate how you discovered this opportunity.

To be considered for this position, apply directly here: To learn more about our development community, including other opportunities, visit:

Job Summary

Reports to: Associate Vice President for Development, Campaign Strategy & Initiatives

Manages directly: Senior Director, Executive and Internal Communications; Director of Marketing; Director of Creative Services; Director of Digital Marketing; Administrative team.

The Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Communications leads the marketing and communications initiatives for the Office of University Development (OUD). The Senior Executive Director provides leadership in integrated brand management for overall messaging in OUD. In collaboration with the other members of the OUD Management Team, the Senior Executive Director will propel the core communication and promotion of a culture of philanthropy at the University of Michigan. The Senior Executive Director will be expected to integrate into the university-wide Marketing and Communications community and ensure that development is consistently and effectively represented.

Mission Statement
The Office of University Development maximizes private support for the University of Michigan through high-quality collaboration with the development programs of schools, colleges, and units. We also provide fundraising leadership through the stimulation and facilitation of healthy, productive and life-long relationships with our colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations.

The U-M development community is committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse and thriving workforce, and demonstrating respect and inclusivity for all.


OUD Marketing: strategy and creative development: 40%

  • Define objectives and strategies in collaboration with development colleagues
  • Develop marketing plans based on a deep understanding of marketing, media and production principles
  • Generate new ideas to raise funds for the university, steward donors, and/or enhance the U-M development community
  • Liaise across OUD and university partners to build relationships and deliver expertise
  • Guide non-marketing colleagues in understanding marketing processes
  • Serve as a strategic consultant for ad-hoc school/college/unit (S/C/U) and OUD interests and projects
  • Champion best marketing practices
  • Develop and present consistent, timely reporting on internal goals
  • Support broad reach communication
  • Leaders & Best magazine and eZine
  • Guide Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Leaders & Best website
  • Work closely with the Development Services team on refinement of online giving function
  • Social Media
  • Devconnect – the development community’s internal communication tool
  • In partnership with Annual Giving and digital fundraising develop Giving Blueday marketing
  • In partnership with the Campaign Strategy Team, plan and execute campaign marketing plans
  • Work in partnership with Office of the Vice President for Communications (and university agency of record) on university branding and its extension into campaign branding
  • Develop targeted strategies and tactics as they relate to:
  • Campaign messaging, nationally and in regional markets
  • Develop and create the university-wide case statement for the next campaign effort
  • Develop strategy and content for campaign-specific websites
  • Volunteer leadership meetings and events
  • Campaign kickoff and closing events
  • Volunteer/donor stewardship and recognition events
  • Provide Marketing thought leadership for emerging market segments
    • Parents and family
    • Students and recent graduates
    • Faculty and staff
    • International alumni
  • In partnership with the University & Development Events (UDE) team and other stakeholders, provide creative consultation to engage donors at OUD-sponsored special events

OUD Communications: strategy and creative development – 30%

  • Internal Communications
    • Manage interactions with Regents on major gift communications topics
    • Help direct and coordinate internal OUD communications on behalf of the Vice President for Development (VPD)
    • Manage development and execution of communications with development community, including Development Council meetings and In The Know newsletter
    • Help plan and support Chief Development Officer (CDO) meetings
    • Generate talking points as needed for development colleagues for media-related matters
  • External Communications
    • Coordinate media relations regarding major gift announcements
    • Oversee communications for the Vice President for Development’s (VPD) presentations, speeches, etc.
    • Develop content for marketing and communications materials
    • Ensure an effective diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens is applied to all communication and approach to work

Departmental Leadership – 25%

  • Develop and advocate for a marketing strategy for OUD Marketing and Communications
  • Collaborate with SCUs to extend and amplify that strategy
  • Maintain and prioritize the investment of OUD marketing budget
  • Recruit, mentor and motivate a staff of approximately 20
  • Provide staff coaching, mentoring, and professional development opportunities that increase capabilities and create an environment of engagement
  • Serve as a member of the OUD Management Team

Other Tasks as Assigned – 5%

  • University marketing
  • Participate on university-wide Executive Marketing Council
  • Serve as counsel to University Vice President for Communications
  • Serve as OUD liaison to Michigan Radio

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree required. 7-10+ years of applicable experience in management and marketing, communications, journalism, or public relations.
  • Commitment to fostering a positive team environment with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Strong engagement around cultural awareness, knowledge, and competency.
  • Advanced knowledge of current and emerging marketing trends and best practices, such as expanded use of internet and web resources.
  • Ability to keep on top of emerging social media trends; ability to promote all forms of media.
  • Advanced market research, analytical, and problem recognition, avoidance and resolution skills.
  • Advanced skills in strategic planning, effectively organizing resources and setting and establishing priorities.
  • Extensive experience with crafting, presenting and sharing a message in an imaginative and creative way that is part of a well-orchestrated process for generating revenue and building and strengthening relationships with constituents.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and written), sound organizational abilities, a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional settings, and a high degree of creative initiative. A strong commitment to customer service and open communication.
  • An appreciation for a rigorous academic environment, coupled with a familiarity with the complexities and politics of the university setting.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced degree, preferably in marketing, journalism, or communications. Candidates who have had hands on experience in marketing, public relations, product rollout and promotion or event production will be strongly considered.
  • Familiarity with University Policies and Procedures.
  • Passion and appreciation for the role philanthropy plays within public institutions of higher education and society as a whole.

Additional Information
For additional information about this position and to review other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Application Deadline
Although the Posting End Date may indicate otherwise, this job may be filled and closed anytime after a posting duration of seven calendar days.

U-M EEO/AA Statement
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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