Department: Alumni Relations & Development Salary/Grade: EXS/8
The associate director of executive communications is an accomplished writer, editor, and strategist with broad-based responsibilities for planning, managing, and implementing a wide range of communications for the President on behalf of the Office of Principal Gifts in Northwestern Alumni Relations and Development. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Principal Gifts and International, the associate director of executive communications manages a portfolio of projects, interacting directly with internal and external clients and senior administrators throughout the University. This position manages two staff through the completion of projects that include editing and oversight of 240 development briefings annually to the President’s office, drafting or editing presidential email outreach, birthday and anniversary wishes, and related stewardship projects. Approves Presidential development event requests, seating charts, and events programs. The position works closely with the President’s staff, development VP team, development marketing and communications, development stewardship, the international fundraising team. Serves as the primary liaison for the UK Foundation and Chapel & York Foundation (in Hong Kong). Throughout, the position remains focused on prioritizing principal gift ($5M+) donors, prospects, and gift strategies.
Craft strategic content for Presidential communications and proposals, principal gift communications, and executive communications.
Executive communications include but are not limited to:
Talking points, letters, and other communications for President Morton Schapiro and presidential events, primarily intended for major and principal gift audiences
Approach emails for development appointments, written in the President’s voice.
Presidential emails for birthdays, anniversaries, condolences, and well-wishes
Editing and Proofreading:
Provide strategic review, copy editing, and proofreading of 240 briefings annually.
Assign writing tasks to two direct reports and other ARD departments that serve principal gifts.
Manage, enhance, and optimize calendar and production schedule.
Uphold editorial standards of Northwestern Alumni Relations and Development
Ensure that messaging and tone are appropriate and consistent across all marketing communication vehicles.
Interface with the VP team to develop smooth and efficient processes
Schedule and seek input from Assistant Vice President of Principal Gifts on strategy, talking points, and proposals for our top 40 most important meetings.
Establish quality benchmarks and produce optimal editorial and marketing content.
Audit editorial quality, effectiveness, and results through qualitative and quantitative measures, and identify opportunities to improve communications.
Provide strategic project management, as well as direction, leadership, coaching, and training to Assistant Director and Project Coordinator.
Indirectly manage content contributors throughout ARD and the University to gather, write, and edit applicable content.
Handle other projects as assigned by the executive director of Marketing and Communications.
Bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or related field or the equivalent in education, experience and training
A minimum of 6 years of professional writing and editing experience, including print and online content.
Experience managing writers, complex tasks, and large-scale editorial projects.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Exceptional interviewing, writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
Proven ability to manage multiple projects and complete them under tight deadlines. Must work quickly.
Strong strategic and creative thinking, and collaboration skills.
Ability to interact with senior administrators throughout the University.
Strong portfolio of writing that is clear, accurate, and compelling.
Ability to interview University administrators and faculty across a wide range of disciplines and present complex concepts in clear and lively prose for diverse donor audiences.
Ability to write in a voice appropriate to the varied audiences addressed, and writing to the style of key individuals.
Proficiency with Microsoft Office and included reviewing tools.
Experience in higher education advancement.
Experience writing fundraising proposals.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 40746
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.