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Director, Alumni & Advancement Communications

Northwestern University

Last Updated: 11/12/21

Job Description

Director, Alumni & Advancement Communications

Job ID: 42332
Location: Evanston, Illinois

Department: Kellogg Reputation
Salary/Grade: EXS/12

Job Summary:
The primary role of Director of Advancement and Alumni Communications is advancing Kellogg’s engagement with its alumni and donors through integrated marketing communication strategy and positioning.

Specific Responsibilities:
Marketing and Communication Strategy:

  • Working closely with Alumni Relations and Development, determine the communication opportunities to increase engagement with and participation of alumni community. This includes identifying audience segments, communication goals and strategies as well as determining the most effective communication channels/vehicles and timing for deployment.
  • Lead the development of overarching messaging for Kellogg’s alumni and donors as well as targeted messages for audience segments.
  • Oversee the strategy and execution of print, digital and face-to-face alumni and development communications (e.g., the investor report, email stewardship, alumni social media channels, and talking points for gift officers).
  • Develop new communications vehicles, from concept through execution
  • Lead the content development strategy for the dean’s touch points with alumni and donors, including written communications as well as event talking points etc.


  • Develop and employ relevant analysis and metrics to demonstrate the effectiveness of the marketing and communications initiatives.
  • Analyze and refine marketing and communication processes in order to achieve continuous improvement.

Management and Leadership:

  • Supervise one colleague, providing leadership, coaching, and training.
  • Embed Kellogg’s mission/strategy, leadership philosophy/approach, and performance driven culture throughout the team.
  • Collaborate across the External Relations team (Reputation, Alumni Relations, Development), identifying opportunities for integration to maximize impact.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, Journalism, Public Relations or related field, or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience in advancement communications with increasing levels of responsibility within a complex organization.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as strong organizational and creative skills.
  • Proven ability to counsel and advise senior leaders in complex environment on effective strategic advancement communication best practices and approaches.
  • In-depth understanding and sophisticated grasp of the earned, owned, and social media landscape and demonstrated ability to drive measurable outcomes.
  • Proven record of accomplishment that demonstrates initiative, creativity, managerial and interpersonal skills, preferably in a university setting.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Strong aptitude for critical thinking with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • In-depth understanding of digital and social media platforms and how to leverage them to further the goals of Alumni Relations and Advancement.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with all levels of academic, administrative, and corporate management.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, ability to develop strategy, messaging, and positioning for advancement communications.
  • Proven good judgment and an ability to work collaboratively across functions and groups to achieve established objectives.
  • Ability to work with tact, diplomacy, and discretion.
  • Strong organizational, project management skills and workflow coordination skills.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability in handling multiple priorities and meeting tight deadlines.
  • Ability to quickly analyze and integrate information from relevant (and sometimes disparate) sources.
  • Demonstrated initiative and ability to self-start.
  • Fluency in MS Office suite.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Eight or more years of experience in management-level development communications roles

Please apply online at

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

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. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

Company Details

Evanston, Illinois, United States