Director, External Relations for Talent Programs

Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Aug 21, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Director, External Relations for Talent Programs

Discovery Partners Institute

University of Illinois System - Chicago

The University System Office seeks a Director, External Relations for Talent Programs. The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) empowers people to jumpstart their tech careers or companies in Chicago. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with some of the world's top research institutions, DPI does three things centered around economic development: tech talent development for high-demand tech jobs; applied research and development; and building a stronger tech ecosystem. DPI prepares students and workers to step into high-demand tech jobs. It also builds research teams and matches them with new funding. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer - and keep them here.

DPI is seeking a dynamic leader to serve as the Director of External Relations for Talent Programs. This position will play a central role in establishing and maintaining meaningful partnerships with industry and government, civic, and non-profit partners across DPI's educational programs. By 2029, DPI will be training 7,000 students per year for tech jobs, 3,000 of whom will be from under-represented groups and will have upskilled 5,000 mid-career workers for jobs in data science, digital skills, business skills, entrepreneurship, and other types of skills including managing and analyzing data, software development, digital product/product management, and business building.

This role will be responsible for identifying and cultivating employer prospects that lead to (1) industry engagement opportunities for students pursuing bachelor's and master's degrees, non-degree program adult learners and K-12 students, and (2) contracts for employee training, reskilling, and ongoing learning and development programs for DPI's corporate partners.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Manage and implement the Talent Unit's external engagement strategy and achieve operational plan objectives that involve employers across DPI's education programs, which include: internships, capstone projects, co-curricular courses, and other experiential, immersive learning opportunities with students, and upskilling existing employees.
  • Support the Director of the Tech Talent Labs in establishing deep, multi-year partnerships with C-level corporate leaders.
  • Coordinate closely with staff and faculty representing specific programs/colleges across DPI partner universities that engage students and interface with corporate partners; and develop collaborative relationships and partnerships with various DPI university partner offices related to external engagement, corporate relations, and corporate philanthropy to ensure coordination.
  • Work in partnership with the Community Education Unit to engage companies in programming for K-12 and community college students.
  • Drive business development efforts and success, including targeting and recruiting potential business partners, negotiating and formalizing partnerships, maintaining relationships, and sustaining ongoing communications.
  • Work closely with DPI's partners, including P33, World Business Chicago, and industry and trade groups, to conduct coordinated outreach to employers.
  • Represent DPI in the business and technology community, including preparing and delivering pitches, giving presentations about DPI, and being present at relevant community events.
  • Develop process and strategy for tracking corporate engagement and measuring outcomes.

Candidates must possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree required, master's degree preferred in business, science, engineering or related field and a minimum 7 years of experience working in developing strategic partnerships between universities/colleges and corporations and/or talent development and management. Other qualifications include: experience in both corporate and higher education setting preferred; excellent verbal, writing and presentation skills; demonstrated team-building ability and experience in program strategy development and execution; demonstrated success at relationship-building, communication, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking.

This is a full-time, 12-month Academic Professional position. For full consideration, candidates must apply and submit a letter of application, resume, and names/addresses/phone numbers of three professional references by September 14, 2020 at

The System Office conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer of employment. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

System Human Resource Services

(312) 996-5130

The System Office is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer dedicated to building a community of excellence, equity and diversity. The System Offices welcome applications from women, underrepresented minorities, individuals with disabilities, protected veterans, sexual minority groups and other candidates who will lead and contribute to the diversification and enrichment of ideas and perspectives.