Associate Director, Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice

Virginia, United States
Competitive Salary
Mar 03, 2021
Employment Level
Non-Tenured Track
Employment Type
Full Time

The George Mason University Department of English invites applications for an Associate Director of Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

Chartered in Fall of 2020, Watershed Lit is home to the robust and diverse initiatives that have flowed from the Creative Writing Program since its launch in 1980. The center, which provides an efficient and effective way to articulate the community that these initiatives help cultivate, includes Fall for the Book, Stillhouse Press, the Cheuse Center for International Writers, Poetry Daily, and the Northern Virginia Writing Project, as well as literary journals Phoebe and So to Speak. Each entity maintains its own focused mission, governance structure, and budget, but will benefit individually and collectively through more strategic collaboration. Watershed Lit will also foster research by faculty and professional development of students, serving as a catalyst of transformational educational and professional experiences. Please visit for more information about the center and for more information about the English Department.

The Associate Director will work closely with the Center Director will play a pivotal role in sustaining and growing the center and its partner entities. Reporting to the Director, the Associate Director will be responsible for overall support of the mission, fund raising, public relations and marketing, communication, information systems, and administrative advocacy. The Associate Director will develop the overall funding strategy for Watershed Lit by cultivating a donor base, oversee grant funding efforts, and assist in the coordination of development events and activities on behalf of the center. The Associate Director will be a self-starting, entrepreneurial, and creative individual who can express and recognize ideas and opportunities and communicate goals and objectives clearly. This role requires someone who is self-motivated with strong organizational skills and discipline to set and achieve work goals, with a high level of accountability for dollars-raised goals.


The Associate Director will advance the Center’s mission by:

  • Managing day-to-day activities and operations of the Center;
  • Ensuring that Center fiscal resources are utilized strategically and in compliance with university regulations;
  • In collaboration with the center’s director and its partners, establish the development vision and fund-raising goals of the center to ensure its mission delivery and sustainability;
  • Leading the Center’s development and fundraising activities to include building and maintaining current corporate, donor, grant/foundation, and community partnerships.
  • Leading the Center’s marketing and communication activities;
  • Overseeing program management and reporting to program sponsors;
  • Facilitating effective collaboration between the Center’s programs, between the Center and other parts of the university, and between the Center and organizations external to the university;
  • Overseeing the administrative infrastructure of the Center including IT and financial management support systems;
  • Building and sustaining a sense of community and engagement among Center faculty, staff, students and collaborators.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree or an equivalent combination of education, training, and relevant work experience.
  • Three years experience in successful Arts fundraising or membership development.
  • A track record of fund raising effectiveness in support arts programming and/or public humanities programming.
  • A solid understanding of public arts programming.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • MFA or PhD in Humanities field.
  • Experience working with senior executives, volunteers, senior administration and faculty.
  • Understanding of and commitment to, the values and role of the arts in a public, research university.
  • History of success in: working with high-level corporate/foundation representatives; building donor/customer and prospect relationships and developing stewardship activities; obtaining grant funding; and soliciting and closing gifts or grants of five figures or more.


Required Documents:

  • Cover Letter
  • CV/Resume
  • List of Professional References
  • Writing Sample(s), preferably including something specific to the position such as a successfully funded proposal or development materials.


Special Instructions to Applicants:

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position #FA32HZ at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, CV, a list of professional references with contact information, and writing sample.