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Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Alumni Association of the University of Michigan
48109, Ann Arbor
$180,000 - $200,000
Date posted
May 17, 2024

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Job Details

Job Summary

The Vice President of Marketing and Communications is a senior leader at the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan who provides the vision, strategy, and oversight for all marketing and communications functions. The position oversees marketing, communications, data analytics, events, corporate partnerships, and member acquisition and retention. This role serves on the executive team for the Alumni Association and reports to the Chief Executive Officer with responsibility to the Association's Board of Directors. The VP of Marketing and Communications brings a strategic approach to leading the marketing and communications team to raise Alumni Association brand awareness and support the priorities and projects set forth in the Association’s strategic plan, as the Association continues being a leader in the alumni relations industry. A collaborative, collegial leader, the VP is responsible for motivating and empowering a team of approximately 20 experienced marketing, communications, data, and events professionals and building on the strengths of the current operation to maintain a collaborative team that is sought out and relied upon by team members, alumni, and external campus partners across the University of Michigan. The Association seeks a seasoned VP who represents the core values of the Association, “All In,” “Serving Heart,” and “Solution Seeking,” and can work collaboratively with the many constituencies of the Association including alumni, donors, volunteers, University leadership, and the Association’s Board of Directors. 

Data-driven and results-oriented, the VP will have experience building and maintaining an efficient team structure that can manage workflow and processes effectively from conceptualization to implementation; focus on key Association priorities that enhance and support alumni engagement, increase membership through member recruitment and retention, philanthropy, and the Association’s brand reputation; evaluate progress toward goals; implement changes for continual improvement; and have knowledge of activating and selling corporate partnerships. 


Alumni Association Leadership

  • With the other members of the Alumni Association’s executive leadership team, provide organizational leadership by showing visionary thinking and demonstrating expert knowledge to solve complex, organization-wide, or externally facing issues that ensure the Association remains relevant to alumni and the University.
  • Lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of all programs and activities of the Alumni Association. Build, communicate, and oversee the implementation of overall and program-specific vision.
  • Create and sustain a positive organizational culture that fosters the core values and creates a sense of belonging to staff. Evaluate skill and capacity gaps and identify Alumni Association staffing needs. 
  • Educate and inspire all Association staff to be engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
  • Financially steward the Association for a better future. Oversee operations, improve organizational processes, and create efficiencies. 
  • Represent the Association and develop collaborative relationships with constituents including University leadership, the Association’s Board of Directors, and corporate partners. Persuasively demonstrate the Alumni Association’s value to the University.
  • Engage and steward the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. Prepare materials and make presentations at board meetings. Administer board committees as needed. 
  • Represent the Association in industry and professional organizations. 

Marketing and Communications Leadership and Vision

  • Set the vision for and work collaboratively with the team for an overarching, data-driven marketing and communications plan that proactively builds on the strengths of the current operation and aligns with the Association's mission and strategic priorities.
  • Strengthen the Alumni Association’s identity through marketing, digital and print communication channels, advertising, sponsorship, public relations, data and programs and services development, events, and membership.
  • Lead a marketing and communications team of approximately 20 professionals while ensuring strong collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Effectively lead, manage, and supervise staff, communicating expectations, setting work priorities, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth through regular coaching and performance reviews, guidance, and encouraging training while presenting new techniques, and recruiting/hiring staff as needed. Develop team members' skill sets and leadership capabilities for the purposes of succession planning.
  • Oversee the development of communications, marketing, and membership to recruit and retain alumni and other University constituents as members of the Alumni Association using user insights translated into strategies to simplify alumni experience and delivery for various programs and platforms. Engage alumni through brand awareness to increase participation and support of the Association through membership and philanthropy. 
  • Set department priorities and manage resources accordingly with a focus on supporting and enhancing alumni engagement, membership, and philanthropy. Ensure effective structure, processes, and protocols are in place for optimal workflow management and success.
  • Develop and oversee the budget and be financially responsible for the Alumni Association’s resources by aligning programs with organizational goals.


  • Provide direct supervision to four staff members overseeing marketing, communications, membership, events, data analytics, program and service development, and corporate partner functions. Provide functional supervision to a team of approximately 20 professionals. 

Required Qualifications

  • A bachelor's degree and at least 10 years of digital marketing and communications experience or similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience, preferably in nonprofit organizations or higher education. 
  • Ability to build relationships with a wide range of constituents from diverse backgrounds. A strong commitment and sensitivity to fostering inclusive working and learning environments.
  • Comprehensive understanding of marketing, branding, and communications processes from creative conceptualization to implementation within large, complex organizations.
  • Demonstrated success in elevating a brand, growing enrollment or membership, and driving philanthropy with the ability to help teams embrace a data-driven approach.
  • Demonstrated ability and experience leading and supervising a diverse portfolio of high functioning and collaborative teams. Proven management skills in establishing a team and goal-oriented environment that empowers staff, fosters professional development, and celebrates achievements. An approach to management that leads by example, bringing out the best in team members and yielding pride, ownership, and a sense of team effort. 
  • Demonstrated ability to build upon an existing marketing and communications operation, evaluating its strengths, identifying opportunities for improvement, setting a vision for the future, and guiding teams through changes to structure and processes. 
  • Significant experience advising executive leadership on a variety of communications matters.
  • Possess superb communication skills and the ability to address challenges with poise and diplomacy. Excellent public speaking abilities and the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively to diverse groups of internal and external constituencies.  
  • Outstanding management, operational, and planning skills, including the ability to ensure multiple projects move forward simultaneously.
  • Experience creating operational efficiencies, managing budgets, and allocating resources to meet department objectives. 

Desired Qualifications

  • Prior experience working within higher education or a nonprofit organization. 
  • Experience working effectively with University leadership and other colleagues to achieve strategic marketing and communications goals.

Additional information

  • This position is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This position is hybrid and requires two or more days a week in the office. This employee must be within a commutable distance to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend meetings when needed with little notice. 
  • This position requires evening and weekend work and travel. 


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