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Associate Vice President, Government

Rochester Institute of Technology
New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Nov 6, 2021

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Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Associate Vice President, Government & Community Relations
Government and Community Relations
Government and Community Relations

Detailed Job Description
Please note: This position is located in Rochester. Frequent travel to Washington, D.C., Albany, NY and other locations is required.

Working directly with the Vice President, the Associate Vice President (AVP) for Government & Community Relations (GCR) is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies to cultivate and enhance RIT's relationships with government officials. In collaboration with academic and administrative leadership at RIT, the AVP for GCR engages federal and state government officials and agencies to advocate for policy and legislation, secure funding for university initiatives and develop mutually beneficial partnerships. The AVP for Government & Community Relations is a seasoned government relations professional with extensive knowledge of government bodies, funding and regulatory agencies and the federal and state budget process.

Primary responsibilities for Federal relations:
  • Track and maintain fluency on relevant legislative and policy issues that impact the university and its stakeholders including, but not limited to, higher education, Title IX, student financial aid, tax policies, student veterans and the current Double Pell grant initiative.
  • Develops strategic policy recommendations, position statements and communications as needed to gain agency support for RIT proposals.
  • Develop relationships with key staff and experts inside and outside of government, as well as elected officials and their staff.
  • Work with faculty to identify federal agency funding opportunities and connect with Hill and Agency staff to highlight areas of expertise and research strengths.
  • Participate in membership organizations (NAICU, TSC, ACE, CUMU, etc.) and ad-hoc advocacy coalitions and industry groups to advance the university's interests and support the private, nonprofit higher education sector as a whole.
  • Works directly with the VP GCR to develop funding proposals for congressionally directed funding/earmarks.
  • Draft public testimony briefing papers, letters, and other official correspondence to elected officials, government agencies, rulemaking bodies, and boards.

Primary responsibilities for New York State:
  • Monitors legislative issues that impact higher education in general and RIT specifically and develop position statements and execute appropriate strategies in support or opposition to proposed legislation.
  • Work with NYS public officials and staff to advance RIT's priorities and mission.
  • Work with faculty to identify economic development and funding opportunities and prepare proposals in response.
  • Represent the VP and/or President at meetings statewide and be able to clearly and concisely communicate RIT goals and areas of expertise.
  • Advocates for funding support for RIT-specific initiatives (e.g. CATs, COEs) and works with VP to develop and implement funding advocacy strategies.
  • Provides leadership for RIT's collaborative advocacy efforts with the NYS Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) to ensure continued state funding for student financial aid programs (e.g. TAP, HEOP) and other sector-wide programs for independent higher education institutions.
  • Participates in CICU Government Advisory Team (GAT) meetings to develop priorities and strategies for support of independent sector programs in NYS.
  • Work collaboratively with other area independent colleges to coordinate regional advocacy strategies.
  • Works with the Director of Community Relations and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, student government and other on-campus student organizations to generate student advocacy, including participation in CICU's annual student advocacy day in Albany.
  • Works with other RIT divisions (e.g. Enrollment Management, Advancement, Provost) as needed to develop collaborative advocacy strategies.
  • Draft correspondence, position papers and other written materials as needed in support of cultivation efforts and advocacy strategies.

Additional Responsibilities:
  • Work with the Director, Community Relations and the Assistant to the VP/Marketing Coordinator to facilitate campus visits for companies considering relocation to Rochester via the Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE.)
  • Work with the Director, Community Relations to plan and implement community relations strategies to enhance RIT's visibility in the community.
  • Works collaboratively with the office of University Communications to ensure accurate communications between RIT and area news outlets.
  • Assist the VP on special projects as needed.

Department/College Description
RIT's Division of Government and Community Relations serves as the university's liaison with federal, state, and local government entities as well as community groups and organizations. The staff is responsible for coordinating RIT's participation in community events and manage large scale special events that take place on the RIT campus and in the community.

The division's mission is to implement a comprehensive program of of government relations, community relations, and special events to develop and maintain positive and effective relationships between the Institute and all levels of government and the community at large. These relationships result in funding and other types of support and strengthen RIT's visibility and image in the community.

The Division of Government and Community Relations provides strategic vision and operational leadership for all aspects of the university’s government relations activities at the federal, state and local level. The division manages several signature campus and community events, including Imagine RIT and Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend, and is home to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT.

Required Minimum Qualifications
  • Master’s or other Advanced degree in related field (e.g. Law) required.
  • 8 years minimum of directly related experience in government relations and/or external affairs.
  • Knowledge, understanding and proven ability to navigate local, state and/or federal political landscape.
  • Critical and strategic thinker with an ability to work in a bipartisan manner and engage diverse stakeholders.
  • Highly organized, excellent project management skills and a proven ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to distill complex issues and make sound judgments and recommendations on sensitive and sometimes confidential matters.
  • Institutional perspective and excellent understanding and appreciation of RIT’s mission, strategic plan and goals.
  • Frequent travel to Washington, D.C., Albany, NY and other locations required.
  • Must be able to register as a New York State Lobbyist.
PLEASE NOTE: The individual hired for this position will be required to have a pre-employment Motor Vehicle check, and the Motor Vehicle Report must clear RIT's Safe Driving Policy (please refer to page 4)
  • Experience in college or university setting
  • Experience working for a public official at the State or Federal level

Preferred Qualifications

Professional Area:
Employment Category: Fulltime
Staff Job Function: Wage Band:

Required Application Documents

How to Apply
In order to be considered for this position, you must apply for it at: Click the link for search openings and in the keyword search field, enter the title of the position or the BR number.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2021.

The direct link to this posting can be found here:

Additional Details

Rochester Institute of Technology, the 10th largest private university in the U.S., is among the world’s leading technological universities. Its 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are enrolled in over 200 academic programs, including 7 interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs. A pioneer in experiential education, RIT was the first to offer undergraduate degree programs in biotechnology, information technology, software engineering, and microelectronic engineering. As home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the university offers unparalleled academic opportunities and services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Founded in 1829, RIT has 115,000 alumni throughout the United States and around the world. RIT has been named by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the “Great Colleges to Work For.” RIT is a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation site, and is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples through the Upstate NY Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. For more information, visit and

As a member of the RIT community employees receive a well-balanced benefits package that offers a variety of choices and access to additional employment advantages. These benefits, combined with an employee’s pay, provide a total compensation package that can be tailored to meet your needs. More on RIT’s Benefits, Health & Wellness program can be found at:

RIT does not discriminate. RIT is an equal opportunity employer that promotes and values diversity, pluralism, and inclusion. For more information or inquiries, please visit RIT/TitleIX or the U.S. Department of Education at ED.Gov

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