Northwestern University — Senior Associate Director, Global Alumni Engagement

Department: Alumni Relations & Development
Salary/Grade: EXS/10

Job Summary:
The Senior Associate Director serves as a primary officer with comprehensive responsibility for program and team results. Works with senior management to establish goals and report on progress to those goals. Monitors results, determines strengths and weaknesses of component programs and works with team leaders and development staff to modify plans and strategies to ensure achievement of program and organization goals. May manage a portfolio of high profile/high-level alumni volunteers.  Serves as liaison to both the University and Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA).

This position is responsible for the enhancement and cultivation of a global alumni community through alumni groups and work with colleagues in international/global units across the University. This will include developing the brand value proposition for alumni in different parts of the world and suitable models for alumni engagement in different geographies.

Please Note: This position requires non-traditional work hours and travel.

Specific Responsibilities:
Strategic Planning

  • Develops and implements strategic plans focused on engagement and participation of alumni, friends, faculty and staff.
  • Oversees, relationship management groups creating, implementing, and managing these plans to incorporate cutting edge and best practices to dramatically increase engagement and participation.
  • Initiates, plans and implements innovative and visionary organizational change and takes calculated risks to develop new strategies to continually expand engagement and participation across the globe.
  • Works closely with senior management to set goals and to develop and implement overarching relationship management strategies, including prospect identification, engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship programming.
  • Oversees programmatic performance evaluation and resourcing, process improvement and research.


  • Reviews and proposes strategic alliances, joint ventures and key collaborations with department and other University partners to identify opportunities to integrate University strategic plan goals.
  • Oversees and coaches team members regarding department collaborations.
  • Examples of key partnerships include: 
    • Alumni Relations and Development (Principal Gifts, Schools and Programs, and Marketing and Communications)
    • Undergraduate Admissions
    • Northwestern Career Advancement
    • Northwestern’s professional schools
    • Buffett Institute for Global Affairs
    • Office of International Relations

Prospects and Gifts

  • Plays a primary role in developing and managing relationship strategies, including the creation and implementation of worldwide programs and services for alumni, students, parents, friends and groups of volunteers and prospect/donor pools that ultimately result in increases in philanthropic contributions.
  • Maintains up to date current knowledge on key alumni.
  • Tracks and manages the emerging alumni leaders to develop reports and monitor program results.


  • Leads efforts to create and facilitate a vibrant culture of philanthropy, service and volunteerism, which includes working with high-level volunteers to determine goals, and then identify, recruit, and coach groups of volunteers, plan and coordinate meetings, determine strategies, and report on progress.
  • Leads efforts to refine and expand the NAA and University’s board’s membership, involvement, and responsibilities and introduces strategies to deepen broader alumni volunteerism, providing more opportunities for alumni to become involved.
  • Oversees development and implementation of a variety of leadership training opportunities both in-person and virtually designed to meet the needs of entry level to advanced alumni leaders in locations around the world.
  • Requires extensive travel throughout the region or country.


  • Oversees development and management of events and programs designed to expand constituent engagement and participation across the globe.
  • Reviews and approves event plans and summaries ensuring that overall goals and objectives are attained.
  • Works directly with high-level volunteers and donors to ensure that individual needs are met.


  • Manages activities related to high-level prospects, programs and/or events, membership solicitations and renewals.
  • Develops and implements processes and/or procedures.
  • Engages and reviews vendors and contracts.
  • Designs and manages volunteer programs and activities.
  • Conducts associated ongoing data analysis to determine trends, results and future plans.
  • Reports to senior management and key collaborators.
  • Provides necessary documentation and follow-up to donors and internal contacts.
  • Responsible for duties assigned to supervised staff.
  • Optimizes the use of technology including social media for marketing, communications and data reporting and analysis.
  • Assists in the development of dashboards and metrics, which provide quantitative analysis of program and event outcomes.


  • Drafts budget(s) for larger more-complex programs and/or, reviews with manager.
  • Manages approved budget ensuring to minimize expenses while maximizing return.
  • Drafts special budget requests for manager’s review.


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • 8 years alumni engagement, marketing, sales or the equivalent experience is required.

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

  • Ability to work well in a team-oriented, fast-paced environment and collaborate closely with others on the team, across groups, and one on one.
  • Organized with ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Global perspective

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with alumni clubs and/or volunteer networks
  • In-person and virtual event experience
  • Alumni relations experience preferred
  • Experience working with international constituents and traveling to countries outside the US

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Ability to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of various cultural backgrounds

Please apply online at

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.