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Assistant Vice President for Advancement Communications
Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts
Date Posted 05/13/2021
Executive-Administrative Vice President
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Brandeis University – a distinguished top-tier private research university recognized for its academic excellence and leading-edge research – has an exciting opportunity for a talented and motivated Assistant Vice President for Advancement Communications .

Brandeis is dedicated to first-rate undergraduate education while making groundbreaking scientific discoveries, advancing artistic and creative expression, and tackling some of society’s most pressing economic, human rights, and health policy issues. Brandeis offers a culture of learning and mentorship essential to a 21st-century liberal arts education where close relationships with professors and research opportunities enable students at all levels to collaborate with faculty members and peers across the institution. Established as a nonsectarian university in 1948 by members of the American Jewish community, our visionary founders shared a commitment to social justice and to making the world a better place. Our founders’ pioneering spirit and intellectual pursuits continue today at Brandeis – from helping to solve a national public health crisis through work at its Opioid Policy Research Collaborative, to the biological discoveries that, in 2017, earned two faculty members a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

We aspire to further such important endeavors and are looking to grow our team with individuals who share our passion and commitment. In preparation for its next ambitious campaign, the Division of Institutional Advancement (IA) seeks to strengthen the bonds with the university’s many constituencies. By working together, we will secure the financial resources necessary to continue the legacy of excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship at Brandeis.

Located nine miles west of downtown Boston, a global hub for higher education and innovation, Brandeis University is accessible via major highways (I-90 and I-95) and the MBTA Brandeis/Roberts commuter rail stop.

Position Summary

The Assistant Vice President, Advancement Communications (AVP) provides strategic thinking, leadership, and management of the communications functions for the Institutional Advancement Division. Advancement Communications is responsible for Development Communications (building public support for the University and a forthcoming comprehensive fundraising campaign) and Engagement Communications (strengthening and deepening the University's relationships with its alumni community).

The AVP will have direct responsibility for the Development Communications function and, in conjunction with the Vice President for Alumni Relations, will supervise the Director of Engagement Communications. The AVP will be responsible for directing an integrated and strategic communications effort serving the needs of the IA Division in order to implement effective fundraising and constituent engagement initiatives, and guide other development staff on targeted external engagement campaigns. The AVP will raise the profile of Institutional Advancement communications throughout the Brandeis community and play a significant role in forging partnerships across the institution. The AVP will partner with the University’s SVP for Communications, Marketing and External Relations and other University leaders to help shape Brandeis' overall positioning, branding, and messaging.

Primary Responsibilities

Communications Strategy (30%)

In collaboration with IA's senior leadership team and other stakeholders across the University, develop and facilitate an overarching communications strategy for Institutional Advancement, including messaging based on University priorities, initiatives and thematic brand elements. Serve as a key strategic partner to the University’s Office of Communications and colleagues from other institutional units on the planning, implementation and execution of university-wide communications initiatives as part of a coordinated communications approach.

Content Production (20%)

Serve as the senior producer of Development Communications content including high value, high priority written material such as feature stories, press releases, case statements, proposals, and speeches, and oversee the production of all other Advancement Communications. Provide training to development staff who wish to engage with the media in alignment with the institutional goal of Brandeis becoming a more extroverted institution. Develop relationships with key external media and writers, locally, nationally and globally.

Engagement Communications (20%)

Supervise and support the Director of Engagement Communications in developing, implementing, and managing an ongoing comprehensive Engagement communications plan outlining goals, messages, timing, resource needs, work flow and delivery, and effectively targeting all of Brandeis' various constituent groups. Assess current communications tools and materials to ensure best practices are employed effectively. Determine the optimal use of digital engagement with Brandeis' constituencies. This plan will ensure that IA communications resources are allocated to effectively meet both engagement and development goals.

Planning and Coordination (15%)

Develop methods and protocols for coordinating communications planning and execution with key stakeholders within Institutional Advancement, including frontline fundraisers, Alumni Relations, Donor Relations, Corporate and Foundation Relations, and Annual Giving, as well as across campus, including the Office of the President and the University Office of Communications, to ensure consistency of message, tone, and style, and to leverage both internal and external resources and relationships.

Management (15%)

Supervise, manage, and mentor the Advancement Communications team, including 3-4 professional staff, responsible for executing strategy across multiple communications channels including print and electronic media: newsletters, publications, brochures, press releases, proposal development, video, case statements, volunteer materials, speeches, donor communications and campaign materials. Assign and direct projects, oversee day-to-day department operations, manage departmental budget, and develop metrics to measure program impact and success, and guide changes in strategy.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.
  • 8+ years of experience required, preferably in a higher education setting. 3-5 years of supervisory or management experience also required.
  • Demonstrable track record of developing and leading sophisticated communications teams.
  • Experience developing strategic communications plans and programs for complex organizations.
  • A sophisticated, comprehensive understanding of best-in-class communications programs, media, and vehicles.
  • Understanding of market research practices and data segmentation desirable, as is demonstrated track record of effective external media engagement.
  • Demonstrates proficiency in email, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and conferencing software, and relational databases with an ability to become comfortable and productive with the University’s alumni and donor systems.MS Office Suite and Salesforce experience highly desired.
  • Exhibits excellent written and oral communication skills that promote academic and business professionalism and convey information clearly and concisely
  • Ability to successfully interact with varied constituencies, including those of considerable academic, community, social, and business status.At all times represents Brandeis University in an exemplary and professional manner.
  • Ability to apply sound judgment, discretion, and a commitment to professional ethics and data security when dealing with highly confidential constituent, donor, and prospect information.
  • Excellent organizational skills with high attention to detail and follow-up.
  • Self-motivated with an ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Adheres to University and departmental business policies and procedures.
  • Presents a collegial, collaborative and customer-service demeanor that positively reflects the core values and standards of the institution and demonstrates tact and diplomacy.
  • Must be able and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends with an attitude of doing what it takes to get the job done.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

“Brandeis is a community rooted in purpose, guided by enduring values, and determined to lead. Come add your talents and your voice to this vibrant and distinctive community.”

Ron Liebowitz

President of Brandeis University

Diversity, equity and inclusion aren't just important values at Brandeis today — they are rooted in our identity as an institution. They serve as a regular reminder for self-reflection, and a continuous call to grow. Founded as a model of ethnic and religious pluralism, Brandeis University welcomes students, faculty, and staff of every nationality, religion, and orientation. Social justice is central to the mission of Brandeis, which endeavors to foster a just and inclusive campus culture that embraces the diversity of our larger society. Brandeis embodies the American heritage of cultural diversity, equal access to opportunity and freedom of expression. Read more online about our Mission and Diversity Statements .

Submit Your Candidacy

We welcome your nominations, inquiries and expressions of interest in this position, which may be directed informally via email or telephone to Advancement administration contacts:

Ania Morris

Assistant Director, Advancement Talent Management & Administration

781-736 -4004 | armorris@brandeis.edu

Elizabeth Crabtree

Vice President, Advancement Administration & Operations

781-736-4034 | ecrabtree@brandeis.edu

To learn more, visit the and our websites.

To apply, please visit our and submit your cover letter and resume via the Brandeis University Human Resources online portal.

  • The material presented in this position summary is for informational purposes only. Candidates offered a position at Brandeis University may be subject to an employment reference check and additional background screening satisfactory to Brandeis. This screening may include a criminal background check, drug testing, and motor vehicle records check.

Closing Statement

Brandeis University is committed to providing its students, faculty and staff with an environment conducive to learning and working and where all people are treated with respect and dignity. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry , national origin, ethnicity, caste , sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, including transgender identity, religion, disability, age, genetics, active military or veteran status and any other characteristics protected under applicable federal or Massachusetts law.

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