Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations and Chief Executive Officer of the Caltech Alumni Association

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Pasadena, CALIFORNIA

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

As in all great institutions of higher education, Caltech’s alumni relations program emphasizes lifelong, mutually-beneficial relationships with its alumni. Reporting to the Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations (AAR), the Assistant Vice President promotes interaction with and among alumni through engaging and meaningful in-person and online programming, highlights the achievements of its alumni through award-winning programs and communications, and provides alumni with rewarding opportunities to engage with the Institute’s groundbreaking research through direct student and faculty engagement.

Success in this role will position Caltech alumni relations as a model program, nationally recognized by its exemplary programming delivered by the alumni relations office in partnership with the CAA. The continued growth and global impact of Caltech depends upon a strong and proud alumni population, actively engaged as advocates and supporters of the Institute.

Principal Responsibilities

Leadership and Management:

  • Lead, manage, and develop a team of nine alumni relations professionals to advance Caltech's mission to provide support of and value to alumni worldwide.
  • Develop and implement strategic and effective alumni engagement initiatives that strengthen relationships with alumni and increase their interest in and engagement with Caltech and each other.
  • Drive alumni relations as an Institute-wide strategic enterprise with involvement and partnership from other Caltech leaders across academic and administrative units.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative operational relationships with key partners and stakeholders across campus.
  • Establish and oversee annual team and individual work plans; support professional development opportunities for each team member.
  • Bring clarity and drive projects forward while fostering an environment that engenders and rewards new ideas and risk-taking, builds staff engagement, and facilitates teamwork and collaboration.
  • Develop and implement metrics for measuring and evaluating degrees of success for all programs and initiatives over time.
  • Serve as a member of the AAR vice president’s senior leadership team.

CAA Administration:

  • Serve as primary staff person working with the volunteer CAA Board of Directors to ensure annual operations, fiscal accountability, and long-term strategic plans are aligned with alumni needs and interests.
  • Facilitate the regular CAA Board meetings both in-person and virtual, arrange meetings, staff committees, and ensure strong and productive relationships among Board members, Caltech’s academic and administrative leadership, and alumni relations staff.
  • Provide professional board management expertise to the CAA Board and its committees, as well as to alumni volunteers in other program areas, such as regional and affinity groups, reunions, etc.
  • Measure and monitor progress towards alumni relations and CAA strategic plan and operating goals. Work with the Board to adjust resources and priorities as necessary to achieve goals.
  • Develop and submit for approval by the CAA Board a detailed annual budget. Oversee and balance the budget for the CAA, ensuring strong fiscal responsibility. Maintain adequate and effective financial systems, practices, and controls, including a regular system of financial reporting to the Board at their direction, in line with the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities as specified in the CAA Bylaws.
  • Ensure Caltech and the CAA maintain a strong, mutually beneficial collaboration per active agreement.

Alumni Programming:

  • Work with the Career Services Office to support student-to-alumni career networking and coaching opportunities.
  •  Review and evaluate existing alumni programs, events, and services.
  • Establish, continually oversee, and enhance a framework for tracking measurable outcomes of alumni engagement.
  • Conceive, design, and implement engagement opportunities that benefit, support, and motivate alumni various stages of their lives.
  • Assess, identify and implement alumni strategies which enhance alumni experiences and interactions, with students, faculty, and other Caltech alumni.
  • Oversee the content strategy, positioning, and production of all alumni relations publications, in print and online.
  • Manage, evaluate, and continue to improve interactive marketing and online communications for alumni.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.

  • Seven or more years of experience as a collaborative leader within alumni relations, external affairs, and/or a non-profit organization with a strong stakeholder community component.

  • Understanding of and experience working within an integrated advancement environment alongside fundraising, advancement services, and communications professionals.  

  • Demonstrated accomplishment in fostering productive relationships with volunteers and developing volunteer leadership.

  • A successful track record of establishing strong interpersonal relationships internally and externally, with the ability to work collaboratively and courteously with colleagues throughout the Institute, alumni, other constituents, and the public.

  • The vision and courage to break new ground and establish the highest standards of excellence while balancing the day-to-day needs of the organization in a collegial atmosphere.

  • The intellectual curiosity and desire to engage deeply in the life of Caltech and its extended community

  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity, intercultural understanding, inclusive institutional excellence, and global engagement.

  • Demonstrated acumen to manage staff; the ability to build, lead, mentor, and motivate staff and foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards performance, supports new ideas and risk-taking, builds confidence, encourages interaction and teamwork, and promotes diversity.

  • Experience serving as an advocate for staff, representing their needs and concerns.
  • Proven ability to control and move forward on multiple priorities simultaneously. The ability to be highly adaptable to changing priorities as required, without losing momentum.
  • A strong work ethic coupled with an enthusiastic and passionate approach to one’s work.
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills, including the ability to compile and analyze complex data, draft formal documents, and produce comprehensive reports.
  • Ability to plan, organize, and effectively present ideas and concepts to groups and individuals.
  • Ability to define specific, measurable goals, metrics, and targets, and be accountable to achieving them in the leadership of a team.
  • Openness to working in a variety of roles and modes, including involvement in the details as well as managing conceptual and strategic issues.
  • Strong leadership skills, with a take ownership attitude, capable of building through consensus.
  • Willingness to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed, including international travel if necessary.
  • The ability to practice and adhere to organizational values.
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with a solid understanding of Caltech's distinct history, mission, accomplishments, and future goals. Capable of compellingly conveying Caltech's vision and significance, backed by personal experience in STEM fields and proficiency of connecting with audiences deeply passionate about these areas.

Preferred Qualifications
  •  Higher education/research university experience.
  • Advanced degree.
  • Familiarity with the complexities and demands of the alumni relations profession and of advancement generally.
  • Experience with a comprehensive constituent database or similar customer relationship management (CRM) environment.
  • Experience in all phases of audience-engagement activities, from ideation through stakeholder approval, launch, refinement, and successful operation.

Required Documents
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

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