Associate Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Posted on 07/08/2021

Darden School Foundation

Charlottesville, VA

The Associate Director works closely with the Directors of Engagement and Annual Giving to develop, plan and execute the strategy and development of affinity engagement and fundraising programs. As a member of the Alumni Engagement team, the Associate Director manages his or her own events and strategy, and collaborates with boards, volunteers and internal partners to execute programs. This position is responsible for several key volunteer relationships, accountable for engagement and fundraising metrics, and operates with great autonomy.

The Associate Director advises on the development of policy and procedures to build diverse alumni support for the School and actively cultivates, solicits and stewards long-term volunteer relationships. This position organizes and manages highly visible events that support the School’s fundraising and engagement goals. The Associate Director represents Darden in external affairs or events involving alumni and friends of the school and supports and advances the impact of the Darden School Foundation’s Inclusive Excellence scholarship programs.

The Associate Director collaborates closely with the Darden School’s Global Chief Diversity Officer, Assistant Dean for Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion, and the Office of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in developing and executing on overall strategy and programming, and also with the Admissions and Communications & Marketing directors in advancing programs and initiatives supporting the impact of the Darden School Foundation’s broad portfolio of DEI scholarship programs focused on inclusive excellence. In addition, this position works closely with the Leadership Advisory Boards, Director of Engagement and the AVP for Engagement to develop programming and services that meet the needs of internal and external stakeholders, and with affinity volunteers to coordinate these events.

The Associate Director will constantly evaluate opportunities that support the School’s larger strategies with areas including, but not limited to student engagement; the office of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Admissions; UVA Office of Engagement; UVA Alumni Association etc.

Specific duties and responsibilities: 

Program Development & Volunteer Management: 

  •  Inclusive Excellence Scholars Program (IESP)
    • Collaborate, coordinate, develop and facilitate programming with scholarship students, School partners and faculty.
    • Help analyze efficiency and effectiveness of various pipelines for scholarship talent and help create strategies to increase impact
    • Recruit, manage and act as liaison for IESP alumni and faculty volunteers.
    • Partner with donor relations and strategic initiatives team to execute student/alumni events, interviews and receptions.
    • Support fundraising strategies to cultivate, solicit and steward IESP donors.
    • Analyze and adopt best practices for a world-class, end-to-end scholarship program
    • Collaborate with colleagues in the Darden School, notably the dean’s office and Marketing & Communications to ensure seamless collaboration on scholarship outreach and implementation
    • Increase the delivered impact of relevant scholarship programs, including the excellence of the students selected
  • Afinity Group Strategy
    • Responsible for expanding the breadth and scope of affinity alumni engagement. programming to provide educational, informational, networking and development opportunities.
    • Responsible for creating and implementing multi-year strategic event and communication plans for affinity groups.

Event Strategy & Execution:

  • Event Execution
    • Design, develop, manage and execute a suite of in-person and virtual events that support the affinity strategy and provide a unique portfolio of opportunities for alumni.
    • Interface with Darden faculty, staff, academic centers and other colleagues to identify opportunities to deliver content at regional events and online throughout the year.
    • Partner with the Advancement team to leverage opportunities, identify event hosts, steward VIPs, and secure panelists for affinity events.
  •  Engagement & Fundraising  Metrics
    • Monitor event registrations and track progress to goals in order to achieve monthly and annual targets outlined by the Director of Engagement.
    • Manage strategic outreach using data analytics in an effort to involve less-engaged alumni and increase unique attendance.
  • Marketing & Communications
    • Write or edit clear, compelling copy for event marketing materials, invitations, solicitations and stewardship communications.
    • Create events in the alumni registration system and provide follow up text to volunteers, board members and staff for segmented outreach.
    • Draft talking points for event hosts, staff and board members.


  •   School-Wide Collaboration
    • Work with Office of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion regarding alumni involvement on School priorities.
    • Liaison with MBA and EMBA student club leaders to identify alumni speakers for conferences and club activities and to increase alumni participation in student events.
    • Work with [email protected] 2.0 Steering Committee members to develop and execute priorities as they relate to alumni engagement.
    • Work with Data Operations team on stewarding, sharing and leveraging Alumni Interest Form submissions. Serve as the gateway to connect alumni with Darden to ensure the proper flow of alumni volunteers to the right programs for strategic engagement and potential cultivation opportunities.
    • Partner with the Annual Fund and Donor Relations teams on engagement opportunities in support of the Annual Fund’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion designation, and the Women’s Scholarship committee.
    • Collaborate with and support Admissions and Communications & Marketing teams in the planning and execution of initiatives supporting the impact of the Foundation’s broad portfolio of Inclusive Excellence scholarship programs; with the objective of increasing overall diverse exceptional applicants to Darden and interest/applicants to the Foundation’s DEI scholarship programs.
    • Partner with UVA Clubs and the UVA Alumni Association on events, promotion and strategy, including but not limited to Black Alumni Weekend, Retold Conference, McIntire Ivy Society programs, and other regional affinity events.
  •  Board Interaction & Support
    • Participate in program development, content, committee structure and strategy for the Alumni Board, Dean’s Diversity Advisory Council, Global Advisory Council and Corporate Advisory Board.

Professional experience and education:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • At least five years of experience in corporate, higher education or non-profit role related to affinity or DEI programming.
  • Global awareness and understanding. Ability to relate to people of diverse backgrounds, education, and experience including those from outside the USA.
  • Poise, tact & emotional intelligence to deal with people and sensitive issues. Ability to advise and guide action in the face of complex, highly charged & potentially emotional social community issues.
  • Strong analytical skills and work ethic
  • Ability to shape strategic initiatives in the areas of DEI, ensuring successful execution against agreed-on plans and objectives.
  • Skill in exercising a high degree of initiative, judgment, discretion and decision-making to achieve organizational objectives.
  • Ability to translate thoughts and directives from several areas into a cohesive plan of action.
  • Experience in alumni affairs and/or student affairs preferred.
  • Knowledge and understanding of various levels of philanthropy.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective relationships with faculty, alumni, staff, students and volunteers.
  • Proven ability to organize and motivate volunteers with above-average interpersonal-skills and manage difficult or emotional customer/volunteer situations.
  • Ability to connect with constituents and to communicate sensitively and persuasively the School’s values and needs.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously and remain cognizant of deadlines and schedules.
  • Operates independently but can also manage and complete projects by enlisting the cooperation and collaboration of others.
  • Ability to respond promptly to constituent needs and solicit constituent feedback to improve service.
  • Ability to identify and resolve problems in a timely manner; gather and analyze information skillfully; develop alternative solutions and use reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Ability to communicate effectively; excellent oral and written communications skills and a service-oriented attitude are essential.
  • Creative, inspiring, solution-oriented and possess problem-solving skills, empathy, and the ability to work well with others in a team-oriented organization.
  • Exhibit the credibility and sophistication to effectively engage and leverage key internal and external stakeholders and should also have the charisma, cultural sensitivity and communication skills necessary to be an effective representative of Darden across a varied alumni base.
  • Strong personal and professional integrity.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, graphics, and database software.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information; collect and research data; use intuition and experience to complement data.
  • Familiarity with Advance, iModules, Marketing Cloud, Qualtrics preferred.
  • Some knowledge of top-quality business school practices, the University of Virginia and/or Darden School of Business preferred.
  • Some travel, evening and weekend work required.

The Darden School Foundation is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity or expression), national or ethnic origin, race, religion, pregnancy, veteran status, or genetic information. We participate in E-verify.

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