Senior Director, Alumni Relations Operations

Posted on 03/12/2020

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, RI

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD or the College) seeks a talented and experienced Senior Director of Alumni Relations to lead and manage operations and programs that engage RISD Alumni year round. The Executive Director of Alumni Relations, Christina Hartley is setting a high bar for her team under the leadership and vision of O’Neil Outar, VP of Institutional Engagement. If you’re looking to join a cohesive and talented team dedicated to being creatively strategic and engaging, we are interested in hearing from you. RISD is located in the Creative Capital, Providence RI and is recognized for being an arts and cultural mecca.

Position Overview 

The Senior Director of Alumni Relations Operations is responsible for managing the logistical operations, including staff and budgeting, of all Alumni programs and projects that strategically engage alumni and provide tangible benefits to alumni, associated alumni, and current students. Areas of responsibility include oversight of regional clubs and affinity groups, volunteer engagement, and special events including Alumni Reunion + Family Weekend and Founders Day, in addition to lifelong learning, alumni career services and alumni benefits for College and Continuing Education alumni. The Senior Director works with other Communications areas in IE to set the strategy and manage the content for the Alumni website and alumni social media channels.


  • Manage existing and implement new alumni programs that support RISD’s strategic plan, as well as the goals of the Campaign, including, but not limited to: Regional clubs, Affinity groups, recent alumni programming, reunion class affinity programs, alumni benefits, lifelong learning, alumni career programming. Develop and submit for approval by the Executive Director annual strategic and operating plans.
  • Proactively engage with select advisory boards and task forces of the Alumni Association Executive Committee, arranging and staffing meetings, and ensuring that the goals of the Association align with RISD’s goals.
  • Working with IE communications staff, oversee development of content for all Alumni Relations and Family Relations digital channels with up-to-date, relevant and engaging content via email blasts, alumni web pages, print publications, and social media to achieve audience growth and to drive increased alumni participation.
  • Working with IE events staff, oversee coordination of and logistics for signature on- and off-campus events such as Alumni Reunion + Family Weekend, Founders Day, Presidential events in major markets, and Parent + Family Association programs.
  • Manage and balance the budget for Alumni Relations; within the annual program budget, manage existing and/or additional alumni programs, services and communications.
  • Work closely with the Dean of Student Services and Director of Career Services to plan the growth and accessibility of career networking services for students and alumni lifelong learning programs.
  • Using industry best practices, create an alumni engagement index to measure over all alumni involvement. Identify relevant data points and create regular reports to help support program planning/improvements, targeted communications, and identify future major gift prospects.
  • Capture contact, biographical and career information of alumni via surveys, projects (e.g. alumni directory), correspondence, website, postal returns, etc. and share this information with the Executive Director of Advancement Services to ensure accurate and complete alumni database records.
  • Maintain and expand regional alumni clubs and affinity groups.


  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree preferred. Seven years of experience in alumni relations including a focus on integrating alumni relations fundraising.
  • An ability to manage and partner with staff and volunteers is critical. Strong organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills are important.
  • Evidence of the ability to work effectively with ethnically and culturally diverse communities
  • Demonstrated experience with development tools, systems and communication mediums and an interest/experience in art and design desirable.
  • Must be able to manage and balance budgets, work with diverse audiences, and foster a sense of community.
  • Demonstrated ability to stay abreast of industry best practices and to translate and implement these best practices for RISD as may be appropriate.
  • Ability to read and comprehend documents and instruments. Must be able to perform detailed work using reasoning and problem-solving skills and complete multiple concurrent tasks with constant interruptions.
  • Need excellent oral and written communication, interpersonal and organizational skills. Must be able to deal with confidential data and keep current with trends and training in this field. Advanced math skills.


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