Department: Global Marketing/Communication Salary/Grade: EXC/1
The Vice President for Global Marketing and Communications is responsible for advising Northwestern’s President, senior management, and Board of Trustees on top-level communications and for driving the University’s global marketing and branding strategy.
The Vice President is responsible for developing global marketing and communications strategy for the university, and advancing and protecting the reputation of the university, both proactively and reactively. S/he coordinates all crisis and emergency communications efforts and manages the university spokesperson. The leader will be a highly experienced senior executive who is passionate about the university and its mission. S/he will manage, lead, and inspire the Office of Global Marketing and Communications (OGMC) team, in addition to matrixed resources, including communications and marketing officers in various schools and units to communicate effectively across a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders, using a broad range of traditional and social media.
The ideal candidate will have served in the chief marketing and/or communications officer role, or held senior academic, organizational, or government roles such that s/he has the breadth of both strategic and leadership experience required to achieve critical success factors. S/he will be a strong and confident leader, with a minimum of 20 years of integrated marketing communications experience in a large, complex organization with a diverse stakeholder base. The Vice President will have a strategic viewpoint around managing a newly integrated team, to promote continued growth and development within the function.
Key responsibilities include:
Guide the development and implementation for global marketing, branding and communications strategies by leading 70-person office.
Refine and continue developing Northwestern’s overarching strategic marketing and communications plan, including a compelling positioning and media relations strategy, taking advantage of print and digital mediums, marketing, advertising, and press relations efforts to increase the visibility, understanding of, and support for Northwestern University.
Create and implement an ongoing reputational analysis program, and establish the means for measuring the overall success of communications initiatives.
Managing the marketing budget; ensuring appropriate marketing investment level based on university objectives; continuously improving effectiveness and the ROI of marketing investments.
Maintaining awareness of best-in-class marketing strategies; implementing best practices which are aligned with the university’s goals.
Demonstrating commercial acumen and an ability to build, evaluate and maintain relationships with key strategic clients (e.g., media partners, agencies and marketing technology providers).
Manage the official university spokesperson to media and serve as spokesperson when appropriate.
Collaborate with international stakeholders throughout Northwestern’s campuses in Chicago, Evanston and Doha, Qatar, as well as site stakeholders in San Francisco, New York City, Washington, DC and Miami.
Be a key member of the university's crisis management and emergency response team. S/he will oversee a state-of-the-art crisis and emergency communications effort, including digital and social media monitoring to ensure a proactive and effective response to unforeseen scenarios.
Promote widespread recognition of Northwestern’s contributions to the world. Develop proactive initiatives that are designed to advance and elevate Northwestern’s standing, prestige, and reputation.
Identify a core messaging and branding strategy for the university which leverages and emphasizes Northwestern’s unique strengths and excellent academic programs, differentiating the organization from institutional peers; and convey comprehensive and cohesive messages related to the university's strategic initiatives.
Build upon the current internal communications foundation across the Northwestern community, with particular focus and sensitivity to students, faculty, and staff. Manage and coordinate the university's internal communications policy, major announcements, and practice changes, with a focus on education and engagement of the campus community.
Build robust, positive, and collaborative working relationships with various constituencies, including 300+ communications personnel across the university, to ensure consistency of communications. Ensure that OGMC is seen as a collaborative partner able to address opportunities and concerns, and an office whose opinion on all marketing, branding, and communication matters is valued.
Align the current array of messaging, communication activities, and brand identity for greater impact and consistent messaging across all channels; ensure the appropriate direction and coordination of key communications that reflect the highest degree of quality, consistency, integrity, and effectiveness.
Create aligned and proactive media relations and internal communications programs that deliver consistent messages; develop an outreach strategy to disseminate information, research, culture, and institutional values to targeted audiences, including internal constituencies, prospective students, alumni, the general public, donors, and others.
In support of Northwestern’s strategic initiatives, work collaboratively with offices focused on diversity and inclusion to promote inclusiveness in all communications.
Proactively promote members of the faculty in the media (e.g., publicize their research and connect them to relevant media and think tanks as experts and leaders in their field).
Required professional experience and qualifications include:
Significant experience as a seasoned marketing and communications executive with expertise in marketing strategy and branding, emergency and crisis communications, and leadership in large, complex organizations, on a global level.
A demonstrated capacity to envision, develop, and implement a successful and comprehensive marketing and communications program across an organization with multiple constituencies and wide variety of audiences, ideally in higher education.
A thorough understanding of, and specific experience in, developing and implementing branding and strategic communications plans in both traditional and new media.
Extensive knowledge of higher education issues.
Experience in integration and change management efforts; A track record of creative and entrepreneurial management; the ability to build, lead, mentor, and motivate staff to function as a strong and collaborative team; the ability to support growth and change in both people and programs, provide direction, understand resource capability and successfully drive outcomes working with direct reports, dotted line, and / or internal or external resources.
Experience providing strategic communications counsel to senior leadership.
Superb organizational and written/verbal communications skills and demonstrated experience in managing communications during crisis situations.
Exceptional judgment, a reputation for integrity and discretion, and the ability to think strategically and deliver tactically.
Highly experienced at using data and logic to inform decisions and strategies.
Strategic Orientation: Experienced at defining strategic roadmaps and architectures across a portfolio of brands.
Collaboration and Influencing: Demonstrated high-level of capability in building strong multi-functional and cross-organization relationships that are the enabler for getting things done.
Results Orientation: Demonstrated ability to grow iconic brands through executing marketing plans that have consistently delivered above category performance levels.
Visionary Leadership: Articulate and inspire visions and planned outcomes and then taking an organization through the journey.
Northwestern University has partnered with Heyman Associates to lead the Vice President, Global Marketing & Communication search. Applicants will be reviewed by the agency and contacted directly for next steps.
Northwestern strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for people who can obtain them as a critical tool for minimizing severe illness. More information can be found on the COVID-19 and Campus Updates webpage.
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.
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.