Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Communications

Missouri, United States
Salary Not specified
May 14, 2021
Jun 12, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Communications

St. Louis, Missouri


The Search


Washington University in St. Louis seeks a seasoned and collaborative executive to serve as its inaugural assistant vice chancellor for advancement communications. This individual will provide strategic leadership for all advancement-related communications activities for one of the nation’s top universities and its equally prestigious fundraising and alumni relations operation.


Founded in 1853, Washington University is one of the nation’s premier institutions of higher education, dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The last two years have been very eventful for the university. In 2019, Andrew Martin became its 15th chancellor, and Pamella Henson became the executive vice chancellor for university advancement. In early 2020, Julie Flory began her tenure as interim vice chancellor for public affairs, and in April 2021, she was appointed vice chancellor for the newly named Office of University Marketing and Communications. Leadership across the university is engaged in establishing new priorities across key units, critically reexamining programs and organizational structures to ensure those priorities are achievable, and creating strong, collaborative partnerships that reinforce those university-wide efforts and initiatives. 


The Office of University Advancement (UA) is considered one of the best in the country, successfully concluding a $3.38 billion campaign in 2018 and preparing for new targeted initiatives as well as longer term campaign planning. Advancement Communications (AdComm) is expanding as part of a larger effort to build on existing momentum and position UA for future success, and the assistant vice chancellor (AVC) is a new, elevated role. Serving as a member of the executive vice chancellor’s cabinet and reporting to the associate vice chancellor and chief of staff, the AVC will oversee an initial team of nine and will be responsible for creating a vibrant and compelling communications and marketing program for UA that elevates awareness of the university’s philanthropic campaigns, increases stakeholder engagement in fundraising and alumni relations activities, complements and reinforces university-wide messages, and extends across all digital and traditional media and channels. The AVC will partner closely with colleagues in UA, University Marketing and Communications, Medical Public Affairs, and other schools and units to build on existing content and create new messaging, reinforce key themes, and engage audiences in new ways. 


The successful candidate will be an innovative and engaging leader with at least seven years of experience envisioning and building a successful strategic communications program for a large, complex, mission-driven organization, ideally in higher education and in an advancement setting; a superior strategist with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of communications and how best to deploy media and channels to reach a wide variety of audiences; and a seasoned manager who is able to elevate an existing team and recruit complementary staff, ultimately building a strong, creative, and well-respected office that is sought out as a resource and welcomed as a partner. The AVC must be able to work with many stakeholders, understand their various concerns and priorities, and craft strategies and programs that address multiple needs. Equally important are a collaborative, collegial orientation and the political savvy and flexibility to navigate a complex academic community.


Washington University in St. Louis has retained the services of Jack Gorman of Isaacson, Miller—a national executive search firm—to assist in conducting this search. For more information, to submit a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:


Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing equal opportunity to all qualified individuals in its employment and personnel practices. The university practices affirmative action by taking assertive steps to recruit, hire, and promote minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.