Executive Director, Alumni Relations

University of California, Irvine
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Feb 15, 2023

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Alumni Affairs
Employment Type
Full Time




Irvine, California


The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), one of the nation’s top public research universities and a part of the world-renowned University of California (UC) system, seeks a dynamic and ambitious leader to serve as Executive Director, Alumni Relations. Reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor, University Advancement, the Executive Director serves as the chief alumni relations officer for the institution and is responsible for the strategic direction of the UC Irvine Alumni Association (UCIAA), a separate 501c3 organization that strives to enrich the lives of alumni and engage them in a lifelong relationship with the university. In collaboration with the UCIAA Board of Directors, alumni relations staff, university leadership, and the broader UC Irvine alumni population, the Executive Director’s charge is to enhance the level of alumni engagement and heighten the visibility of the UCIAA both within the university community, throughout California, and around the world at a momentous time of institutional growth and prominence. By galvanizing the growing excitement of UC Irvine’s trajectory over the past half century and leveraging entrepreneurial opportunities for engagement given the institution’s nascency relative to other top-ranked institutions, the Executive Director will define a culture of connectivity that supports key institutional priorities and promotes meaningful, long-term affinity and relationships between UC Irvine and its growing communities of alumni.


Since its founding in 1965, UC Irvine has become widely recognized for improving lives through research and discovery; fostering excellence in scholarship and teaching; and engaging, enriching, and promoting the health of the communities it serves. Among the most diverse and dynamic campuses in the UC system, UC Irvine draws on the unyielding spirit of its pioneering faculty, staff, and students who continue to inspire change and generate new ideas. In addition to placing in the top 10 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the nation’s best public universities for eight consecutive years, UC Irvine consistently ranks as a top performer for promoting upward social mobility, which considers the graduation rate of students awarded Pell Grants. This continuous and ambitious path to reach new heights of excellence and social impact is evident in the Brilliant Future: The Campaign for UC Irvine, which is solidly on track to raise $2 billion by 2025 to expand UC Irvine’s capacity to prepare future leaders; forge new connections that enhance the mission; and establish an infrastructure that will support the university’s future endeavors. Core to the university’s brilliant future for the next half century and beyond is realizing the potential held by UC Irvine alumni, of whom there are more than 227,000 worldwide. As such, the campaign promotes a dual goal to not only double the number of philanthropic contributions received during the last campaign endeavor, but to meaningfully engage at least 75,000 – or nearly one in three – alumni with their alma mater. UC Irvine’s relative youth, equating to a comparatively young alumni population, coupled with its increasingly diverse student population, academic competitiveness, and overall upward trajectory afford the next Executive Director the opportunity to balance existing alumni activities and expertise across the university with the institution’s nimbleness and ability to experiment with new methods of engagement and outreach.


The Executive Director will provide strategic and visionary leadership for the division of alumni relations and the UCIAA. An external ambassador to UC Irvine’s graduates throughout California and across the nation, as well as its growing international alumni base, the Executive Director serves as UC Irvine’s primary alumni representative across the broader university community. This individual will lead an alumni relations team of 15 energetic, forward-thinking individuals, providing the guidance and support necessary to promote their individual and collective professional success and development. The ideal candidate will possess exemplary interpersonal and communication skills and a deep understanding of and passion for the mission and goals of UC Irvine, as well as an unwavering commitment to and track record of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organization. Considering the university’s relative youth and sizable first-generation student population, this individual will also build awareness of the UCIAA among current students and demonstrate the value of building lifelong bonds to UC Irvine well before graduation. The Executive Director will demonstrate the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit required to introduce new ideas and incremental change, resulting in a deeply engaged alumni community and more robust alumni association. As detailed in this document, the Executive Director will address diverse opportunities and challenges, including efforts to:


  • Develop and implement an ambitious, comprehensive, and innovative strategy to elevate the visibility of the UCIAA and promote the value proposition of engagement to UC Irvine’s growing and diverse alumni population;
  • With the support of the university, secure the necessary resources to implement the strategy;
  • Partner with UCIAA leadership and University Advancement colleagues, particularly gift officers, as well as deans, faculty, and staff across the university to foster continued collaboration and coordinated partnerships and synthesize programming, in order to leverage and amplify alumni engagement activities most effectively in support of the campaign and beyond;
  • Rigorously track the alumni function’s progress toward well-defined qualitative and quantitative measures and celebrate its successes.


UC Irvine has retained Ms. Rachel Ellenport of the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to conduct this important recruitment. For more information, to submit a nomination, or to apply for this role, please visit:




UC Irvine is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. It strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups. UC Irvine is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples and is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies. It is the recipient of an NSF Advance Award for gender equity.  

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