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Associate Vice President for Advancement Communications

Brown University
Rhode Island, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Oct 20, 2023

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Position Type
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Full Time

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Associate Vice President for Advancement Communications

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island


Brown University seeks a strategic and creative executive to serve as Associate Vice President for Advancement Communications. This individual will provide visionary 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 1764, Brown is a leading research university and the seventh-oldest college in the U.S. At the heart of the University’s teaching, research, and scholarship is a commitment to academic excellence, intellectual freedom, and making an impact to better serve people, communities, and society. Guided by the strong leadership of President Christina H. Paxson and an aspirational strategic plan, the Brown community is currently engaged in the historic $4 billion BrownTogether campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in 2024. Key campaign priorities include raising funds for research and teaching in medicine and the life sciences, public health, engineering, and the arts, as well as student financial aid, Brown Athletics, and transforming its career services program. 


Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Advancement and serving as a member of his executive leadership team, the Associate Vice President for Advancement Communications (AVP) oversees strategy, content and creative development of a full portfolio of strategic communications to Brown’s alumni, parents, and friends in support of Brown's engagement and fundraising goals and objectives. This includes working closely with key partners managing data strategies and direct marketing within the division. This individual will oversee a team of 12 staff and be responsible for creating a vibrant and compelling communications program for the Division of Advancement that prepares for the successful conclusion of the current campaign, increases stakeholder engagement in ongoing fundraising and alumni relations activities, complements and reinforces university-wide messages, engages audiences in new ways, and extends across all digital and traditional media and channels. The AVP will have a dotted-line supervisory relationship to Brown’s Senior Vice President for Communications, who reports to the University’s President and will partner closely with the Office of University Communications as well as with communications staff in Brown’s schools, units, and institutes to ensure timely, effective, and consistent messaging that reflects Brown’s institutional values and priorities.  


The successful candidate will be an innovative and engaging leader with 10 to 15 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 AVP must be able to work with many stakeholders and partners, understand their various concerns and priorities, and craft strategies and programs that address multiple needs. Equally important are a collaborative and collegial orientation as well as the political savvy and flexibility to navigate a complex academic community.


Brown University has retained Rachel Ellenport and Elizabeth Neustaedter 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:


Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by university policies.

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