Director of Development Strategies and Communications, Office of the Chancellor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Type: Full Time
Director of Development Strategies and Communications,
Office of the Chancellor
“MIT students have an enormous amount to offer society. They also have an enormous amount to learn from society. We have to prepare them for both, for a life-long journey of learning.
Our challenge now is to expand our approach to educating the whole student.”
- MIT Chancellor Melissa Nobles
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) seeks an exceptional and experienced professional to serve as the inaugural director of development strategies and communications for the Office of the Chancellor (“director” or “director of DSC”). Reporting to and working in close partnership with Chancellor Nobles, the director will have the unique opportunity to shape development strategies and communications that center around students and the student experience at MIT. This role will serve as a high-level strategic thought partner to the chancellor in this work and will collaborate with partners across the Institute to bring the chancellor’s vision and strategic plans to life for MIT students throughout their time on campus and beyond.
MIT is a coeducational, private research university committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest challenges. MIT’s strength in science, technology, and humanistic disciplines is undisputed. Dr. Melissa Nobles became chancellor of MIT in August 2021 and brought to the office an ambitious vision for elevating and expanding the Institute’s commitment to educating and cultivating the whole student.
This work encompasses not only creating environments that enhance learning inside and outside the classroom but also building structures to expand the Institute’s diversity and its awareness of all factors that contribute to student success. Dr. Nobles has been engaged in weaving the humanities, arts, and social sciences more deeply into the Institute’s fabric—and demonstrating their value for students of science and technology and the society students will shape through their professional and personal pursuits. Additions to the MIT curriculum suggested in MIT’s Task Force 2021 and Beyond, an initiative addressing institutional changes brought on by Covid, encompassed not only teaching on ethics, racial justice, and structural, systemic, and institutional hierarchies but also teaching the “hidden curriculum”: how to deal with the complexities and uncertainties of life, and how to care for mind, body, and relationships. As Chancellor Nobles conveyed:
“All higher education has a responsibility, but MIT has a special responsibility, because we’re educating the students that most understand the technology. They are the best positioned to understand it. And at the same time, they can be the translators to the rest of the world. We all use this technology, but we have to have some confidence that some humans actually understand it. And then, in addition to that, that those humans understand what it means to be human.”
Realizing this ambitious vision will require a concerted increase in development activity from the Office of the Chancellor. The newly created director of DSC role will play a pivotal leadership role in coordinating and championing mission-critical resource development initiatives and strategic partnerships; developing and implementing resource development and stewardship communications and marketing plans; and overseeing and coordinating stewardship activities. These efforts will help advance fundraising and stewardship in the areas of scholarships and fellowships, new construction and renewal projects, and student support and programming initiatives, among other student life and learning priorities.
The successful candidate will be an innovative, resourceful, and engaging leader with at least ten years of experience in strategic resource development initiatives, development communications and marketing, and stewardship fields for a large, complex, mission-driven organization, ideally in higher education. This leader will be a superior strategist with a comprehensive understanding of development communications. The director must be able to work with many stakeholders across a complex enterprise, 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.
MIT has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in conducting this important search. Confidential inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including resumes and one- to three-page letters of interest responding to the opportunities and challenges outlined above) should be sent electronically to the Isaacson, Miller executive search team via the link below.
MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.