The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Pennâ™s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.
Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.
The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.
Posted Job Title
Director of Strategic Writing
Job Profile Title
Job Description Summary
The University of Pennsylvaniaâ™s Development and Alumni Relations Marketing and Communications (DARMAX) Department is responsible for conceiving and executing communications strategies to advance the goals of Pennâ™s Development and Alumni Relations office (DAR) and the mission of the University. The Director of Strategic Writing in DARMAX leads a writing team to uphold the standards of excellence in communications materials that highlight the Universityâ™s mission, priorities, and positive impact on society with a focus on the role of philanthropy and the engagement of Penn stakeholders.
The position reports to the Managing Director of DARMAX and works collaboratively with peer Directors of Stewardship Communications, Digital Communications, and Graphic Design. The Director of Strategic Writing is responsible to manage a team of four writers and a diverse portfolio of writing assignments including print and web stories, speeches for the President of the University and other senior administrative and volunteer leaders, as well as other high profile communications materials as assigned.
The Director must be an expert in creative writing and the art of effective storytelling for a wide variety of content as well as an accomplished editor and proofreader. This position will oversee the production of multiple publications, from concept through execution, working with the writers and design team to develop the production schedule and ensure deadlines are met. Experience in non-profit development and alumni relations, and an understanding of the strategic function that communications play in fundraising and engaging constituents, is vital in this position.
A critical component of this role is building and sustaining key relationships within Pennâ™s 12 Schools and 5 Centers, as well as in other administrative departments across the University. The successful candidate will be adept at relationship management, a skilled negotiator, confident, and graceful under pressure. The Director must be a strong manager with an interest in supporting the team and sustaining a culture of continuous improvement and learning.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
As chief editor for all content produced by the strategic writing team, establish and sustain standards of excellence in written materials and online content that highlight the Universityâ™s core mission, priorities and positive impact on societyâ”including speeches for the University President, Trustee Resolutions, fundraising and engagement print collateral, articles for publications, written content for website and digital formats.
Manage a team of writers, reviewing and enhancing their work through coaching to advance their development as writers and ensure excellence of material created.
Perform effectively in a fast-paced environment meeting and managing to deadlines on a daily basis.
Contribute conceptual, strategic thinking to the operations of DARMAX while performing as part of the departmentâ™s leadership structure, which includes Stewardship Communications, Digital Communications, and Design.
Demonstrate exceptional interpersonal skills to build relationships and interact in a professional manner at all times with a wide range of individuals including top levels of the Universityâ™s administration, faculty, philanthropists, and high-level volunteers.
Work highly collaboratively with DAR colleagues and Communications colleagues across the University, representing DARMAX as an expert and leader in strategic writing practices.
Execute a full range of management functions including managing assigned projects within budget and in accordance with the Universityâ™s established fiscal procedures and evaluating the performance of direct-reports on an ongoing basis while creating professional development opportunities geared toward continual improvement and excellence.
Lead and direct a staff to achieve optimum results by: Communicating financial and key performance indicators and results to staff;Â Establishing priorities and goals for staff members;Â Managing staffing needs and identifying areas for organizational development updates or changes; Guiding the talent identification and professional development needs, processes and outcomes within the entire division in line with the Universityâ™s diversity and inclusion priorities; Setting clear performance expectations and holding staff accountable for outcomes through frequent feedback and coaching; Ensuring open communications among team members, engaging in team building efforts and holding regular staff meetings that embrace and support the groupâ™s diversity; Inspiring and motivating staff to achieve optimum results.
Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and 7 to 10 years of professional work experience in Communications or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience writing for non-profits/non-profit development strongly preferred.
3+ years of strong supervisory experience with demonstrated ability to nurture talent, establish a positive team culture, lead through change, set priorities, facilitate productive meetings, and measure and manage performance.
Must be a seasoned wordsmith, capable of creative storytelling that is cogent, eloquent and strategic.
Expert editing and proofreading skills.
Excellent project management skills.Â
Strong analytical abilities and attention to detail is a must, with the ability to translate complex information into engaging, multi-layered narratives.
Demonstrated history of effective performance within demanding, deadline-driven environments.
Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to function with diplomacy and professionalism at a leadership level.Â
Experience working in a large, highly complex organization a plus.
Please provide a resume and cover letter for consideration. Please upload all documents in the âœResume/CVâ section of the application prior to submitting.
Job Location - City, State
Department / School
Development and Alumni Relations
$72,837.00 - $138,391.00
Affirmative Action Statement Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.
Special Requirements Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.
Internal Number: JR00012771
About University of Pennsylvania
Penn has a long and proud tradition of intellectual rigor and pursuit of innovative knowledge, begun by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. That tradition lives today through the creativity, entrepreneurship, and engagement of our faculty, students, and staff. Academic life at Penn is unparalleled, with an undergraduate student body of 10,000 from every U.S. state and around the world. The entering class of 2015 is the most talented and diverse in Penn's history. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our top-ranked graduate and professional schools.