Senior Associate Director, Executive Communications

California, United States
Monday, 4 January 2021
End of advertisement period
Thursday, 4 March 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Purpose:

The Senior Associate Director, Executive Communications oversees the writing and production of donor correspondence on behalf of senior university leaders. The Senior Associate Director leads a team of two writers who work collaboratively on a high volume of highly customized gift acknowledgements, letters and emails of condolence and congratulations, follow-up notes to events and donor meetings, proposal cover letters, and other correspondence. This position reports to the Director of Development Communications within Stanford’s central Office of Development. 

The Senior Associate Director ensures that all written materials align with the mission, values, and fundraising priorities of the university. Responsibilities include setting priorities, reviewing/setting standards for acknowledgements and other correspondence, providing editorial and grammatical guidance, establishing voice and style for different leaders, and ensuring that all work meets the highest standards of quality. The Senior Associate Director works closely as a thought partner with gift officers and staff throughout the university’s schools and units. As new technology platforms are implemented within OOD, the Senior Associate Director will help lead the adaptation of current work flow processes to leverage these tools. 

The ideal candidate is a superb writer and editor with excellent interpersonal, managerial, and project management skills, and a solutions-oriented approach to challenges. Experience working with nonprofits is preferred.

Your responsibilities will include*:

  • Crafting specialized messages that reflect the university’s mission and fundraising goals
  • Developing and maintaining in-depth knowledge of Stanford’s largest donors, including their history and relationships with the university and its leaders
  • Making salient recommendations on subtle nuances of voice and diction, to reflect the styles and preferences of various executive leaders
  • Working collaboratively /maintaining relationships with gift officers and OOD partners throughout the university’s schools and units
  • Hiring and training new writers, providing guidance and feedback, encouraging their continued education, maintaining morale, and directing their professional growth
  • Tracking deadlines and budgets, and adhering to deadlines
  • Leading team and correspondence-related meetings, and participating in regular department-wide and team meetings

* Other duties may also be assigned

To be successful in this position, you will bring:

  • Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant work experience or combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Professional writing and editing experience
  • Proven leadership skills, with managerial experience preferred
  • The ability to work well with people at all levels, including senior staff, faculty, donors, volunteers, vendors, and outside service providers
  • Creative thinking skills and a solutions-oriented approach to challenges
  • The highest standards of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Demonstrated sound judgment in situations that require independent decision-making, problem solving, and handling confidential and sensitive materials
  • Strong Microsoft Office Suite skills

Certifications and Licenses: 



  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently stand/walk, sit, use a telephone, and grasp lightly/fine manipulation.
  • Occasionally grasp forcefully, writing by hand.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork; lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.


  • Occasional work on evenings and weekends.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

Why Stanford for you:

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide excellent retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, swim in our Olympic-sized pool, or choose from hundreds of health and fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide highly competitive health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commute programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more!

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

How to apply:

We invite you to apply for the position by clicking on the “Apply for Job” button. To be considered, please submit a cover letter and a resume with your online application.   Additionally, please include three writing samples with your resume and cover letter. Further samples will be requested as needed.  

Final offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4253
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: J
  • Requisition ID: 87629