Executive Director of Alumni Relations and the Caltech Alumni Association
Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) seeks a strategic, collaborative, dynamic, and experienced alumni relations professional to serve in the role of Executive Director of Alumni Relations and the Caltech Alumni Association.
The Executive Director will lead a dynamic team of seven and work in collaboration with the distinguished Caltech Alumni Association (CAA) 501c3, which counts among its membership some of the world’s most noteworthy minds in science, technology, and business. The Institute’s alumni co-invented the transistor; invented synthetic human insulin, photocopying, credit card security codes, and designs for better telescopes, microscopes, and markets; helped develop the AIDS drug “cocktail;” and lead universities and federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation. A 2016 Nature News study showed that of all U.S. schools, Caltech gives undergraduates the best chance of later winning a Nobel Prize; to date, Caltech alumni have earned 23 Nobel Prizes.
With a community of 2,200 students, 300 faculty members, and 24,000 living alumni, Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering university and manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, leading robotic exploration of our solar system. In an environment of intellectual creativity and freedom, some of the most innovative minds invent tools and make exciting discoveries that address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges, from sustainability to quantum science.
In an unprecedented period of growth during Breakthrough: The Caltech Campaign, the Executive Director is integral to Caltech’s ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of its alumni. Like all great institutions of higher education, the Caltech Alumni Relations program emphasizes lifelong, mutually-beneficial relationships with its alumni. The Executive Director promotes interaction with and among alumni through innovative in-person and online programming, highlights the achievements of its alumni through award-winning programs and communications, and provides alumni with rewarding opportunities to engage with the Institute’s groundbreaking research through direct student and faculty engagement.
Success in this role will position Caltech’s alumni relations as a standout program nationally grounded in the innovative and effective programming developed by the alumni relations office. The continued growth and global impact of Caltech is dependent upon a strong and prideful alumni population actively engaged as advocates and supporters of the Institute.
Leadership and Management:
- Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Engagement and Annual Programs
- Lead, manage, and coach a dynamic team of seven alumni relations professionals to drive the mission of Alumni Relations for Caltech and the CAA
- Develop and implement strategic and effective alumni relations programs that strengthen relationships and provides value with and among alumni to increase their interest and engagement
- Drive alumni relations as an Institute-wide responsibility for strategically supporting and coordinating engagement for all alumni and constituents
- Develop and maintain collaborative and supportive relationships with key offices across the campus
- Establish and monitor annual team/individual work planning; create supportive and targeted professional development plans for individual team members
- Maintain a leadership style that is open and fluid. Foster an environment that rewards new ideas and risk taking, build staff engagement, and encourage teamwork and collaboration
- Serve as a member of the AAR Leadership Group
- Responsible to work in partnership with the CAA Board of Directors to ensure annual and long-term strategic plans are fully executed. Responsible for the day-to-day operations
- Adhere to all aspects of the CAA and Caltech memorandum of understanding to ensure Caltech and the CAA maintain and strengthen a mutually beneficial collaboration
- Provide professional alumni relations expertise to the CAA Board and its committees
- Measure and monitor progress towards those goals. Work with the Board to adjust resources and priorities as necessary to achieve the goals
- Support and facilitate the regular CAA Board meetings (in-person and virtual), arrange meetings, staff committees, and ensure strong and productive relationships between Board members and Caltech’s academic and administrative leadership
- Develop and submit for approval by the CAA Board a detailed annual budget. Oversee and balance the budget for the CAA ensuring strong fiscal responsibility. Maintain adequate and effective financial systems, practices, and controls, including a regular system of financial reporting to the board at their direction
- Liaise with appropriate members of the Development team to ensure the CAA endowment fundraising initiative meets all stated goals.
- Bring to life recommendations of the Alumni Engagement Workgroup with a specific focus in the areas of student-to-alumni continuum, career support, and alumni communications
- Review and evaluate existing alumni programs, events, and services to optimize impact and measurable outcomes
- Implement programming that educates, supports, acknowledges, and motivates alumni at the varying stages of their lives
- Assess, identify, and implement alumni strategies which enhance the student experience and interactions between alumni and current students
- Assess, identify, and implement alumni strategies which enhance the faculty experience and interactions with Caltech alumni
- Oversee the production of all alumni relations publications
- Manage, evaluate, and continue to improve interactive marketing and online communications
- Bachelor’s degree
- Four or more years of experience in collaborative leadership approach within alumni relations, external affairs, and/or a non-profit membership-based organization
- Demonstrated accomplishment in fostering productive relationships with volunteers and developing volunteer leadership
- A successful track record of establishing strong, interpersonal relationships internally and externally, with the ability to work collaboratively and courteously with colleagues throughout the Institute, alumni, other constituents and the public
- The vision and courage to break new ground and establish the highest standards of excellence while balancing the day-to-day needs of the organization in a collegial atmosphere
- Demonstrated acumen to manage staff; the ability to build, lead, mentor, and motivate staff; and to encourage change and growth in both people and programs. A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and the ability to build a robust, autonomous, and
- The ability to work successfully in a complex and fluid organization demanding self-reliance combined with team spirit, outstanding judgment, people skills, diplomacy, and a well-honed sense of urgency
- The ability to control and move forward on multiple priorities simultaneously. This includes being highly adaptable in switching priorities as required, without losing momentum
- A strong work ethic coupled with an enthusiastic and passionate approach to one’s work.
- Advanced written and oral communication skills, including the ability to compile and analyze complex data and draft formal documents and produce comprehensive reports
- Ability to plan, organize, and effectively present ideas and concepts to groups and individuals
- Must possess the ability to define specific, measurable goals, metrics, and targets, and be accountable to achieving them in leadership of a team
- Openness to working in a variety of roles and modes, including involvement in the detail as well as managing conceptual and strategic issues
- Strong leadership skills, with a take ownership attitude, capable of building through consensus
- Ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed
- Demonstrate the ability to practice and adhere to organizational values
- Candidates will have an authentic curiosity about basic science as well as a strong appreciation for the extraordinary intellectual accomplishments and challenges of Caltech's alumni, faculty and students
- Higher education/university experience
- Advanced degree
- Knowledge of complexities and demands of the alumni relations profession
- Experience with Ellucian Advance or a similar constituent database
- Experience in STEM field(s), and experience engaging audiences that have a deep affinity for science, technology, engineering, and math
- Experience creating, launching, and maintaining successful audience-engagement activities from ideation through stakeholder approval, launch, refinement, and consistent operation
- Cover Letter