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Position Detail - Executive Director of the Alumnae Association

Executive Director of the Alumnae Association

Job no: 492809
Work type: Staff Full-time
Location: South Hadley, MA
Categories: Advancement/Alumnae Affairs

Position Type: Staff Full-time

Hours per week: 37.5   

Weeks per year: 52

Work Schedule: M-F 

The Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association has retained Isaacson, Miller to assist in the search for the Executive Director. Jack Gorman is leading this search with Grace Zakim, Molly Gallagher, and Lisa Clayton. More information to follow. Visit the website at:

Department Summary & Job Purpose:

The Executive Director of the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College will be a broadly skilled, sophisticated leader holding budgetary, managerial and administrative responsibility for the operations of the Association. The successful candidate will be a strategic advisor and thought partner to the Association’s Board of Directors, volunteer leaders, President of the College, the President’s senior administrative team and the wider campus community, while focusing on
the detail-oriented work of operations and administration. This is an exciting period of innovation at Mount Holyoke College, demanding a creative leader capable of leading change and excellence in alum relations and services in a collegial and collaborative environment. In alignment with the strategic plans of the Alumnae Association and the College, the Executive Director provides overall strategic leadership and direction for the Association, designing and administering
dynamic and innovative programs to connect Mount Holyoke’s 38,000 alums with each other and with the College. As an experienced manager of staff, volunteer leaders and board committees, the Executive Director recognizes and responds to evolving alum interests and preferences consistent with a diverse, inclusive and global community. The Executive Director works collaboratively with key College leaders to ensure that alum voices are included in College decisions and policies, and acts as an ambassador and advocate for Mount Holyoke College alums in a variety of forums consistent with
the Association’s bylaws and mission.


Core Job Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Strategic Vision and Innovative Programming
  • Working closely with senior administration at the College, guide a proactive, innovative and contemporary approach to alum engagement, motivating and encouraging volunteer leaders, and promoting meaningful and contemporary connections among alums, between alums and current students, and with the College.
  • Ensure outreach and programming designed to include and engage all members of the Mount Holyoke community, domestic and international with specific thoughtfulness towards alums who identify as people of color and individuals with identities of diverse faiths, belief systems, gender identities, sexual orientations and abilities.
  • Provide visionary, fiscally sound, inclusive and thoughtful leadership in the design and implementation of innovative, effective alum engagement programs and services that advance the strategic plan adopted by the Association Board of Directors.
  • Define and manage key metrics to evaluate program/service success, employing data-driven decision-making to strengthen alum engagement and volunteer stewardship initiatives. Trusted Collaborator and Thought Leader
  • Develop and maintain proactive, collaborative and effective working relationships with the College President, members of senior staff, and administrative departments. Ensure a dynamic, inspiring alum engagement program which motivates alums to support the College and its mission.
  • Operate with the highest personal integrity and emotional intelligence, including the principles of collaboration, trust building, transparency, diplomacy and grace under pressure. Authentic and Effective Communicator
  • Officially represent the voices of alums on campus by partnering with campus leadership and senior administration teams and participating in various College committees, including chairing the on-campus Alum Relations Group.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the Association, maintaining its visibility on and off campus and representing the interests of a diverse alum body.
  • Manage key alum relationships, and champion all alums on behalf of the Association and the College, through extensive and impactful personal interaction. Operational Excellence and Organizational Management.
  • Oversee the successful execution of a range of programs and events that combine to form a strategic and effective approach to engaging alums in meaningful ways. Examples of programs include campus reunions, global symposia, alum awards, and volunteer leadership conferences. -Assess the origins and types of programming offered to ensure that a variety of points of view are included at the inception of programs and apply a DEI lens to alum outreach.
  • Prepare, with the Board Treasurer and office financial administrator, an annual budget for approval of the Finance Committee and Board of Directors and for submission to the College’s annual budget review and approval process. Manage Association operations in a fiscally responsible manner
  • Exercise proper risk management oversight of the Association and its activities, including the implementation and enforcement of Association and College policies.
  • Optimize team (both volunteer and staff) effectiveness through implementation of an effective organizational and operational structure.
  • Provide support to the Association Board of Directors and the Association’s nine working committees, including serving in an ex officio capacity on the Board of Directors, Nominating Committee, Alumnae Trustee Committee and Finance Committee. Talent Development and Volunteer Stewardship (Including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)
  • Hire, develop and manage an agile, motivated and effective staff to support alum classes, clubs, affinity groups, and initiatives across the globe and across generations.
  • Optimize the resources provided by a large and active alum volunteer base (2200+ active volunteers) by strengthening and leveraging alum networks and volunteer-driven initiatives.
  • Travel to engage alums and recruit new volunteer leaders, continually broadening and strengthening the Association’s volunteer base.
  • Drive and model best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the Association and all of its teams, functions, and activities. - (Essential)

• Minimum of five years direct experience in alum relations or in an equivalent membership organization or constituent relations role.
• Bachelor’s degree required.
• Travel 15% (approximately 1-2 trips per month). To accommodate alum volunteer schedules, frequent evening and weekend activities are required.
• Familiarity with basic office software, and a demonstrated ability to quickly learn any new software or technology.
• Excellent presentation, speaking and writing skills.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and elimination of bias.
• Budget, financial management, or operational management experience.

Preferred Qualifications: 
• 10+ years of professional experience in alum relations or in an equivalent membership organization.
• Demonstrable ability to act as a strategic thought leader at the highest levels of leadership within an institution.
• Commitment to lead an organization in a creative and proactive fashion, responding to rapidly evolving constituent needs by employing best practices.
• Commitment to Mount Holyoke’s rich history and position as a women’s college that is gender diverse.
• Experience in developing and implementing new strategies and managing change in complex, matrixed organizations.
• Experience in motivating, managing and optimizing volunteer networks, preferably in a nonprofit environment.
• High emotional intelligence and the ability to navigate conflict and obstacles with grace, persistence and diplomacy.
• Evidence of ability to successfully collaborate and communicate with multiple stakeholders without sacrificing key priorities.
• Advanced degree in relevant field a plus.


Physical Demands: 
Alum or campus events may require walking over distances, and standing for 1-2 hours at a time.

Working Conditions: 
• Travel 15% (approximately 1-2 trips per month). To accommodate alum volunteer schedules, some night time and weekend activities are required.
• Some events (for example, reunion activities and campus events) may be held outdoors.
• Ability to work with a demanding and diverse set of constituents in a rapidly changing, global environment.

Background Checks:

Mount Holyoke College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment, supported by qualified
employees that will allow all of its students, faculty, staff and those associated with them to successfully
carry out the mission of the college. As a condition of employment, the College will conduct appropriate
background checks for all new hires. Mount Holyoke has designated the Office of Human Resources as
the office responsible for ensuring that background checks (CORI, SORI, Credit History, & Driver

Credential) are completed and utilized in the hiring process and Five College Office of Compliance and
Risk Management as the office responsible for facilitating background checks as articulated in this policy.

Special Instructions for Applicants: 

Application materials must include 1) a cover letter summarizing
interests and qualifications, 2) a complete resume or curriculum vitae, and 3) contact information for 3
professional references. 

Mount Holyoke College is a women’s college that is gender diverse. The College is committed to providing equal access and opportunity in employment and education to all employees and students. In compliance with state and federal law, Mount Holyoke College does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, genetic information, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, ancestry, veteran or military status, or any other legally protected status under federal, state or local law. The College does not discriminate on the basis of gender in the recruitment and admission of students to its graduate program.

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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