Vice President, Government and Community Relations

Phoenix, Arizona
Dec 20, 2018
Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Arizona
 Vice President, Government and Community Relations

About the University of Arizona:
Established in 1885, the University of Arizona (“UA” or the “University”), the state’s land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $680 million in research investment each year, and ranking 22nd among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.

Position Summary:
The UA is currently recruiting for a talented and experienced leader, with in-depth expertise and experience at the state, national, and local levels, to serve as vice president for government and community relations. The vice president works to cultivate and enhance the University’s relationships at all levels of government, with a particular focus on state of Arizona government entities, and works with the University’s senior leadership in the development of proposals and strategies to advocate for University priorities. The VP must have an enthusiasm for advancing UA strategic initiatives. The position reports to the Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of the University.

Priorities for this role are leadership and strategy; State of Arizona advocacy; federal government advocacy; tribal and community and local government relationships.

Overall responsibilities:

  • Establishes and implements short and long-range strategy for the government relations function at the University of Arizona, focusing on institutional priorities as well as emerging public policy issues
  • Plans, develops, implements, administers, and evaluates programs, activities, and daily operations related to the governmental affairs function
  • Directs the activities of offices in Tucson, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C, including frequent travel to those locations.
  • Communicates with members of the Board of Trustees on government relations strategies
  • Manages or oversees legislative requests as well as contract lobbying efforts
  • Develops and manages annual budgets for the government relations function
    • State of Arizona:
      • In collaboration with the senior leadership of the University, develops annual University of Arizona legislative advocacy priorities and strategies
      • Develops legislative advocacy materials in support of the University’s legislative agenda
      • Monitors state legislative and policy issues impacting UA, develops position statements as needed, and helps to develop execution strategies in consultation with relevant campus entities and leadership
      • Represents UA on state association boards as appropriate and advocates for statewide appointments of UA leaders and stakeholders to boards and committees
      • Actively studies and monitors draft legislation having the potential to impact UA operations or policy and provides frequent updates to the cabinet and other University leaders before, during, and after legislative session
    • Federal government:
      • Monitors federal issues and legislation affecting higher education in general and UA in particular (e.g., student financial aid, tax policies, immigration, and other regulatory issues)
      • Works with the senior leadership of the University to develop UA position statements and strategies on key issues and works with other UA partners to mobilize constituent advocacy
      • Monitors activities of federal commissions and agencies and promotes appointments of UA faculty and staff as appropriate
      • Participates in government relations programs with higher education associations, particularly the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
    • Tribal Relations:
      • Strengthens the visibility and presence of UA among Native Nations through outreach and collaboration
      • Fosters positive relations with tribal nations in key areas, such as economic development, academics, cultural protections, and preservation efforts to achieve shared goals
      • Raises awareness and develops an understanding of tribal governance, enterprises, culture, and customs among University administrators, faculty, and staff
    • Local and Community Government:
      • Monitors tribal government activities, including city and county commission meetings, resolutions and agendas, and assesses impact on UA community of any local government proposals
      • Develops community relations strategy to strengthen and maintain positive town/gown relations in the greater Tucson/Phoenix community and throughout the entire state in rural, urban, and suburban areas
      • Oversees UA Cares Campaign
      • Represents UA on association boards as appropriate

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and ten years of relevant government experience, OR, Master’s degree or J.D. and eight years of relevant government experience.
  • In-depth expertise and experience at the state, national, and local levels, and an enthusiasm for advancing UA strategic initiatives.
  • Experience building, leading, mentoring, and motivating staff; and the ability to encourage and facilitate both change and growth in people and programs
  • A strong commitment to personal and professional development, and the ability to build a robust, diverse, autonomous, and collaborative team.
  • This position requires frequent travel throughout Arizona, to Washington DC and other locations.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a related field or J.D.
  • At least 10 years of executive experience developing and implementing a successful government and community relations agenda at a highly complex institution or as an executive with experience leading in the Arizona state or in the federal government is strongly preferred.
  • Superior communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences; clear and effective written and oral presentation; and the experience, ability, and inclination to be an effective, outgoing spokesperson for the University

In addition, candidates should possess the following:
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Knowledge of state and federal government organizations and legislative processes, including budget and appropriations processes
  • Ability to research legislative history and the status of pending legislation, and ability to analyze pending and enacted legislation
  • Capacity to use independent judgment as well as to manage and impart information to a range of internal and external organizations and constituencies.
  • Ability to
    • Executive Leadership and Vision:
      • Ability to develop a clear vision and strategy consistent with the University’s mission and best practices
      • Leadership skills that result in the production of high-quality services and exceptional standards
      • Strategic thinking with the capability of contributing at the senior administrative level and leading other leaders
    • Communication and Collaboration:
      • Communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences; clear and effective written and oral presentation; and the experience, ability, and inclination to be an effective, outgoing spokesperson for the University
      • Ability to build relationships and collaborate across the institution, serving as a resource to others and obtaining their input; persuasive, persistent, and determined to achieve goals
      • Ability to be nonpartisan and collaborative
      • Ability to distill complex issues and make sound judgments and recommendations on sensitive and sometimes confidential matters

Diversity Statement:
At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness. For more information about the University’s commitment to nondiscrimination, including comprehensive information about our policies, procedures, and resources, as well as contact information for inquiries, please visit [and/or].