Job description

Posting Details

Posting Details

Reference Number 90-31722 Posted Job Title DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC WRITING School Name Development and Alumni Relations Org DAR Communications Posted to the Web 04/18/2019 Posted Job/Salary Grade 029 Employment Type Exempt Hours N/A Position Type Full Time Position Schedule 9am-5pm Months 12 Position Length Ongoing Position End Date University Overview

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 Penn’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.

School/Center Overview

The Development and Alumni Relations organization at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the premier development organizations in the world.

Penn’s Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) team members benefit from an exceptional work environment where professional excellence and individual pride in achievement are grounded in a strong institutional commitment to integrity and collegiality as we strive for collective success. For talented and innovative individuals, a career at the University of Pennsylvania offers the chance to be part of an exceptionally exciting environment at the nation’s first university.

We seek talented individuals who will constitute a community that draws on the strength that comes with a substantive institutional commitment to diversity. Diversity is prized at Penn as a central component of our mission and helps create an educational and working environment that best supports the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship.

Penn’s commitment to achieving eminence through diversity is ultimately a commitment to creating a more vibrant university so that our employees will be both stimulated and empowered to shape a better world.


The University of Pennsylvania’s Development and Alumni Relations Marketing and Communications (DARMAX) Department is responsible for conceiving and executing communications strategies to advance the goals of Penn’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 establish and sustain standards of excellence in written materials that highlight the University’s mission, priorities, and positive impact on society with a focus on the role of philanthropy and the engagement of Penn stakeholders. This team produces a wide range of writing services including speeches for the University President and other senior administrative and volunteer leaders; strategic fundraising tools; and creative impact stories and other content for print and online channels. The work produced by this team elevates the visibility and understanding of Penn’s goals and plays a crucial role in creating awareness among stakeholders to support Penn Development and Alumni Relations staff as they work to meet their fundraising and engagement goals. This includes reaching The Power of Penn Campaign financial goal of $4.1 billion by 2021. In addition to producing highly accomplished writing, a primary function of this role is to manage, coach, and teach the writing team, upholding a culture of continuous feedback and learning through writing workshops, editorial meetings, and one-on-one meetings and collaborating across the department (DARMAX) and across the university with Communication colleagues. The successful candidate will be as passionate about mentoring and teaching other writers as he or she is dedicated to creative writing and the art of effective storytelling. The successful candidate will also be an accomplished editor, project manager and a voracious reader with the ability to absorb, assimilate, and communicate information on a wide variety of topics. An interest in non-profit development and an understanding of the strategic function that communications play in fundraising and engaging constituents is vital in this position.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

* As head writer and 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 University’s core mission, priorities and positive impact on society, 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 four senior and associate senior writers, reviewing and editing their work and advancing their development as writers through individualized attention, regular team writing workshops, and a culture of continuous learning and collaboration.

* 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 department’s leadership structure.

* Interact effectively and with diplomacy with a wide range of individuals including top levels of the University’s leadership, 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 University’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.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and 7 to 10 years of professional work experience in Communications or a related field.
    * 3+ years of strong supervisory experience with demonstrated ability to motivate people and nurture talent, lead teams through change, set priorities, facilitate productive meetings and measure and manage performance. Teaching experience a plus.
    * Must be a seasoned, published wordsmith, capable of creative storytelling that is cogent, eloquent and strategic.
    * Expert editing and proofreading skills.
    * Excellent project management skills.
    * Strong analytical abilities and attention to detail is a must, with the ability to translate complex information into engaging, multi-layered narratives.
    * Experience writing for non-profits/non-profit development a plus.
    * Demonstrated history of effective performance within demanding, deadline-driven environments.
    * Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to function with diplomacy.
    * Writing Samples will be required
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 Quick Link Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
    • [email protected]
    • Contacted by a Penn Recruiter
    • Referred by a Penn Employee
    • Referred by a friend or family member
    • Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC)
    • Inside Higher Ed
    • Other Internet Advertisement
    • Linkedin
    • Twitter
    • Other Social Media Site
    • Professional Affiliation/Trade Website
    • Diversity Association/Publication Website
    • Heard about it at a conference or career fair
    • Apple One
    • Recruitment and/or staffing agency
  2. * What is your highest level of education completed?
    • Less than high school education
    • High School Diploma or GED
    • Vocational or Technical School
    • Associate's Degree or Two Year College
    • Bachelor's Degree
    • Master's Degree
    • PHD/MD/JD or equivalent doctoral degree
  3. * How many years of experience do you have related to this position?
    • 0 to 1 Year
    • 1 to 2 Years
    • 2 to 3 Years
    • 3 to 5 Years
    • 5 to 7 Years
    • 7 to 10 Years
    • Over 10 Years
Applicant Documents Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents




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    Job No:
    Posted: 4/20/2019
    Application Due: 5/9/2019
    Work Type: