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Senior Director of Branding and Engagement (18209)

Date: Sep 9, 2022

Location: Washington, D.C., DC, US, 20008

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  


The Senior Director of Branding and Engagement reports to the Chief Advancement Officer and is responsible for the development and execution of all aspects of WAMU’s marketing and public relations strategy, including but not limited to, activities relating to branding, promotions, logo usage, strategic marketing partnerships, on-air promotions, email marketing, internal and external publications, social media/web based marketing, graphic design/visual identity. The Senior Director will initiate and implement marketing and advertising campaigns and develop key messaging across on-air, social, print, and other digital platforms to effectively drive engagement by raising the profile, prominence, and value of WAMU regionally and nationally. The Senior Director will also manage the continued growth and development of WAMU’s membership initiatives (contributed support from individuals giving less than $1,000 annually) including but not limited to On-Air fundraising, Events, Direct Mail, Telemarketing, email fundraising, vehicle donations, and corporate matching gifts.
In conjunction with the Chief Advancement Officer, the Senior Director of Branding and Engagement collaborates with WAMU’s Growth Editor, Director of Business Intelligence and members of WAMU’s senior management group in the assessment and utilization of market data analysis to help drive messaging and increase audience engagement and membership. The incumbent provides consistent and timely information to employees through WAMU’s Intranet and other communications channels and will work with the Technology team to ensure that the content available on both the Intranet and WAMU’s websites is current and relevant . In coordination with American University’s Vice President of Communications, responds to members of the media in a timely manner; composes and distributes press releases as needed.
This position also assists in planning and developing the annual marketing and communications budget.

Essential Functions

  1. Consumer marketing and brand development: Develop key messaging using audience segmentation, develop targeted marketing campaigns to support station goals and events, identify and execute ad buys; and oversee all marketing collateral and presentation development. Assist in the development and implantation of marketing strategies for WAMU’s nationally syndicated programs to other markets. Perform analysis on all marketing and communications programs and benchmarks station’s performance against industry standards. 
  2. Communications strategy and development: Develop effective communications strategies that support various functions and goals of the station and leverage on-air, digital, social, electronic, direct mail and print distribution channels. Oversee copywriting and editing for Web, intranet, and more than six bi-weekly and monthly e-newsletters. 
  3. Membership strategy and oversight: Develop and oversee the strategy, budget, organization and execution of annual membership fundraising activities. Oversee strategy, preparation, and successful execution of “grass roots” fundraising plans to reach the various potential supporters of WAMU in order to meet or exceed fundraising objectives.
  4. Leadership, Strategy & Collaboration: Work collaboratively with American University’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, NPR, and other content providers to expand and build the membership fundraising potential for WAMU. Work extensively with the Chief Technology Officer to ensure optimal functionality of our CRM system which houses all membership-related donor activity. Keep abreast of current trends in marketing and communications planning and strategies to remain at the forefront of industry trends. 
  5. Financial Management: Manage a significant operating budget to inform strategic decisions around how and when to fundraise most effectively and efficiently. Lead the sourcing and assessment of membership analytics to build program knowledge and inform strategies. Look for ways to streamline Membership processes, build cost efficiencies, and optimize staff time and resources (on-air fundraising and gift processing in particular). Assist in management of marketing and engagement budget projections, allocations and expenses.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Supervises approximately five direct reports and a total team, including marketing, communications, donor relations, membership and events.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full-Time, 35 hours/week.
  • Function Leader A.
  • Exempt.

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 10+ years of relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated excellence in integrated fundraising, marketing, public, media relations, corporate communications, branding, or related fields required.
  • At least five years of increasingly responsible experience with internal and external communications, responsibility for developing and implementing, outreach and engagement plans, or other relevant experience.
  • 3 or more years of supervisory or management experience.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master's degree.
  • Experience working in a non-profit or media-based environment.
  • Experience managing a membership program.
  • CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) designation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals desired, but not required.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Excellent oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task, manage project timelines effectively, manage budget requirements and collaborate with partners across functional areas of the organization a must.
  • Superior ability to write in a journalistic style that is customary for corporate and external publications.
  • Ability to offer sound media relations advice to senior leadership.
  • Experience with or leading strategic media strategy in contemporary multi-platform media environment;
  • Must have experience with a diverse work force. WAMU adheres to a Statement of Principles which serve as our workplace values.
  • Ability to work a hybrid schedule.



AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us

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American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC