Director of Alumni Affairs

Posted 08/30/2011


Reporting to the Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs, the Director of Alumni Affairs provides strategic leadership and day-to-day management of the Alumni Affairs Program. The Director is responsible for the planning and implementation of program initiatives designed to increase alumni engagement. He/she will provide executive support, and leadership and management of The Cooper Union Alumni Association ("CUAA") and will, in collaboration with it, seek to meet the goals of the Executive Committee. The CUAA is currently comprised of 12,000 alumni, parents and friends. The Director will oversee a staff of three, and work with CUAA's Executive Committee, Alumni Council, national alumni chapters and regional groups.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide overall leadership and management of The Cooper Union's alumni affairs staff, including developing and implementing events and celebrations, parent relations events and regional activities. The incumbent will work collaboratively with the Alumni Association (CUAA) to meet the goals of the Association's Executive Committee and will enlist volunteer support for Cooper's alumni affairs agenda
  • Manage the alumni affairs staff in the office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and participate in senior staff meetings
  • Plan, develop, and implement a broad set of programs and services to significantly increase the level of engagement of The Cooper Union's 12,000 alumni, parents and friends in the life and support of the institution
  • Provide leadership and support to the CUAA's Executive Committee, Alumni Council, and committees, as well as to national alumni chapters and regional groups
  • Work closely with development staff, and assist with ongoing identification and recruitment of prospective leaders, donors, and volunteers
  • Oversee the alumni affairs budget
  • Serve as chief liaison between the CUAA and The Cooper Union with respect to the alumni affairs program
  • Provide advice, counsel, and information regarding alumni affairs to the President, senior administration, deans, faculty, and staff
  • Create status reports regarding alumni and parent engagement
  • Establish and build relationships with a wide range of alumni, nationally and internationally; manage the alumni database and establish communication with alumni via direct contact, email blasts, alumni web pages, and print publications
  • Collaborate with development colleagues to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward supporters of the college


  • A minimum of five years of experience in alumni affairs within higher education, or in managing chapter and/or affiliate groups for national nonprofit organizations
  • Exemplary leadership skills and ability to exercise sound judgment, adhering to the highest professional and ethical standards
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, together with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with colleagues, alumni, other constituents and the public
  • The demonstrated ability to strategize, implement and build constituency programs and activities, along with a talent for motivating volunteers
  • Demonstrably strong writing, planning and organizational skills
  • A Bachelor's degree is required


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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.