Department: Neighborhood & Community Relations Salary/Grade: EXS/12
The Director of Evanston Community Relations serves as the University’s primary liaison to the Evanston community. Reporting to the Senior Executive Director for Neighborhood and Community Relations, the Director is responsible for developing and managing a community relations and civic engagement plan to sustain and strengthen town-gown relations in Evanston. S/he will be an active, informed member of the University and Evanston communities. Working collaboratively with faculty, students, staff, and community members, the Director is responsible for sustaining and developing mutually beneficial campus and community partnerships that advance the University’s research and teaching mission while enhancing the quality of life for in Evanston.
**Please note: Some evening and weekend hours may be required.
Develop a comprehensive community relations and civic engagement plan to sustain and strengthen the town-gown relationship in Evanston, including overseeing existing NU community initiatives and partnerships.
Oversee and administer the Racial Equity and Community Partnerships Grants Program, including identifying and engaging potential University partners, evaluating and coordinating grants process and committee, and working with potential and present community-based partners.
Ensure the University’s strategic priorities are aligned with the Evanston community’s needs, assets, and goals.
Work with campus partners in Student Affairs, Safety and Security, and Facilities to manage neighbor relations in Evanston by engaging in meaningful dialogue with community members and developing preemptive problem-solving strategies. Establish a system to proactively engage with neighbors and respond to resident interests, calls/emails, and concerns.
Serve as the University’s primary liaison to Evanston’s nonprofit, education, faith, civic, and business communities, and represent the University on appropriate nonprofit boards, city-wide commissions and committees. Attend community events, galas, and nonprofit meetings on behalf of the University.
Establish system for regular reporting of community engagement activities (academic partnerships, grant programs, community development projects, volunteerism, etc.) with input from academic partners and other campus stakeholders. Communicate such information when appropriate to internal and external sources.
Work with the Office of Global Marketing and Communication to develop and implement a strategy that communicates the successes, value, and impact of Northwestern’s community initiatives and programs.
Work with campus partners to coordinate and plan Northwestern’s signature community events (community picnic, movie night, welcome reception, etc.).
Provides leadership in developing mutually beneficial partnerships between University representatives and Evanston community-based organizations that advance the University’s teaching and research mission while strengthening the local community.
Serve as a campus resource for service opportunities, community partnerships, and community-engaged research initiatives in Evanston, including developing a database to track community-based partnerships and projects.
Actively coordinate and/or participate in appropriate University-wide committees and task forces to support the University’s strategic goals and address emerging issues.
Bachelor’s degree in relevant field.
A minimum of four years of experience in community relations, civic engagement, nonprofit leadership, government relations or related field.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Demonstrated ability to advance complex collaborative projects and program in a diverse urban community.
Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
Demonstrated ability to develop, coordinate, and execute planning and projects with city officials, staff, not-for-profit organizations, and businesses.
Demonstrated ability to exercise exemplary judgment and ensure the utmost discretion and confidentiality in all matters.
Experience in community organizing and working with community-based organizations and civic groups.
Highly results oriented.
Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact with diverse internal and external constituents.
Exemplary skills in negotiation, mediation, and advocacy.
Flexible schedule to attend evening and weekend meetings and events.
Master’s/Advanced Degree in Public Relations, Public Administration, Business Administration, City Planning, Communications or another relevant field.
Experience in a Higher Education environment.
Strong relationships with community stakeholders across the public, private and civic sectors in Evanston
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Self-motivated with the ability to meet tight deadlines and manage projects independently
Strong commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Cultivate strong relationships with community groups built on mutual trust and respect
Knowledge of the City of Evanston and the historical relationship between Northwestern and the City
Good judgement and the ability to navigate complex situations in a logical, informed, and calm manner
High energy, creativity and enthusiasm
Knowledge of collective impact, community-based programming, and community engagement
Work-Life and Wellness: Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/work-life/index.html to learn more.
Professional Growth & Development: Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/learning/index.html to learn more.
Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.
The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.