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Senior Communications Officer, Development

Date: July 8, 2016
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Director, Development and Alumni Affairs
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Dean of Engineering Office - Development


Main Campus


USG 10
35 hr/wk

Primary Purpose

Responsible for the development and production of a variety of effective and compelling communications in support of the Faculty of Engineering’s development goals. Key priorities include setting communications strategy for Waterloo Engineering’s ambitious fundraising goals and developing high value ($1 million+) proposals to donors on behalf of the Dean, Director of Advancement and senior Faculty administrators.

Key Accountabilities:

1. Develops and implements integrated communications strategies to support the Faculty of Engineering’s fundraising goals.




2.  Develops proposals, business plans, cases for support, leadership briefs and communication plans and strategies for the Faculty’s (and the university’s) most significant prospective donors.


3.  Responsible for the development of highly customized communication pieces to cultivate prospective individual, corporate, and foundation donors and steward existing donors at the principal and major gifts level.

 4.  Responsible for overall Engineering fundraising communications and the creation of strategic content for multiple communication channels.




5.  Provides direction to Creative Services and other writing, design, photography, and printing contractors with respect to the design and production of various publications.

6.  Works closely with the Sr. Communications Officer in the Faculty of Engineering

Position Requirements


Bachelor’s degree in communications based discipline (journalism or english); Master’s degree preferred or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Minimum 10 years of progressive writing/editing/business planning experience with a proven track record of creating accurate, compelling, persuasive, and attractive individual and corporate communications for specific audiences. Competencies will include:


Exceptional written and verbal communication skills and editing skills; extensive interviewing and researching skills; Critical thinking and excellent analytical skills to enable assessment of complex higher education issues of concern to stakeholders including among others, the media, the public, and prospective donors. Strong digital communications experience and a strong understanding of brand building required. Experience in identifying and developing content appropriate for media and other communication vehicles. Social media savvy with proven ability to develop and improve website content. Excellent computing skills and experience with publishing, graphics, print production and electronic media.



MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
Advanced Intermediate Advanced

MS Outlook (email and calendar) - intermediate

Adobe Creative Suite – Advanced

Raiser’s Edge – basic

Prezi - basic

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Excellent interpersonal skills required; Demonstrated ability to build collegial relationships based on trust and mutual respect; Proven ability to work effectively with and build consensus among people at all levels; Proven ability to meet deadlines and work effectively in a fast-paced team environment; Strong research, analytical and problem-solving skills required; Must be a strong communicator (oral and written) with the ability to build relationships with senior administrators, alumni, donors, and students; Comfortable in high profile networking environments where developing new relationships is expected;  Possess strong planning and organization skills with exceptional attention to detail; Must be a problem solver with a friendly, professional, customer service oriented personality; Ability to conduct themselves with a high degree of diplomacy and tact; proven ability to multi-task and to manage a large volume of work with conflicting priorities and deadlines; strong interpersonal skills and ability to work independently and collaboratively with colleagues across campus.

Level of Responsibility:

Must be able to make informed decisions cognizant of broader accountability in a role representative of the university.  Ability to take initiative where minimal direction is provided.  Ability to inspire teammates to work towards a common strategic goal.  Proactive in contributing ideas and solutions to the Associate Directors and other team members; provide direction, guidance and support to team members.  Establishes goals in consultation with the Associate Director, Development and Alumni Affairs.

Decision-Making Authority:

Must be able to make informed decisions regarding suitability of language and appearance of communication pieces that represent the university, Dean of Engineering and Senior Faculty administrators. Must be able to take initiative where minimal direction is provided and manage priorities and deadlines.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Minimal demands typical of an administrative position operating within an office environment.

Working Environment:

Minimal exposure to disagreeable conditions typical of an administrative position. Exposed to stress and pressure associated with working in close collaboration with the Faculty’s senior administrators.