Managing Director of Alumni Relations

Bennington, Vermont, United States Full-time

Bennington College invites applications for the position of Managing Director of Alumni Relations.

The Managing Director of Alumni Relations (MDAR) will join Bennington at an inflection point in the College’s 85-year history as it lays the groundwork for a fundraising campaign that will pivot the institution toward its second century as a trailblazer in higher education. In close partnership with the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and the entire Advancement leadership team, the Managing Director (MDAR) will develop and manage a strategic engagement plan that builds programming to foster compelling lifelong relationships between Bennington and its alumni, as well as partnering with the offices across campus to leverage relationships and programming. The incumbent serves in a critical leadership role within Advancement, providing strategic oversight of the alumni program, partnering with development, donor relations and advancement communications, and campaign planning. Representing Bennington to its 13,000+ alumni, the Director has overall responsibility for program growth that aligns with Bennington’s ambitious campaign plan.  The Managing Director will build and manage a growing team and program that will enhance ties to the alumni community across all eras.

The Managing Director will partner with the director of regional engagement programs on the newly formed Alumni Cooperative to develop a regional plan with a focus on events that feature innovative alumni and themes consistent with campaign goals and the College's strategic plan.  The Managing Director will also provide oversight to Reunion and Family Weekend - key initiatives for engagement - that are managed by the alumni relations team.   As the Advancement Office continues to build programming as campaign planning develops, an additional key initiative will be to grow its engagement of young alumni and to develop a system by which a thoughtful approach, cultivation, and stewardship to and of alumni is coordinated with the College’s Field Work Term/Career Development Office to produce internship opportunities for students and the College that otherwise would not be in place.


The successful candidate will be a strategic, creative, team-oriented leader with the ability to leverage relationships across generations of alumni, and partner with multiple cohorts.  Candidates must have the capacity to support Advancement’s entrepreneurial initiatives to maximize results and have a proven track record in building, managing, and mentoring highly effective, diverse teams, as well as demonstrated success with alumni relations initiatives. Candidates should possess a deep commitment to instilling best practices and a fostering a culture that reflects Advancement’s and Bennington’s values.

  • Orientation as a team player and leader with strong management skills.
  • A metrics-driven, entrepreneurial mindset that informs strategy and work
  • The ability to succeed in a distinct and dynamic culture.
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional/business experience.
  • 8+ years of experience in an alumni relations role or a combination of transferable experience.
  • Knowledge of principles of fundraising and donor cultivation.
  • Ability to easily network and establish rapport and connections with individuals and groups.
  • Excellent communication skills with ability to engage, motivate, and inspire (in person and in writing).
  • Demonstrated exceptional organizational skills with ability to manage multiple assignments at once, prioritize opportunities, create and implement a strategic plan, and accomplish major programs and projects.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of diplomacy, and to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • An advocate for diversity.
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • Familiarity with alumni relations software and technologies.  Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge, Microsoft Office and Gmail/Google Docs.

The College

This fall, Forbes named Bennington one of "tomorrow's hot colleges" thanks to the College's dynamic new leadership and its progressive approach to education. The College was founded in 1932 on the principle of active engagement in learning, which is manifest in individualized plans of study developed by students together with faculty. We aim to educate students towards self-fulfillment and constructive social purposes and believe that equity, diversity, and inclusivity--in community and in curriculum--are vital to achieving those aims. Bennington College strongly encourages candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Bennington continues to inspire more voices, more experiences, and more points of view. In addition to recently welcoming one of the most diverse classes in the College’s history, Bennington is investing in the diversification of its faculty and staff to reflect the fullest possible range of experiences in this community.

Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the campus consists of approximately 370 acres. The College was named one of ten with the best architecture by Architectural Digest.  From campus, it is a short drive to the cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts, Albany, New York, and many of Vermont’s top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.