Managing Director, Communications

Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for the UW-Madison, is recruiting for a creative professional to join the marketing team.

*The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is the “doing business as” name of the merged organization comprising the University of Wisconsin Foundation ( and the Wisconsin Alumni Association (, whose legal corporate name is registered as the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

Position Details

Managing Director, Communications
Southwest Wisconsin
Madison, WI

Stories about UW–Madison’s impact across the globe? Check. Examples of breakthrough research happening off the shores of Lake Mendota? Check. Nostalgia and fun remembrances of times gone by on campus? Of course. But here, we expect much more.

As our Managing Director of Communications, you’ll collaborate with your talented team and others to concept big ideas and develop them into powerful storytelling. You will be developing and implementing strategies while working on multiple brands across a wide-range of programs all with a singular mission: to advance UW–Madison as one of the world’s greatest universities.

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA), the private fundraising and alumni relations organization for UW–Madison, is seeking an experienced professional to join our Marketing Division. As Managing Director of Communications, you will serve as a key member of the Marketing Leadership Team and report to the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. You will lead a team that writes and edits internal and external communications; executive communications; and general communications for divisions within WFAA, including our Annual Report and award-winning publications such as On Wisconsin magazine On Wisconsin magazine and Flamingle, our digital weekly newsletter. The position works collaboratively with other WFAA divisions and with the UW–Madison communications office.

Principal duties:

Strategic Leadership: Develop, direct, and implement an integrated communications strategy to support the advancement goals of WFAA.

  • Oversee the development, direction, and implementation of internal and external communications strategies on behalf of WFAA leadership. 
  • Align communication efforts with external stakeholders — university leadership, University Communications, and University Marketing. 

Executional Excellence: Ensure our communications are speaking to the relevant and most important audiences and are aligned with our strategic initiatives across all channels and publications.

  • Oversee print and digital content such as On Wisconsin,, etc. 
  • Utilize data to guide decisions about developing content and retiring underperforming content or tactics. 

Team Leadership: Mentor and motivate a nine-person team of editors, writers, and other communicators to continuously deliver high-impact and high-quality work.

  • Evaluate the success of strategic communication initiatives and report findings to department leadership. 
  • In collaboration with WFAA leadership, develop department communication policies and procedures. 
  • Create and implement staff development opportunities on best practices in communications, public relations, and media relations. 
  • Provide advice about communications strategies and tactics to department units upon request. 

Media and Public Relations: Oversee WFAA contacts with the media and other entities that impact the reputation of WFAA.

  • Oversee responses to inquiries and identify stories to pitch to journalists. Develop media releases and news content for owned media outlets at WFAA. 
  • Develop and produce news content aimed at an alumni and donor audience for the WFAA websites and other communication vehicles. 
  • Identify, develop, and pitch potential stories to news outlets specializing in alumni and donor topics of interest. 


Here’s a short list of what we’re looking for in our next Managing Director of Communications:

1. Leadership skills and presence that inspire and influence.

2. Strategic mindset that considers and integrates all channels into a communication strategy.

3. Storytelling skills that capture attention and keep the audience engaged.

4. Big-idea generation, a willingness to think differently, and a hunger for what’s next.

5. Great attitude — how we get the work done is as important as the work we do; positivity and a can-do attitude are mandatory.

6. 7+ years of progressive responsibility leading a communications team. For more details, keep reading.

This is a full time, exempt position reporting to the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. We offer a competitive salary and an excellent benefit program, which includes a 10% 401k contribution after 1 year of service!

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