University of Alberta

Executive Director, University Brand and Marketing

University Relations

Competition No.  -    A107238209
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

University Relations (UR) raises awareness and enhances understanding of the University of Alberta, internally and externally, locally, nationally and internationally. The portfolio brings to light stories that showcase university faculty, staff and students, connects the university with its many communities and advocates for the U of A to advance our promise of uplifting the whole people.

The Executive Director, University Brand and Marketing will focus on enhancing the university’s reputation as a top 5 institution in Canada and a top 100 university in the world by protecting and growing the university’s reputation and brand awareness.

The position is accountable for delivering on the strategy as articulated in Objective 6 of the university’s strategic plan, For the Public Good: Build and support an integrated, cross-institutional strategy to demonstrate and enhance the university’s local, national and internal story, so that it is shared, understood and valued by the full university community and our many stakeholders. One of the initial priorities for this newly developed position will be to lead the first strategic initiative of this objective: Discover an institution-wide, comprehensive brand platform (reputation, identity, image, and component stories).

Reporting to the Vice-President (University Relations), this new position is one of four Executive Directors that lead the university’s strategic communications and branding/marketing unit within University Relations. All Executive Directors work closely with both the Office of the VP and other UR leaders to achieve portfolio goals.


  • Develop and lead the execution of the university-wide brand discovery and launch, and subsequent annual brand awareness campaigns.
  • Develop and steward a comprehensive, sustainable university-wide branding and marketing strategy that supports the strategic goals, plans and aspirations of the university.
  • Evaluate and effectively employ appropriate marketing channels (digital, print, out of home, social, etc.) to achieve the university's brand objectives and strategic goals, including setting a foundation for recruitment (student, faculty, staff), fundraising, partnerships and alumni relations.
  • Develop strong internal partnerships with marketing and communications leaders focused on specific markets, such as potential students and donors.
  • Articulate the value proposition of the university and effectively market the U of A’s advantages to its internal and external audiences.
  • Direct market research to measure success of reputation campaign goals and results against brand audit baseline, develop campaign communication plans, lead selection of and ongoing relationships with external vendors and agencies, build creative concepts for multimedia channels, and lead development of launch and strategic events associated with campaigns.
  • Manage the university brand identity, visual identity, trademarks, associated brand legal documents and university use.
  • Lead and execute other marketing campaigns as required.
  • Work closely with other UR leaders to ensure the entire marketing and communications team is working together to achieve university and UR objectives.
  • As a member of the UR strategic communication and marketing leadership group, create short-, medium- and long-term integrated marketing plans that align with or complement the university's digital and communication strategies.
  • Provide strategic counsel to executive and senior leadership, deans, faculty and staff related to marketing strategies and tactics. Advise the VP UR on strategies and tactics to strengthen university brand awareness.
  • Develop and create, collaboratively with other UR leaders, marketing plans that are consistent with university values and policies. Support the development of communications plans.
  • Develop annual work plans for the marketing unit with clearly articulated goals, objectives and key performance indicators.
  • Develop, lead, mentor and manage the central brand and marketing team.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in marketing or a similar concentration. A master’s degree in a marketing-related field is preferred.
  • Ten or more years of integrated marketing experience for a complex institution.
  • A track record of implementing major national multi-channel marketing campaigns that met or exceeded stated measurable goals.
  • Minimum of five years' experience working directly with executives.
  • Extensive experience conducting and directing marketing research.
  • Experience developing financial models for marketing programs and campaigns.
  • Experience sourcing and managing agency partners.
  • Demonstrated experience building and managing teams and vendor relationships.
  • Experience managing online campaigns and integrated marketing initiatives.
  • Demonstrated experience managing advertisement campaigns, including developing appropriate targeting, offers and messages; executing campaigns via online and traditional channels; and tracking response rates, conversion rates and ROI.
  • An ability to think strategically and align different institutional objectives with the university brand. Passionate and knowledgeable on brand and reputation building.
  • Experience working in a team-centric operation. Outstanding communication and organizational skills are necessary. This individual must be able to work well with a wide range of people including senior executive and administrative staff, deans, faculty, students, media representatives, volunteers and other employees.
  • An ability to remain calm under pressure and manage stressful situations in a solution-oriented way with a positive attitude, and flexibility to work irregular hours.
  • Demonstrated success as an inspirational team leader. Must also have the ability to oversee and execute multiple projects simultaneously while working effectively under the pressure of last-minute deadlines and changing priorities.
  • Adaptability to function effectively both independently and as a member of a team, with a willingness to assist with routine and last-minute projects.

In accordance with the Handbook of Employment for Management and Professional Staff (Excluded), this full-time continuing position offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits and annual salary range, which will be commensurate with qualifications.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.