Director, Community Engagement

at SMU (view profile)
Location Dallas
Date Posted June 23, 2021
Category General
Job Type Full-time


Job Summary:

The Director of Community Engagement guides and raises awareness, internally and externally, of the positive impact SMU is making in Dallas/North Texas.


The Director understands the Dallas region, is known by city/community/regional leaders & will represent SMU in DFW. This position identifies/maintains relationships with key community, business and government leaders/influencers to foster favorable relationships in the community, particularly as the University prepares for its third comprehensive fundraising campaign.


The Director creates & executes SMU’s community engagement plan, working collaboratively with SMU schools and units to pair SMU academic resources with community needs. The position supports the marketing plan for SMU in alignment with Development and External Affairs goals and SMU’s strategic plan, and reports to the Executive Director for Media & Community Relations with a dotted line to the AVP for Marketing and Communications.


Essential Functions:

  • Manages and executes SMU’s community engagement strategy and plan, maintaining an ongoing assessment of projects already underway. Listens to civic and community leaders to identify opportunities for SMU to serve as a resource for meaningful impact. Articulates target audiences, objectives and messaging for SMU community impact.
  • Deepens SMU’s impact locally in by leveraging SMU's community relations work across campus schools and units in collaboration with University leadership, students, faculty, and staff. Collaborates with existing SMU project teams working in the community to enhance their efforts through student/staff volunteerism, building partnerships with local nonprofits and more.
  • Builds and maintains relationships with elected officials, targeted nonprofit organizations, community leaders,  school districts and chambers of commerce in alignment with community engagement plan, identifying existing and emerging leaders to participate in SMU events. Participates on community boards and committees related to SMU goals, and engages SMU faculty and staff to serve as appropriate.
  • Works with development officers to assist in identifying people eligible to serve on SMU executive boards, with particular attention to emerging leaders and businesses as well as underrepresented communities. Supports DEA campaign efforts by identifying corporate, civic and nonprofit leaders who should receive SMU development  communications.
  • Collaborates with the Media Relations team to amplify stories of impact and strengthen SMU's reputation in the region. Markets and promotes relevant programs to broader community and oversees content of community website and social media. Crafts community talking points and communications. Seeks opportunities for select administrators/deans to speak at relevant community and business events.
  • Oversees SMU participation in community-related events, including one-time and ongoing opportunities for visibility that align with University objectives (Examples: MLK Parade, Park Cities seasonal events). Coordinates and contribute to community aspects of SMU landmark events, such as Homecoming and Founders Day.
  • Oversees two student workers who will arrange and guide SMU tours for elementary and middle school students upon request by individual schools.
  • Position requires evening and weekend work, as needed, when community projects and events take place outside  the 8:30 am - 5 p.m. business hours.
  • Frequent local driving off-campus (mileage reimbursed)




Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required. Master's degree preferred.


A minimum of seven years of professional work experience in community relations and engagement experience is required.


Experience in communications and management of projects is preferred. Experience managing events and overseeing a budget is desirable.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, as well as the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community. 

Candidate must possess strong organizational, planning and time-management skills with the ability to proactively manage multiple priorities. Must also demonstrate a strong attention to detail. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem solving skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive and seek assistance as needed. The ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team is essential.

Candidate must have a strong working knowledge of MS Office. Must also have a strong working knowledge and experience with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Financial and budget experience, as well as as experience creating and tracking budgets is preferred.


Physical/Environmental Demands:

  • Bend, crawl, reach above shoulders,
  • Carry/lift 25 lbs.,
  • Sit for long periods of time,
  • Squat, kneel, stand, walk for long distances.  

Deadline to Apply:

July 26, 2021

Priority consideration may be given to submissions recevied by July 12, 2021.

To apply please use the following link:

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,  
Only registered members can apply for jobs.