The Associate Director for Community Engagement is responsible for leading the Gephardt Institute’s vision and strategy for fostering robust, impactful, and mutually beneficial community engagement in the St. Louis region among Washington University undergraduate and graduate/professional students.
This position uplifts Washington University’s strategic plan priority to be Washington University in St. Louis, for St. Louis, and with St. Louis. The specific focus of this position is student learning and engagement as a vital component of the university’s comprehensive commitment to St. Louis. The Gephardt Institute envisions that Washington University students will embrace St. Louis as a vital part of their education, learn from and collaborate with community partners, and apply their talents to affect positive change in St. Louis. The Associate Director will lead this strategic priority with a keen focus on the institute’s goals to educate all students for lifelong engaged citizenship, catalyze partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities, and infuse civic engagement throughout the Washington University student experience.
This position serves as lead educator on the theory and practice of ethical community engagement among undergraduate and graduate/professional students, and across academic and co-curricular initiatives, through: Development and oversight of curriculum and engagement strategies centered on community knowledge; partnership facilitation among St. Louis civic and community organizations, Washington University students, and Washington University faculty/staff educators; and leadership of St. Louis summer fellowship programs.
The Associate Director applies the institute’s theory of change, data-informed strategies, and leading practices in community engagement with attention to initiatives that foster both student learning and community impact.
This position requires a strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This position also requires a strong commitment to non-partisanship and to engagement of all Washington University students regardless of their political positions.
Primary Duties & Responsibilities
Lead strategy, curriculum, partnership development, and program development to foster students’ learning and engagement with the St. Louis community, with attention to knowledge and skills for ethical engagement. Responsibilities, which are supported by a full-time program manager, graduate fellows, and undergraduate interns, include:
Identify, cultivate, and sustain strong and trusting relationships with civic/community organizations and other strategic partners in the St. Louis region; serve as a key point of contact for civic/community organizations and initiatives seeking to engage and partner with students to advance organizational priorities and student learning; create an institute tracking system to document community contacts and partnerships.
Facilitate mutually beneficial connections and partnerships with St. Louis civic/community organizations and initiatives, with a focus on building sustainable systems, procedures, and communications. These partnerships may be with student-facing programs, individual students, and/or student-led organizations.
Design curricula, training, immersive experiences, and other educational/engagement programs, with a focus on replicable and scalable initiatives. Drive educational content and community immersion that uplifts community voices; multiple perspectives and narratives; the assets, opportunities, challenges, and complexity of the St. Louis region; Gephardt Institute values; and a broad range of strategies and industries that contribute to the progress and vitality of the St. Louis region.
Manage the Civic Engagement Fund grants program to cultivate and support impactful community engagement and partnerships, alongside the Associate Director for Civic Engagement.
Write and regularly review Memoranda of Understanding to confirm and document community partnership agreements.
Oversee St. Louis fellowship programs, with a focus on strategic growth and measurable impact on community priorities and student learning. Responsibilities include:
Supervise a full-time program manager responsible for leading the design, curriculum, implementation, evaluation, and scaling of a signature St. Louis fellowship program to cultivate students as civic leaders and contribute substantially to regional progress. This signature program will integrate and build on the successes of the current Goldman Fellows Program, Morris Fellows Program, and Arts as Civic Engagement.
Facilitate mutually beneficial and sustained partnerships to support substantial student internships with nonprofits, government, civic organizations, social enterprise, business, or related industries that are pursuing civic change efforts.
Collaborate with university partners to integrate students with strategic initiatives of the St. Louis Commitment through internships and educational opportunities.
Ensure that the program’s educational content is aligned across the institute, as described in the section above.
Supervise professional and student staff responsible for managing programs, facilitating cohort-based student learning, and facilitating strong and trusting partnerships with civic/community organizations and initiatives.
Support fundraising and stewardship efforts, including proposal writing, donor and prospective donor engagement, reporting, and development of external communication pieces (video, website, external collateral, etc.).
Oversee documentation of the program that can serve as a replicable model for other colleges/universities and for civic/community organizations nationally.
Collaborate and maintain alignment with university efforts associated with the University Strategic Plan, including current and future community engagement leaders and hubs. Responsibilities include:
Identify and advance emergent strategies to integrate student learning and engagement with university initiatives that focus on St. Louis, and for the Gephardt Institute to contribute to the realization of the University’s commitment to St. Louis. This may include, but is not limited to, leading or supporting expansion of community engagement resources and development of a strategy to serve university staff.
Identify partnerships cultivated through Gephardt Institute programming that are aligned with broader University efforts focused on St. Louis.
Coordinate with Gephardt Institute and university colleagues to regularly review and modify, and consistently implement, risk management policies and procedures associated with student community engagement.
Serve on the Gephardt Institute’s senior leadership team to strategize across all institute functions. Responsibilities include:
Collaborate with the Associate Director for Civic Engagement and Director of Programs and Operations to develop and implement integrated student engagement curricula and strategies. This includes strong attention to engaging and educating students with marginalized identities, students from low-income backgrounds, and students underrepresented in Gephardt Institute programs.
Integrate the considerations of the Institute’s National Advisory Council and Student Advisory Council into curriculum and program design.
Coordinate the institute’s Community Advisory Council, which informs the institute’s community engagement plans and strategy.
Cultivate and sustain key relationships and partnerships with university units including Student Affairs; academic departments and schools; interdisciplinary centers and institutes; Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Campus Y; Government & Community Relations; General Counsel; Advancement; and University Marketing and Communications.
Represent the institute at external and internal meetings, committees, special events, and other functions as assigned by the Executive Director.
Contribute to initiatives, meetings, and events of the Gephardt Institute, including donor cultivation and stewardship, developing strategy and vision for initiatives, planning processes, grant/proposal applications, and special events.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Master’s degree in Social Work, Public Policy, Public Administration, Urban Studies/Planning, Non-Profit Management, Education, or a related field.
Substantive knowledge of St. Louis civic/community organizations and initiatives, stakeholders, history, and the regional landscape.
Twelve or more years of experience that includes both civic/community engagement work and work with undergraduate and graduate students, with progressive management and leadership responsibility.
Substantive knowledge and passion for civic engagement, community engagement, civic learning, community development, community partnerships, social change, and/or related areas.
Demonstrated knowledge and experience with curriculum development, program development, partnership development, proposal writing, program design and implementation, and evaluation, with special emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.
Teaching, training, and/or intergroup dialogue facilitation experience with adolescents, college students, and/or recent college graduates.
Substantive experience supervising professional staff, managing others, and/or leading teams.
Substantive experience with multiple forms of community engagement, such as community development, non-profit leadership, social services, immersive experiences, community organizing, international service, K-12 education, philanthropy, etc.
Demonstrated experience and expertise in forming and sustaining mutually beneficial community partnerships.
Demonstrated experience and track record of success in translating visions into plans, scaling programs, and developing and continuously improving systems and procedures.
Professional experience in a college/university office or youth-serving organization addressing civic engagement, community engagement, and/or community outreach.
Exceptional curriculum development, program design, and teaching/training skills to facilitate deep learning and engagement within a highly diverse, intellectual, and passionate student body.
Exceptional writing and editing skills with strong attention to both detail and nuance.
Strong supervision and relationship management skills, with capacity to lead or guide others; function collaboratively in a team-based environment; dialogue across difference; and handle challenging internal and external dilemmas or support others through them.
Excellent organizational, analytical, problem-solving, project management, and event planning skills. Strong time management, attention to detail, ability to manage multiple priorities, and ability to forecast and plan work across teams, while maintaining a landscape view of priorities, values, and vision.
Demonstrated sensitivity, knowledge, and skills for working with issues of power, privilege, identity, racial equity, and cultural humility; and for equipping students, faculty, and staff for responsible engagement with marginalized communities and complex civic issues.
Commitment to the Gephardt Institute’s values of Inquiry, Empathy, Collaboration, Integrity, Equity, and Action.
Energy, vision, initiative, creativity, empathy, humility, tolerance for ambiguity, ability to embrace and navigate change, sound judgment, diplomacy, tact, and sense of humor.
Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to collaborate and build relationships with a racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse and broad range of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, civic leaders, donors, prospective donors, and executive-level administrators and external advisors.
Enthusiasm and ability to work in and provide leadership for a dynamic environment with multiple functions, audiences, and priorities.
Demonstrated ability to lead from a middle management position.
Ability and willingness to work frequent evening and weekend hours in service to students, community partners, and the institute’s mission.
Ability to travel to off-site locations for meetings, events, and other community engagement efforts.
About Washington University in St. Louis
About the Gephardt Institute
The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement’s mission is to foster a vibrant culture of civic engagement across Washington University, realized by engaged citizens, scholarship, and partnerships that advance the collective good. Through both academic and co-curricular initiatives, the institute educates students for lifelong engaged citizenship, catalyzes partnerships that respond to community needs and priorities, and infuses civic engagement throughout the Washington University experience.
As a university-wide interdisciplinary initiative, the Gephardt Institute serves all academic schools, university departments, undergraduate students, and graduate students, reporting to the Provost. The institute is non-partisan and proactively seeks to support and include diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and ideologies, with a strong attention to equity.
The Gephardt Institute team is comprised of individuals who are mission-driven, values-focused, dynamic, collaborative, visionary, and passionate about the role of civic engagement in a thriving democracy. The institute upholds the values of inquiry, empathy, collaboration, integrity, equity, and action. The staff focuses on four primary audiences: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, community organizations in the St. Louis region, and alumni and donors.
Since the institute’s founding in 2005 by Congressman Dick Gephardt, the professional staff size has grown from two to thirteen, with eight or more part-time, short-term, and adjunct positions and 10-20 paid interns/fellows from undergraduate and graduate programs. The institute recently relocated to the historic Stix House as its sole occupant. The institute offers a broad range of programs and services to the Washington University community and to partners in the St. Louis region, such as the Civic Scholars Program; Engage Democracy; new student engagement; and Civic Engagement Fund grants for community partnerships.
To learn more about the Gephardt Institute and our strategic plan, please visit https://gephardtinstitute.wustl.edu/about/jobs-and-internships/.