Executive Creative Director (Hybrid Opportunity)

Apply now Job no: 524184
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: MarCom
Pay Grade: 31
Categories: Public Relations, Marketing, Communications

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

An experienced and visionary leader, the Executive Creative Director (ECD) translates marketing and communications strategies into compelling creative concepts and expressions to consistently and effectively bring the UMass brand to life.

This role reports to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and is a member of the MarCom leadership team. The ECD has exceptional leadership skills and a strong background in audience segmenting and storytelling.  The role leads creative efforts across multiple platforms including magazine, print, digital, writing and editing, and video and photography. 

The ECD directs and develops compelling, best-in-class, strategic and effective solutions that set the creative standard for university marketing material. As the strategic leader for the MarCom creative team, the ECD partners closely with colleagues in University Relations and collaborates effectively with schools, colleges and university-wide units, and external partners. This position builds on brand architecture (verbal and visual) to generate creative communications that grow UMass Amherst’s brand awareness and enhance our reputation.


Essential Functions

  • Lead and manage the creative team, including designers, writers, editors, video producers and photographers, ensuring high quality output across all platforms. 
  • Lead the creative process from concept to execution, guiding and mentoring the team in developing innovative and impactful materials, including the UMass magazine, digital content, print collateral and multimedia and brand campaigns and other high-level initiatives.
  • Provide strategic vision for the over-arching brand direction, guiding the planning, execution and optimization of brand initiatives and campaigns to ensure alignment with brand architecture. 
  • Collaborate with peers on the MarCom leadership team and University Relations to reinvigorate and execute a comprehensive communication and marketing brand strategy for the campus.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships across the campus. Guide and support schools, colleges, and campus units on brand strategies, solutions and executions to meet their communications and marketing objectives. Effectively share, present and communicate across campus on creative best practices.
  • Select and manage the work of outside agency partners and other suppliers, working closely to ensure all creative is in alignment with brand strategies and guidelines.
  • Ensure consistent and unified brand identity across all deliverables and platforms/channels. Ensure all internal and external communications are consistent with brands voice, tone and visual identity.
  • Continue to refresh assets to optimize performance and reduce fatigue. Measure effectiveness of brand initiatives and campaigns and provide regular reports and insights to senior leadership to inform brand strategy and creative direction.
  • Stay ahead of creative and technical trends. Help the team innovate with new techniques and tactics so UMass is at the forefront in terms of strategy, tactics, organization, tools and processes.


Other Functions

Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of 10 years' experience in design, brand development and multimedia leadership.
  • Experience leading large and diverse creative teams in a complex organization with demonstrated ability in advancing organizational goals.
  • Experience working in an iterative and collaborative environment, directing alongside marketing leaders, creative designers and concept developers.
  • Extensive hands-on experience: conceptual storyteller with proven ability to concept, write and direct creative for full marketing campaigns and specific marketing materials, including digital, multimedia, print and video.
  • Exceptional client service.
  • Ability to think creatively, strategically and critically to balance business objectives with user needs.
  • Extensive experience in both producing and directing design, copy and artwork with agencies and freelancers.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to apply them to creative work.
  • Achievement in building, mentoring and leading a high-performing team of creatives. Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • High level of aesthetic sense with a critical eye and sharp attention to detail.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Deep understanding and application of marketing trends and modern marketing technology.


Preferred Qualifications

  • MFA preferred.
  • Experience with magazine production and publishing.
  • Experience in social media content creation.  


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment activity.


Work Schedule

  • 40 hours/week.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position is non-unit, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Non-Unit (Professional/or Classified) Employee Personnel Policy.


Salary Information

Salary commensurate with experience. 


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, and cover letter. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.