Oregon Health & Science University Foundation

Senior Director of Foundation Communications

Portland, OR

Position Description

Executive Summary

Oregon Health & Science University Foundation (OHSUF) seeks a forward-thinking and innovative communications professional to serve as its next Senior Director of Foundation Communications. Working in close collaboration with Foundation leadership and advancement staff and in concert with central OHSU communications, the Senior Director will develop and implement communications strategies and integrated messaging campaigns that highlight OHSU/OHSUF’s mission, achievements, and philanthropic goals - inspiring deeper engagement with and increased financial support of one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading academic medical centers.

The Senior Director serves as a vital contributor to the OHSU Foundation’s fundraising efforts by providing vision, leadership, and a strategic framework for the OHSU Foundation’s communications activities. Core to the role will be aligning communication with drivers of philanthropy -- overseeing all communications, digital strategies, marketing, branding, and public relations for the Foundation. The Senior Director leads a team of eight communications/marketing/digital professionals focused on advancing OHSUF’s fundraising initiatives, digital presence, donor relations, and volunteer engagement activities. Working closely with OHSU/OHSUF leaders, the Senior Director will develop, manage, and execute key institutional communications priorities, partnering cross-functionally to capture, enhance, and disseminate compelling stories across multiple platforms that highlight OHSU impacts in patient care, medical research, community partnerships, and public health; all while emphasizing key imperatives for private philanthropic support and articulating the impact of those dollars.

Founded originally in 1887 as the University of Oregon Medical School, with independence in 1974 and rebranding to Oregon Health & Science University in 2001, OHSU serves as the premier center for Oregon dentistry, nursing, medicine, and public health programs. Until 2011, it was the only medical school in the state, but is one of the leading medical treatment, education, and research centers in the country. In 2018, OHSU educated more than 5,500 students and trainees, treated 300,000 patients, received over $450M in research grants, and raised more than $140M from individuals, corporations, and foundations. OHSU’s leading research centers include the Knight Cancer Institute, led by the visionary Dr. Brian Druker, the Casey Eye Institute, the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute and the OHSU Neuroscience Initiative focusing on three main areas of brain health; Neurodegeneration, Neurodevelopment and Neuro-Repair.

Nearing the close of a successful seven-year, $2B Onward Campaign, OHSU Foundation leaders are continuing to invest in Foundation talent and capacity and thinking about how to continually stretch the boundaries of its philanthropic and engagement goals while reflecting on how best to center equity and diversity in all its efforts. A member of the senior leadership team with a direct reporting line to the Foundation president, the Senior Director will drive communications across all Foundation channels and audiences in alignment with institutional priorities and fundraising strategies. They will be critical in achieving these goals by crafting a strategic and cohesive communications plan that builds off the momentum from the campaign and captures the energy of a talented, energetic, and curious team of communications professionals.

Strategic versus reactive, the Senior Director of Foundation Communications will be a creative and critical thinker capable of developing a clear vision for how best to articulate OHSU and the Foundations’ compelling areas of distinction, inspire key audiences to action, and coordinate communications and outreach across all messaging platforms including print, web, social media, events, and public relations.

The ideal candidate is expected to have at least 10 to 15 years of experience with a proven record of developing and executing multi-pronged communication strategies that uplift and enhance institutional goals, initiatives, and philanthropic gifts. Demonstrated success in leading a team of highly-qualified communications professionals is vital. Previous experience working in a complex organization, preferably in academic medicine and/or higher education, is highly desired, as is the maturity and acumen to successfully navigate and collaborate within such environments. Leading candidates will have demonstrated achievement in developing and implementing a cohesive and integrated marketing and communications strategy which resulted in measurable impact to a complex organization (e.g. improvements in market position, membership, client acquisition, funding). They will have broad experience in strategic marketing, communication planning, media and public affairs, crisis management, and new media technologies.

A collaborative and accessible leadership style, well-suited to management in a complex, rapid change environment, is a prerequisite, as is the creativity, energy and political savvy needed to prioritize and uplift new ideas and shared achievements. Strong managerial and motivational skills are required, as well as the compassion, clarity, and communication skills necessary to articulate clear philanthropic goals and empower OHSUF staff, OHSU faculty and influential supporters. An undergraduate degree is required and an advanced degree is preferred.

To Apply


OHSU believes that diversity and equity are imperative to our success, which is why we are committed to creating and sustaining a culture where all employees are empowered to do great work—and where the best decisions are made because they’re informed by multiple, diverse perspectives.

To learn more, please reach out to President Tracy D. Welsh and Senior Associate Eva Kotilinek and share your biographical materials via email at: OHSU-SDFC@talentcitizen.com

The OHSU Foundation provides equal opportunities to all individuals without regard to age, color, current or future military status, disability (physical or mental), gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran, or any other status protected by law.
Position Description

Search Team

Tracy Welsh  

Eva Kotilinek