Oregon State University seeks a new executive director of government relations. Please review the position summary for more information regarding this leadership opportunity.

Oregon State University (OSU) seeks an executive director of government relations to serve as a passionate advocate for Oregon State University and higher education in Oregon. The executive director reports directly to the president and serves as an integral member of the senior leadership team.

It is an exciting time to join Oregon State University. Founded in 1868 as Oregon’s land grant institution and one of only two land, sea, space, and sun grant universities in the U.S., Oregon State University serves the state, the nation, and the world as a premier 21st-century research university. OSU is Oregon’s statewide university with its main campus in Corvallis; a branch campus in Bend (OSU-Cascades); a presence in Newport (Hatfield Marine Science Center), Portland (OSU Portland Center), and online (Ecampus); and educational programs, Extension, and engagement in all of Oregon’s counties. OSU is now in the fourth phase of its strategic plan – SP4.0: Transformation, Excellence and Impact – and continues to make measurable progress in all areas, including the growth and diversification of faculty and high-achieving students and creation of a more inclusive and welcoming community. Research grants and expenditures have continued to increase dramatically, and the faculty has outpaced peer institutions for prestigious grants and partnerships, while maintaining deep commitments to engaged learning and public service. OSU has also successfully increased revenue from private fundraising, corporate partnerships, research grants and technology transfers. These successes have fueled OSU’s rise as a land-grant university for the 21st century.

About the Search Committee

  • Alan Sams, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Search Committee Chair
  • Hans Bernard, Assistant Vice President for State Affairs, University of Oregon
  • Julie Brandis, Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships, College of Engineering
  • Debbie Colbert, Secretary of the Board
  • Justin Fleming, Manager, Motor Pool, Faculty Senate Administrative Appointments Committee Representative
  • Becca Gose, General Counsel
  • Rachel Josephson, ASOSU President
  • Jan Lewis, Director of Administrative Services, Division of Finance and Administration
  • Jeff Sherman, Assistant Director, Outreach and Engagement Search Advocate
  • John Valva, Vice President of Alumni Relations, OSU Foundation Executive Director, OSU Alumni Association
  • Jennifer Almquist, Chief Assistant to the President, Search Administrator

Position Summary

Oregon State University’s Office of the President is seeking an executive director of government relations to serve as a passionate advocate for Oregon State University and higher education in Oregon. This is a full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, fixed term professional faculty position. Reappointment is at the discretion of the president.

Founded in 1868 as Oregon’s land grant institution and one of only two land, sea, space, and sun grant universities in the U.S., Oregon State University serves the state, the nation, and the world as a premier 21st-century research university. OSU is Oregon’s statewide university with its main campus in Corvallis; a branch campus in Bend (OSU-Cascades); a presence in Newport (Hatfield Marine Science Center), Portland (OSU Portland Center), and online (Ecampus); and educational programs, Extension, and engagement in all of Oregon’s counties.

The executive director plays a vital leadership role in supporting and preserving the university’s land grant mission; realizing its vision and its commitment to fostering a university community that prioritizes diversity and inclusive excellence; and advancing its strategic plan by directing the university’s interactions at the local, state, and federal levels and building relationships among and between various constituencies to advocate for the university and advance its policy and funding priorities. This is a fast-paced, high-profile position with responsibilities including monitoring, managing, and engaging in federal and state legislation programs and proposals; developing and maintaining effective relationships with governmental agencies and officials; and overseeing the university’s interactions with members of Congress and executive branch agencies. The executive director builds networks to link and mobilize stakeholders and works with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other stakeholders to coordinate their engagement in government relations activities. The executive director also provides direction to and works in support of student advocacy efforts and works with colleges and college leadership teams on key legislative issues. In partnership with other university leaders, the executive director participates in constituent relations, public affairs communications, and issues management on a range of organizational and public policy matters.

The executive director leads the Government Relations Office, which represents Oregon State University in the governmental process by building and maintaining relationships between the university and various civic, government, and political communities. Responsibilities include defining and leading the direction for the office, leading a high-performance team comfortable operating in a highly complex and dynamic environment, and building a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in a field relevant to assigned responsibilities OR an equivalent combination of a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of seven years’ experience providing public affairs consultation and strategy.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of local, state, and federal legislative and executive processes.

  • Demonstrated success in legislative advocacy, negotiation, and persuasion.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain relationships with public officials and their staffs.

  • Demonstrated experience with crisis and issues management.

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate, assemble, and effectively work with teams from diverse backgrounds and perspectives and to mobilize diverse constituent groups to achieve identified goals.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a complex organization and/or with complex issues.

  • Demonstrated experience providing counsel and guidance to executives or leadership teams.

  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills, with an emphasis on tact and diplomacy.

  • Demonstrated ability to set a strategic vision and create public affairs plans and strategies.

To Apply

For a full position description and application instructions, review the posting. To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by September 16, 2019. A complete online application consists of

  • resume
  • a cover letter indicating how your qualifications and experience have prepared you for this position
  • names and contact information for three references

OSU commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

Candidate Evaluations

President Ray and the search committee welcome your evaluation and feedback regarding the three finalists who interviewed on campus for the position of executive director for government relations. Please complete the survey to provide your feedback based on your interactions with the candidates during their visit. Feedback is due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15. Thank you.