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Senior Director, University Relations and Engagement


Location: Redmond, Washington

Job Type: Full time


Based in Redmond, you will lead a team within Microsoft’s Corporate External and Legal Affairs (CELA) group that works across Microsoft to build, enhance and leverage relationships at key universities in North America. You will be responsible for developing and operationalizing the strategy to build on Microsoft’s long-term relationships with universities, build brand awareness, and drive strategic unity across Microsoft’s Global Talent Organization, Sales, Research and product teams. This includes overseeing and driving forward Microsoft’s strategic partnerships with minority serving institutions, contributing to Microsoft’s commitments to further diversify and support the talent pipeline and ensure representation for historically underrepresented populations. You will also develop and implement Microsoft’s strategy to align with universities on mutually beneficial institutional interests, including federal research funding and higher education immigration policy.

The ideal candidate will have strong customer-facing skills, executive presence, the ability to think broadly, and the presence to help bring all of Microsoft’s assets into one integrated agenda with universities. They will have the ability to understand cultural normal at all levels of the university community – from Presidents and Provosts to professional staff and students, and the ability to navigate, engage, and influence a broad constituent base within Microsoft.


  • Develop, drive, and refine the University and Academic Relations strategy, programs, and tactics to ensure Microsoft is viewed as an innovative and trusted partner by core universities and scholars.
  • Own and manage a set of objectives and key results that align with the goals of CELA and Microsoft.
  • Partner with universities and academic associations to further long-term innovation goals, invest in the talent ecosystem, and advocate for investment in research.
  • Maintain accountability for defining, advocating, aligning, and gaining agreement on business planning that balances university needs and opportunities and internal Microsoft stakeholder communities with CELA and Microsoft goals.
  • Lead a team of professionals responsible for strategic engagement with universities and academics.
  • Be a strong, inclusive, results-driven team leader through cross team collaboration within the Technology and Corporate Responsibility team, within CELA and other Microsoft teams.


Required/Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree AND 10+ years experience in corporate social responsibility, philanthropies, corporate affairs, or related area-
    • OR 12+ years experience in corporate social responsibility, philanthropies, corporate affairs, or related area.
  • 10+ years of proven thought leadership and results working with academic communities
  • 5 years of years of management/lead experience
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate an effective virtual community; track record of excellent teamwork and collaboration in a large organization across multiple teams

Additional or Preferred Qualifications:

  • Commitment and ability to develop, communicate, and execute against a shared vision, gaining support from a wide array of internal/external stakeholders, including executives
  • Understanding of the university environment and the current dynamics of the tech sector highly preferred
  • Strong verbal, written, project management, and time management skills
  • Ability to think strategically, intuitively, empathetically, and to solve unstructured, complex issues
  • Strong ability to represent Microsoft and build trusted external relationships
  • Good judgment, strong interpersonal skills, and a good sense of humor
  • Willingness and ability to travel to the extent necessary to accomplish objectives
  • Masters or Ph.D. a plus
  • 15+ years experience in corporate social responsibility, philanthropies, corporate affairs, or related area.In-house counsel experience
  • 5+ years experience managing a corporate social responsibility or related program
  • 5+ years of people or team management experience
  • 5+ years experience working in or with a large, matrixed organization
  • Experience working in a policy field a plus


Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.