A global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, Northeastern University seeks a self-directed, pragmatic, and highly organized executive to serve as Board Secretary. In addition to astutely facilitating the governance of the university, the Board Secretary will provide a sophisticated level of hands-on support to university leadership, the Board Chairman, and the Board of Trustees as a whole. The Board Secretary will work diligently to ensure the initiatives of each Trustee ultimately reach successful outcomes, and communication between the Board and the university is consistent and transparent.
Classified as a top-tier research institution and listed at #40 according to the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best National Universities Rankings, Northeastern has elevated itself into a powerhouse on par with the nation’s elite research colleges and universities. These achievements build upon Northeastern’s unprecedented momentum, which includes continued investments in research and faculty recruitment, record-high student applications, and momentous fundraising success, and are highlighted in the university’s 2019 institutional accomplishments.
President Joseph Aoun, an internationally respected voice on the value of global and experiential education, has led the expansion of experiential learning—centered on Northeastern’s signature co-op program—to offer opportunities for work, research, service, and global study. He has strategically aligned the university’s use-inspired research enterprise with three global imperatives—health, security, and sustainability—a focus supported by seven new interdisciplinary research institutes. Northeastern has also established a network of nine campuses in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, as part of the president’s vision (Northeastern2025) for a global university system that will expand opportunities for lifelong learning and collaborative research.
The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate level through nine colleges and schools based in Boston, and select advanced degrees at regional and global graduate campuses in Charlotte, London, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver. Northeastern’s global community continues to thrive during unprecedented and challenging market conditions and has shown tremendous dexterity and resilience during the current pandemic. Quickly transitioning to remote learning, the institution continues to educate its students and advance the frontiers of knowledge through its research.
Northeastern’s game-changing vision of transforming the university into diverse networks of lifelong learners and innovators, and empowering members of its global community to succeed in an era of unprecedented technological and cultural change is steered in part by its global Board of Trustees. The Board will bolster the institution as it begins its next historic fundraising campaign and remains both engaged and dedicated to ensuring a strong, sustainable future for Northeastern University.
Reporting to the Senior Vice President for University Advancement, Diane MacGillivray, and the Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Ralph Martin, the Board Secretary will advise the Board of Trustees, the President, and the senior leadership team on all issues relating to corporate governance; ensure that the initiatives of each Trustee member are advanced and made successful; provide effective and thoughtful support to the University’s senior vice presidents, particularly in their respective efforts preparing for Board and committee activities; and personally engage in the work of the two-person Office of the Trustees, which coordinates the meetings of the Board and its various committees, as well as communications with board members.
As the University continues to expand its footprint, the Board Secretary will be a key opinion leader and facilitator of enterprise-wide board development and governance, coalescing leadership priorities across Northeastern’s network of campuses. Partnering closely with the Senior Vice President for University Advancement, the Board Secretary will explore opportunities to form regional and global councils, assist the University’s nine schools and colleges to identify new pathways to virtually engage and convene their respective advisory boards and councils, and define the necessarily university-wide relationships and strategies to be successful.
The Board Secretary will serve as the consummate advisor, facilitator, and coordinator, able to anticipate and resolve challenges and business needs, and gently influence peers to reach appropriate conclusions about the work at hand. They will often deal with complex matters requiring flexible and creative thinking and collaboration – notably during this time of virtual relationship building – and which must be executed with the utmost integrity.
Enterprise-Wide Board Governance & Development
The successful candidate will bring prior experience as a trusted advisor on governance and corporate strategy. Demonstrated experience in a leadership position, exceptional judgment, proven track record of thinking strategically and driving change, and an appreciation for nuance are essential. A breadth of leadership skills and confidence-inspiring capabilities will be necessary to earn the trust and respect of the Board of Trustees and the senior leadership team of the University.
Northeastern seeks a seasoned professional with creativity, enthusiasm, engagement, self-motivation and energy. They should be able to quickly contribute in a meaningful way as a highly effective partner to the Board and senior management. This individual should operate with a significant degree of transparency and be capable of articulating a vision and strategy for the institution in the area of governance. Strong written and verbal communication skills, superior attention to detail, the willingness to roll up one’s sleeves, and the ability to forge close working relationships throughout the University and with the Board will be paramount to their success.
A wide variety of professional experiences may be strong preparation for the Board Secretary role including those gained in the private sector, higher education, other nonprofit institutions, or government, and/or by rendering advice to senior management and/or boards.
Additional professional qualifications and personal characteristics include:
Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
To learn more about Northeastern University’s commitment to and support of diversity and inclusion, please see www.northeastern.edu/diversity.
Please submit your resume and cover letter to [email protected].