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Executive Director of American Indian/Alaska Native and First Nation Relations & Tribal Liaison to the President

Apply now Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: University Relations

Position Title Executive Director: American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and First Nation Relations and Tribal Liaison to the President
About the University Western Washington University, with over 15,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2017 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department

The Office of University Relations & Marketing is responsible for fostering and maintaining effective relationships and communication with local government as well as providing leadership to all efforts aimed at enhancing the reputation of and appreciation for the University, always striving to communicate and work effectively with our neighboring communities, businesses and entities.

The Office of University Relations & Marketing oversees:

  • Commitment to equity and justice, and respect for the rights and dignity of others.
  • Integrity, responsibility and accountability in all our work.
  • Pursuit of excellence, in an environment characterized by principles of shared governance, academic freedom and effective engagement.
  • Commitment to student success, critical thought, creativity and sustainability.
About the Position

Western Washington University is looking for its first-ever Executive Director of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and First Nation Relations and Tribal Liaison to the President. This high profile position has both external and internal-facing leadership responsibilities. Externally, the successful candidate represents the President and Board of Trustees as liaison and envoy to AI/AN and First Nations governments. Internally, you will advocate for the support and success of AI/AN students on campus.  The successful candidate must possess the ability to effectively advocate on behalf of AI/AN and First Nation students, and engage in conversations on a range of topics and issues, perhaps difficult at times, where all members of the university community have an opportunity to participate and provide input.  The position reports to the Vice President for University Relations and Marketing and also serves as special liaison representing the President.

Position Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will lead Western's effort to forge meaningful, sustainable relationships with AI/AN and First Nations communities with particular emphasis on neighboring Coast Salish tribes.  You will play a critical role in improving access and success of AI/AN students, staff, and faculty.

The desired outcomes for this position are:

  • Sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships between the University and tribal governments in serving AI/AN students
  • Improved articulation and access to educational and student support services for AI/AN students attending Western


Required Qualifications
  • Either (1) a Master’s degree in student personnel administration in higher education, public administration, AI/AN leadership, ethnic studies, environmental resources, social psychology, or a related field that includes coursework and/or experience communicating and working with AI/AN or First Nation communities OR (2) a Bachelor’s degree in one of the listed fields plus four years of related experience.
  • Demonstrated success in securing grants and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) development.
  • Strong knowledge of American Indian treaty rights and law, including concepts of sovereignty and self-determination.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and ability to build lasting relationships.
  • Knowledge of tribal protocols, cultures, histories, sovereignty, and government relations, particularly for Coast Salish tribes, but also for AI/AN or First Nations communities as a whole.
  • Tribal community member.
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in higher education, including but not limited to employment in a college or university student success center, or for example, U.S. Department of Education TRIO Program; Institutional Assessment department.
  • Demonstrated ability in supporting college access and success of AI/AN or First Nations students.
  • Demonstrated experience managing program budgets.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Ability to communicate across cultural lines to include interpretation of policy between tribal and Western Washington governments.
  • Analytical ability to interpret student success metrics.
  • Excellent presentation skills and experience delivering policy level briefings.
  • Washington State tribal community member.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience working with AI/AN or First Nations students in higher education.
Salary Salary range is $87,705 to $112,067
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Review of applications begins August 20, 2018; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act").  It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus.  The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.  You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the office of the Vice President for enrollment and Student Services.  The report can be found at

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 495929
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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