Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.


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Senior Director of External Affairs

Reports to: CEO
Status: Full Time, Exempt

Job Summary 

With SARSEF, every Arizona student has the opportunity to discover their potential as a scientist or engineer solving problems big and small. SARSEF uses a comprehensive programming model that supports students, teachers, and families so that students can think critically and solve problems through science and engineering. We couldn’t do it without meaningful engagement with current and potential external partners and stakeholders. 

As SARSEF’s Senior Director of External Affairs, you will play a critical role in the organization’s leadership team and serve as the lead for development and marketing/communications teams. Your work will ensure SARSEF continues to grow and further position itself for long-term success. 

The Successful Candidate will 

  • Lead, motivate and supervise teams focused on development, marketing, events, and volunteers to assist them in achieving the Organization’s overall goals and objectives. 
  • Direct innovative fundraising efforts that enable the organization to raise significant gifts from new and existing prospects and donors.  
  • Lead from community-centric fundraising principles 
  • Develop and execute the organization’s overall development strategy to meet short-term and long-term fundraising goals.  
  • Be the written voice of SARSEF in collaboration with the CEO through press releases, editorials, fundraising appeals, blog posts, and advertising. 
  • Enhance the organization’s major-donor cultivation, including individuals, foundations, and corporate partnerships. 
  • Serve as staff lead for the board’s external committee. 
  • Collaborate on inventory decisions for SARSEF merchandise in our online and event-specific store 
  • Further the organization’s efforts to reach and engage new audiences, especially those historically excluded from science and engineering fields. 
  • Develop and implement Hispanic marketing strategies (Fluency in Spanish is required). 
  • With key staff, oversee development and execution of organization-wide marketing plan with the goal of expanding participation as well as SARSEF’s brand/identity awareness, the Organization’s integrated marketing communications strategy includes: advertising, press and public relations, digital and social media strategy, and strategic partnerships.
  • Apply data to help inform organization-wide initiatives. 

Skills and Attributes  

SARSEF is seeking an exceptional leader who will contribute to the overall strength and future impact of the institution. The ideal candidate will possess:  

  • Demonstrated ability to select, train, motivate, and inspire staff, while holding them accountable for their performance. 
  • Fluency in Spanish is required. 
  • Successful record of achievement soliciting major gifts, building and cultivating relationships, and utilizing a strong network of contacts.  
  • Demonstrated ability to direct and execute effective marketing, social and traditional media, and public relations. 
  • Ability to think creatively and challenge norms. 
  • Highly organized strategic thinker. Experience in establishing clear direction, operating against objectives, and meeting deadlines.  
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills – ability to build consensus across internal and external constituents.  
  • Energetic and enthusiastic leader, comfortable with both the creative elements and technical components of the role.  
  • Strong management skills. Experience in both leading teams and in working collaboratively as part of a team.  
  • Connection to the SARSEF mission of creating Arizona’s future critical thinkers and problem solvers through science and engineering 
  • Experience in developing and managing budgets. 
  • Proficiency and comfort with standard word processing, videoconferencing, email, calendar, and fundraising platforms. 


The starting salary of this position is $66,000 – 71,000 with potential for higher through tenure and performance. Position includes employer-paid health, dental and vision insurance, generous paid time off, and paid holidays. 

To Apply 

Send a cover letter and resume to In your cover letter, please include information about relevant work experience and a description of your managerial style. Applicants invited to the second round of selection will be asked for a writing sample. 

It is our policy to prohibit any employment practice influenced or affected by an employee’s race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion/creed, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, genetics, or any other characteristic protected by law. This provision governs all aspects of employment, including hiring, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination, and access to benefits and training.