There has never been a more exciting time to work on advancing the use of technology at NAFSA; the organization has been making deep and intentional investments in technology and data. NAFSA’s focus is to create technology teams that integrate and work collaboratively with their program teams to better serve their members by building and maintaining products, services, and business intelligence through data to help our work reach the next level of impact.
As the Senior Director of Technology Solutions at NAFSA, you will play a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the association's technological vision. With over 10,000 members, NAFSA is the largest association committed to advancing international higher education. The Senior Director of Technology Solutions will lead the strategic and operational planning of information technology, ensuring that technology aligns with business goals, fosters innovation, and enhances overall organizational effectiveness.
Reporting to the CFO and supervising five direct reports within the department, the Senior Director of Technology Solutions plays a crucial role in scope management and prioritization to enable and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Technology department. This position interacts extensively with NAFSA’s senior leadership and stakeholders, actively contributing to the streamlined operation of the Technology department, ensuring that resources are directed toward projects that provide the highest value to the organization’s mission and goals.
Set the direction, service-oriented tone, operational priorities, and accountability measures for NAFSA’s technology functions (Technology Operations, Technology Solutions, Event Technology, and Data). 30%
- Manage staff workload management, issue resolution, and performance reviews.
- Fill team capacity vacancies via hiring and contracting, including drafting position descriptions, and engaging with HR and recruiters, appropriately.
- Manage technology staff across different functions and levels (Technology Operations, Technology Solutions, Event Technology, and Data).
- Establish outcome-oriented goal-setting processes aligned with NAFSA’s strategic plan, both at the team and individual levels.
- Ensure quality management practices across the team, including effective one-on-one meetings, performance reviews, and related processes.
- Take the lead on HR processes for the team.
Develop, track, and oversee the project portfolio for technology adoption and enhancements. 20%
- Translate business needs into relevant technology projects, products and services assessed against NAFSA's mission and strategic plan, and make recommendations to senior leadership.
- Participate in strategic meetings with NAFSA’s CFO to review project portfolio and technology operations.
- Coordinate and facilitate consultations with business units to identify departmental technology needs for the upcoming year and beyond.
- Identify appropriate budget for enhancements or implementation of technology solutions.
- Analyze each project against NAFSA’s mission and goals to help make recommendations to senior leadership and determine a project portfolio and budget for the following budget season.
- Forecast future human resource capacity and requirements for the technology team and reconcile proposed technology projects with available resources, enhancing the team’s capacity, as appropriate.
- Make recommendations to the management team on which projects should move forward, demonstrating a keen understanding of business needs and priorities.
- Participate in strategic weekly meetings with CFO to review status of project portfolio and technology operations.
- Timely communicate status and changes to portfolio with stakeholders.
- Apply technology project management best practices to ensure successful project implementations.
Oversee vendor relations & management for technology systems and services. 20%
- Oversee vendor relations and management for technology systems and services.
- Regularly review Technology vendor contracts to make sure NAFSA consistently receives the expected value—including products and services--from those relationships.
- Negotiate vendor contracts and service level agreements with a resource stewardship mentality, ensuring continuous delivery of technology solutions.
- Monitor and analyze trends in department spending in order to make recommendations for the future, and to identify areas for possible savings.
- Ensure that technology purchases continue to support the organization’s business strategy; safeguard against ongoing payment for obsolete services or products.
- Evaluate potential vendor’s capacity, expertise, and reputation; lead customer-centered RFP process when needed.
- Work with stakeholders to monitor the performance of vendors against contracts and service-level agreements; intervene when performance falls below an acceptable threshold.
Lead Technology Solutions’ strategic and operational planning to achieve business goals by fostering innovation, and coordinating the evaluation, deployment, and management of current and future IT systems across the organization. 10%
- Establish departmental goals, objectives, and operating procedures.
- Develop, track, and manage the technology annual operating and capital budgets.
- Stay current on issues and developments in NAFSA and international education, association management, and technology; recommend strategies for incorporating emerging technologies and processes to meet NAFSA’s business goals.
- Assess and make recommendations on the improvement or re-engineering of technology systems.
Team coordination and org-wide communication. 10%
- Create effective communication structures, both internal to the Technology team, as well as with the rest of the organization.
- Drive co-ownership of team meetings, including agenda development, facilitation, and post-meeting follow-through.
- Work collaboratively with team to maintain the Team Charter and keep ‘ways of working’ and core internal knowledge documentation up-to-date.
- Champion best practices in internal communication across collaboration platforms (Zoom, O365, etc.).
- Work closely with the CFO to ensure important organizational information is regularly shared with the team, and that important team information is regularly shared throughout the organization, as appropriate.
Oversee (and provide) project management services for the planning, design, and development of new applications and enhancements to existing applications. 5%
- Work with the business owners to define project scope, goals and deliverables that support business goals.
- Work with the project team to define project success criteria and track the project against criteria throughout the project life cycle.
- Plan, schedule and track project timelines and milestones using appropriate project management tools (such as Smartsheet).
- Proactively manage changes in project scope, identify potential crises, and devise contingency plans.
- Establish the resources and participants needed to achieve project goals; work with colleagues across the organization to ensure necessary project resources and participants are available to complete the project.
- Delegate tasks and responsibilities to appropriate personnel and external consultants/vendors to develop project deliverables.
- Set and continually manage project expectations with team members and other stakeholders; hold accountable for outcomes and/or recalibrate, as appropriate.
- Provide regular status reports to stakeholders & management; track project milestones, deliverables, and budget.
- Administer project closeout procedures including project debrief documentation, archival of project documentation, creation/distribution of user guides, creation of technical documentation, and integration into the Technology Solutions maintenance tasks.
Undertake other responsibilities and tasks as assigned by supervisor. 5%
The standard workday is generally 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. During the week after Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. NAFSA employees are eligible to apply for regular teleworking two days a week (on Mondays and Fridays).
Travel is required occasionally related to job responsibilities, especially for the annual conference or other leadership meetings. Participation in the NAFSA annual conference the week of Memorial Day, including the holiday itself, is a job requirement. The annual conference is held in varying cities.
Tasks are performed in a typical office environment, involving sitting for extended periods of time. Sitting, standing, bending, and lifting 10lbs or less will occur intermittently throughout the workday. Position involves constant use of computer keyboard and monitor, with intermittent use of headset and microphone.
Total Compensation, Benefits
The target salary for this full-time, 35-hour per week Senior Director of Technology Solutions position is $150,000. Total compensation for employment at NAFSA entails a competitive employee benefits package including:
- Competitively priced medical and dental insurance plans with CareFirst
- 403(b) retirement plan with eligibility for a 7% employer contribution
- Generous paid vacation, sick, personal, and parental leave plans
- Seventeen paid days around federal holidays
- Fully paid group life and disability insurance coverage
- Health and dependent care flexible spending account plans
- Pre-tax parking and transportation plans
- Opportunities for professional development and $5,250 in tuition reimbursement
- Free onsite fitness center and secure bicycle parking
You are a good fit for this role if you:
- Are knowledgeable about Agile and Lean frameworks and best practices and enthusiastic about coaching your team and the organization on adopting appropriate frameworks;
- Are a strategic thinker who is comfortable collaboratively defining a compelling vision and designing a measurable strategy to achieve that vision;
- Are a decisive leader who knows how to motivate cross-functional teams to build the right things;
- Are an empathetic coach, mentor, and advocate who helps colleagues develop the processes, tools, and skills to have ownership of their products and services;
- Understand what it takes to successfully run a complex operation, navigating the accompanying people dynamics;
- Operate collaboratively, cross functionally, and with effective transparency to ensure the success of strategic programs;
- Are an experienced Product Manager. You have experience crafting and executing on cross-functional product- and process-driven initiatives, including capturing and redefining requirements into impactful, value-added work items;
- Have demonstrated experience setting vision for technology departments, defining roadmaps in alignment with org-wide strategy, and driving key initiatives according to plan and timelines;
- Are an experienced Portfolio Manager. You prioritize initiatives and tasks effectively, according to the organization’s strategic plan, and multitask efficiently;
- Stay informed about industry trends and emerging technologies, providing strategic insights on how new technologies can enhance the organization's capabilities; and
- You play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless integration of technology initiatives, maintaining operational excellence, and safeguarding the organization's information assets.
- Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Management of Information Systems, Computer Science, or a related field. Master’s degree, or equivalent combination of education and experience, may be preferred.
- Substantial experience in strategic planning and execution; proven experience measuring outcomes related to organization-wide KPIs.
- Minimum ten (10) years of experience overseeing large scale technology integrations, SaaS applications, databases, networks, and systems architecture.
- Extensive management experience with integration of complex enterprise systems.
- Experience working with and overseeing a majority-SaaS technical ecosystem.
- Experience managing and maintaining an organization-wide content management system (CMS) or engagement management system (EMS).
- Proven experience overseeing an organization's cybersecurity and information security program, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and systems.
- Proven experience in senior IT and/or Information Systems (IS) leadership roles, preferably within associations or similar organizations.
- Strong business acumen and financial management skills with experience managing budgets exceeding $1M.
- Experience and skill using virtual collaboration tools such as Zoom chat, O365, DropBox, SmartSheets, and others to help teams create strong internal processes.
- Demonstrated success in strategic vendor management and negotiations.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Proven track record of complex, cross-divisional program management.
- Proven leadership ability.
- Expert understanding of computer systems characteristics, features, and integration capabilities.
- Authentic service-orientation and mindset.
- Excellent understanding of and practical experience applying project management principles.
- Considerable knowledge of business theory, business processes, management, budgeting, and business office operations.
- Sophisticated skillset and experience in people management.
- Experience working with cross-functional teams.
- Strong communication skills; listening and sharing information appropriately.
- Strong facilitation, prioritization, and influencing skills.
- Demonstrated experience and ability to manage team members (onsite and remotely), including preparing for and running effective virtual meetings.
- Willingness to engage with and execute on a plan, even in situations when there may be disagreement about some of its elements.
- Ability to orchestrate collaboration by removing roadblocks and fostering communication.
- Experience prioritizing competing demands.
- Demonstrated ability to manage and resolve conflict.
- Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations as they relate to IT and data compliance (i.e., GDPR, PCI-DSS, HIPPA, etc.) preferred.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Ability to present ideas in business-friendly and user-friendly language.
- Exceptional service orientation.
- Strong negotiating skills.
- Exceptional self-motivation and self-directed.
- Keen attention to detail.
- Superior analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to motivate in a team-oriented, collaborative environment.
Target annual salary is $150,000.