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Director, Office of International Student and Scholar Services

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
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Closing date
Mar 23, 2024

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Student & Scholar Services
Position Type
Employment Type
Organization Type
College / University

Director, Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Job ID: 49548


Job Summary:

Reporting to the Executive Director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs (Northwestern Buffett), the Director of International Student and Scholar Services provides leadership for the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS), including immigration compliance, international student and scholar needs, and international community. The Director leads and manages a 16-member professional team responsible for all aspects of service to the international student and scholar population. The Director leads policy development and regulatory compliance; designs and leads faculty, staff, and student engagement programs; advises the institution on key non-immigrant policies; liaises with Alumni Relations and Development to cultivate donors; manages an operating budget of approximately $1.6M, including endowed program funds, and partners with key stakeholders across the schools and administrative units. Specifically, the Director works in partnership with Northwestern Buffett and Provost Office leaders to ensure coordination of international services with other related services and activities.


The Director also oversees technical immigration advising functions and efforts to strengthen services supporting the engagement of international students, scholars and globally minded individuals within the Northwestern campus community, while maintaining essential partnerships with key University and governmental stakeholders.


Specific Responsibilities:  

  • Direct and oversee the services and daily operations and programs for 9,000 international students, scholars and dependents and work of 16 full-time professionals and 3-4 temporary staff. Provide strategic direction to the functions of the office. Serve as the chief compliance officer for all non-immigrant regulations and policies i.e. F-1, J-1, H-1B, E-3, TN, O-1, Legal Permanent Residence (green card), and other categories for all campuses: Evanston, Chicago, Miami, and NU-Q. Develop and provide policy guidelines and advise university departments on non-immigrant visa issues to ensure ongoing compliance. Develop and implement technology solutions to improve administrative and federal reporting functions. Oversee implementation of programming and services to support arrival, acclimation, and building of inclusive campus community connections for international students and scholars, including degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students, employees and visitors. Oversee implementation and assessment of the international student experience; create programs and services to improve international student and scholar services and community building. Develop & manage annual operating and recharge budget for department to fund strategic mission including financial sustainability and enhancement models. With support from Northwestern Buffett financial team, plan and implement annual budget including fiscal resource allocation. Approve funds reallocation within budget as necessary & appropriate. With Associate Provost and Alumni Relations and Development, implement fundraising strategies. Increases resources through alumni gifts. Liaise with various government agencies, including but not limited to Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Labor, Social Security Administration, local and state government agencies. Coordinate university response to international crises as they pertain to international students, scholars and dependents. Work with the Government Relations Office and the Office of the General Counsel, develop advocacy priorities and ensure regulatory compliance. Collaborate with Northwestern Buffett senior staff in development of integrated approaches to internationalization of the university. Perform other duties as assigned or required.


Minimum Qualifications: (Education, experience, and any other certifications or clearances)

  • Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience and 10 years' international career counseling/advising in higher education or 10 years' of industry experience; or other relevant experience required. Experience working in an intercultural environment. Significant experience developing and managing budgets. Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (for compliance with U.S. Government requirements for issuing student immigration documents).


Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Demonstrated ability to lead a professional team Thorough knowledge of and experience with relevant nonimmigrant regulations Demonstrated ability to develop and present sessions and workshops Excellent customer relations, oral, and written communication skills Ability to adjust to a changing regulatory environment and changing student and scholar needs Ability to work effectively individually and as part of a collaborative team Must take initiative and be self-driven Database management skills Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience) Earned Master’s or higher degree At least 10 years of professional experience within a higher education context, including work with international student and scholar services Understanding of academic culture and higher education program management. Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities) PeopleSoft Campus Solutions or similar Terra Dotta


The target hiring range for this position will be between $125,000 - $135,000 per year. Offered salary will be determined by the applicant’s education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.


Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

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