Vice President of External Affairs
We're Hiring

Posting date: April 7, 2022

College Overview

Bergen Community College is an award-winning, comprehensive community college. More students graduate with associate degrees and certificates from Bergen than any other college in New Jersey. Located in northeastern New Jersey just minutes from New York City, Bergen’s main campus in Paramus features vast physical resources including the Technology Education Center (opened 2003), the region’s only Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center (opened 2016) and the cutting-edge STEM Student Research Center (opened 2019). With two additional
locations, one in Hackensack (Ciarco Learning Center) and the other in Lyndhurst (Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands), Bergen provides high quality educational services and programs throughout the county to more than 19,000 credit and non-credit students.

Since its founding in 1965, more than close to a million students have taken classes at Bergen, with countless others visiting for community and cultural events. The College boasts an accomplished faculty, cutting-edge facilities and opportunities for cultural awareness, civic-engagement and service learning. Initiatives in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields have uniquely prepared Bergen students as the next generation of STEM innovators.

Graduating students use Bergen’s reputation as a top community college to propel them to institutions nationwide – including all eight Ivy League colleges. Students in career programs enter the workforce in a wide variety of fields, from healthcare to information technology and culinary arts. Bergen graduates earn the highest salaries among the state’s two-year institutions, even out-earning peers from some four-year colleges.

Bergen is a leader among its peer institutions. In 2019, Bergen was awarded the $12 million NJ Health Works grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to lead a consortium of partners to expand and enhance apprenticeship programs for more than 5,000 New Jersey residents. Partners include 14 New Jersey community colleges and healthcare partners such as CVS Health and the RWJBarnabas Health system.

Bergen Community College remains proud of its ethic of care for its students, faculty and staff and invites applications from those wishing to join a community of professionals dedicated to student success.


Oversight for the College’s Foundation and the Office of Public Relations, Community and Cultural Affairs. Responsibilities for aspects of Governmental Affairs.

Position Summary/Job Description:

Senior, cabinet-level leadership for a wide variety of outreach activities, strategic partnerships, communications and public relations, governmental affairs, and fundraising at the College. The Vice President of External Affairs works closely with the College President to strategically lead, based on demonstrable experience, in the areas of outreach, development of new sources of revenue, and governmental affairs. The Vice President promotes Bergen’s mission and vision through creating and sustaining strategic partnerships with individuals and a wide range of community, governmental, philanthropic, educational, and business organizations.

The Vice President oversees the departments that create institutional messaging and build support and sources of funding. Through the departments of Communications/Public Relations and the College Foundation, the Vice President works directly with the President to expand community awareness of the College’s many successes and bolster the College’s reputation. In close collaboration with the President, executive team colleagues, faculty, Trustees, and other important stakeholders, this strategic development, communications, and outreach professional will advance a robust, sustainable external relations operation and expand philanthropic capacity.

This is a new Vice President position at Bergen Community College. The VPER will have the opportunity to provide transformative leadership, alongside the College President, for community and government relations, strategic communications, and advancement.

Reports to:

President of Bergen Community College


Executive Director of Public Relations, Community and Cultural Affairs, and Executive Director of Bergen Community College Foundation.

Major Responsibilities:

    Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Supports the President in his role as chief spokesperson and story-teller for the College.
  • Serves as a senior-level, strategic advisor to the President.
  • Develops opportunities for the President to liaise with key governmental and legislative officials.
  • Supports the College’s enrollment strategies by leading and supporting the development of successful communications strategies, employing state-of-the-art tools to market and advertise.
  • Works alongside the College’s Executive Director of Public Relations to lead crisis communications and related activities as needed.
  • Formulates strategies and undertakes initiatives that advance and enhance the College’s reputation and relationship with the public and its stakeholders.
  • Leads and supports efforts in the Bergen Community College Foundation to plan and implement development activities and strategies that build financial support for the College. Supports efforts to execute high-quality donor events. Engages and solicits new donors. Ensures the provision of quarterly quantitative and qualitative reports on successes and challenges.
  • Partners with staff, faculty and executive leadership to address gaps, trends and opportunities for increasing the visibility and stature of the College.
  • Leads and supports efforts in alignment with Bergen’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
  • Identifies and leads the development of strengthening the College’s role in economic development, innovation, and fiscal sustainability by partnering with a wide range of internal and external constituents.
  • Supports the communications team in the development of key strategic messages that promote strategic plan initiatives and the President’s goals.
  • Supports the Executive Director of the Foundation’s process of developing a strategic plan and executing on the same, including programs for faculty and staff donations, annual campaigns, and solicitation of major corporate gifts and grants.
  • Leads the strategic development and cultivation of external relationships, including community and corporate organizations, to support the College’s mission.
  • Develops a set of core outcomes for departments overseen by the VPER and measures and tracks annual performance against objectives; prepares and submits annual assessment report to the President; fully engages with the College’s Office of Institutional Research and Institutional Effectiveness.
  • Prepares, tracks, monitors and adheres to an annual budget.
  • Acts as performance manager for all direct reports including managing day to day performance, producing and communicating written performance evaluations, approving requested time off and other points of compliance with College rules, regulations and unit collective bargaining agreements. Actively builds and fosters an achievement-oriented, team-based culture that welcomes constructive input and tracks goal achievement.
  • Subject to executive review and final board approval, has the responsibility, power and authority to hire, fire, discipline and promote full and part-time employees.
  • Performs additional tasks or duties as assigned by the President or other designated management.


  1. Master’s degree strongly preferred.
  2. Minimum of 8-10 years of progressive leadership experience, preferably in a community college setting, in an area relevant to the above-mentioned responsibilities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Demonstrates a deep understanding of the community college mission. Possesses influencing skills and has the ability to conceive, plan, and execute complex projects. Excellent public presentation skills required. Must reflect a strong base of experience with significant accomplishments in development of strategic partnerships, identifying and securing new sources of funding, adeptness with government relations, knowledge of best practices in advancement, a record of success working in a complex, multi-stakeholder organization (preferably community college or university). Possesses the ability to engage with people through story-telling skills. Demonstrates experience in fostering strong teamwork environments. Has proficiency in the use of the Microsoft Office suite.

Exhibits strong skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Managing Teams
  • Written and Verbal Communication; Development of Persuasive Messaging
  • Student Success Focus
  • Building Strategic Partnerships and Professional Relationships
  • Strategic Planning

Target Date for Applications: May 18, 2022

Applications are to be submitted to and must include a cover letter that addresses major responsibilities as listed in the position posting, resume and five (5) professional references.

For additional information, nominations, or confidential inquiries, please contact our Search Consultant: Julie Golder, J.D., Vice President of Search Services, Association of Community College Trustees,, (202) 775-4466 (office) or (202) 384-5816 (mobile).

Bergen Community College is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, or veteran status.