Executive Director of Online Education Marketing

Executive Director of Online Education Marketing

New York University

New York, NY   |   January 13, 2022

About New York University

Since its founding in 1831, NYU has been an innovator in higher education, reaching out to an emerging middle class, embracing an urban identity and professional focus, and promoting a global vision that informs its 19 schools and colleges.

Today, that trailblazing spirit makes NYU one of the most prominent and respected research universities in the world. Anchored in New York City and with degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai as well as 12 study away sites throughout the world, NYU is a leader in global education, with more international students and more students studying abroad than any other US university.

NYU students come from nearly every state and 133 countries, and the university draws upon the diverse backgrounds of our faculty, staff, and students, ensuring its scholarship and teaching benefit from a wide range of perspectives. NYU takes seriously its role as an engine of social mobility, and stands out among the top US universities in its representation of low-income and first-generation students within its community.

Now among the largest private universities in the US, NYU provides a rigorous, demanding education to more than 50,000 students and undertakes nearly $1 billion in research annually. It counts among its faculty recipients of the highest scholarly honors and is a top producer of patents and revenue from licensing among US universities. NYU has a vast network of alumni who have gone on to succeed across professions, from the sciences to the arts and government, throughout the world.

NYU offers 9,700 courses in 650 areas of study in its 18 schools and colleges including Arts & Science, College of Dentistry, Gallatin School of Individualized Study l, Grossman School of Medicine, NYU Long Island School of Medicine, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Rory Meyers College of Nursing,  NYU School of Global Public Health, School of Professional Studies, School of Law, Silver School of Social Work, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Tandon School of Engineering, and the Tisch School of the Arts.

About Online Education at NYU

NYU is a campus without borders – online courses, degrees, and certificates allow faculty, programs, and the University to reach new learners across the U.S. and around the world. Our investment in online education is expanding opportunities for successful degree completion, program growth, and educational research. Thanks to technology and innovative teaching techniques, students can study at NYU at the level of academic quality, rigor, and student engagement that are hallmarks of the NYU experience.

Eight schools (CGPH, GSAS, Law, SPS, Steinhardt, Stern, Tandon, and Wagner) currently offer 25 fully-online degree programs, primarily at the master’s level, and an additional 15-20 partially online programs. Some of these are offered in conjunction with Online Program Managers (including 2U, Noodle and X) while others are fully designed, delivered and marketed in-house.

In 2019-20, more than 7,000 students took a for-credit course online, and more than 2,000 took such courses exclusively online. Each course and program is crafted by faculty at the individual schools.

About the Division of Enrollment Management

The Division of Enrollment Management works collaboratively to recruit, evaluate, select, enroll, assist, and serve the students of New York University. They approach all enrollment functions, research, and operations for NYU’s schools and colleges in New York, as well as degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai with a student-first mindset. While the Division is headquartered in New York City, reporting staff are positioned throughout NYU’s global network.

The strategic priorities of the Division of Enrollment Management include:

  • Leveraging A Global Network
  • Strategic Recruitment and Marketing
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Student Success

The Enrollment Marketing & Communications team combines the power of storytelling with empirical evidence to promote university values and processes to students and lead them through the student lifecycle: recruit, retain, graduate. The NYU story is about being bold, fluid, and successful anywhere in the world. As stewards of the NYU brand, we partner with offices within Enrollment Management and across the University to bring agile, creative solutions that help empower students to maximize their NYU education to fully live these promises.


MJ Knoll-Finn, Senior Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

A national leader in Enrollment Management, Ms. Knoll-Finn heads a highly strategic and data-driven division that has increased the pipeline of talented and diverse students to NYU and supports their success through to graduation. She has a proven track record of increasing diversity, academic quality, and retention and graduation rates in a variety of academic institutions. As a thought leader in the industry, with almost 30 years of experience, she frequently speaks at national and regional conferences on current trends in higher education and the strategic use of data in enrollment strategy and institutional positioning. She is an active member of The College Board, serving on various committees over the years. Ms. Knoll-Finn earned her B.A. at the University of New Hampshire and M.B.A. at Northeastern University.

Clay Shirky, Vice Provost for Educational Technologies

Clay Shirky designs, develops, and enhances all academic aspects of technology-based teaching and learning, University-wide; oversees the development of NYU’s instructional technology strategy, working with deans, faculty, NYU IT, and other university offices; maintains an inventory of online education offerings; and helps schools use educational technology to recruit new students, help existing students learn and progress, and generate costs savings or new revenues. He chairs the University’s Future of Technology-Enhanced Education Committee.

Shirky is Associate Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Center of Journalism in FAS and Associate Arts Professor in Tisch School of the Arts’ Interactive Telecommunications Program. From 2014 to 2017, he served as Chief Information Officer at NYU Shanghai. Before joining NYU’s full-time faculty in fall 2004, he was a partner at an international investment company, and was the original Professor of New Media at Hunter College, where he helped design its MFA in Integrated Media Arts program. Currently, Shirky is a faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and was the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Visiting Lecturer at Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy.

Shirky holds a B.A. in Fine Art from Yale University. A leading voice on the social and economic impact of internet technologies, he is the author of Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream (2015), Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (2010), and Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008). In 2010, he was named one of Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.” He has had regular columns in Business 2.0 and FEED, among other publications, and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Computerworld, and Foreign Affairs.

Joey Schmit, Assistant Vice President, Marketing & Communications

With expertise in marketing, Joey Schmit’s career spans several industries including higher education, arts, and media with storytelling at the core of his work. Schmit joined New York University’s Enrollment Management team in 2015 and, as Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications, he oversees all strategic marketing initiatives for NYU’s degree granting campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. Prior to NYU, Schmit led a marketing team at BRIC, a non-profit organization behind a number of Brooklyn’s most widely renowned arts and media programs. Before working at BRIC, Schmit served the Stern School of Business at NYU, as Senior Associate Director of Communications. Schmit earned his BA in Communications from Arizona State University and his MA from New York University.

Brendon Troy, Assistant Vice President for Graduate Enrollment Management – Admission Consulting, Promotion and Online Recruitment

Brendon’s career has been spent working with talented colleagues and lots of data in order to help higher education institutions (primarily NYU) and their students meet their goals. The majority of his work has been in Enrollment Management, from Admissions, to Institutional Research, to his present role. He currently works with 23 of NYU’s academic units to guide, attract, enroll, and graduate a diverse community of prospective students to graduate, professional, and/or online programs. His team markets to and counsels prospective students, guides online programs’ administration, and consults directly with academic units on enrollment issues. A native Rhode Islander, he’s worked for NYU and resided in and around New York City for over a decade.

For more information on New York University, please visit their website.

The Opportunity

NYU’s Office of Enrollment Management is seeking an experienced and motivated self-starter to establish and lead a new unit dedicated to raising the profile of and interest in NYU’s growing online programs. The Executive Director, Online Education Marketing will partner with NYU’s 16 schools and colleges to develop a unified, distinctive identity for their online programs while also executing on highly targeted marketing strategies to drive interest, applications, and enrollment to meet net revenue targets. The Director will use data and market research to inform wide-ranging marketing and recruitment strategies, positioning, and new online program roll-out campaigns.

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications, the Executive Director will manage a team of two employees and oversee an annual budget. They will regularly interface with Deans and heads of marketing for each school, OPMs, the Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management, and external marketing agency vendors.

Key Qualities and Responsibilities for the individual in this role include:

Oversee a Cohesive Brand-Marketing Approach for NYU’s Online Education Space

The Executive Director will oversee a cohesive brand-marketing approach for the institution’s online education space, and balance established performance marketing practices with prestige and NYU brand-value. They will direct in-house marketing teams across the University and ensure a flexible brand concept to support various mediums as well as the distinctive qualities of each of NYU’s online programs.

Work with Internal and External Partners to Evaluate and Establish Strategies, Solutions, and Processes

The Executive Director will be responsible for liaising with internal and external partners on a frequent basis to set and evaluate strategies, such as: graduate admissions, marketing teams, OPM partners, and external agencies. They will establish a culture of investment in marketing with school counterparts, such as determining costs of acquisition, and the investment (including research, marketing, recruitment, and discounting) necessary to find and enroll students. They will provide school partners with resources to effectively market their programs and establish a set of uniform Key Performance Indicators for marketing. They will be responsible for the creation of online student personas (motivations, behaviors, pain points) and target segments (demographics, industries, etc.). Additionally, the Executive Director will maximize ROI with non-OPM vendors while assuring that marketing efforts across all online programs — including search engine marketing (SEM) efforts — are coordinated and not in competition with each other.

Hire, Develop, and Support a High- Performing, Customer Service Focused Team

With initial support to hire a team of two full-time, fixed-term employees, the Executive Director will be responsible for growing and developing a team of professionals as the function develops and the success of the efforts are realized. They will build and cultivate a team with a focus on operational and stakeholder satisfaction, of rapid experimentation, measurement, and iteration; using data to guide future strategies, manage the performance of these employees, and ensure they are trained and supported in their professional development.

Create a Robust and Intuitive Web Presence for Online Education

The Executive Director will create a robust and intuitive website presence for Online Education at NYU. They will establish and maintain the central website for online education that is dedicated to generating new top-of-funnel leads for NYU’s 16 graduate programs. The web presence will capitalize on opportunities for cross-promotion while communicating NYU’s unique selling points. The Executive Director will establish year-round content strategy for the website, and partner with the University’s central web team to optimize the website for ongoing campaigns.

Create and Cultivate a Prospective Student Pipeline

The Executive Director will develop recruitment and enrollment efficiencies for NYU by cultivating a prospective student pipeline of past online education enrollees, positioned to cross-promote opportunities throughout the University. They will support lead generation, nurture, and conversion campaign efforts with a comprehensive CRM and Content Marketing strategy informed by market research. Cultivation of a Prospective Student Pipeline will include the creation of student journey maps and the architecture of full-funnel e-communications programs.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be a strategically minded, proactive, and entrepreneurial individual with a minimum of seven years of marketing communications experience. They will be innovative and data-driven; an effective decision maker with an understanding of business models. They will appreciate the various facets of NYU’s educational mission and will demonstrate a record of success in developing and implementing multi-faced marketing efforts that have positioned and elevated an institution, organization, or brand with multiple audiences. They will bring a collaborative leadership style and significant experience working with key constituents.

The Executive Director of Online Education Marketing of New York University should also possess many of the following attributes and competencies:

  • Experience in email marketing, managing web content, and market research;
  • Excellent writing and communications skills in addition to expertise in analytics and reporting;
  • The ability and comfortability to work collaboratively across organizational lines, interfacing with key internal partners across the University;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Experience in search engine optimization and marketing;
  • Hands-on skills in marketing analytics and data analysis;
  • Experience in CRM management and e-communications;
  • Knowledge base and skills in marketing personalization and automation;
  • The ability to perform competitive analysis and establish brand positioning;
  • Experience in the establishment of marketing objectives and KPI;
  • A knowledge of customer journey mapping and touchpoint optimization;
  • The ability to work with multiple constituencies in an organization (who may have different goals and motivations) to drive results at the institutional level.

A Bachelor’s degree is required, and a master’s degree in business, marketing management/administration, or a related field is preferred. A tenure of marketing communications experience is expected, in addition to preferred work experience in online education marketing. They will be well versed in virtual engagement technologies, as well as quality data collection to ensure adequacy, accuracy, and legitimacy of data in NYU systems and be able to strictly follow data privacy and security procedures for data handling and analysis to ensure adherence to legal and institutional standards. Final candidates will be required to successfully complete a background check.


Amy Sugin and Holly Bogo of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


NYU is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, alienage, caregiver status, childbirth, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy, race, religion, reproductive health decision making, sex, sexual orientation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.