Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Highland Heights, KY

Northern Kentucky University (NKU) seeks an experienced and innovative leader to serve as its inaugural Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). This individual will join NKU at a pivotal moment in its history. With the excitement of a new President, Dr. Ashish Vaidya, and a nearly developed strategic framework and spring 2019 launch of a comprehensive fundraising campaign, the institution is poised to deliver on its long-standing commitment to student success and regional engagement while generating impactful scholarly and creative endeavors in a more purposeful way.  

An innovative and entrepreneurial state university located in the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati metropolitan area, NKU is committed to instilling a passion in its students that will lead them to fulfilling careers, community engagement, and meaningful lives. This commitment has been a driving force as the university has expanded academic offerings and advanced new opportunities for experiential learning for students. The NKU community can look back at the past five decades with pride, and more recently at the founding of two new colleges; the construction of several new buildings on campus, including the state-of-the-art Health Innovation Center; and a successful transition to Division I athletics.

NKU seeks a strategic and visionary leader who takes initiative and has the stamina and interpersonal skills to operate strategically and effectively to help drive and achieve results. The CSO will serve as a trusted advisor to the President and a key member of the President’s senior leadership team. Collaborating with other constituencies across campus and in the community, the CSO will have the opportunity to refine and implement the university’s singular strategic priority on student success with particular emphasis on expanding access, enabling completion, and ensuring NKU learners are career-ready and engaged members of the community. The CSO will also serve as Executive Secretary to the Board of Regents and will have an integral role in advancing the important work of the institution’s governing body.

The successful candidate will bring past experience managing complex change initiatives in a collaborative and consensus-building environment; the ability to be forward thinking and to engage others in challenging convention and encouraging innovation; effectiveness at pivoting between strategic development and tactical deployment; experience in translating strategy to individual roles and responsibilities; the ability to earn the trust, confidence, and respect of NKU’s senior leadership team; and a strong commitment to and success with achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Ponneh Varho is leading this search with Jeff Kessner.

NKU is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action institution. The institution encourages applications by members of diverse groups and by persons with a demonstrated commitment to issues of diversity and experience in achieving goals relative to inclusive excellence.


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