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The University of Utah is looking for a new Executive Director, Hospitality Leadership

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Position Overview

The University of Utah, in partnership with The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, is seeking an individual who will create a transformative, experiential learning program for a diverse group of students interested in the hospitality industry and user experience design.

If you are you looking for an opportunity to design and scale a new type of higher education learning program, I encourage you to apply. We are seeking an Executive Director to join our team and build a program from the ground up with the support of the Office of the President and The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. This is a unique opportunity for a professional who desires the rare chance to create a new multidisciplinary program that elevates students in partnership with industry and employers.

The University of Utah is ideally positioned to house a world-class hospitality program. The university hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies and the Olympic Village. The campus is located within a few miles from multiple ski resorts as well as a short drive to five national parks. Utah is known as an international tourism destination and the likely host of a future Winter Olympics game. Hospitality and tourism are major employers in the region and will continue to grow. The university has close ties to the industry and willing partners seek to be engaged in an education program.

The University of Utah is also a leader in creating innovative learning programs. One of President Taylor Randall's key initiatives is for all first-year students to have an experiential course as part of their general education and the new hospitality program will be part of that initiative. This position will report to the Office of the President and have regular interaction with senior university officials and work with the Deans of David Eccles School of Business and the College of Health.

— Troy D'Ambrosio, Special Advisor to President Randall and
Executive Director, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

Role of the Executive Director, Hospitality Leadership


  • Develop the mission statement, goals, and strategic plan of the program in coordination with the Special Advisor and Executive Director and other key stakeholders.
  • Drive a culture of innovation and best practices within the program.
  • Develop program budgets and manage spending.
  • Manage appropriate internal and external advisory boards in conjunction with relevant stakeholders.
  • Create a strategic fundraising plan to support programs.
  • Hire, train, manage, and retain high-performing staff.
  • Develop a scholarship program to support students.
  • Collaborate with external partners and faculty to design curriculum and co-curricular activities for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Coordinate program activities with other programs within the University of Utah.
  • Steward relevant industry leaders who have the ability and desire to support the program.
  • Leverage resources and the success of student outcomes to develop new partnerships and opportunities within the hospitality industry.
  • Plan events, workshops, and career placement conferences to ensure robust student recruitment and engagement.
  • Prepare reports, financial statements, and records on program activities, progress, status, or related special reports.
  • Ensure that goals and objectives specified for the program are accomplished in accordance with priorities, time and funding limitations, or other specification.
  • Represent the program internally and externally within the community.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities

The successful candidate for this position will possess: 

  • A commitment to the mission of the University of Utah—to generate and share new knowledge, discoveries, and innovations, engaging local and global communities to promote education, health, and quality of life.
  • Senior leadership experience within a complex, dynamic environment.
  • Experience in strategic management and an ability to execute a strategic vision for a complex organization.
  • Knowledge of the hospitality industry.
  • Experience developing and growing programs while leading high performing teams.
  • An entrepreneurial approach and a commitment to innovation.
  • An ability to manage a network of corporate partners including experience working with C-suite executives to build and nurture productive relationships.
  • Experience in board development and fundraising.
  • An ability to plan, analyze, retain knowledge, and show initiative and resourcefulness.
  • An ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • An ability to establish and maintain effective and harmonious relationships with faculty, staff, students, and supporters.

A bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required for this position as is at least seven years of leadership experience, preferably within an academic institution or the hospitality industry.

Procedure for Candidacy

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé.  Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of the University of Utah as well as the responsibilities and qualifications presented in the prospectus. Preference will be given to applications received by April 14, 2023.

To apply for this position, visit Executive Director, Hospitality Leadership, University of Utah.

To nominate a candidate, please contact Steven Wallace:

All inquiries will be held in confidence.

The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with university policy and Utah state law. Upon request, reasonable accommodations in the application process will be provided to individuals with disabilities.

The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, genetic information, or protected veteran’s status. The university does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates, as required by Title IX and 34 CFR part 106. The requirement not to discriminate in education programs or activities extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, to the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, or both.

The university is a participating employer with Utah Retirement Systems (“URS”). Eligible new hires with prior URS service may elect to enroll in URS if they make the election before they become eligible for retirement (usually the first day of work). Contact Human Resources at (801) 581-7447 for information.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.

Search Committee

Executive Director, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, Assistant Dean, David Eccles School of Business & Special Advisor to President Taylor Randall
Troy D'Ambrosio (Chair)
Chair, Marketing Department
Steve Carson
Deputy Chief Philanthropy Officer, Principal Gifts
Dhiraj Chand
University Board of Trustees & CEO, NeighborWorks Salt Lake
Maria J. Garciaz
Chief of Staff, Academic Affairs
Laura Marks
Interim Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism in the College of Health
Dorothy “Dart” Schmalz
Executive Director, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
Mieka Wick

About the University of UtahThe University of Utah logo

The University of Utah is the state’s flagship institution of higher education, with 18 schools and colleges, more than 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate degree programs, and an enrollment of more than 34,000 students. In November 2019, the university was selected as a new member of the Association of American Universities—an invitation-only, prestigious group of 65 leading research institutions in North America marked by excellence in academic expertise and research impact, student success and securing resources in support of core missions. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Utah as an R1: Doctoral University–Very High Research Institution.

The University of Utah’s success in achieving excellence in research and teaching reflects the values of Utah: An unparalleled work ethic and a spirit of entrepreneurship, collaboration and community service. These qualities have enabled the University of Utah to innovate across many fields and pioneer new programs with social impact, generate path-breaking discoveries, fuel critical research, and inspire innovative approaches to education. More facts, stats and data on the university are available here.

The U is the University for Utah just as it is the University of Utah. It strives to be a model public university in delivering unmatched value in higher education and health care while making social, economic and cultural contributions that improve the quality of life throughout the state, the nation and the world. The University of Utah’s reputation for excellence draws top-tier faculty and attracts motivated students from across the country and internationally. These students bring with them diverse experiences and outlooks—representing traditional and nontraditional students alike—thereby enhancing the exceptional educational experience the University of Utah offers.

The University of Utah honors the fact that its campus is located on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute and Ute tribes, as stated in its Indigenous Land Acknowledgment Statement. The U also has a memorandum of understanding with the Ute Indian Tribe to use the Ute name for its sports programs.


The University of Utah fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens. We generate and share new knowledge, discoveries and innovations, and we engage local and global communities to promote education, health and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of our intellectual, physical and financial resources, ensure the long-term success and viability of the institution.

Strategic Vision

In 2020, the main and health campuses at the University of Utah launched a strategic roadmap that ensures a One U approach to the future—a blueprint designed to accelerate the university’s rise as it focuses on four overarching goals: student success, knowledge transfer, community engagement and institutional vitality. Strategy 2025 is the result of a process launched in spring 2019 that harnessed the creative power of our campus community and stakeholders to shape a new vision, with strategies and measurable outcomes to guide us for the next five years. More information about the University’s strategy plan is available at

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