Creative Director

Locations: Nashville, Atlanta, or Charlotte

Carnegie provides end-to-end, data-driven enrollment and marketing solutions for higher education institutions. Its Signature Creative department harnesses the power of psychometrics to deliver emotive, personified creative that builds powerful connections between a school and its audiences.

The Creative Director leads Carnegie’s Signature Creative team of design, content, multimedia, and production strategists. Their creative talent and strategic intuition shapes and directs the design and execution of a diverse set of creative deliverables that elevates the brand story of our higher education clients. They manage the creative direction of projects from contract signing to the delivery of final files, with an eye toward quality, efficiency, and team morale. They report to the Senior Vice President of Creative and collaborate with a team of art directors to ensure projects run smoothly and that the work produced is industry leading. 

The Creative Director believes in the art of storytelling and producing custom, personified creative that helps Carnegie’s higher education clients stand apart in their markets. They have a keen eye for what makes design good and can effectively coach writers and designers to create authentic, emotive communications. The Creative Director understands the ins and outs of project production and enjoys directing its many steps. They care about the clients we serve and bring a high level of professionalism and relationship development to client interactions. They’re adept at “reading the room,” navigating client needs and politics, and successfully translating feedback and next steps to the Creative team in a way that is clear, proactive, and positive. Ultimately, they are responsible for the overall happiness of a client, the quality of the products being delivered, and the health and success of the Creative team as a whole. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead an industry-leading Creative team that conceptualizes and develops compelling creative beyond generic design and multimedia constructs
  • Make key project decisions to ensure profitability and efficiency without compromising the quality of the creative and the relationship with the client
  • Develop strong relationships and rapport with clients, functioning as a key representative of Carnegie creative; offer strategic recommendations and guide decision-making surrounding their scope of work
  • Collaborate with the SVP of Creative to innovate products and processes and maintain the quality and efficiency of creative work
  • Share creative success stories on company-wide calls
  • Direct a diverse team of 12+ designers, writers, and multimedia producers, offering knowledge, support, and experience to equip and motivate the team
  • Manage the department’s art directors, ensuring continual leadership development and contribution to successful project production
  • Foster a positive and self-starter team culture of high responsibility and commitment to the client
  • Ensure processes and guidelines are understood and followed by the Creative team
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, and conduct annual performance reviews
  • Take a leading role in helping plan and facilitate Creative team special events, incentives, and retreats
  • Guide and assess the work of external agents like printers and creative freelancers as projects demand
  • Partner with the SVP of Creative to organize and prioritize creative requests, resources, and workload
  • Strategically solve project red flags as they arise
  • Work closely with the Account Management team to ensure projects are properly timelined, resourced, and running smoothly, adjusting priorities as needed to meet emergencies or changing conditions
  • Create a system of checks and balances to ensure productive and successful drafting rounds while acting as the final gatekeeper for all creative work before delivery
  • Attend production calls with the team to guide the work, give detailed feedback, and ensure expectations are being fulfilled
  • Direct conceptual ideas and creative executions with a strong ability to hear feedback objectively, iterate, and guide the team in strengthening the work
  • Help plan and lead creative trainings for clients

Basic Requirements:

  • Highly creative with the ability to generate ideas and contribute exceptional design skills and mentorship
  • Exceptional knowledge of and enthusiasm for design, multimedia, and applied marketing techniques across print and digital channels
  • Belief in the power of storytelling and the importance of personified creative
  • The ability to understand the communication needs of clients, consumers, and target audiences
  • Proven experience directing complex creative projects involving senior stakeholders and interdisciplinary Creative teams
  • Excellent client relationship and public speaking skills, with the ability to inspire confidence during client interactions
  • Keen ability to understand and navigate client politics
  • High proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office suite as well as knowledge of HTML5 and CSS
  • The drive to help others succeed and bring unity to many moving parts
  • The resilience to work across a number of projects and ensure balanced workloads
  • A driven, proactive, and motivational team leader
  • Excellent organizational skills and a model work ethic
  • The insight to identify problems and take measures to rectify them
  • Occasional travel required


The Creative Director must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in Fine Arts, Marketing, or a related field and have at least eight years of integrated corporate- and client-side experience in multimedia, marketing, and/or a related industry. Creative agency experience at a managerial level or above is highly desired. Proven results leading complex communication projects and managing a diverse team are required. Candidates must submit a creative portfolio and/or successful case studies to be considered.

About Carnegie Dartlet:

For more than 30 years, Carnegie Dartlet has been a leader in higher education marketing and recruitment solutions. With access to more college-bound students than any other company, we help colleges and universities meet their enrollment goals. Our cutting-edge digital marketing capabilities deliver customized solutions for our clients.

Our team is energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate about our clients’ goals. We are looking for innovators who can contribute great ideas to our organization. Carnegie Dartlet embraces and affirms diversity of every kind. We believe passionately in the power of human connection, knowing that we are strongest when we bring a breadth of perspectives and experiences to our work. We celebrate differences within our team and actively promote inclusion in our workplace.

No phone calls or unscheduled visits to the office, please. Carnegie Dartlet is an equal opportunity employer.