University of Denver - Executive Director of Enterprise Risk Management

November 24, 2020

Executive Director of Enterprise Risk Management

The University of Denver seeks a forward-thinking, collaborative, and dynamic leader for the position of Executive Director of Enterprise Risk Management. The Executive Director will provide vision and strategic leadership for the planning and implementation of innovative, integrated enterprise risk management programs.


Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is an independent, doctoral-granting research university with high research activity. The University of Denver is ranked among the nation’s top 100 universities, with many of its professional schools and programs ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report. Located in the thriving city of Denver, at the foot of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, the University enrolls just over 14,000 students in its distinguished undergraduate liberal arts and sciences, graduate, and professional programs, including the Sturm College of Law. Roughly 40 percent of the University’s undergraduate students come from Colorado, and the rest are from across the United States as well as more than 80 other countries. The institution’s scholar applicant pool has increased dramatically in recent years due to programs that foster global awareness, the DU culture that values inclusivity, and an emphasis on experiential learning.

The University has gained national and international prominence for its creative, twenty-first-century approach to holistic, student-centered learning, problem-based scholarship, and dedication to the public good through local, national, and international partnerships. At its core, DU is an international, research-driven teaching institution focused on preparing students for lives of purpose and confronting the great issues of our time. 

With a deep commitment substantively and urgently addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus, in the fall of 2020 an action plan was developed by and communicated to the campus community as a framework and driving force to embody a forward-looking institution and community where all can belong, contribute, and thrive.  DU is deepening efforts to actively address institutional history and the connection to the historical violence against and displacement of Native American communities.  Additional resources are directed to mandatory, community-wide education and training.

The University of Denver is located on a 125-acre campus less than 30 minutes from downtown. Through the Denver Advantage, the University aims to integrate and engage the campus with its surrounding neighborhood, open the doors of campus to the City of Denver, and foster a greater sense of belonging for the DU community. The beautiful campus, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, is also designated as an arboretum. In 2019, Business Insider ranked Denver second in its list of “50 Best Places to Live in America Right Now,” and U.S. News & World Report has rated Colorado as the nation’s top economy for the past three years.


Reporting to the Senior Vice Chancellor of Financial Affairs, the Executive Director of Enterprise Risk Management (ED for ERM) shall be responsible for developing, implementing, administering, training and maintaining all aspects of the University of Denver’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program with an emphasis on protection of assets and ensuring a safe and compliant operational environment. The ED for ERM shall support the identification, evaluation, prioritization, mitigation, and monitoring of all relevant risks such as strategic, operational, financial, credit, compliance, reputational, etc. In addition, the ED for ERM will oversee the administration and management of University property and casualty coverages, regulatory compliance, records management and international travel security.

The ED for ERM will also review and influence policies and procedures, develop risk identification and assessment frameworks, measure and monitor enterprise-wide risks and conduct training as needed. The ED for ERM will work with the board of trustees, University Risk and Compliance Committee (URCC) and the University Risk and Compliance Network (URCN) to define and document risk appetite, evaluate enterprise- wide risks, monitor the effectiveness of risk mitigation and management activities and prepare quarterly enterprise risk management reports. As part of their role, the ED for ERM will work closely with key risk constituencies - first line of defense, risk committee, management level committees, Board of Trustees, Committees and Internal Audit to design and continuously recommend improvement to the processes and mechanisms for discussing, reporting and making decisions on enterprise-wide risks. The ED for ERM will also manage additional projects as necessary to manage enterprise-wide risks.


Enterprise Risk Management

·  Lead the implementation of the risk framework and develop and oversee the program maturity roadmap.

·  Initiate, engage and sustain productive engagement and relationships with senior leaders on areas of enterprise risks, supporting the University of Denver’s four- tiered enterprise risk management (ERM) structure.

·  Analyze, lead and coordinate risk life- cycle activities, e.g., risk assessment and analysis, consistent with the ERM framework.

·  Analyze enterprise and compliance risks to identify trends, inter-dependencies, impacts, gaps and other relationships.

·  Develop and apply key risk indicators across compliance and enterprise risks portfolio consistent with established framework to measure the risk exposure.

Risk Matter Support

·  Ensure adequate and timely monitoring for key compliance and enterprise risks.

·  Respond to and provide support to all constituents on operational risk matters by identifying sources of loss, assessing the impact of losses, selecting risk treatments and monitoring risk control action plans.

·  Collaborate with University units to develop policies and procedures for addressing gaps in risk management practices.

·  Serve as a resource to address compliance and operational risks. Work with units to implement action plans for mitigating risk.

·  Serve on risk-related committees.

Insurance Management

·  Evaluate and oversee the management of University insurance portfolio with over $2.5 million in annual premiums and more than fifteen carriers.

·  Identify and assess exposure and select appropriate insurance products.

·  Leads annual insurance renewal and claims handling processes in an effort to mitigate the financial consequences of loss.

·  Ensures proper notification is given to the Office of General Counsel as deemed on related claims.

·  Make risk management and loss control recommendations to administrators, directors and staff in an effort to reduce claims potential.

Compliance Management

·  Oversee the administration of University compliance and records management programs, and international travel risk assessment processes and security protocols.

·  Leverages best practices and encourages compliance.

·  Review, modify and offer expertise pertaining to insurance contract language, relating to travel, risk and insurance- related reviews, as requested by Counsel.

Department Management

·  Interviews and hires new employees.

·  Performs administrative functions, such as evaluating, supervising, counseling and training for the purpose of maintaining adequate staffing, enhancing productivity and achieving goals and objective within budget.


The successful candidate will be a collaborative leader who is an accomplished senior manager committed to building a team-oriented organizational culture; a confident strategic thinker who is able to provide clear direction; customer-focused; innovative; and is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

·  Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in risk management or a related field

·  Extensive knowledge of insurance products and ERM systems

·  Extensive experience directly related to risk governance and controls

·  5 years of supervisory experience of a team or leadership role

  • · 5 years practical experience and exposure to building and implementing Risk Management programs and best practices in risk management.
  • · Certifications relevant to Enterprise Risk Management.
  • · Experience influencing and informing governing bodies on the profiles of risk management and strategies – expert communication skills

·  Ability to set own goals and determines how to accomplish results with few or no guidelines to follow, although precedents may exist; supervisor provides broad guidance and overall direction

·  Ability to visualize, articulate, and solve problems quantitatively and/or qualitatively and make sound decisions based on available information. Ability to understand complex business processes and develop effective risk management monitoring programs

·  Strong leadership skills including the ability to manage projects, build teams and lead change.

·  Strong personnel management experience, including a history of success with diversity, equity, and inclusion, with coaching and mentoring, team building, leading conflict resolution, and initiating and monitoring corrective action.

·  Strong executive presence and comfort creating, drafting and presenting information to large groups across multiple levels.

·  Ability to proactively seek creative and comprehensive solutions to unusual and/or complex problems.


The University of Denver has engaged Opus Partners to support the recruitment of this position.  Katie Dean, Associate Partner, is leading the search. Confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations should be submitted by email to Katie at

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.