9 days old

Director of Communications, Strategic Initiatives (15915)

American University in Washington, D.C
Washington, District of Columbia 20016
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

This position will lead strategic communications efforts including but not limited to: executive visibility and thought leadership for the President and other senior administrative and academic leaders, major university initiatives (e.g., the Changemakers for a Changing World strategic plan), development campaigns, campus-wide announcements, and internal/community communications. These efforts will support the university's overall brand strategy and communications objectives. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Communications (working in close coordination with the VP/Chief Communications Officer) and working with the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, and Chief of Staff, s/he will elevate the university's profile and reputation, drive engagement with key audiences and constituencies, and measure/track progress against goals.



The main responsibilities of this position include:

  • Working with the UCM leadership team, develops and implements communication plans for major university initiatives
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to develop timelines, messages, and supporting materials to highlight university priorities
  • Executes events for announcements, including media and stakeholder outreach
  • Collaborates with the Special Events team on university-wide vents
  • Seeks input and approval of executives and internal constituents in shaping and executing plans
  • Aggressively develops thought leadership opportunities, for the president, cabinet executives, deans and other leaders (as appropriate), aligning their expertise and strategic plan priorities with internal and external opportunities that enhance the reputation of the institution and increase recognition of its quality
  • Conducts research, prepares briefings, develops Q&As, and creates talking points for interviews and events
  • Works closely with the president’s speechwriter to align executive messages across remarks, reports, social platforms and media appearances
  • Cultivates relationships with reporters, editors and producers
  • Proactively develops high-impact media opportunities for leaders to position the university, including interviews, op-eds, and speaking engagements
  • Supports outreach to key external stakeholder groups
  • Maintains an on-going awareness of higher education, national and community issues affecting the university and a detailed understanding of these issues in current publications and periodicals
  • Works with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations on major initiatives, aligns messages and communications initiatives with development goals/campaigns
  • Supports internal and community communications, providing counsel and editorial support for existing platforms, develops themes and messages, measures and evaluates effectiveness, consults with schools/colleges and administrative units, and pursues consistent, high-quality information sharing across the university community
Work Environment
  • Normally performs their job indoors in an office environment
  • This position requires frequent early morning, evening and weekend work to respond to breaking news, issues and crises
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • 35-Exempt
Salary Range
  • Commensurate with experience
Required Education and Experience
  • Bachelor's Degree in Communication, Journalism and Public Affairs; or closely related field
  • 5-8 Years Professional experience as a communications director for an executive level leader
  • Superior written and oral communication skills with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute communication plans with measurable impact
  • Demonstrated experience writing various communications, such as briefings, news releases, talking points, scripts, and general correspondence concerning the organizations initiatives, strategies, goals, and performance
  • Refined skill in managing communications for principals, including exercising tact and discretion while interacting with executive stakeholders and handling confidential information and sensitive matters
  • Ability to manage projects and programs, which includes planning, developing timelines, determining resource requirements, evaluating progress, and reporting results
Preferred Education and Experience
  • 3-5 Years Advocacy communications and/or political campaign experience.
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check


Current American University Employees:

If you are a current full-time or part-time staff member at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us:

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email theworkline@american.edu.


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Posted: 2019-08-07 Expires: 2019-09-06

Before you go...

Our free job seeker tools include alerts for new jobs, saving your favorites, optimized job matching, and more! Just enter your email below.

Share this job:

Director of Communications, Strategic Initiatives (15915)

American University in Washington, D.C
Washington, District of Columbia 20016

Join us to start saving your Favorite Jobs!

Sign In Create Account
Powered ByCareerCast