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Director of Communications

New York, NY, USA | Columbia University

  • Industry:
    Education (Higher)
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    5-7 years
Job Description:
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Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice Dean for the Graduate School of Arts and Science, the Director of Communications will be responsible for overseeing strategic communications for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, encompassing publications, media relations, the school's website and social media presences, and advertising. The Director of Communications will work with the Graduate School’s senior leadership to develop and execute a communications plan that promotes wider recognition and awareness of GSAS to internal and external audiences, including prospective and current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the general public.


The Director of Communications is responsible for the planning, execution, and management of print and online communications efforts of Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; in collaboration with the Dean develops an overall communications strategy and campaign for the school; oversees writing, editing, and production of all GSAS publications and advertising materials, reports, brochures, websites, letters, and announcements; is the arbiter of the correctness and propriety of all written and verbal communication; in close collaboration with the Dean and Vice Dean of the School, ensures consistency of message throughout all publications, and creates an editorial voice that conveys that consistency.

In partnership with the Associate Director of Communications and other staff, executes the Graduate School’s communications plan, which includes public relations outreach, online and print media and communications materials, and advertising and marketing outreach. Supervises the work of the Associate Director of Communications and other staff.

Fulfills the school's public relations needs on behalf of the Dean of GSAS. This includes serving as primary liaison with the Office of Public AffInstitutes and Communications, working closely with the Office of Alumni Relations and the Development, and managing all external media relations; coordinates and manages media presence at GSAS events that may warrant it; develops and implements communications plans that use multiple media and platforms; serves as the school’s principal contact with the media; advises the dean on all matters related to communications. 

Collaborates closely with the Office of Alumni Relations and Development to produce materials that highlight and advertise programming directed to alumni. 

Hires and supervise freelancers as needed (writers, copy editors, designers, and photographers) for the effective and efficient deployment of communications materials. 

Identifies opportunities to utilize newer forms of information technology for communications outreach. 

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree highly preferred. Five to seven years of experience in communications required.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience at an institution of higher education or related a definite plus. Must have the absolute highest command of the written word only superlative and meticulous writers should consider applying; must be a confident and exacting editor of other people’s prose, and be able to produce prose issuing from various offices in the school; must be adept at working both independently and in collaboration, have demonstrated management experience, and be able to think strategically; demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple tasks simultaneously; strong digital and social-media skills; must be well organized, a quick learner, and calm under pressure; ability to detect emerging communications trends and make recommendations for innovative change; extensive writing and publication samples must be submitted with application. 

Other Requirements

Extensive experience with Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite (Acrobat, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver), and web technologies and desktop publishing software preferred. Experience with content management systems such as Drupal, and knowledge of HTML and CSS.

TO BE CONSIDERED for this position, applicants must provide a resume, cover letter, and at least two writing samples. Finalists may be asked to provide additional materials.

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