Executive Director of University Communications
Position Summary: Reporting through the Chief of Staff/Counselor to the President and with direct access to the President, the Executive Director of University Communications serves as the chief spokesperson for the University and as the public relations strategist for the President. The Executive Director serves as the strategist for all presidential communications and messaging and focuses on identifying public/media relations opportunities for the President. He/she should be familiar with pertinent issues in the Catholic Church and higher education. Management of crisis communications and the ability to meet moving deadlines is essential. Ensure that all University communications, from whatever level of organization, support the President’s strategic priorities.
Essential Responsibilities Include: Oversee the President’s media engagement including identifying opportunities to raise his visibility and widen the reach of his voice; respond to requests for his public comment; file monthly Catholic News Service columns; draft and place op-eds; draft presidential speeches for a wide range of audiences; draft and file statements for the media; draft talking points and messaging for the President for media and public relations. Serve as the University’s official spokesperson and crisis communications manager for issues related to the University’s reputation and visibility as identified by the President or leadership team. Work with personnel from Marketing and Communications to ensure all stakeholders have appropriate information for communications planning.
Serve as gatekeeper for media requests for official University comment, especially those directed at the President and Vice Presidents. Draft comments in their name for review and approval. Develop content for presidential speaking engagements in support of University initiatives for student recruitment, advancement and alumni relations, and other constituents. Build on existing fruitful media relationships, seeking ways to maximize their potential. Identify partner organizations/conferences for the president’s collaboration and participation. In close collaboration with the President, devise strategies to use free media to promote the University’s Catholic identity and unique brand platform, to raise the institution’s profile, and to advance the agenda set forth by the President. Serve as the primary writer for sensitive University communications directed at faculty, staff, and students, and issued under the name of the President or one of the Vice Presidents. Draft and disseminate monthly presidential newsletter to the community. Coordinating as appropriate with the Office of Marketing and Communications, engage in vigorous proactive media outreach to raise institutional visibility and to align the president’s media strategy with other communications strategies and initiatives. Serve as the primary point of contact with the student newspaper.
Minimum Qualifications: A Bachelor’s Degree; Master’s Degree preferred. Five to seven years of progressive communications management experience, preferably in higher education. Direct experience serving as an organizational spokesperson. Exceptional written and oral communication skills. Proven record of success in achieving goals.
How to apply: forward application, resume, and cover letter with salary requirements as an attachment to (salary expectations are considered part of application process): CUARecruitment@cua.edu. Reference position 102000- Executive Director of University Communications in subject line of email. Please do not include photos on resumes and save documents with first/last names. All applicants must be supportive of the mission and vision of The Catholic University of America. The review of candidates will begin on February 19 and the position will remain open until filled.