Richmond, Virginia
Jun 08, 2021
Jul 13, 2021
Executive, Director
Full Time


The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University invites applications for the position of Director of Communications and External Relations to begin as soon as possible. Reporting to the School Dean, s/he will work closely with the Associate and Assistant Deans and Directors, faculty, and staff as well as collaborate with the University Communications Office to meet strategic goals through print collateral and online and media projects, news releases, feature and web content, and advertising.

The Director of Communications and External Relations is responsible for the School’s internal and external communication, marketing, and events. The Director will help to create and strengthen the Wilder School’s brand identity and communication, marketing, and public relations strategies through traditional and new digital media channels, advertising and promotional material and serve as a manager for the School’s public relations staff. 

The director manages activities and staff, and develops and leads a communications and marketing strategy focused at the local, state, national and international levels.  They will manage all related activities and staff to 1) advance the public’s awareness of an engagement with the School; 2) support initiatives of the school; 3) develop and refine the School brand (including print, web, and new media materials); 4) refine communications products and services that help to achieve the School’s mission and strategic goals and; 5) support annual and signature event programming and production.

Minimum Hiring Standards

• A Bachelor’s Degree in Communications or related field with demonstrated and proven experience as a communications media and public relations leader or experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
• At least seven years of progressive professional communications experience and a portfolio of communications work.
• The successful candidate must have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of outreach and engagement as well as all media and channels, equally able to set proactive strategy throughout the year and quickly identify and leverage real-time events.
• Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as an employee at VCU.
• Significant knowledge and understanding of communications principles, current trends in the profession, and the state of the field.
• Experience leading a small communications unit with many and diverse responsibilities. Ability to provide leadership to staff, securing their commitment to the Wilder School and Virginia Commonwealth University.
• Demonstrated skill, knowledge, and ability to communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing.
• Strategic, innovative, and prudent utilization of fiscal resources.
• A professional demeanor and experience in handling crisis or sensitive communication.
• Highly collaborative style, ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and the public.
• Proven ability to work within a fast-paced, high-charge environment.
• Proven ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
• Proven experience with communications tools, databases, and systems, including web development.
• Ability and willingness to travel as a member of the school’s senior leadership team.
• Ability to lift or carry objects weighing more than 10 pounds.

Preferred Hiring Standards

• Master’s Degree in Communications or related field.
• Knowledge and experience in working with national public affairs professional associations.
• Proven record of leadership at shaping communications practices at an accredited college or university.
• Knowledge of familiarity with innovative marketing tools and applications technology; proficiency in graphic design software applications.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, with priority review beginning June 14, 2021.  For additional information about the Wilder School please visit our website at

All applications should be submitted at and should include a cover-letter and a detailed CV with the names and contact information of three references. 

Contact: Shajuana Isom-Payne, Search Chair (

Virginia Commonwealth University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer.  Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Anticipated Hiring Range: $69,300 - $86,000Director of Communications and External Relation

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