Director of Communications, Office of the President
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Internal Number: 2948752
Director of Communications, Office of the President
About the Opportunity
The Director of Communications supports and implements a proactive communications plan for the President of Northeastern University. The Director serves as a catalyst and producer of written pieces that advance the voice and thought leadership of the university president in alignment with university-wide communications plans and priorities on a national and global scale.
The Director also serves as a central resource and coordinator as needed of all writing and communications projects and activities in the President's Office.
The Director of Communications will work under the supervision of the Chief of Staff and in close collaboration with the Senior Vice President for External Affairs. The Director will also work collaboratively with colleagues in the President's Office, the Office of External Affairs, the Office of Advancement, and with departments and individuals across the entire University, as well as external constituents.
The Director will stay closely attuned to the president's interests and the global trends, issues, and opportunities facing Northeastern and higher education as a whole. The position requires an exceptional ability to nimbly generate and translate ideas into compelling stories, arguments, and narratives that embody the President's voice across a diverse range of audiences and settings. A deep curiosity about Northeastern, its mission and its people is a must.
About President Aoun:
President Joseph Aoun joined Northeastern University in 2006 and has been an educational entrepreneur and a transformative president for Northeastern.
An internationally respected voice on the value of global and experiential education, he is the author of numerous articles and books, including Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, 2017). In it, he confronts the need for colleges and universities to meet the challenges and opportunities of the complex digital economy. The book lays out a blueprint for higher education with three primary components: a new curriculum for the A.I. age; the case for experiential learning, the ideal delivery system for this new curriculum; and a call for higher education to place lifelong learning at the heart of the educational enterprise.
President Aoun came to Northeastern from the University of Southern California's College of Letters, Arts & Sciences where he was the inaugural holder of the Anna H. Bing Dean's Chair. He received his Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and advanced degrees from the University of Paris VIII (France) and Saint Joseph University (Beirut, Lebanon).
1. Implement and support a proactive presidential communications plan. Actively monitor University, higher education, and global trends nd issues for opportunities to advance the President's visibility, thought leadership and the University's priorities. Support the tracking of results to evaluate and refine approaches.
2. Conceptualize and write op-ed, essay and commentary pieces to advance the President's messages and thought leadership for major local, national and international media outlets and industry publications.
3. Serve as a manager, reviewer and producer of the President's speeches, talking points, letters, email communications and reports. Develop and refine messaging for the following:
Prepared speeches and talking points for important Northeastern events, such as Commencement and major campus addresses throughout the academic year.
Annotated outlines and presentations that the President will use to deliver talks and keynote addresses at higher education conferences, policy summits, and other high-profile external gatherings
Talking points and visual presentations for board of trustee meetings and other major internal gatherings.
Regular communiques to faculty, students and staff on important topics
4. Serve as a communications resource to the President, Chief of Staff and President's Office team for special projects, Presidential events, and high-level and sensitive Presidential correspondence.
5. Manage special assignments from concept to completion in partnership with other members of the President's Office and Office of External Affairs, and communications partners, as assigned.
6. Serve as a liaison for the President's Office on specific communications projects and in close coordination with the Office of External Affairs. Build and sustain relationships with students, faculty, staff, community leaders and others. Participate in other important meetings with staff, faculty and administrators.
Bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations, communications, graphic design, English or a related communication field, or equivalent experience; advanced degree preferred.
Seven years of related professional level experience. Higher education experience preferred, ideally at a university of a comparable size and scope.
Superior writing, editing and proofreading ability and oral communication skills.
Superb analytical skills and the ability to develop ideas further by adding original thinking and analysis
Ability to navigate and understand complex issues within a multifaceted organization.
Good knowledge of contemporary issues in higher education, especially the evolution of higher education and policy issues affecting colleges and universities today;
An ability to reflect the voice and style of Northeastern's president in speeches;
Prior experience leading a dynamic communications strategy for an executive. Experience having led communications in the higher education setting, or writing for a senior university administrator or a prominent government official, is ideal.
Proven success in managing and participating in cross-functional teams around communications efforts.
The ability to set priorities, manage multiple writing projects simultaneously, and to work independently, problem-solve, and make progress with a limited amount of supervision.
Strong interpersonal and human relations skills. Demonstrated political acumen, key relationship building and persuasiveness. The ability to maintain confidentiality is essential.
Comfort with coaching others and to deliver and accepting constructive feedback and shepherding pieces through multiple drafts;
Knowledge of English grammar and AP style
Documents to Submit:
Resume and Cover Letter
Marketing and Communications
Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.
All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in worldwide experiential learning, urban engagement, and interdisciplinary research that meets global and societal needs. Our broad mix of experience-based education programs?our signature cooperative education program, as well as student research, service learning, and global learning?build the connections that enable students to transform their lives. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools.