The Executive Director of Communications works within the Department of Legal and Public Affairs, which combines government relations, media relations, issues management, and internal communications for the College. The position will work externally with the media to advance the interests of the College and internally with the executive leadership and senior management teams to promote internal communications. The position supports executive leadership and senior management teams to prepare them for media interactions and panel discussions or other presentations where media may be present. Primary internal partners for this position include the Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, the Director of Public Affairs, the Recruitment, Enrollment Management, and Marketing teams, Organizational Development, and the marketing and communications teams of the College’s 19 campuses.




  • In partnership with the College’s marketing team, develop, plan, guide, and implement a media relations strategy in support of organizational objectives that promote the College to specialist and mainstream media. This includes story pitches, editorial boards, national trade publications for higher education, news conferences, and media advisories, as well as arranging media coverage for press conferences, special events, and announcements.
  • Support College executives, especially the President, with executive communications, speeches, panel presentations, blogs, and media preparation.
  • Function as chief spokesperson of the College to the media, working closely with the campus marketing and communications team to support them as needed.
  • Anticipate and develop communications resources, policies, and competencies to respond to the media generally as well as in crises.
  • Develop strategies to minimize the possibility of negative press and manage negative stories should they arise, responding where necessary.
  • Provide media training to staff who represent the College in public.
  • Advise Executive leadership and Senior Management Team on media management.
  • Maintain, update, and enforce the College’s media and public communications policy in collaboration with Human Resources, Legal, Marketing, and Organizational Development.
  • Maintain and update the College’s crisis communications policy with Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and, in the event of a crisis, assist in the public response with the Executive Team.
  • Build contacts in the media and develop relationships to drive high-quality coverage of the College’s work.
  • In partnership with Marketing, plan the College’s social media strategy and assist in the College’s digital presence and growth.
  • In collaboration with Marketing, identify target audiences, influencers, and partners to drive brand awareness to support organizational objectives, including influencing decision-makers and engaging in strategic partnerships.
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with the College’s third-party public relations and communications firm by regularly attending meetings and providing project and status updates to the Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs and other senior-level executives.
  • Extract and summarize monthly media reports for College executives using the College’s media monitoring database.
  • Monitor the College’s reputation among key audiences and take steps to improve or correct stakeholder perceptions.
  • Advise all departments of the College on internal and external communications.


This is not to be construed as an exhaustive list. Other duties logically associated with this position may be assigned. All responsibilities will be conducted within the parameters of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), other applicable regulatory requirements, and professional standards.


SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Vice President, Legal, and Public Affairs






Must have a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, or a related field and five to seven years of related professional experience or any combination of education and experience which would provide an equivalent background.


Must be able to know or learn and use various software programs, including media tracking programs and news release distribution systems.

Key skills include:

  • Excellent writing, editing, and public speaking skills are required.
  • Must demonstrate effective networking skills. Must possess or hone the ability to confidently approach a diverse range of people and develop a professional rapport. This needs to be allied to the ability to stay in touch with decision-makers and retain contacts.
  • Must demonstrate people management skills. While this position does not oversee any staff, the position will need to work collaboratively with stakeholders and may need to “push back” on ideas and proposed statements to ensure the College is appropriately prepped to respond to negative perceptions and criticism.
  • Effective information gathering and interpreting skills are required. The ability to research and understand reams of new information is critical to stay abreast of ever-changing developments in higher education and advise senior staff of the implications for the organization.
  • Must have strong editing and proofreading skills, including knowledge of general editorial standards and Associated Press style. Proven experience with marketing writing and editing.
  • Must possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to be a team player and work alongside colleagues and clients.
  • Demonstrates strong organizational skills and ability to be self-motivated, deadline-driven and extremely detail-oriented including the capability to readily adapt to changes in workflow.
  • Must demonstrate ability to promote an inclusive environment that reflects the broad diversity and backgrounds represented by our students and employees and which every individual feels respected and valued.