Columbia School of Professional Studies (SPS) is searching for a Senior Executive Director, Communications and Public Affairs. Reporting to the Chief of Staff to the Dean of SPS, and working closely with the Dean's Office Leadership Team and Executive Committee, the Senior Executive Director is responsible for creating and managing a comprehensive, integrated communications, branding, and public relations plan that highlights and promotes the strengths and uniqueness of SPS to its various internal and external constituencies.
The Senior Executive Director will focus on developing strategies and plans that amplify the Dean as the School's chief ambassador and advance the School's campaign to extend awareness of it's thought leadership and applied practitioner assets. The Senior Executive Director will be responsible for developing, articulating, and messaging SPS's research efforts on Educational Access and the Future of Work, and leveraging its marquee brand in order to create broader awareness of, and support for, the School.
The Senior Executive Director manages SPS external communications across various channels and media and works closely with the Dean on plan development and real-time strategic counsel. The Senior Executive Director manages a team of staff and vendors responsible for the Dean's public affairs and media relations, editorial communications, and alumni and development communications.
General Management/Coordination (10%)
As a Leadership Team member within the Dean's Office, oversees efforts supporting the strategic communication and public relations goals of the Dean and School
Manages a team, including external creative and public relations agencies, director-level positions in media relations with specific focus on driving awareness of, and support for, the School's fundraising, donor, engagement, and solicitation strategies
Develops goals and metrics for communication success and evaluates against established metrics
Maintains proactive relationship with Columbia University's Public Affairs staff and coordinates shared projects
Internal Communications (25%)
Oversees internal communications for the Dean and SPS, with responsibility for the SPS newsletter, key constituent letters, collateral, and monitoring/oversight of messages across school-wide email lists
Develops Dean's messaging and materials for board meetings
Coordinates communication with internal audiences, including providing support to the Dean in developing remarks and presentations to internal and external stakeholders, developing a strategic communications plan for the Dean to communicate with faculty, boards, and donors regarding the Dean's research and the School's fundraising efforts
Advances a cohesive, engaging, and energetic brand for the School, that (throughout all written and visual marketing and communications tools and channels) conveys the strength and vitality of our institution and its faculty, students, and alumni in support of generating awareness of and support for the school's fundraising efforts
External Communications (50%)
Works with key School administrative units to develop materials and tools that support their specialized fundraising campaign and alumni relations goals while at the same time presenting a consistent message about the School; defines scope and sequence on key projects and utilize project planning and management best practices
Oversees external public and media relations programs focused on the Dean's initiatives to ensure alignment with School identity and development goals; develops story pitches that position the School, Dean, and faculty as thought leaders; identifies proactive and reactive media opportunities for the Dean and individual faculty members, and actively keeps abreast of faculty research of potential news interest
Creates and actively maintains strategic crisis communications plans and manages crisis situations as they arise in coordination with Columbia Public Affairs
Employs the latest digital communications tools, including a comprehensive and integrated social media strategy that uses video and other multi-media to enhance brand recognition and reputation
Oversees content development and front-end web functions for the Dean's engagement, fundraising, and research endeavors, including providing guidance on story development and placement
Oversees and monitors School's brand identify and design specifications for all communications assets
Oversees and monitors the School's social media channels
Other Duties (15%)
Performs other duties and projects at the request of the Dean, as necessary
Bachelor's degree required. Advanced degree is usually required or strongly desirable
7 years related experience
Advanced degree highly desirable
At least seven (7) years of communications and/or marketing experience, preferably in higher education
Must have demonstrated strong strategic planning skills as well as experience successfully managing large and complex projects with multiple stakeholders
Superior communications, writing, and interpersonal skills
Proven experience leading a high-functioning team, including the ability to hire, manage, and motivate staff, and lead in a team environment
Knowledge of current technology and application of ever-changing digital and social media communications strategies
Experience raising awareness of and support for the School's development/fundraising strategies
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 500624
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.