Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.
Cornell requires that all faculty and staff members, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status, and provide proof of vaccination if vaccinated, immediately upon hire.
Cornell University, a globally ranked Ivy League institution, is looking for an Associate Director for Strategic Communications to join the Alumni Affairs & Development division in the appealing city of Ithaca, New York. The Associate Director for Strategic Communications in AAD's Communications, Marketing, and Participation team is a highly versatile communicator who supports Cornell University's $5 billion campaign as well as other high-priority messages and initiatives. This position has the opportunity to engage our 200,000+ alumni, families, friends, and followers in ways that compel them to understand and support the context, vision, and impact of today's Cornell University.
Reporting to the Senior Director for Strategic Communications, the associate director plans, researches, writes, and publishes a variety of content, including articles, special announcements, profiles, talking points, emails, presentations, speeches, correspondence, and more. This includes executive communications for senior-level AAD and university leadership.
Cornell provides exceptional benefits that include professional development, wellness programs, health care options, generous paid leave provisions, 12 holidays, employee education options, a retirement program, and children's tuition assistance. As a workplace, Cornell receives national recognition for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.
Content sometimes is directly about fundraising and alumni engagement; other times, it highlights work being done by the university's leadership, faculty, students, or alumni that illustrates Cornell's strategic direction. This individual may contribute to university publication channels with wide reach, including the university's online alumni magazine, alumni and giving websites, and mass emails.
When difficult or high-volume topics arise among alumni, the associate director serves as a key member of AAD's situational and crisis communications team, where they write and edit messages or guidance; monitor inbound and online responses, and recommend approaches to leadership and staff.
Internally, the associate director creates and maintains AAD's processes, protocols, standards, and tools for both proactive and reactive strategic message needs, in close collaboration with colleagues in AAD and in University Relations. They also write or edit selected senior leadership messages to the division.
This work involves frequent interaction with nuanced institutional and social topics, confidential or embargoed information, and complex audience and organizational landscapes.
The ideal incumbent is imaginative, collaborative, and detail oriented. They have a superior command of writing and editing; the ability to empathize with and anticipate audience viewpoints across a wide demographic and attitudinal span; an understanding of public relations or strategic communications best practices; vivid intellectual and creative curiosity; enthusiasm for collaborative work; and an understanding of how to create content that serves strategic public relations, fundraising, or alumni engagement needs.
Bachelor's degree and 3 to 5 years relevant experience or equivalent combination.
Minimum of three years of directly relevant experience.
Superior writing and editing skill for different purposes, voices, and formats.
An ear for finding and crafting compelling stories that align to strategic goals. Command of how to concept and create content for integrated communications plans spanning different channels, audiences, business goals, and time periods.
Excellent judgment in sensitive and confidential situations. Track record of trustworthy, accurate handling of highly sensitive, confidential, and complex information.
Ability to work directly with high-ranking stakeholders in a manner that is professional and adds meaningful value to processes and outcomes.
Understanding of and appreciation for topics, issues, and culture in contemporary higher education or philanthropy.
Ability to work independently as well as within a team. Proven experience working productively with specialists in other communications fields, such as design, social media, web development, photography, and video.
Solid command of WordPress or comparable CMS tools.
Understanding of web content, email, and social media content best practices.
Basic familiarity with the use of analytics and testing to assess communications performance and inform decisions.
Ability to prioritize multiple projects in a busy environment with flexibility, accuracy, efficiency, professionalism, and attention to detail.
A sense of creativity, fun, and humor, balanced by a disciplined commitment to planning, measuring, and learning.
Ability to deliver and receive feedback with diplomacy, empathy, and confidence.
Commitment to engage with colleagues and alumni in ways that actively foster a diverse and inclusive environment.
Ability to work nonstandard business hours, including evenings and weekends, when warranted by university events or issues.
A degree in journalism, English, communication, public relations, communications, marketing, or a similar field.
Experience working in higher-education or nonprofit fundraising.
Experience working from or contributing to the creation of message platforms.
Familiarity with federal web accessibility requirements and the principles/spirit of universal accessibility in communications work.
Experience working for a news outlet, magazine, or public relations firm.
Proficiency in project management best practices and tools.
Basic skill in photography, design, data visualization, or other visual medium.
To be considered for this position, please submit a resume and cover letter.
University Job Title:
Communication Spec III
Pay Rate Type:
Number of Openings:
Job Titles and Pay Ranges:
To learn more about Cornell's non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator. The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:
Prior relevant work or industry experience.
Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
Unique applicable skills.
If you currently work at Cornell University, please exit this website and log in to Workday using your Net ID and password. Select the Career icon on your Home dashboard to view jobs at Cornell.
Online Submission Guidelines:
Most positions at Cornell will require you to apply online and submit both a resume/CV and cover letter. You can upload documents either by "dragging and dropping" them into the dropbox or by using the "upload" icon on the application page. For more detailed instructions on how to apply to a job at Cornell, visit How We Hire on the HR website.
If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at [email protected].
For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting.
Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application.
Notice to Applicants:
Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant.
Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.
In 1865, Ezra Cornell founded an institution "where any person can find instruction in any study." From the beginning, all students were welcome, regardless of race, gender, ideology, or socioeconomic status. Today, we invite you to join our talented and diverse students and accessible faculty who, together, form a living and learning community unmatched in its breadth of opportunities.Cornell University's college, schools, and other academic units offer more than 4,000 courses, 70 undergraduate majors, 93 graduate fields of study, undergraduate and advanced degrees, and continuing education and outreach programs.