Reporting to the Senior Director of Strategic Communications, the Director of Executive and Internal Communications plays a key role in developing and implementing Teachers College’s strategic communications and elevating the institutional profile of Teachers College, Columbia University. The Director develops and executes communications, announcements, and messaging campaigns for the President, Provost and other members of the President’s cabinet to the extended TC community, and writes and edits remarks on behalf of the Provost and other TC executives as needed. This role develops strategy for Presidential thought leadership, including messaging, media placements and public appearances at conferences and other industry events, and coordinates with the Presidential Speechwriter and Special Projects Advisor to execute this work and ensure that the priorities and initiatives of the President are understood and advanced across the College.
The Director oversees internal communications to ensure that the College’s community of students, faculty and staff are well-informed about and engaged in important institutional updates, priorities, and initiatives. This resourceful, collaborative member of the TC Generation team must have exceptional research and writing skills, an excellent eye for detail, strong management and organizational skills, knowledge of current affairs as they relate to social justice and the role of education in advancing a more equitable society, and the ability to work well under deadlines.
The Director of Executive and Internal Communications manages the position of Internal Communications Manager. The position will work closely with team members as part of a seven-person Strategic Communications team as well as with colleagues across the TC Generation team that, in addition to Strategic Communications, includes Brand/Creative, Digital Campus Infrastructure, and Omnichannel Marketing within the Department of Institutional Advancement. The role will require close collaboration and relationship-building across the College, including with colleagues in the offices of Institutional Advancement, Human Resources, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and Diversity and Community Engagement.
In collaboration with the Senior Director of Strategic Communications and strategic communications firm SKDK, develop and oversee the execution of a thought leadership strategy for the President and Provost, including: interviews and conversations with members of the media; public appearances and strategic participation at industry conferences, think tanks and other organizations; messaging, remarks and briefings; social media and the Presidential website. Coordinate with the Assistant Vice President of TC Generation and the Presidential Speechwriter and Special Projects Advisor to ensure the strategy is executed.
In collaboration with Strategic Communications, develop an internal communications strategy and calendar that will be streamlined and used consistently across the college for all messages from the President, Provost and other members of the President’s Cabinet.
Conceive, write, and execute the story lines and one-off messages for internal and select external communications materials for the President, Provost and, periodically, other members of the President’s Cabinet, consistent with the branding and communications strategy.
Collaborate with the Senior Director of Strategic Communications to maintain the process for when the President makes statements responding to current events, and work with the President and members of the President’s cabinet to craft responses to various incidents.
Coordinate closely with Presidential Speechwriter and Special Projects Advisor and other staff supporting College executives to stay abreast of emerging topics, issues, events, and opportunities for messages on behalf of the President.
Develop a workflow for trafficking messages internally to ensure accuracy, appropriateness and buy-in prior to release. Liaise with the Presidential Speechwriter and Special Projects Advisor, edit or review writing, as needed, to ensure that writing and remarks represent the President’s voice, aligns with institutional messaging, and is accurate.
Collaborate with the editorial team, and coordinate with the Presidential Speechwriter and Special Projects Advisor, to ensure brand and messaging consistency across the President’s current and future social media accounts.
Establish and foster relationships with key Teachers College constituencies, such as the President’s cabinet, Provost and top faculty—to ensure relevant input and timely review of communications that support the priorities of these groups while promoting the overarching vision, values, and brand of the President and Provost and Teachers College as a whole.
Demonstrate use of sound judgment and discretion on sensitive or confidential assignments, maintaining the trust and confidence of the College’s leadership team and TC Generation.
Draft and execute communications under tight deadlines, and respond to crisis situations as needed.
Collect data, maintain databases and manage communications for internal and external audiences while interfacing and coordinating with the entire Institutional Advancement team, executive leadership, the board of trustees, staff, faculty and external stakeholders.
Maintains awareness of presidential and executive communications best practices, current research about alumni audience preferences and needs, and issues in higher education that resonate with target audiences.
Supervises the Internal Communications Manager in:
Developing a consistent internal branding and communications strategy that will be streamlined and used consistently across the College.
Developing working relationships with colleagues in administrative and academic departments throughout the College in order to promote and implement internal communication strategies and programs that engage, inspire, and align employees with Teachers College’s brand, vision, priorities, and key initiatives.
Executing a full range of internal communications materials, with special focus on Human Resources messaging and the overall streamlining of communications sent to the TC community across the College.
Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or a related field
At least 5 years of experience in communications, preferably in education
Experience in writing for and/or managing executive communications programs.
Capability to learn the Provost and leadership’s “voice” and to meet expectations for written style and content for a variety of audiences, and to accept and apply constructive criticism.
Experience collaborating directly with senior-level administrators or executives.
Extensive experience researching, writing, and editing communications content in a higher education institution, social justice organizations or comparable cause-related organizations under tight time constraints in a variety of styles.
Ability to work independently and collaboratively, use sound judgment in making decisions, balance multiple priorities, and communicate proactively with stakeholders about project risks or uncertainties.
A deep commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
Superior communication skills to facilitate requests with internal constituents.
Exceptional writing and storytelling skills, understanding how to create content that draws an audience.
Keen attention to detail with strong organization and time management skills. Ability to prioritize and manage a high volume of detailed work with conflicting priorities, and deliver on a tight deadline.
Proficiency in Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Word, Excel)
Master’s degree in communications, journalism or a related field
Experience in executive or leadership communications as well as writing in the voice of an executive
Experience supervising employees
Experience handling crisis communications
Experience working in higher education and on social justice topics
Demonstrated interest in the higher education industry
Proficiency in digital communications tools such as social media
A cover letter and writing samples are required to apply
Competitive Compensation and Benefits
The salary range reflects the College’s good faith and reasonable estimate of the compensation for the position at the time of the job posting. Salary decisions are dependent on several factors including but not limited to market and organizational considerations, experience, and qualifications of a selected candidate as well as internal and external equity.
Our benefits contribute significantly to the total compensation package that includes medical, dental, vision, and supplemental insurance plans; flexible and hybrid work schedules; tuition remission; life insurance; short and long-term disability insurance; an exceptional employer retirement matching program; health savings accounts (HSA), flexible spending accounts (FSA), Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility, and a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
If you would like to request any disability related accommodations to complete the job application or to participate in the interview process, please email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers College maintains a hybrid work environment, which provides employees with flexible work arrangements, while ensuring we preserve the important aspects of our unique in-person college-campus culture. Depending on role and business needs, colleagues will either work onsite or in a hybrid model (combination of in-office and virtual days). Employees are expected to live within a 150-mile radius of the College.
We will consider qualified candidates that reside beyond this radius based on the responsibilities and duties expected of the position. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.
Teachers College, Columbia University, is the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the United States, and also perennially ranked among the nation's best. Its name notwithstanding, the College is committed to a vision of education writ large, encompassing our four core areas of expertise: health, education, leadership and psychology.