Director of Communications

Job description

Posting Details

Job TitleDirector of CommunicationsDepartmentRice 360°: Institute for Global HealthFull Time/Part TimeFull-TimeRequisition NumberS21090Open Date09/04/2020Close Date11/06/2020Salary Information

$70,600 – $95,300

Work Schedule

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
occassional evenings and weekends.
Potential periodic domestic and international travel, including to sub-Saharan Africa.

Benefits EligibleYesEligible for OvertimeNoPosition Summary

The Rice 360° Institute for Global Health offers innovative research & education programs to design and implement new technologies to solve real global health challenges. The Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360°) program led by Rice 360° is an eight-year initiative to enable African hospitals to provide comprehensive newborn care and to establish a pipeline of local innovators, technicians and medical staff, in partnership with an international group of engineers, physicians, health experts and entrepreneurs from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sub-Sahara Africa. The first phase of the project will focus on Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria.

Rice 360° is currently seeking a qualified candidate for the position of director of communications. The director of communications, under the supervision of the Rice 360° executive director and the faculty co-directors, Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum and Dr. Maria Oden, is responsible for advancing the Institute’s mission by developing, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive communications and marketing effort to enhance visibility of its programs, expanding the Institute’s audience and prominence and increasing donor support. This position is responsible for the editorial direction, design, production, and distribution of all Rice 360° communications needs, including the Institute’s website, social media, informational documents, promotional and event materials, newsletters and invitations.

The ideal candidate has extensive working knowledge of the use of communications platforms to generate awareness, galvanize resources, build partnerships and influence systems change for global health and development issues in the global south, experience with strategic communications to support engineering education and innovation programs and/or maternal, neonatal and child health programs, experience working in a multi-cultural environment and is willing and able to periodically travel internationally, particularly across sub-Saharan Africa.

Education RequiredBachelor's DegreeMajor/DisciplineSubstitution for Education RequirementExperience may not be substituted for the education requirement.Education Preferred

- Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communication, marketing, journalism, english, or closely related field
- Master’s degree

Experience Required8 yearsType of Experience

Related experience in communications/public relations.

Substitution for Experience RequirementMay substitute additional related education, above and beyond what is required, on an equivalent year for year basis in lieu of the experience requirement.Experience Preferred

Related experience in all of the following areas:
- Communicating complex engineering, public health and/or scientific concepts to a variety of audiences
- Using communications efforts to increase broad awareness of and support for global health and development issues
- Using communications efforts to inform political and financial support for health and development goals in the developing world with governmental and non-state organizations
- Conception, design, and management of communications strategies, initiatives and materials
- Copy writing, editing, web writing, photography, graphic design, creating program collateral material and/or presentation design
- Social media communications
- Media relations
- Managing and leading a team

License/Certification Required


License/Certification PreferredSkills Required

- Strong communication skills both oral and written
- Organization and creativity skills
- Analytical problem solving skills

Skills Preferred

- Expertise in Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher)
- Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs and/or other publishing and design software
- Familiar with new media applications and social media outlets
- Knowledge of communications issues related to higher education
- Public Health knowledge
- Demonstrated sensitivity to low resource settings
- Knowledge of the interests and needs of engineering, science, technology and education reporters in multiple forms of media highly desirable
- Ability to use imagination and innovation to effectively communicate with appropriate audiences and constituent groups
- Ability to be a team player with excellent interpersonal skills
- Excellent organizational skills with strong attention to details and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
- Ability to work under deadline with flexibility, tact, good judgment, discretion, and take initiative
- Ability to demonstrate Rice 360° Core Values: Trust, Respect, Accountability, Innovation, Teamwork, and Service

Internal / External Contacts

Internal: Significant contact with leaders, managers, and communications specialists in Public Affairs and the Development Office

External: Contact with donors, news media, vendors who handle printing and mailing of publications

Physical Demands

Requires working at a computer for extended periods of time (up to eight hours per day).

Working Conditions

- Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., with occasional evening and weekend work
- Some domestic and/or international travel

Essential Personnel

Position is not considered essential during a campus emergency.

Rice University Standard of Civility

Serves as a representative of the University, displaying courtesy, tact, consideration and discretion in all interactions with other members of the Rice community and with the public.

Security Sensitive

As defined under the Texas Education Code and Rice Policy No. 425, this position is security sensitive and employment in this position is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.

Special Instructions to ApplicantsQuick Link for Posting Functions

- Develops and executes marketing strategies and marketing plans / programs to meet RICE 360° and NEST360° initiative objectives
- Leads the execution of communication and brand strategy for multiple programs incorporating appropriate channel
- Responsible for staff including the recruitment, management, development, and retention of staff
- Sets budget, goals, and objectives in alignment with organizational goals
- Oversees event management as needed to support marketing objectives
- Manages vendor relationships
- Oversees market research and analysis
- Uses the results to inform decisions regarding strategic marketing direction, product segmentation and customer targeting
- Assesses market opportunities and track market trends. Implement marketing improvements based on findings
- Performs all other duties as assigned

Additional Functions or Information

Management and oversight of communication platforms and channels:
- Manages the Rice 360° and NEST360° initiative website and blog
- Oversight of social media for Rice 360° and the NEST360° initiative
- Develops Rice 360° and NEST360° print communications
- Ensures Rice 360° and NEST360° communication distribution lists are maintained
- Manages Rice 360° and NEST360° communications library/content

Advise leadership and direct staff on Rice 360° communications strategy:
- Alerts Rice 360° Directors to emerging issues being covered in the media that would affect Rice 360° and/or NEST360° and advise on strategies and responses
- Closely watches media landscape around priority areas and issues, providing guidance on how to position and pitch Rice 360° and/or NEST360° topics for publication
- Develops and executes the ideas/tactics to help increase Rice 360° and/or NEST360° visibility and stakeholder participation in engagement opportunities through media outreach, campaigns and events
- Develops and leads media best practices and training sessions for Rice 360° faculty, staff & students, as needed

Lead Rice 360° and NEST360° communications planning, development and engagement:
- Manages Rice 360° engagement with Rice University public affairs and communications staff, as well as that of NEST360° initiative partner organizations
- Mobilizes and aligns internal and external partners on the development and execution of public relations plans and communications pieces
- Connects with and represents Rice 360° and NEST360° to the communications networks of relevant global health and development communities, particularly those for maternal, neonatal & child health and for engineering education & innovation

Job Duties

Applicant DocumentsRequired Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Writing Sample
  4. Media Sample
  5. References/Recommendation Request
Optional Documents
    Supplemental Questions

    Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

    1. * What is your highest level of education?
      • High School Diploma or Equivalent
      • Some College
      • Associate's Degree
      • Bachelor's Degree
      • Master's Degree or Higher
    2. * Do you have eight or more years of experience in communications/public relations or additional related education, above and beyond what is required, on an equivalent year for year basis in lieu of the experience requirement?
      • Yes
      • No
    3. * Please briefly describe your experience in developing and executing an organization’s strategic communications plan?

      (Open Ended Question)

    4. * What is your experience in supporting the communications for a complex multi-lateral global health and development programs?

      (Open Ended Question)

    5. * Please provide the salary or range that you would require or consider for this position.

      (Open Ended Question)

    6. * Are you willing/able to move to Houston if selected for this position and not currently a resident of the greater Houston area?

      (Open Ended Question)




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    Job No:
    Posted: 10/3/2020
    Application Due: 11/6/2020
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