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Deputy Vice President for Communications

Princeton University
Nassau Hall

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Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Communications & Marketing
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details


Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and the service of humanity. Its educational mission is to prepare students to pursue meaningful lives and to help address the challenges of the future. To this end, the University aims to enroll the most capable students from all parts of the world and to provide them with an educational experience that strengthens their intellects, sharpens their skills, expands their horizons, and prepares them for leadership—all while pursuing the highest possible standards of excellence. Fully coeducational since 1969, Princeton for the past academic year (2020-21) enrolled 7,852 students—4,688 undergraduates, 3,079 graduate students, and 85 special students. Living up to its informal motto, “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity,” the University has educated thousands of individuals who have dedicated themselves to public service and to serving communities in the United States and around the world. As a leading global research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching. The University provides its students with academic, extracurricular, and other resources that prepare them for positions of leadership and lives of service in many fields of human endeavor.


Reporting to the Vice President for Communication & Government Affairs, the Deputy Vice President for Communications oversees the Office of Communications and plays a leadership role in developing and carrying out communications strategies for the University. This individual will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day planning and execution of the University’s communications strategy, as well as serving as the point person during crisis situations. With support from other members of the media affairs team, the DVP will at times serve as a senior spokesperson for the University. Direct reports will include senior team members responsible for media affairs, communications planning, cross-campus communications coordination, and day-to-day social media execution. The DVP works collaboratively with communications specialists in other University offices and departments, providing these colleagues guidance on overall University strategies and priorities.


The DVP is a member of the senior leadership team for the Department of Communications and Government Affairs, along with the Head of Content Strategy and the AVP of Government Affairs. The DVP is a member of the President’s Council, works closely with members of the Cabinet, and reports periodically to the Trustee Committee on Public Affairs.


In this role the individual will be expected to:


  • Serve as the University’s top media relations strategist, developing and maintaining relationships with key members of the media at the national and international level and articulating messages clearly, compellingly, and quickly. 
  • Collaborate with the Vice President for Communications & Government Affairs and other senior officials to maintain a relevant strategic plan for the University’s communications program.
  • Provide advice and counsel to colleagues and offices throughout the University on communications strategies, tactics, and priorities in their areas of responsibility, at their request and on the DVP’s initiative, and convene monthly meetings of communications professionals from offices throughout the University.
  • Develop strong, positive relationships with key leaders throughout the University, working collaboratively to establish trust and credibility.
  • Help and execute a thought leadership program for University leaders, including the President.
  • Lead the Office of Communication’s crisis response and issues management process.
  • Lead, mentor, and oversee management of the Office of Communications, which includes a staff of 26 with responsibilities for the distribution of news and information about the University, the content and design of the University’s home page, media relations, digital communications (including social media), print and web design, publications, visual communications, and other initiatives.
  • Develop effective working relationships with communications colleagues at other colleges and universities, educational associations, and other outside organizations with shared interests and goals.
  • Serve as a senior University spokesperson, including during times of crisis. Demonstrate excellent judgment under time pressure, acting upon a deep knowledge of the University and its priorities.



We are looking for someone with the following qualifications:


  • A bachelor’s degree (advanced degree highly preferred) and record of exceptional leadership success.
  • 20 years of proven experience in strategic communications or relevant field, in a company, nonprofit, or government setting. Knowledge of national and international issues of particular concern to colleges and universities preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability in high-level press relations, including strong relationships with national and international media.  Adept at both reactive and outreach media relations.
  • A working understanding and proven track record of developing actionable communications plans. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex tasks under considerable time pressure in multi-stakeholder settings.
  • Successful experience managing, motivating, and supervising a talented team of communications/media professionals.
  • Collaborative and thoughtful leadership style with a demonstrated commitment to fostering a culture of professional growth and inclusiveness among staff.
  • Familiarity with the digital implementation of communications strategies, including through web, mobile and social media, and demonstrated adaptability as media channels evolve over time.
  • Strong writing acumen and skill with words; superior ability to communicate clearly and concisely both in writing and speaking.
  • An appreciation of Princeton’s commitments to excellent teaching and research, diversity and affordability, and leadership and service.

For more information, please contact Heyman Associates:


Stephanie Elmessaoudi

Associate Client Partner

(212) 784-2706


Seema Seraj

Research Associate

(415) 818-8039


[email protected]





Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW




Standard Weekly Hours36.25Eligible for OvertimeNoBenefits EligibleYesProbationary Period180 daysEssential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)NoPhysical Capacity Exam RequiredNoValid Driver’s License RequiredNo Experience LevelDirector#LI-NR1


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Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and the service of humanity. As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.

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