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Duke University
Vice Chanc Academic Affairs & Dean SOM

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Institutional & Business Affairs, Alumni Relations & Development, Communications & Marketing
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Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

School of Medicine Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation's top medical schools. Ranked sixth among medical schools in the nation, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe. Composed of more than 2,500 faculty physicians and researchers, more than 1,300 students, and more than 6,000 staff, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing, Duke University Health System and the Private Diagnostic Clinic (PDC) comprise Duke Health. a world-class academic medical center. The Health System encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations.Duke University School of Medicine Associate Dean and Chief Communications Officer

Core Values

  • Excellence in education, research, and patient care
  • Respect for and inclusion of people from all backgrounds
  • Commitment to service, solving real-world problems
  • Sense of urgency in transforming discoveries into improved human health
  • Professionalism and integrity demonstrated in all aspects of performance and effort

School Leadership

Duke University School of Medicine is led by Dean Mary E. Klotman, M.D. Dean Klotman also serves as Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs for Duke University and Chief Academic Officer for Duke University Health System. She works with a leadership team comprising 13 vice deans, a chief of staff, and a communications officer, as well as department chairs and center and institute directors. Associate and assistant deans also assist the dean with the oversight and management of the School of Medicine.

Departments, Centers, and Institutes

The Duke University School of Medicine comprises 25 clinical and basic science departments. The school’s strong emphasis on research to improve clinical outcomes encourages collaborations among faculty members, departments and other schools at the university, and has resulted in the development of numerous centers and institutes. To learn more, visit

Reports to

Mary Klotman, MD

Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine

Opportunity Proposition

Join a world-class institution to lead Communications in support of the Dean, the executive leadership team, and the School of Medicine at large. As a member of the Dean’s leadership team, the Chief Communications Officer will help further the Dean and the School’s strategic priorities, including maximizing the opportunities to enhance the Duke School of Medicine brand globally through greater integration of Duke School of Medicine, Duke Health and Duke University.

Principal Responsibility

Reporting directly to the Dean and tightly matrixed with the School's Executive Vice Dean and Vice Deans, you will have responsibility for developing communications strategies and plans, as well as overseeing their implementation and evaluation in support of the School's missions of education, research, clinical care, and community engagement.Principal Duties

  • Gain an appreciation and understanding of key objectives for all constituencies as well as the history and culture of the Duke School of Medicine.

    Drive the development of an integrated and well-coordinated strategic communications program that enhances the School’s identity, activities, and accomplishments to faculty, staff, students, and alumni as well as other designated internal and external audiences.

  • Provide leadership for the Schools’ Office of Strategic Communications, thinking creatively and strategically about how the School of Medicine represents itself in all venues and media; create, plan, and implement communication strategies and programs that deepen engagement with constituents, raise the School’s profile and shape the next evolution of the institution.

  • Serve as a strategic communications advisor to the Dean by developing executive communications programs (speeches, presentations, town halls, video messages, etc.) delivered to internal and external audiences. Identify national leadership and scientific meetings and other venues appropriate to support the Dean’s strategic priorities. In addition, work collaboratively with other School of Medicine and Duke Health senior leaders on messaging and presentations.

  • Lead the planning, development, and internal promotion of the Dean's annual State of the School presentation.

  • Manage the School’s reputation by anticipating issues, developing messaging, and responding to crises, with the goal of enhancing the School’s brand reputation, driving awareness and ensuring that the School has a clear, consistent brand expression globally.

  • Lead communications efforts related to the continued development of a culture characterized by a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as

professionalism and integrity. Work collaboratively with the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office for Faculty to support these efforts.

  • Oversight of School of Medicine institutional communications channels, including School of Medicine website and web federation project, social media channels, internal e- newsletters, School of Medicine Newsroom and online magazine Magnify, and video projects.

  • Evaluate the talent and structure of the Communications team ensuring that it is optimized for current and future state responsibilities; bring best practices to a team of writers, digital specialists, web managers and developers, social media professionals, graphic designers, videographers, special events managers, and communications strategists.

  • Provide motivational leadership to the staff, increasing productivity, collaboration, commitment to excellence, and openness to change/continual improvement.

  • Cultivate and sustain productive, respectful, trusting, and collaborative relationships with the School’s Dean, Vice Deans and senior administrative leaders, as well as Duke University and Duke Health’s top marketing and communications leaders. Work
collaboratively across the School and the entirety of the Duke ecosystem to break down silos, increase efficiencies and ensure cohesive and consistent branding and messaging across all platforms.

  • Coordinate efforts with the Duke University Public Affairs and News and Communications Offices and Duke Health’s Marketing and Communications Office related to media relations and communications activities, and work collaboratively with communicators embedded within School of Medicine departments, centers, institutes, programs, and units.

  • Work collaboratively with Duke Health Development and Alumni Office to develop and implement strategies and communications tools in support of Duke Health fundraising and alumni relations goals and objectives. This includes oversight of the giving webpage, donor and alumni newsletters, printed publications, fundraising proposals, impact reports, and other fundraising and alumni relations materials.

  • Manage all components of the School of Medicine’s annual research event, as well as other lectures and events including receptions and dinners.

  • Lead the School of Medicine Communicators Network, comprised of nearly 100 communicators and communications liaisons from departments, centers, institutes, programs, units, and offices throughout the School of Medicine - to enhance collaborative efforts and ensure work from communicators across the institution is in support of the School’s key priorities and initiatives.

  • Manage and monitor the annual department budget and maintain ongoing evaluation and reporting of key benchmarks.

Personal and Professional Profile

  • Dynamic communications professional with experience spanning internal/external communications, executive communications, crisis/issues management, social media, and public affairs; well-versed with developing long-term strategic communications plans resulting in maximum impact.

  • Preference for experience in academic, research or healthcare related communications, with experience in a communications leadership position in a school of medicine, research institute, academic association or in a university.

  • Charismatic leader: collaborative, confident, low on ego and high on EQ, a true team player who intuitively knows when to lead and when to support. Demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational, and management skills.

  • Successful track record of navigating a complex, matrix environment with multiple internal/external audiences. Able to manage/lead through influence without direct control.

  • Demonstrated engagement and commitment to the value of diversity and sensitivity to issues of race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, and economic diversity.

  • Ability to judiciously build consensus, manage relationships across a diverse group of internal and external constituents, and decisively problem-solve in a fast-moving, decentralized organization.

  • A deep understanding of the demands of protecting and promoting a world-class global brand.

  • Superior ability to build strong client relationships and well-honed communication skills, including giving persuasive presentations, writing superbly, and speaking cogently and compellingly.

  • Effectively drives change and consistently delivers excellence with diplomacy, professionalism, and high integrity.

  • Proven experience in utilizing multi-channel media including digital communications— web, content, video, and social media, etc.

    Proven skill in managing multi-disciplinary teams (designers, writers, web developers, content producers, technology experts, PR and social media experts, strategists, etc.) across multiple projects simultaneously.

  • Culture champion: demonstrates character and action that embodies brand values, promotes a culture of respect and belonging, and drives innovation for best results.

  • An understanding of shared governance and collaborative decision-making is essential as it relates to consensus building around programs and messaging.

  • Proven expertise as both a strategic thinker and a project manager with a keen ability to get things done. Demonstrated ability to direct outside business partners and agency providers.

  • Accomplished at multi-tasking, with the ability to keep multiple projects moving forward simultaneously while anticipating the future.

  • Expert communications skills (oral and written) and detailed understanding of public media. Proven experience in working with and advising people in high-level positions.

  • Team player; extraordinary people and relationship building skills, a highly visible and accessible management style, and a genuine willingness to listen.

  • Someone who has high energy/drive, a sense of humor, a relentlessly positive attitude, and is results oriented.

Required Minimum Qualifications at this level:

Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, or a closely related field required; Master’s degree preferred.

Minimum of 10 years of experience in academic, research or healthcare related communications, with 3 years of experience in a communications leadership position in a school of medicine, research institute, academic association, or in a university.

For more information please contact:

Jim Ward ([email protected]), Jerry Grady ([email protected]) or Julie Ried ([email protected])

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Read our Diversity Profile History

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.Duke Campus

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman's College of Duke University until 1972, when the men's and women's undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church.

Home of the Blue Devils, Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Mission Statement

Duke Science"James B. Duke's founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to 'provide real leadership in the educational world' by choosing individuals of 'outstanding character, ability, and vision' to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of 'character, determination and application;' and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would 'most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.'

“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.Duke Meeting

 “By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”

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