The Director of Executive Communications will serve as the primary writer for Santa Clara University President Julie Sullivan, who began her tenure on July 1, 2022 as the first woman and first lay president for Santa Clara University. The director will join a collegial team at an ideal and exciting time as President Sullivan develops and moves forward her leadership vision and action agenda that will guide the University’s progress, along with a new University strategic plan, over the next several years. The successful candidate will be skilled across a range of executive writing and communications assignments, from formal speeches and message points, to statements, letters to the University community, video messages, blogs and op-eds. They will have a track record developing communications for university presidents or other executive leaders, with an ability to reflect the leader’s voice and leadership perspectives across a range of formats and channels in concise, clear and compelling ways.
The Director of Executive Communications will from time to time also serve as a resource to the Executive Vice President and Provost for important leadership communications emanating from that office. The Director will also manage a standard briefing process for approved appearances involving President Sullivan, and help ensure that support materials, such as video scripts and welcome remarks meet President Sullivan’s stylistic and content information needs.
The position will report jointly to the Chief of Staff (COS) and Vice President for University Marketing and Communications (VPUMC) to ensure the Director is fully integrated into the President’s Office and the University Marketing and Communications (UMC) leadership team responsible for public relations, marketing and executive communications. The Director of Executive Communications will have full access to the knowledge, relationships and networks of university constituencies needed for the successful development of compelling leadership communications material for President Sullivan.
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ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Serve as the primary speechwriter and communications coordinator for the President in ways that build understanding and support for the President’s leadership priorities and progress.
- Develop executive communications that reflect the President’s voice, style and accomplishments across a range of formats, settings and channels, from formal speeches to message points, blogs, university and media statements, op-eds, welcome remarks and more.
- Work closely with the VPUMC and other UMC marketing and communications team leaders as part of a team with responsibilities for developing and implementing communications strategies that encompass President Sullivan’s leadership positioning.
- Collaborate with VPUMC and COS to develop and implement a formal and consistent communications briefing process for units requesting the President or Executive Vice President/Provost’s time for video messages, events, news release quotes and other messages.
- Analyze and make communication recommendations based on various time-sensitive demands or needs.
- Respond effectively to communication challenges and work closely with the COS and the VPUMC on sensitive campus issues involving the Office of the President.
- Help translate complex ideas and strategies into simple and cohesive communications that are visually appealing, tell a story, and are action-oriented. Work with UMC on formats and vehicles for communications including videos, GIFs, etc. to get higher readership and engagement.
- Remain current on the relevant issues and trends affecting higher education that should be referenced or reflected in communications.
- Support UMC initiatives ensuring synergistic messaging and brand consistency.
- Conduct story-mining and use curiosity about what is happening inside and outside of SCU to determine the most important stories to tell.
- Develop and execute a plan for regular communications to key constituencies of the President, including alumni, parents, and community leaders, as well as the campus community of faculty, staff, and students.
- Work with University Relations teams including Donor Relations, Capital Campaign team, and University Events for messaging, speeches and other communications at events or meetings where the President is expected to speak or participate.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The items below are representative of the knowledge, skills, abilities, education, and experience required or preferred.
- Proven experience in crafting speeches & message points covering leadership progress, ceremonial functions, formal events, and announcements, and providing support for thought leadership.
- A thoughtful listener, strategic thinker, and strong communicator with unquestionable integrity; poised under pressure with the ability to maintain a sense of humor in stressful situations.
- Experience working with senior executives or leaders, with the confidence, polish, and finesse to deal with VIPs, donors and other community and industry luminaries.
- Experience supporting leadership-positioning strategies.
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
- Experience in developing briefing strategy for executive communications, events and engagements, e.g press conferences, video shoots, and announcements.
- Excellent interpersonal, analytical and problem-solving skills with high attention to detail.
- Self-starter with self-directed work ethic.
- Strong understanding of Santa Clara University's Catholic identity and Jesuit educational mission.
- Strong interpersonal skills with ability to deal effectively and develop credible, collaborative relationships with all levels of faculty, administrators, staff, as well as internal and external constituencies.
- Ability to handle difficult and confidential matters with good judgment, tact, and diplomacy.
- Deep understanding and experience in aligning communication messages with specific channels, audience journey stages, and experience expectations.
- Excellent project management/organization leadership skills, the acumen to handle complex situations and multiple responsibilities simultaneously mixing long-term projects with the urgency of immediate demands; the agility and inclination to advance complex projects and solve problems collaboratively.
- Expertise with Google suite (Gmail, Google docs, sheets, etc.), Microsoft Office, and social platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).
- Advanced degree in relevant field required or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- 12+ years of progressively responsible experience.
B. PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, and all other applicable laws, SCU provides reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. A qualified individual is a person who meets skill, experience, education, or other requirements of the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer terminal
- May be required to travel to other buildings on the campus
- May be required to occasionally travel to outside university events (i.e. alumni or development), conferences or speaking engagements, partners, etc. Travel may include out of state destinations and include overnight stays
C. WORK ENVIRONMENT
The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.
- Typical office environment
- Offices with frequent interruptions
Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination
Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University’s equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see https://www.scu.edu/title-ix/policies-reports/
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. The Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is Jenna Elliott, Interim Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 408-551-3043, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.scu.edu/title-ix. Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Clery Notice of Availability
Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services website. To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Santa Clara University affirms its' commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the Department of Human Resources, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at email@example.com.