Director, Communications

Position Summary

We are seeking a dynamic communications director who will transform and lead all content creation and management; a campus and community engagement strategy; and media relations across the growing network of Columbia University Global Centers, currently in nine locations around the world. As communications director, your charge will be to animate the centers individually and collectively on digital channels, for outside press, and within social communities, while raising the profile of the research, teaching, and impact of the Global Centers and the thought leadership of the Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development and the centers’ directors. In addition, the communications director will monitor and help manage breaking news about the Global Centers.



The successful applicant will:

• Lead a team of central and Global Centers-based content creators, writers, video producers, social media and media relations experts covering research, education, thought leadership, partnerships, and amplifying these efforts both externally and to the wider Columbia community.

• Use Columbia’s digital platforms and outside press to convey the Global Centers’ strengths in academic priorities, interdisciplinary approaches, innovative results, impact and excellence.

• Create initiatives and partnerships that build distribution for Columbia Global Centers premium content across a multichannel network spanning, web, apps, social media, podcasts, and printed materials.

• Drive engaging and innovative content and other marketing initiatives that build brand momentum within the Columbia community, including prospective faculty, students, staff, and alumni.

• Create and manage a communications planning process for the Centers, their leadership, and the Global Centers’ executive director.

• Participate as a key member of the Global Centers management team and collaborate with leaders across Columbia University and the Centers on communications strategy, social media design, content narratives, and distribution to drive recognition of the Centers’ priorities and impact.

• Manage all crisis communications and press outreach for the Centers and central Global Centers team.

• Create an agenda of key marquee events for focus in the 2019-20 academic year that will increase awareness of the Global Centers strengths and improve content engagement.




  1. Build relationships with influential associations and thought-leaders.
  2. Establish and oversee editorial and marketing calendars.
  3. Establish a media network in all relevant fields.
  4. Strategize and execute innovative campaigns, product launches, messages and tactics that engage the target audience and help us reach our goals.
  5. Deliver a strategic approach to run all of the Global Centers’ media channels.
  6. Manage the production of top quality, relevant content according to strategic plans.
  7. Collaborate with University colleagues to anticipate and plan management of communications about reputational issues, crisis situations/incidents, and other topics of concern to Global Centers.
  8. Help in selecting and managing both in-house and freelance content creators that regularly create valuable content in a variety of forms (videos, articles, infographics, eBooks, case studies, photography, interactive portals and more); ensuring top quality execution.
  9. Assist in the development of editorial governance and style guides so content is consistent with Columbia University’s strategic priorities, voice, style and tone.
  10. Create production workflows for our content to ensure consistency, timeliness and accuracy of message.
  11. Drive traffic to content assets by leveraging search, social media, landing pages, advertising and more.



  • At least 5-10 years’ experience creating and managing a broad range of high quality content.
  • At least 5-10 years’ experience in a communications leadership role.
  • The perfect candidate is organized, enthusiastic, has management experience and is comfortable working with Creative Directors and writers/designers, as well as rolling up their sleeves and creating content themselves.
  • Exceptionally strong writing and editing skills.
  • Strong analytical skills and a proven strategic approach to content.
  • Working knowledge of technology tools, including content management, DAM, and social media analytics.
  • Significant experience managing digital content leaders and teams including writers, video producers, social media teams, and other digital content creators. Proven ability to give feedback and develop staff & talent.
  • Experience developing and pitching content for earned media and significant external audience engagement. Deep understanding of multichannel digital media landscape, challenges, and opportunities for expansion and growth within higher education and general news and policy categories.
  • Creative, insightful and collaborative leader who brings entrepreneurial energy that identifies existing and new communication opportunities and pursues them with a can-do attitude.
  • Great communicator and leader in all settings -- with your team, university administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and students.
  • Experience with crisis communications and reputation management preferred.
  • Experience managing department operations, inclusive of strategy, staff, and budgets.



Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.