October 18, 2018

JOB OF THE WEEK: American University, Communications Director

Formal title of "Special Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Communications." The Director of Communications has primary responsibility for three main functions:

  1. Communication oversight for Campus Life’s 15 departments, including guiding content, branding, and tone for website, news and social media communication, as well as crisis communication response on issues concerning students.
  1. Special projects and initiatives within and outside of Campus Life that have student impact.
  1. Campus Life professional and staff development, including presenting workshops, planning retreats, and onboarding new Campus Life staff.

The Director of Communications assists the Vice President of Campus Life on a range of management duties and special projects that require knowledge of communication, student affairs, and staff engagement and an ability to work with a substantial level of independence, sound judgment, excellent written and spoken communication skills, and discretion in handling confidential information and materials.

American_University_logo.svgThis is a fast-paced office environment where the ability to address critical and delicate matters in a thoughtful and expedient manner is imperative. The incumbent must be able to effectively work with a wide range of stakeholders and audiences including university leaders, front-line employees, and students. The incumbent will collaborate across Campus Life and other American University departments on joint projects.

The Office of Campus Life (OCL) is made up of 15 student-focused departments. Our goal is to support AU students on their journey to explore, connect, and grow into global citizens. We strive to create an inclusive campus community that fosters student learning, development, and success. For more information regarding the Office of Campus Life, including previously distributed memos to the community, please visit https://www.american.edu/ocl/


Work Environment

  • Directly supervises one full-time staff member: (Web Communications Coordinator)
  • Oversees the Professional Development Coordinating Committee
  • Frequent evenings and occasional weekends


Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • 35-Exempt
  • Project Leader/Advisor A


Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience


Required Education and Experience

  • Minimum of 5 years professional experience
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and problem-solving capabilities
  • Ability to work with sensitive and confidential matters
  • 2-4 years designing websites and developing online content
  • Experience using content management systems and other digital communication, including but not limited to blogs, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube)
  • Knowledge of ADA principles as they related to print and digital communication
  • Understanding of design principles and video production

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master's degree
  • Experience in higher education and working with students
  • Experience producing videos
  • Experience with graphic design tools

 Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check

 TO APPLY: Click here. (PF tipster)

About the Authors

  • FOLLOW US: @potomacflacks
  • Matt Mackowiak - Site Manager
    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
    Follow her on Twitter: @ScottCircle

    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @BlainR

    This is a personal group blog whose contents in no way reflect the views of any author's employer.

    Got a tip? Email Matt, Blain or Laura (anonymity guaranteed)

    Potomac Flacks Founder and Author Emeritus: Adam Kovacevich
Powered by TypePad