Director for Social Science and Humanities Communication

California, United States
Feb 15, 2020
End of advertisement period
Apr 15, 2020
Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

The objective of this position is to refine and lead the execution of strategies for telling the story of Stanford’s world-class social science, humanities and education research and scholarship. Working with communicators at schools and institutes across campus as well as within University Communications, this position will oversee strategies for end-to-end communication about non-STEM research including multimedia content conception and creation, media relations and distribution across Stanford channels. In addition, through coordination with content team leadership, help refine the strategy for communication about Stanford’s interdisciplinary thought leadership.

The position supervises University Communications’ Associate Director for Social Science and Humanities Communications. In addition, the position coordinates with communicators from multiple units across campus including the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education, Stanford Law School, the Graduate School of Business, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research


Leads effort for non-STEM communication strategies
Develops, executes and assesses communication strategies for telling stories that illustrate and elevate Stanford’s reputation as a leader in the full range of non-STEM disciplines. Working with communicators across campus to refine strategies to communicate complex information to multiple audiences through a wide variety of communication platforms including and social media outlets. Where applicable, participate in the schools’ social science and humanities communication messaging strategies and hiring decisions.

Oversees creation and promotion of non-STEM-related materials
Working with non-STEM content creators across campus, identify storytelling opportunities and edit resulting news stories, press releases, multimedia packages and other appropriate new and feature materials. Lead a team to identify and help produce multimedia packages to highlight Stanford stories in areas that cut across social science and humanities disciplines. Play a key role in deepening the breadth of the community of non-STEM communicators through mentoring and guidelines for standards and best practices.

Lead social science and humanities-related media relations efforts
Working with the Assistant Vice President for Media Relations, develop and execute a plan to leverage relationships with key reporters, editors and media. Provide public relations support for audiences that are both internal and external to the university, including on a national and international scale. Provide guidance and media training to faculty who spend significant time in the news.

Develop and lead special projects
Help manage special projects involving cross-campus collaborations such as Nobel Prize coverage, non-STEM-related multimedia packages and alternative storytelling initiatives from initial strategy and content development through implementation and measurement. Prepare detailed project schedules and collaborate with editorial, design, production and digital teams to deliver high-quality projects.

Assist other campus communications efforts
Provides communications support, including news writing and media relations, in the event of campus crisis or emergency. Maintains an ongoing, comprehensive understanding of technology advances that affect the efficient operation of University Communications activities.


  • Bachelor's degree and seven years of relevant experience or a combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute multilevel communication strategies.
  • Demonstrated initiative and creativity, with the balance of characteristics needed to both conceptualize fresh, path-breaking communications ideas and build support for them across a complex institutional structure.
  • Significant experience as a social science or humanities writer, editor or in public relations at a college, university, news media organization, government agency or other large, complex knowledge-based organization.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills. Experience in recognizing and developing social science and humanities news and feature stories and in communicating them effectively (verbally and in writing) in appropriate styles for radio, television and print media, the web and social media.
  • Experience in analyzing situations and giving sound professional judgment on news value, strategic communications, public opinion ad media relations.
  • Demonstrated skill in producing engaging content for social media channels, and a proven ability to communicate with reporters on social platforms.
  • Ability to work collaboratively within the university and with public agencies, universities and organizations around the country.
  • Demonstrated skills in establishing and maintaining productive, credible and ethical working relationships with print and broadcast editors, writers and reporters. Ability to energetically pursue and maintain personal media contacts on a regular basis, to be responsive to requests for information, and to effectively promote campus programs and market story ideas.
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of community and diversity.

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4264
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: K
  • Requisition ID: 85598

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