Assistant Director for Communications

California, United States
23 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
23 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Family: Communications
Job Series: Public Relations
Job Code: 4264
Classification Level: K
Exemption: Exempt

For consideration please submit resume and cover letter. A background check will be required for all final candidates.

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) is Stanford University's primary interdisciplinary research and teaching institute on international policy and international affairs. FSI is home to more than fifty faculty scholars and hundreds of other researchers and students—undergraduates, graduate and post-doctoral—who share an academic interest in international policy questions and challenges. FSI sponsors research and teaching programs convenes conferences and seminars and hosts lectures by leading scholars and policymakers to advance understanding of the most pressing international and foreign policy challenges facing the world today. FSI also seeks to influence and shape policy by communicating research, data and ideas both in public and private to journalists and policymakers. 

FSI seeks an experienced and talented communications professional to manage FSI’s communications efforts, increase FSI’s brand awareness and visibility and disseminate research findings that affect and influence policy around the world. The Assistant Director for Communications will develop and execute a communications and branding strategy for FSI and produce content to engage FSI’s several target audiences, including Stanford University faculty and students, other academic peers, Stanford alumni, donors, and prospective donors, and journalists and policymakers. The Assistant Director will identify and utilize appropriate communications tools, technologies, and products to showcase FSI’s research and teaching and maximize awareness among its target audience. The Assistant Director for Communications will routinely evaluate and improve the communications program as needed.

Reporting to the Senior Associate Director of Development and External Relations, the Assistant Director will coordinate the activities of center and program staff engaged in all forms of communications, work independently or with faculty and researchers in translating academic material into accessible and compelling material for FSI’s target audiences, and research, write (and/or co-author), and place content in major media outlets and on social media. The Assistant Director will also directly manage FSI’s senior web developer and communications associate, who will assist in executing on FSI’s communications goals.

The Assistant Director is responsible for understanding the use of existing communications tools and technologies and implementing new ones, as appropriate to the content, and maintaining an awareness and willingness to use new and emerging media platforms that would help raise the profile of FSI.

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description

Provide broad support or leadership in planning, coordinating, and implementing communication programs for a major university unit or university-wide program. Oversee external written and digital communications and media relations and assist with strategic planning efforts.


  • Provide public relations support for audiences that are both internal and external to the university, including on a national and international scale.
  • Develop, execute, edit, and oversee written communications of complex nature, including key content messages for speeches, presentations, magazine columns, correspondence, social media posts, and opinion pieces.
  • Develop strategies for brand management, reputation management and issues management of moderate complexity.
  • Design and implement effective media relations programs with routine outreach to local and national news organizations.
  • Design and implement effective constituent communications programs.
  • Design and implement social media strategies.
  • Liaise with staff responsible for a variety of community outreach activities.
  • Leverage relationships with key reporters and editors, media, community and/or government leaders.
  • Establish relationships with key reporters and editors at top-tier and influential media outlets.
  • Participate in strategic planning, financial and business planning, special projects, and other assignments pertaining to the mission of communications and PR functions.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:
Bachelor's degree and seven years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent written communication skills, outstanding research and analytical skills, and skills in conceptual editing, copy editing, and proof reading.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with internal communications groups across campus.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills in working with a variety of people.
  • Mastery of skills in journalism and public relations.
  • Demonstrated public speaking skills.

Certifications and Licenses:


  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently stand/walk, sit, use a telephone, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, speaking.
  • Occasionally grasp forcefully, writing by hand.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork.

* - 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.


  • Occasional work on evenings and weekends.
  • On call and ability to respond 24/7.
  • Some travel internationally and domestically.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

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