Director of Communications, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy

North Carolina, United States
20 Sep 2018
End of advertisement period
20 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Public Affairs and Government Relations

Job Description

Director of Communications, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy


The Director of Communications is responsible for creating and implementing a comprehensive communications and external affairs strategy that includes media/press and stakeholder outreach, event planning, digital and print publications development and production, social media, email newsletters, marketing and other tactics and activities, as necessary.

The Director of Communications is based in either Durham or Washington DC, and will be required to work in both locations on a regular basis.
Specific duties include promoting the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, its scholars and research to external stakeholders both in the U.S. and internationally, including policymakers, media, the NGO community, the private sector and academic community.

The Director of Communications is part of the Duke University Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations and reports jointly to the Vice President and the Director of the Duke-Margolis Center. S/he is a member of the senior staff of both units, and supervises the communications coordinator and the event planner. 


40% Communications Strategy and Management

  • Work with Center leadership, Duke communications resources, and external collaborators and supporters to develop and execute overall communications strategy for the Center
  • Identify target audiences for variety of projects, events, and publications and identify concrete actions to disseminate effectively scholars’ work to a wide range of audiences for maximum impact
  • Work to cultivate and build the Center across Duke and externally
  • Coordinate and review outreach strategy with Duke Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations, DUHS Communications and other units as needed
  • Advise Center leadership, staff, and collaborators on matters of compliance and adherence to relevant regulations and Duke policies; manage compliance reporting activities
  • Manage communications coordinator and events planner (based in Washington, DC).; possibility for management of other staff in communications-relevant roles
  • Manage freelance and contract vendors

40% Communications and Outreach

  • Work with relevant the communications leads at Duke and among external collaborators to coordinate overall digital and traditional media strategy, including conducting communications-related research, managing communications technology and managing contact database
  • Serve as primary liaison to the Duke Office of Government Relations and the Office of State Relations
  • Oversee the Center’s website, electronic newsletters, blogs and social media channels
  • Identify opportunities for staff/faculty to develop op-eds, policy briefs, letters to the editors, etc.; draft these written materials as necessary
  • In coordination with Duke News and Communications, assist with development of press releases, media advisories, event announcements, pitch letters, fact sheets and other press materials, including drafting and editing as needed
  • Proactively engage local, national and international media; develop and implement a comprehensive media relations strategy; serve as media spokesperson as designated by the Vice President or Director
  • Respond to media inquiries, evaluate media opportunities for Director and Deputy Directors as well as other faculty and staff, prepare talking points and FAQ on controversial or adversarial issues.
  • Engage internal and external stakeholders, including policymakers, the private sector, and the academic and NGO communities via social media and monthly digital newsletters.
  • In close collaboration with Center leadership, develop outreach materials, reports, and other communications to maintain and strengthen relationships with current and potential donors; aid in development of project funding proposals and grant applications

10% Brand and Editorial Oversight

  • Ensure that Center materials and announcements comply with Duke and Center branding and editorial standards
  • Review and approve text of public meeting announcements for the Federal Register and other outreach
  • Review white papers, manuscripts, blog posts and op eds for grammar, punctuation, clarity and organization, provide editorial feedback to project leads

10% Event Management

  • Oversee the identification, contracting and coordination for facility space for large public and private events
  • Work in close coordination with the director and staff of Duke in DC on programming and logistics in the DC office.
  • Manage media outreach and communications for Center public events
  • In close consultation with Center project leads, and event planner develop and organize major public events.
  • Manage the execution of public/private events (roundtables, workshops, lecture series, etc.), and other meetings as necessary
  • Manage and secure catering as needed for events
  • Supervise a DC-based events and outreach planner to assist in these activities 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum seven years’ experience in communications leadership and management in complex organizations such as university, academic medical center, foundation, NGO or government agency
  • Knowledge of digital, social media platforms, trends, and norms, media relations
  • Excellent writing, editing and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated evidence of an ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously

Requisition Number 401465919
Location Durham
Job Family Level  98
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt
Full Time / Part Time FULL TIME
Regular / Temporary Regular
Shift First/Day

Minimum Qualifications

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employercommitted to providing employment opportunity without regard to anindividual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, genderidentity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex,sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation,creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robustexchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity ofour perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achievethis exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feelsecure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals arerespected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our communityhave a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions:Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System mayinclude essential job functions that require specific physical and/ormental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests forreasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Bachelor's degree required; master's degree preferred.


Minimum seven years' experience in communications leadership andmanagement in complex organizations such as university, academic medicalcenter, foundation, NGO or government agency.Knowledge of digital, social media platforms, trends, and norms, mediarelations.

Auto req ID