Director of Communications for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology


Columbia University
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
Director of Communications for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology

Reporting to the Vice President for Public Affairs and working closely with communications office staff and other key administrators and communicators throughout the University, the Director will help lead the effort to communicate and promote key interdisciplinary science and technology. This includes conceiving of long-term communications strategies to expand public awareness of the University’s major initiatives in such areas as neuroscience, precision medicine, data science, climate science, and sustainability, as well as other fields of basic and applied science. To accomplish this, the Director will develop and maintain strong relationships with the New York, national, and global news media covering scientific advances and the impact of those discoveries on society. The Director will also help develop the editorial content for digital and print materials used to advance this communications agenda and will draft and promote story ideas for dissemination in University publications, e-mails, and social media.

Success in this position will be determined by a changed and heightened understanding of Columbia’s key interdisciplinary science and technology initiatives among our central audiences including the general public, New York City opinion leaders, and the University community of students, faculty, alumni, and staff.

Responsibilities include:
• Forging working relationships with a full range of faculty and senior administrators leading the University’s key science initiatives, including those at the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, and Columbia University Earth Institute, as well as other colleagues throughout the University who are responsible for science communications
• Working in close partnership with colleagues in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs who are responsible for related subject areas in order to advance the University’s institutional goals
• Collaborating with communications staff across the University, at each of the schools, institutes, and centers relevant to interdisciplinary science and technology, including those at Columbia University Medical Center and School of Engineering and Applied Science, as well as deans, department chairs, and faculty members
• Participating in the planning and shaping of selected university events, keeping them focused on promoting core themes and thought leadership
• Writing news releases and advisories for media on the University’s key interdisciplinary science initiatives, including fielding incoming media requests and facilitating interviews with faculty and senior university administrators
• Writing occasional articles on significant developments within areas of responsibility for the University’s newspaper, The Record, and for online reporting on the University’s website
• Working with colleagues in developing and executing an ongoing social media strategy in support of these interdisciplinary science and technology initiatives

Minimum qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree required and at least 7 years of progressive public relations experience

Additional position-specific requirements:
• Experience developing and managing strategic communications initiatives on behalf of institutions with a significant public profile
• Significant experience and a high comfort level working with print and broadcast reporters and producers
• Demonstrated ability to master complex scientific issues
• Expertise in making arcane scientific research discoveries understandable for a lay audience; skilled translator of specialized and technical jargon into language suitable for the general public
• Sophisticated judgment about the relative newsworthiness of scientific developments and sensitivity to the broad political context framing science news
• Collaborative, energetic, supportive, and enthusiastic work style
• Strong writing and verbal communications skills
• Discretion and the ability to keep confidences
• Accountability for one’s work product and a demonstrated ability to carry projects through to successful completion

Preferred qualifications:
• Experience working at a university or college
• Experience conducting communications advocacy in a competitive media environment, or similar experience providing communications guidance to a corporation or nonprofit with a high public profile

To apply, go to: quickFind=155494

Columbia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Don’t forget to mention Naturejobs when applying.

Source: Nature Jobs

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