Director of Communications for Science and Technology
May 19, 2018
New York, New York
Advertised Summary Job Description: Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Communications and working closely with communications office staff and other key administrators and communicators throughout the University, the Executive Director will help lead the effort to communicate and promote key science and technology news. This includes working with communications officers across the University to conceive 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, and promote the research of faculty in the basic and applied sciences. To accomplish this, the Executive 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 Executive 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 websites, publications, e-mails and social media.
Forging relationships with faculty and senior administrators leading the University's key science initiatives, as well as faculty in the basic and applied sciences.
Collaborating with communications staff across the University, at each of the schools, institutes, and centers relevant to science and technology, including those at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Columbia Engineering, as well as deans, department chairs and faculty members.
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.
Participating in the planning and shaping of selected university events, keeping them focused on promoting core themes and thought leadership.
Establishing and nurturing effective working relationships with local, national and international journalists from print, broadcast, online, and social media.
Pitching news, interview opportunities and upcoming events directly to reporters and editors.
Writing news releases and media advisories tied to the University's key science initiatives and events; fielding incoming media requests and facilitating interviews with faculty and senior university administrators.
Writing articles on significant developments within areas of responsibility for the University's newspaper, The Record, and for the Columbia News website.
Working with colleagues in developing and executing an ongoing social media strategy in support of these science and technology initiatives.
General Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor's degree required and at least 7 - 9 years of journalism and/or progressive public relations experience.
Additional position-specific requirements:
Experience developing and managing strategic communications initiatives on behalf of high-profile institutions.
Significant experience working with print and broadcast reporters and producers.
Demonstrated ability to master complex scientific concepts and put them in context for lay readers.
Skilled translator of 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.
Additional Specific Minimum Qualifications:
As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Council of Ivy Group Presidents (Ivy League), it is imperative that members of the Columbia University community, in all matters related to the intercollegiate athletics program, exhibit the highest professional standards and ethical behavior with regard to adherence to NCAA, Conference, University, and Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education rules and regulations.
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
Internal Number: 126_169428
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.