Director of External Relations and Strategic Communications

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Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of External Relations and Strategic Communications leads and oversees the execution of a comprehensive communications strategy for all facets of the IAS.  S/he is a strategic thinker, collaborative leader, and gifted storyteller and writer.  S/he employs an entrepreneurial approach to promoting the IAS.  S/he has demonstrated success as a spokesperson; develops, implements, and directs a robust media strategy and a constantly evolving network of relationships with local, national, and international press; and identifies and implements opportunities for the Institute’s Director, Faculty, and visiting scholars and scientists in appropriate media outlets. S/he leads broad outreach and engages with internal and external stakeholders. S/he leverages IAS networks and develops ideas for events, conferences, and other initiatives to raise the Institute’s profile. Specific responsibilities include leveraging the communications of the Director and Faculty, building and expanding the Institute’s media network, making the case for giving, and creating opportunities to publicize and share the importance of basic, curiosity-driven research generally and the Institute specifically. All other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Chief Development Officer. 

Position Duties and Responsibilities 

Communicates and markets the Institute to external constituencies 

  • Develops strategic plans for marketing and communications—one year, three year, and five year, including communications for a comprehensive campaign.
  • Develops metrics and milestones to measure success.
  • Directs communications strategies for a wide range of institutional programs, events, and activities.
  • Develops and implements a robust profile-building and media outreach strategy, leading relationship cultivation with reporters, editors, news producers, and others in the media and attending and hosting media and press events to develop opportunities to tell the IAS story to external audiences.
  • With the Assistant Director, Marketing and Media Relations, serves as primary media contact; develops a pipeline of media relationships.  Supervises the Assistant Director in all of these efforts.
  • Creates speaking and other communications opportunities for the IAS Director, an accomplished mathematical physicist, science communicator, and leader and spokesperson for basic research.
  • Creates opportunities for Faculty and Members to share their research and stories externally. 
  • Advises and positions the institution and its Director and Faculty as commenters on policies affecting basic research.
  • Creates and manages news releases supportive of the Institute’s research and the positive impact of the Institute’s work.
  • Serves as a passionate advocate, ambassador, spokesperson, and lead point person for IAS with the press.
  • Oversees the ideation and development of communications materials, brochures, and other marketing materials to promote the IAS, including development materials, multimedia appeals, and stewardship pieces, working in consultation with the Director of Editorial and Content Strategy on their execution and production.
  • Partners with the Director of Editorial and Content Strategy to leverage multimedia content creation in the marketing of the Institute to engage new and existing audiences.
  • With the CDO, staffs the Development and Communications Committee of the Board of Trustees. 

Develops innovative approaches to communicating the IAS story through special events, conferences, talks, awards, media gatherings, marketing vehicles, etc.

  • Using networks and available resources, develops ideas for new and innovative communications approaches and partnerships.
  • With development, events, and communications colleagues collaborates on new initiatives (e.g., big ideas conference, Flexner fellows program) that will raise the Institute’s profile and engage donors and others.  Oversees creation of collateral materials in consultation with the Director of Editorial and Content Strategy.
  • Uses the convening power of the Institute to bring together groups of individuals who can help the IAS and the fields in which the IAS exists.
  • Creates vehicles through which the Director and Faculty can share the story of the IAS and their work.
  • Develops press and outreach strategies around specific Institute events and programs. 

Internal Relations and Institutional Guidance

  • Serves as IAS spokesperson on internal and community issues, especially for crisis communications. Additionally, s/he will work closely with the Chief Human Resources Officer to effectively communicate internally with employees throughout the organization.
  • Leads External Affairs and Strategic Communications staff, managing and professionally developing the Assistant Director, Marketing and Media Relations and creating processes with other departments to foster strong working relationships and coordination.
  • Manages public relations agency relationships and others as required by project. 
  • Develops internal communications to share with the IAS community, including Friends, Faculty, Staff, and visiting scholars and scientists.
  • Partnering with the Director of Editorial and Content Strategy and the CDO, conceptualizes and markets new communications projects that will help foster the mission of the Institute and will dovetail with the Institute’s events and development activities and initiatives.
  • Builds and creates opportunities to communicate and publicize the work of the IAS and its mission to the IAS community (Faculty, Staff, Members, AMIAS, Friends, Trustees, etc.).
  • Serves as IAS Spokesperson. 

All other duties as assigned by the Chief Development Officer  

Skills and Abilities 

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills required.  Must be a highly competent writer; background as a science writer is highly desirable.
  • Ability to interact effectively at all levels of the Institute community.
  • Experience in strategic communications and public relations planning and execution.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically while maintaining awareness, judgment, and sensitivity.
  • Experience with community relations and speaking on behalf of a major institution.
  • Sound professional initiative and the ability to work well under pressure and manage multiple priorities.
  • Creativity and track record of creating new communications programming.
  • Management experience is required.
  • Assistant Director, Marketing and Media Relations 

Education, Experience and Knowledge 

  • Bachelor’s degree required.   Advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of related experience required in communications, media relations, advertising or related field.  
  • Experience developing and implementing communications programs, working with press and media, leading advertising campaigns or similar. 
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and proven record of working collaboratively with a wide range of constituents.

The Institute for Advanced Study is an equal opportunity institution encouraging a diverse pool of applicants.  We believe in the inherent value of diversity and equal opportunity, recognizing that a truly diverse workforce will bring a wider array of perspectives, as well as more innovative and effective solutions, to the organization.   As a community dedicated to intellectual inquiry, we are resolutely committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


Location: Princeton, NJ
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Apply at: https://ias.synchr-recruit.com/job/46294/director-of-external-relations-and-strategic-communications