Another Source

Director of Communications - Stanford University

ID 10006
Job Locations
US-CA-Palo Alto
Stanford University

At a glance

Do you have a desire to make a large impact? Stanford University is recruiting a Director of Communications to join their team in Palo Alto, CA! This is a fantastic opportunity to have great visibility within the University. In this role, you will support the communication needs of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research Office (VPDoR) and its institutes, centers, and labs. This is a unique opportunity to work in a truly entrepreneurial academic community and contribute to Stanford University’s global mission and its amazing world-class research enterprise. If you are searching for a high visibility, hands-on, individual role and consider yourself a skillful communications self-starter, apply now!

Description: What you'll be doing

Another Source’s client, Stanford University is recruiting a Director of Communications to support the needs of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research Office in Palo Alto, Ca. 


Here’s a little about Stanford University and the position they are recruiting for: 


Stanford University is one of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity.  As a major Silicon Valley employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. In turn, the university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives. We believe Stanford’s future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community. 


The Vice Provost and Dean of Research Office (VPDoR) at Stanford University comprises eighteen independent academic units, five shared facilities and platforms, and six support offices that provide university-level oversight for research compliance and administration, as well as health and safety issues.  The VPDoR Office also recommends and promulgates new research policy and collaborates with departments on program scope, direction, administration, and compliance.  


The Director of Communicationsis a new position that will report to the University Communications and will work directly with Vice Provost and Dean Kathryn Moler to support the communication needs of the VPDoR and its institutes, centers, and labs, which span the life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, engineering, and medicine.  We are seeking an exceptional candidate for this high visibility, hands-on, individual role - a skillful executive communications self-starter who thrives in a very decentralized and distributed environment.  This is a unique opportunity to work in a truly entrepreneurial academic community and contribute to Stanford University’s global mission and it's amazing world-class research enterprise. 


Our VPDoR Diversity Journey: 

  • We create a hub of innovation through the power of diversity of disciplines and people. 
  • We provide equitable access and opportunity to all members of the community in order to do their best work, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 
  • We listen to and value all colleagues who bring diverse perspectives to the advancement and development of a respectful community. 
  • We promote a culture of belonging, equity, and safety. 
  • We embed these values in excellence of education, research, and operation. 


Principal Responsibilities: 

Serve as a trusted advisor to and support the Dean and the VPDoR in matters of communications, and support VPDoR‘s institutes, centers, and labs in a consultative and coordinating fashion, as outlined below. 

  • Develop a strategic communication plan to meet the needs of key audiences, including long- and short-term goals, with methods of measuring the plan's impact on and contribution to the VPDoR. 
  • Develop key messages and strategies to communicate complex information to multiple audiences and constituencies through a wide variety of communications platforms, including digital, print, and media. 
  • Develop, execute, edit, and oversee written communications of a complex nature, spanning a wide spectrum of scientific, academic, policy, and compliance fields, including key content messages for speeches, presentations, talking points, town halls, magazine columns, high-level correspondence, and opinion pieces. 
  • Devise and implement efficient, effective, and timely means of communicating the innovations, academic excellence, and essential nature of the VPDoR and its institutes, centers and labs to internal audiences, the public, the media, alumni, prospective and admitted students, faculty, staff, and current students. 
  • Cooperate closely with the other members of University Communications to ensure consistent and complementary strategic plans with overall university outreach and communications, and keep abreast of the university’s latest messaging, direction and announcement activity. Proactively forge productive relationships with campus peers and seek opportunities to advocate for VPDoR through networking and storytelling. 
  • In collaboration with University Communications and other university partner organizations, develop best practices for the VPDoR for management of branding risk considerations, such as name use and reputation management, as well as governance around Stanford policy in communications.  Serve as a central resource for these issues and create awareness throughout the organization broadly and with communications staff specifically through periodic messaging and guidance. 
  • Establish and leverage relationships with key reporters and editors, media, community and/or government leaders at top-tier and influential media outlets, including on a national and international scale. 
  • Provide media support for audiences that are both internal and external to the university in partner with the University Communications media relations team, including on a national and international scale.  Ensure timely responses to incoming media issues to mitigate potential negative impact. 
  • Provide strategic communications advice to the VPDoR’s institutes, centers, and labs and ensure that there are effective and efficient lines of communication between the heads of those units and their communications staff and the VPDoR. 
  • Assess how the VPDoR’s institutes, centers, and labs fit into the high-level communications of the VPDoR and identify overlapping interests and potential synergies.  Find ways to collaborate, develop messaging and storytelling, and maximize the use of content. 
  • Identify opportunities to connect communications staff across the VPDoR’ institutes, centers, and labs, e.g., organizing periodic centralized meetings to compare notes and share best practices, and to engage professionally and socially.  
  • Assist the communications teams across the VPDoR in facilitating shared resources, e.g., freelance providers that could be available as needed on a contract basis (e.g., writing and editing, web development, graphic arts, email marketing, database, social media marketing, etc.). 
  • Participate as needed in strategic planning, special projects, and other assignments pertaining to the mission of the VPDoR. 
  • Prepare for crisis communications response. 
  • In the future, may supervise staff. 


Required Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree and eight years of relevant experience or combination of education and experience. 
  • Depth of experience, sensitivity, and confidence befitting a strategic leadership position. 
  • Strong strategic and tactical thinking ability. 
  • Proven ability to manage large and complex issues through diverse and competing interests. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, as a self-starter, and collaboratively as part of a team. 
  • Excellent communications skills and presences at all levels and for all audiences. 
  • Strong influencing, negotiating, and relationship management skills. 
  • Demonstrated ability to earn credibility and influence opinion leaders. 
  • Understanding of brand management principles. 
  • Capacity to write and synthesize complex materials and communicate highly technical information in a manner easily understood. 
  • Understands and thrives in a very decentralized and distributed model. 
  • Effective influencing without direct authority. 
  • High tolerance for ambiguity. 


Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Advanced degree. 
  • Relevant work experience in an executive communications role. 
  • Relevant work experience in higher education or equivalent setting. 
  • Background in science or public policy, or other field relevant to the work of the VPDoR. 


Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:  

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.  
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.  
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.  
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.  
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more! 


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


Another Source works with their clients, on a retained project basis, to maximize the recruiting process. 


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