American University of Beirut
Director of Communications
The American University of Beirut seeks a forward-thinking, highly collaborative and experienced team leader to lead the University’s communications operation in North America. The Director will design and oversee all aspects of a robust communications program including publications, marketing, media relations, social media, internal communications and web content. S/he will be a central strategist developing fundraising materials and promoting the University’s upcoming capital campaign.
About The American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut (AUB) is a private, non-sectarian institution of higher learning, dedicated to providing academic excellence and service to the people of the Middle East and beyond. AUB bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership. Since its founding in 1866, AUB has been celebrated as one of the most preeminent and impactful schools of higher learning in the Arab world.
A teaching-centered research university, AUB has nearly 800 full-time faculty members and a student body of about 8,500 students. With six faculties including Agricultural and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Medicine (which includes the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing), and the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, AUB currently offers more than 130 programs leading to the bachelor's, master's, MD, and PhD degrees. AUB provides medical education and training to students from throughout the region at its Medical Center that includes a full-service 420-bed hospital.
This is an exciting moment in the history of the American University of Beirut. 2016 marks the 150
anniversary of AUB’s founding as well as the inauguration of the University’s 16
president, Fadlo R. Khuri, MD. It is both a year for celebrating the people and events that tell the story its story of strength, transformative impact, and institutional resilience while also welcoming new leadership with a vision to lead the region by offering a world-class education and anunparalleled commitment to service. AUB is underway with a renovation of its Medical Center that will improve facilities and capacity, establish centers of excellence that will provide new medical options for the treatment of illnesses endemic in the Arab world, and expand access to the quality of care that families in Lebanon have depended on for generations. Simultaneously, under President Khuri’s leadership, AUB is undertaking a campus-wide strategic and master planning effort that will articulate AUB’s academic vision and supporting facilities’ needs while also validating the University’s firm commitment to access and affordability for students of all backgrounds. In the coming year, AUB will launch a comprehensive campaign to underwrite this vision, and the support of Trustees, alumni and friends in North America will be critical to the initiative’s success.
About the Opportunity
A member of the senior communications staff reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Communications in Beirut, the Director of Communications will oversee the U.S. based communications effort and team of two in New York, including a senior writer and a senior communications officer. The Director will manage external communications for the University to continue to promote AUB’s profile and reputation across its diverse constituents in North America. S/he will provide the leadership and strategic direction required to build AUB’s capacity to achieve new levels of success in constituent engagement, advocacy, media and public relations and marketing. In particular, the Director will share the President’s vision broadly and ensure that the needs of the upcoming capital campaign are an integral part of institutional messaging. In addition to providing strategic direction, the Director will manage internal communications and oversee the team’s day-to-day operations, including supervising the budget, team structure and deliverables of the department.
· Provide strategic direction for the North American communications effort including print and digital communications and publications, public relations, events and internal communications.
· Lead and mentor a team of two New York-based communications staff, including a senior writer and a senior communications officer.
· Oversee the production of select AUB promotional materials as well as the development and placement of institutional advertising.
· Devise an online communication strategy, including the development of web based publications, that enhances and expands the ways that AUB reaches out to and engages stakeholders, including prospective students, parents, alumni, Trustees and the general public.
· Plan, execute and publicize advancement events in North America, including a series of academic and cultural events for the New York Office.
· Develop and implement a strategic media plan to make valuable and productive connections and build relationships with major print and digital media.
· In coordination with the offices of advancement and alumni relations, grow the outreach program in North America with friends, donors, alumni.
· In coordination with the Beirut-based communications team, schedule interviews and PR meetings with senior AUB administration and develop and distribute press releases and story pitches for the North American market.
· Disseminate press clippings and other media coverage to advancement colleagues and university leadership.
· Build strong and collaborative partnerships across all departments with faculty and staff.
· Advise university leadership on crisis communications.
· Maintain communications and consultant contracts.
· At least fiveyears of professional communications experience with expertise in online communications.
· Experience overseeing a small team.
· Experience managing the entire publications process.
· Strong written and oral communication skills including editorial skills and public speaking ability.
· Strong project management and organizational skills.
· Energetic, self-motivated, decisive, and results oriented, comfortable with challenges and accepting of responsibility, a sense of humor and perspective.
· Strong interpersonal skills and the capacity to develop effective relationships with volunteers, donors, prospects, senior administrators, faculty and staff.
· Commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, excellence and honesty.
· Global awareness and an interest in international affairs.
· Professional proficiency in Arabic, knowledge of and experience traveling to or living in the Middle East is highly preferred.
American University of Beirut
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The American University of Beirut (AUB) was founded in 1866 as a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher learning, functioning under a charter from the State of New York. AUB has grown from 16 students in a rented house to a major university with over 7,446 students located on a 73-acre campus overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The University is governed by an autonomous Board of Trustees comprised of international leaders in business, education, diplomacy, engineering, philanthropy, science, and medicine.