VP, Strategic Communications

Academic Operations United States Scottsdale, Arizona San Diego, California


Position Summary:

Reporting to the Vice Chancellor, Communications and Community Engagement, the Vice President, Strategic Communications will be responsible for the overall strategic communications of the National University System. The Vice President will oversee and the support the development and implementation of external and internal communications strategies and materials for students, faculty, staff, and other key audiences, working with the communications team, senior leaders and key stakeholders. The Vice President will: possess an inclusive and dynamic leadership style, combined with excellent communication skills; be able to successfully navigate and engage with individuals across a complex organization; be comfortable providing counsel and advice to senior leaders; build capacity across the organization, coaching and mentoring others; and, will thrive in a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary environment. The position requires ability to generate positive external exposure to enhance brand awareness and maximize public relations on a national level to targeted regions and sectors.


Essential Functions:

  • Develop, direct, implement and track progress on system-wide communications programs, campaigns and activities to engage internal audiences, and enhance the external reputation of the System, in addition to advancing efforts to communicate successfully with students, prospective students, faculty, employees, media and the community-at-large
  • Oversee execution of multiple, simultaneous communications programs that require balancing trade-offs and high-speed tactical execution
  • Monitor trends in the marketplace, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to meet emerging needs.
  • Provide day-to-day leadership to staff including but not limited to recruiting, selecting, orienting, coaching, mentoring and training employees as well as developing personal growth opportunities
  • Establish a culture of customer service and collaboration within the department, and create and maintain positive and productive relationships with the partners
  • Manages the department operating budget including negotiations of mutually beneficial agreements with vendors to obtain the most economical services/materials. Develops and adheres to a procurement policy for vendor activities.  
  • Other duties as assigned


Supervisory Responsibilities:


The Vice President will supervise 4-5 communications staff. The position will also serve as the liaison with agencies and other consultants.



Education & Experience


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications or related discipline, master’s degree preferred
  • 15+ years of relevant communications experience
  • Experience leading multi-disciplinary teams in large, complex organizations
  • Comfortable working virtually, across multiple time zones
  • Experience in higher education preferred


Competencies/Technical/Functional Skills:

  • Strong leader with deep experience developing internal and external communications campaigns and strategies
  • Ability to participate as an active team member of the team and organization and work toward a common goal with excellent engagement, collaboration and negotiation abilities, and demonstrated problem solving and decision-making skills
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of best practices with a wide-range of communications platforms and tools, included digital and social media platforms and strategies
  • Understanding of change management principles an asset
  • Actively seeks opportunities to influence, build effective relationships and gain alignment with peers, functional partners and/or external partners to accomplish business objectives.
  • Accepts personal accountability, proactively seeks resolution for personal limitations head-on; and supports honesty and respect towards others, the company and oneself.
  • Advanced use of computers and Microsoft Office Suite Applications such as Teams, Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook and working knowledge of application software’s used for communication purposes.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of individual of constituencies in a diverse community. Excellent and flexible writing skills, particularly for internal audiences.
  • Work independently and foster a cooperative spirit within a team of diverse cultures, while working in a fast-paced environment with multiple deadlines and frequently changing priorities
  • Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting-edge programs/processes. Ability to generate and/or recognize imaginative or creative solutions that generate successful outcomes
  • Innovative, creative and collaborative and detail oriented, with strong project management and organizational skills
  • Acts as a role model. Anticipates and plans for change.  Communicates vision to the team. Ability to lead, direct and/or influence others to obtain results using a wide degree of creativity and latitude. Working knowledge in building teams.


The position is virtual and can be based from anywhere in the United States; however, National University System operates 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.


Some travel required.

The National University System is committed to maintaining a high-quality, diverse workforce representative of the populations we serve. As a network of nonprofit educational institutions, the System employs more than 3,300 faculty and staff and serves over 41,000 students. We are united in our mission to meet the global education demands of the 21st Century and are dedicated to creating a supportive academic and work environment that allows for students, faculty and staff to develop their interests and talents while experiencing a sense of community and a commitment to diversity. With programs available both online and at our many campus locations, the National University System is a leader in creating innovative solutions to education and meeting the needs of our diverse student population, including adult learners and working professionals.

The National University System offers a comprehensive benefits package, competitive salaries, and an opportunity to work in an innovative environment that supports diversity. It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. The System does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, family care status, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other basis protected by state of federal laws.