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University of Rochester Assoc. Vice Pres for Leadership Communications - 224451 in Rochester, New York

Assoc. Vice Pres for Leadership Communications

Job ID



Central Administration

Full/Part Time


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Full Time 40 hours Grade 099 Ofc University Communications


At the University of Rochester, we are committed to creating an environment where all who work, learn, teach, research, create, and provide care are welcomed and respected, and where everyone can achieve the highest level of excellence in their work and contribute to our mission to learn, discover, heal, create, and make the world ever better. Our University motto, Meliora—ever better—informs our shared values of equity, leadership, integrity, openness, respect, and accountability. We believe that diversity fuels innovation and is essential to our success as a leading research institution of global impact.

Reporting to the Vice President for Communications, the Associate Vice President for Leadership Communications (AVP) acts as a special assistant to the University President and the President’s Chief of Staff, supporting the institution’s priorities on behalf of the President and creating high-level presidential communications—speeches, presentations, statements, announcements, correspondence in response to challenging issues, and other messages—for a range of stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, staff, and community partners.

The AVP is a creative, resourceful, and persuasive communicator with the necessary experience and judgement to counsel the President’s office on effective communications. In collaboration with the VP for Communications and Chief of Staff, the AVP will develop and execute a communications plan for the President. The incumbent must possess superb writing skills, an ability to capture the distinctive voice of the President, an understanding of University audiences and stakeholders, and the ability to write clearly across a range of media—often while working on a tight deadline.

The AVP must work collaboratively across a highly matrixed institution and be sensitive to the needs of diverse communities within and across the University. The position works closely with senior staff in University Communications as well as the Communications Steering Committee to coordinate and share presidential messages. The AVP is also expected to cultivate close and effective working relationships with academic and administrative leadership across the University.

Specific Responsibilities

Under general direction and with great latitude for independent judgement:

Presidential Communications

  • Works closely with the Chief of Staff and the Vice President for Communications to develop and regularly review and update messaging plans that advance the priorities of the University on behalf of the President.

  • Develops a messaging strategy for presidential communications in coordination with the president’s engagement strategy that targets stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees, alumni and donors, government and business leaders, the greater Rochester community, local and national media, and University constituent groups.

  • Leads or coordinates the preparation of speeches, reports, talking points, and presentations for the president. These include:

  • Board of Trustees meeting reports, addresses, resolutions, citations, and honorifics.

  • University ceremonies, receptions, and events (Convocation, Commencement, Garden Party, Presidential awards, Faculty Senate, etc.)

  • Annual messages including Welcome Back, End of Year, and Rochester Review.

  • Government relations meetings.

  • Community constituent groups.

  • Advancement events and engagements.

  • Drafts correspondence on behalf of the President on sensitive topics.

  • Develops the topics and themes on behalf of the president for University Management Team meetings to highlight the strategic initiatives and the University mission, vision, and values to 300+ managers across the University.

  • Oversees content for the Office of the President website.

Leadership Communications

  • Works closely with the Vice President for Communications to advise and support the President and the President’s Chief of Staff in communications related to Board, faculty, staff, and student issues as well as relationships with external constituencies.

  • Coordinates with the Office of University Communications, Office of Government & Community Relations, Office of Advancement, and all schools and units to establish communication and media relations plans for the President’s Office.

  • Works with senior leadership in University Communications, the Communications Steering Committee, and the wider communications community to coordinate and share presidential messages.

  • Directs correspondence staff across various offices in the preparation of documents and messages for the President’s approval.

  • Serves as guest attendee to University Cabinet meetings and attends relevant University leadership group meetings as needed.

Required Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree and 10 years of experience in journalism, marketing, corporate communications, or a related field; or an equivalent of education and experience.

  • Experience supporting a senior leader both strategically and tactically.

Preferred Education, Skills and Experience

  • Experience working in higher education.

  • Five or more years experience supporting senior executive, CEO, or president-level communications at an organization.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

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