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Associate Director Communications

JOB TITLE:  Associate Director Communications

DEPARTMENT: Marketing & Communications

REPORTS TO: Fractional CMO


As Associate Director of Communications, you’ll have the opportunity to reimagine and interpret a 200-year–old heritage brand for a new generation of STEM innovators. You’ll lead all of the Academy’s public relations and communications activities, including shaping the organization’s external messaging and reputation management strategy, as well as acting as point person for all media relations.


  • Successfully use communications strategy and vehicles to advance the Academy’s mission and financial goals and as a key driver of how we amplify and advance our reputation with key external stakeholders, potential collaborators, and the science community.
  • Develop and implement communications strategies, through the development of strong media relationships, brand storytelling, and building a robust thought leadership agenda for the Academy’s President & CEO.
  • Work in strong collaboration with the academy’s networks of external partners and communications agencies.
  • Own the development of NYAS’s overarching content and messaging strategy and oversee the development of key content projects.


Strategic Communications

  • Identify and pursue opportunities to showcase the Academy’s thought leadership in core thematic areas.
  • Support and coach executive staff through the development of strategic presentations, talking points, Op-eds and Opinion piece placements, and sourcing/vetting of external speaking opportunities.
  • Provide strategic counsel for program teams as needed to support partnerships as well as crisis counseling when required.
  • Lead Academy communication initiatives including our numerous joint communication projects with major corporations and foundations.
  • Collaborate with marketing, senior executives, and partners to ensure messaging is unified and meaningful to support mission-critical initiatives and achieve business goals.
  • Translate broad strategies into clear, specific objectives and associated work plans. Ensure all communication projects have strategic plans, project plans, and KPIs (key performance indicators).
  • Develop a measurement system to track and evaluate communications implementation, with appropriate metrics and key performance indicators, and report regularly on progress.  Regularly report on what has worked, not worked, and strategy for continual process improvement.

Executive Communications

  • Oversee the development of the Academy’s CEO’s brand, including development and refinement of CEO’s thought leadership areas including how these relate to the NYAS master brand.
  • Pitch and book events and speaking engagements / public appearances and media opportunities that CEO should pursue and prioritize.  Track major conferences, panel discussions, and speaking venues for public appearances.
  • Work with the CEO, internal staff, and potentially external writers to capture the CEO’s voice, tone, and vision.
  • Collaborate with partners where Academy CEO and partnership leadership have co-thought leadership agendas.

Storytelling & Content

  • Partner with marketing and programming teams to develop opportunities to use data and impact to elevate our storytelling efforts.
  • Working in full partnership with fundraising leadership and staff, lead communications strategy and implementation, including guiding the production of collateral across the Academy such as program brochures, the Annual Report, fundraising event materials, etc. as well as leading communications for major organizational activities including the Annual Gala, Annual Members Meeting and the annual Global STEM Alliance Summit.
  • Runs Editorial Planning Group to develop NYAS content calendar.
  • Leads the strategy and manages the execution of key content projects.

Media Relationships

  • Own Academy media relationships and strategy working with a stable of external partners and freelancers, as needed.
  • Monitor the science media landscape and establish strong relationships with key journalists and publications (print, digital, and broadcast) covering topics of relevance to the Academy.
  • Develop/oversee/execute media and public relations outreach strategies for strategic Academy events and partnerships, to include preparation of press releases, media alerts, pitches, and talking points.
  • Manage all incoming press inquiries and potential reputational risk issues, utilizing superior judgement.
  • Lead key media projects including development of Twitter media strategy, speaker bureaus, and media exclusive access.


  • Supervision of 1 –2 staff members. In addition, this role will manage freelancers and agencies.


  • Undergraduate degree required. Minimum of 8 years’ experience in strategic communications.
  • Portfolio of communication materials/campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience in:
  • Leading executive communication and organizational communication ideally in a scientific, higher education, research, nonprofit, or policy environment.
  • Working with major corporations, foundations, and partners on collaborative communication strategies and execution plans.
  • Engaging media, developing media relationships, and successful media placement.
  • Developing and executing brand storytelling campaigns.
  • Working in a matrixed organization that requires other teams to contribute to a campaign plan.
  • Strong understanding of modern communications tools, tactics, and measurement strategies.
  • Strong media relationships.
  • Ideal candidates will have:
  • Proven track record to learn new things quickly / curious mindset.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team.
  • Project management skills, including the ability to multi-task and coordinate simultaneous projects and move quickly from idea to implementation.
  • Strong understanding of modern communications tools, tactics, and measurement strategies.
  • Continuous improvement mindset – use of data and impact metrics to drive prioritization and iterative improvements to ways of working.


The Academy operates during standard business hours Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. Standard work week is 35 hours, unless otherwise noted.


Applications must include a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements.