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Director of Communications

DEPARTMENT: Communications & Network Engagement

REPORTS TO:  Senior Vice President, Communications & Network Engagement


As Director of Communications, you’ll have the opportunity to reimagine and interpret a 200-year-old legacy brand for a new generation of STEM innovators. You’ll lead all of the Academy’s public relations and communications activities, to include shaping the organization’s external messaging and reputation management strategy, acting as point person for all media relations, and serving as Executive Editor of The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine. You will manage a team focused on growing the Academy’s reputation and visibility through a variety of activities that support and promote its brand. This is an excellent opportunity for a creative, energetic, and strategic communications professional to play an integral role in leading a heritage brand into its third century.

General Responsibilities

Strategy and Thought Leadership

  • Work closely with executive leadership (CEO, COO, SVPs) to shape a new strategic vision for the Academy, to include creation of a 3–5 year strategic plan, and formulation of a brand messaging strategy to support and advance the vision.
  • 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 placements, and sourcing/vetting of external speaking opportunities.
  • Create and execute short- and long-term communications plans for key Academy initiatives and programs, including its Global STEM Alliance and Nutrition Science Institute.
  • In concert with the Social & Digital Content Strategist, lead the Academy’s cross-departmental Editorial Planning Group to align communications and content marketing efforts with organizational business goals and messaging.
  • Provide strategic counsel for program teams as needed to support partnerships as well as crisis counseling when required.

Media Relations

  • Actively 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/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.
  • Proactively pitch both scientific and mainstream media for high priority Academy programs and initiatives.
  • Manage all incoming press inquiries, utilizing superior judgement.

Content Production

  • Serve as executive editor of The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine — the organization’s semi-annual outreach publication for its global Membership of over 20,000.
  • Conceptualize magazine themes to align with Academy activities, Member Engagement, and business goals. Oversee article acquisitions, edit submissions, and manage freelance writers, graphic designer, and print and mailing vendors.
  • Guide the production of strategic communications collateral across the Academy, to include promotional videos, podcasts, program brochures, the Annual Report, etc.
  • Serve as the communications lead on major organizational activities to include major fundraising events, the Annual Members Meeting and the annual Global STEM Alliance Summit.

Supervisory Responsibility

Lead a team of two in-house communications staff members, including a communications manager, and a content development specialist, as well as dotted line supervisory responsibility for a communications manager assigned to the Blavatnik Awards team.  In addition, the Director manages the Academy relationship with external communications-related consultants and vendors.


  • Bachelors' degree and 8+ years of communications experience are required.
  • Superior writing and editing skills a must. Successful applicants will demonstrate an ability to establish, articulate, and execute on a clear vision for content development that resonates with target audiences.
  • In-depth experience working with media and attaining media coverage is desired. Media contacts in science or related field a plus.
  • High comfort level working directly with executive leadership, and in managing critical partner relationships to achieve goals.
  • Strong self-motivation, prioritization and planning skills, and an ability to shepherd complex projects from start to finish.
  • Ability to manage a team with a focus on achieving departmental goals, as well as fostering professional growth and development in staff members.
  • Experience managing vendors, including public relations firms and other consultants.
  • Agency experience preferred.

Work Schedule

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

Work Environment / Physical Demands

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, etc. This is largely a sedentary role; however, some movement is required. Examples world be lifting files, opening filling cabinets and bending or standing as necessary.

How to Apply

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