Job Opening: Communications Director

Othering & Belonging Institute, UC Berkeley 

Position Title: Communications Director (5887U) #4427 

How to Apply: Go to and search for job #4427 to apply. 

A tailored cover letter and resume are required. Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying. 

Application Review Date: The First Review Date for this job is: January 16, 2020 

About Berkeley 

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world’s most iconic teaching and research institutions. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world. Berkeley’s culture of openness, freedom and acceptance—academic and artistic, political and cultural— make it a very special place for students, faculty and staff. 

Berkeley is committed to hiring and developing staff who want to work in a high performing culture that supports the outstanding work of our faculty and students. In deciding whether to apply for a staff position at Berkeley, candidates are strongly encouraged to consider the alignment of the Berkeley Workplace Culture with their potential for success at 

Departmental Overview 

The Othering & Belonging Institute (the “Institute”) at UC Berkeley brings together diverse stakeholders to identify and challenge the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society in order to create transformative change. The Institute is a vibrant hub of researchers, community leaders, policymakers, artists, and communicators that advances research, policy, and work related to marginalized communities. We engage in innovative narrative, communications, and cultural strategies that attempt to re-frame the public discourse around marginality and inclusion and respond to issues that require immediate and long-term action. Our work is informed by understanding how structures and systems work to create or exacerbate othering and exclusion. 

The Institute advances research and policy related to marginalized groups and social cleavages including disability, LGBTQ citizenship, race, religion, economics, public health, education, 

democracy and the new emerging research on global north/global south relations. The Institute represents a tremendous opportunity to bring leading researchers and substantial resources across disciplines to bear on society’s pressing and pivotal issues. 

The Communications Director is a senior leadership position and is responsible for all aspects of communication for an Institute whose visibility is high, but also growing. Under the leadership of the Institute’s Director john a. powell, the Communications Director oversees a comprehensive strategic communications program and leads efforts to actively infuse the Institute’s body of research, both from the faculty clusters and research staff, into ongoing public debate and discussions while advancing the strategic narratives developed by the Institute and partners. To do so, the Communications Director leads organizational communication, including working with the Institute’s various research programs and faculty clusters to translate research and disseminate results to targeted audiences such as policy makers, advocacy organizations, community organizations, the press, and other stakeholders using a wide variety of mediums such as digital media, social media, print media and events such as policy briefings. The Communications Director builds the Institute’s brand, elevates its visibility and promotes the dissemination of Institute research for impact. 

The Communications Director frames the Institute’s vision, mission and work for internal and external audiences, identifies and communicates key findings from our research and trends in the social justice field, and interprets and applies lessons from our message testing, survey results and public opinion to our communications strategies and products for greater impact. The Communication Director’s purview extends beyond the traditional scope of messaging and media work towards shaping public discourse and narrative change using fundamental Institute frameworks and concepts. 


Brand and Audience Building: Leads on audience-, brand-, and platform-building for the Institute. Leverages Institute work to shape public discourse, and seeks to elevate the Institute’s visibility and reach. Identifies critical audiences and cultivates and manages database of media contacts and audience lists. 

Production: Responsible for planning, production, and oversight of all communications platforms and outreach of the Institute, including multiple websites, reports, videos, podcasts, newsletters, publications, materials for high-level donors, and branded digital communications including letterhead, logos, and other identity elements. Collaborate with researchers and cluster faculty to plan for communications products and desired outcomes. 

Messaging: Provides strategic input on communications, including effective messaging, especially on emergent, current events that affect marginalized communities. Helps to identify and communicate key findings and distill those findings for specific audiences, write content where appropriate and feasible, and assign resources. Coordinate the Institute’s Arts & Culture strategy and resources and its integration into its research programs. 

Leadership: Serves on the senior manager team and provides Institute-wide leadership. Works independently and with the Institute’s leadership to build and elevate the Institute’s organizational brand and voice. Build organizational audiences and strategic partnerships that advance the work of the Institute and its various program platforms. Represent the Institute in media appearances, events, meetings, and other venues. 

Evaluation: Oversee the monitoring and evaluate the impact of Institute work, and reports results to Institute leadership. This includes tracking media coverage, social media coverage, and scholarly references to our work, as well as public discourse impacts to measure effectiveness and reports results to Institute leadership. Develop a set of benchmarks to measure and track the success of various initiatives, projects, and efforts, online and otherwise. Evaluate effectiveness of the dissemination of critical strategic narratives and key frames or ideas in public discourse and media usage. Provide related input for proposals and reports to donors. 

Supervision: manage, motivate and supervise communications team, including staff, consultants and temporary workers, such as students. Responsible for managing and working with communications vendors, such as printers, copy editors, and web developers. 

Required Qualifications 

• A minimum seven to ten years experience in communications roles with progressively increasing responsibility, including deep, relevant experience in all of the key responsibilities listed above. 

• Experience in a policy or research setting, and an understanding of the role of communications in achieving policy change. 

• Advanced skills to create, develop, and implement strategic audience-, platform- and brand-building initiatives. 

• Advanced skills to advise and consult management on all aspects of communications, ranging from developing effective communication strategies to appropriately responding to inquiries regarding sensitive or complex issues or information. 

• Excellent written, verbal, interpersonal communication, active listening and political acumen skills. 

• A strong writer and copy editor with excellent editorial judgment. 

• Excellent analytical, critical thinking, project management, and problem recognition, avoidance, and resolution skills. 

• Sophisticated understanding of media dialogue, narrative, discourse, and rhetoric regarding issues and policies that face marginalized communities. 

• Advanced knowledge of a complex and changing body of communications tools, including publishing software, social media channels, analytics software, website content management systems. 

• Advanced knowledge and understanding of the full range of communications, including media, audiences, policy, and publishing. 

• Advanced knowledge and understanding of technical applications to direct professional technical staff, or personally perform technical work, including design concepts, various media, and applications. 

• Experience with contributing to organizational development, providing guidance and input as part of senior leadership team. 

• Advanced technical acuity in the full suite of digital publishing. 

• Advanced knowledge of editing and copyediting best practices. 

• Excellent time and project management skills. 

Salary & Benefits 

The annual salary range of the position is $84,000 - $124,200.00 (A higher annual salary is negotiable if commensurate with experience) 

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit: