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Director, Development Communications

  • Requisition no: 528211
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Medical Center
  • School/Department: Mailman School of Public Health Administration
  • Grade: Grade 105
  • Categories: Commun/PR/Editorial, Development/Alumni Relations
Position Summary
The Director, Development Communications will join Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (CUMSPH) at an extraordinary moment for public health and for the School as it begins its second century. As one of the top schools of public health with some of the world’s top researchers in areas including infectious disease, climate change and advancing health equity, CUMSPH is celebrating its Centennial by commemorating a century of leadership and innovation in public health and shaping a comprehensive campaign to enable progress towards its vision of a healthy and just world for all.
The Director, Development Communications in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at CUMSPH is key to this effort and will collaborate with colleagues across development and communications to develop compelling messaging to secure the resources needed to advance the School’s work and deepen its impact during its second century.
Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Development for CUMSPH, the Director, Development Communications will serve as the department’s primary storyteller, creating a variety of communications tailored to specific audiences, events, and channels. The Director, Development Communications will work with colleagues across academic and administrative departments to understand School programs and funding priorities to convey the impact of philanthropy and create distinct and cohesive communications. This position will be hybrid.

  • Partnering with the CUMSPH communications team to elevate the awareness of CUMSPH with different audiences.
  • Think through, research, and write, engaging, accurate communications suited to the needs of specific audiences and situations, on deadline.
  • Lead the proposal development process in partnership with the Associate Dean, Assistant Dean and Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations to secure funding from individuals, foundations and corporate funders.
  • Create case statements, website/email/social media copy, video scripts, appeal letters, magazine and newsletter articles, brochures, speeches, and advertisements.
  • Edit copy written by department members, freelancers, and other contributors to improve sense, style, accuracy, grammatical correctness, and adherence to University editorial guidelines and messaging.
  • Although primarily focused on proposal development and print projects, this Director will also post written content to websites and other digital platforms (such as the email system) as requested.
  • In partnership with the Assistant Dean for Development, draft correspondence and talking points for the Dean and other senior leadership as needed.
  • Develop deep content knowledge on CUMSPH’s programs, as well as the Dean’s aspirations and development priorities.
  • Build a strong network of collegial partnerships with communications, development and departmental representatives both within CUMSPH and across Columbia University, such as directors, faculty, officers and other communications and development staff, to consult on messaging strategies that inspire giving and coordinate communications projects. 
  • Perform additional duties and responsibilities as needed.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in education and experience and a minimum of 4 years of fundraising communications or related transferable experience required, preferably with proven success working in a major fundraising or communications function in higher education.
  • Experience or interest in issues embodied by the School of Public Health’s mission.
  • Excellent management, planning, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated understanding of current trends in fundraising and communications.
  • Experience in copy writing and content creation as a staff writer on an in-house creative services team or with an agency.
  • Ability to be a persuasive advocate for CUMSPH’s priorities and present information in a clear and compelling manner to a variety of constituencies, primarily in writing.
  • Ability to use current desktop office technologies proficiently and to adapt to and use future technologies.
  • Sound judgment, tact and ability to handle highly confidential information.
  • Strong initiative and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks under deadline pressures in a high-volume office.
  • Enthusiastic, creative and enterprising.