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Job ID: 130780

Communications Director (5887U) - 1827 - 1827
University of California, Berkeley

Date Posted Oct. 4, 2019
Title Communications Director (5887U) - 1827 - 1827
University University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA, United States
Department N/A
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
  • Communications/Public Relations

Communications Director (5887U) - 1827 - 1827

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 acceptanceacademic and artistic, political and culturalmake 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

Application Review Date

The First Review Date for this job is: October 14, 2019

Departmental Overview

The Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) is composed of diverse researchers with a powerful combined expertise. After the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for rewriting DNA, we saw the potential of applying this technology to solve some of humanity's greatest problems. Our scientists conduct world-class research, driven by the real possibility to cure human disease, end hunger, and protect the environment.

Reporting to the IGI Managing Director, the Communications Director will be responsible for developing, implementing and managing an overall communications/public relations strategy for the multi-campus IGI program. The incumbent will develop and prioritize an internal communications plan for all IGI members. The incumbent will oversee communications and preparation of public relations materials to inform, inspire and engage key audiences locally, nationally and globally. Additionally, the incumbent will supervise contracted website designers and managers, freelance science writers for grant writing and any additional IGI staff working on specific programs and communications projects.

Incumbent will provide editorial guidance and drive the overarching vision for content across all IGI channels, including: print and digital publications, materials supporting media relations, employee and executive communications, and donor communications. The Communications Director will champion innovative, integrated content opportunities that drive awareness and engagement among audiences that include scientific peers, stakeholders in biomedical, agricultural, and environmental areas, philanthropic donors, industry, and policymakers As an IGI spokesperson, the incumbent will understand the societal sensitivities and political arena around genome editing, in the context of the overall mission and objectives of the Institute, to accurately and diplomatically represent and promote the IGI.


  • Lead development and implementation of an integrated, audience-centric content strategy to support the IGI strategic objectives and to establish the foundation for all internal and external communications activities.
  • Engagement key audiences by synthesizing news from IGI and key national and international conversations relevant to IGI.
  • Establish and evolve a content agenda aligned with the content strategy.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with pertinent offices at all partner locations, including: public relations, development, government relations, Chancellors, Diversity & Inclusion, and scientific divisions and cross-divisional programs.
  • Bring functional experts together to evaluate content opportunities against priorities and resources, gain alignment and make final decisions regarding execution.
  • Champion adherence to content style guidelines to support consistent implementation of brand standards, messaging and voice, and ensure accuracy and scientific integrity in our published work.
  • Be the point of content for development and distribution of all branding materials.

  • Build, manage and mentor a high-performing team to execute content strategy and tell compelling stories that reflect the excellence and impact of IGI research.
  • Manage communications team members on projects and/or identify freelance science writers for specific projects, as needed.
  • Requires an understanding of the needs for all program areas of IGI (science and social science).

  • Serve as editor-in-chief of owned and contributed content, guiding the discovery and crafting of stories that build awareness.
  • Evaluate IGI multi-campus needs and work with the IGI Directors to develop a strategy for creation, development, and updating of print materials, including newsletters, brochures, presentations, event advertisements, flyers, etc.
  • Independently develop, gather material for, and write an IGI Bulletin/Newsletter (combination of print and online).

Online (web and social media):
  • Evaluate current website and establish content metrics, oversee implementation of tracking tools and benchmarking to measure and report success, and apply insights to improve strategy and impact.
  • Scan the professional landscape for content and science communication trends and best practices to improve audience engagement and search engine optimization.
  • Write and/or edit web content and review materials for posting, including stories, notices, and other content.
  • Develop and implement strategies to ensure online resources meet IGI's internal requirements, including an intranet.
  • Oversee contract and work product of web design/maintenance service provider and serve as main contact for web hosting service provider.

Internal Communications:
  • Work with the Directors and staff at the partner sites to develop and implement plans for internal communications between scientists and staff.
  • Develop processes that insure the smooth flow of information across campus that are not geographically co-located.

Outreach Activities & Events:
  • Serve as backup for point of contact for public relations activities.
  • Serve as primary point of contact for information requests, interview requests, and related.
  • Manage special events including advertisement and logistics for Berkeley and multi-campus events.
  • Represent IGI at planning meetings for large events ensuring that IGI is adequately marketed and that IGI interests are recognized.

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of all aspects of communications, including strategic planning for various media venues, technical aspects and requirements of various venues, and most appropriate and effective applications.
  • Able to manage highly complex and sensitive projects in a highly charged environment while remaining balanced.
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of technical applications to direct professional technical staff, or personally perform technical work, including design concepts, various media, and applications.
  • Knowledge of the organization, including its mission, vision, goals, policies, and infrastructure; strong knowledge of current affairs.
  • Advanced skills to create, develop, and implement long and short term strategic communication plans.
  • 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 communications, active listening and political acumen skills.
  • Demonstrated editorial experience for both technical writing and writing for the public.
  • Demonstrated experience writing science for both technical reviewers and the public.
  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, project management, and problem recognition, and resolution skills.
  • Knowledge of campus protocols and channels for communication internally and externally

  • Bachelor's degree in area of biological science and/or equivalent experience/training.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree is a plus.
  • Journalism degree or equivalent experience/training.

Salary & Benefits

This is an exempt, monthly paid position. Annual salary is commensurate with experience.

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

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Mandated Reporter

This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

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