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Director, Communications and Public Relations

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Last Updated: 3/29/21

Job Description

CDU Strives for EXCELLENCE! Join a team of diverse professionals and start your career today with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. We are seeking extraordinary and dedicated individuals to achieve the mission that drives us all: to cultivate diverse health professional leaders are dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations…. As a member of CDU faculty, or staff you’ll achieve EXCELLENCE in a welcoming community of passionate medical school professionals.

At CDU we are seeking a talented Director, Communications and Public Relations.

The Director, Communications and Public Relations serves as a senior member of the Office of Strategic Advancement. Responsible for planning, developing, and administering the University’s communications and public relations program designed to increase awareness of the University, increase University enrollment and increase resources available to advance the growth of the University.

Essential Duties

Strategy and Planning

  • Develop and lead a team of experienced communications professionals (staff and consultants) in planning and implementing an effective, ongoing marketing and publicity function that promotes the mission of the Institution consistently and clearly.
  • Ensure clear communication with key audiences, including advocates, champions, the scientific and academic communities, government officials and agencies, funding organizations, policymakers, corporations and media.
  • Work with key stakeholders to position CDU as having a greater ownership role with regard to solving the health care crises in South Los Angeles and across the region.
  • Publicize newsworthy research, activities, and events. Liaise with NIH and promote stories on CDU’s positive research outcomes and developments.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate the University’s public relations and marketing plans, to support student recruitment and to secure greater visibility for the University in targeted markets. Develop and implement ways to market the University using marketing paraphernalia. Design and purchase billboards and purchase television, radio, and print advertising.

External and Media Relations

  • Manage external relations programs at key events including attending press and VIPs.
  • Working in concert with the Office of the President, assist with preparing talking points for major external speaking engagements of the President and for University-wide events/celebrations/fundraisers
  • Assist the Vice President of Strategic Advancement with media relations. Respond to requests for information on the University from local, national, and international media. Foster good rapport with all media representatives in the University service area. Develop and produce television and radio spots, videos, and print ads.
  • Participate in various community activities, and assists with student recruitment and development activities.
  • Help plan and implement special events, including but not limited to State of the University Address, Spring Gala, Jazz at Drew, anniversary activities, tributes commemorative to Charles R. Drew, M.D., and other legends of the University.
  • Assist with major development campaigns and prepare solicitation materials for the University. Solicit annual donations/memberships, in-kind gifts, and sponsorships as directed.
  • Plan, create, and supervise production of recruiting and other publications by the University community. Review publication requests. Assist with creating (writing, proofing, and design) top-tier publications. Provide input on other publications as needed or requested.
  • Assist staff and faculty in creating publications, brochures, and AV materials for use in promoting the University. Promote and implement an ongoing media training program for faculty, administration and others.

Digital Media

  • Provides project management of email campaigns from conception through implementation, including creative development, copywriting and editing, segmentation and personalization, scheduling and deliverability, analytics, and new campaign recommendations.
  • Oversees the CDU’s presence on all social media, to include posting text and visual information, monitoring constituent reaction and comments, and developing appropriate responses.
  • Creates and implements strategies for maximizing CDU’s use of social media tools to expand the supporter base and to enhance relationships with students, prospective students, alumni, donors, and other stakeholders.
  • Direct website redesign efforts. Provide general oversight of the University website. Maintain Development website and update on a regular basis. Maintain University calendar via electronic calendar on Web.

Internal Operations and Support

  • Develop and disseminate CDU graphic standards and conduct training across the University.
  • Create marketing and communication pieces for dissemination inside and outside the University, including but not limited to electronic newsletters and publications, press releases, internal newsletter, university magazines, social media, and annual reports. Supervise distribution and collection of information for the same.
  • Coordinate/Chair an editorial committee with regular meetings.
  • Work with the senior management team to develop and implement crisis communication plans.
  • Encourage staff to write (and edit their efforts) for healthcare publications. Create high visibility of staff and others in news reports on healthcare problems common in underserved communities. Organize and lead writing workshops for faculty and staff.
  • Work with University faculty and staff on a regular basis, and serve on committees as a creative resource person in assisting with special events planning, promotion and publicity.
  • Develop institutional communications and public relations policies.

Required Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism/communications/public relations or related field required.


  • Must have at least 10 years of communication leadership, with at least 5 in an academic setting
  • Must have experience reporting and publicizing scientific and technical matters
  • Experience with supervising teams of professionals for coordinated outputs

Minimum Requirements


  • Knowledge of health care and/or education issues that impact underrepresented, under-resourced, educationally, or economically disadvantaged students or communities.
  • Exemplary written and communications skills with the ability to edit and/or develop articles, reports, publications, and advertisements.
  • PC proficient in the use of standard office software and technical publication software.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and be able to work well with senior staff, coworkers, the University community, and the public.
  • Strong management skills and the ability to build a cohesive, dedicated team.
  • Ability to plan and implement special events.
  • Ability to become involved in community/civic organizations.
  • Ability to coordinate with media on the purchase of advertising.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work in an environment where priorities and demands continually shift.
  • Creative, energetic, and a motivator of people.
  • Detail oriented with the ability to see the ‘big picture”.


  • Up to five.


  • Assigning and scheduling work activities.
  • Monitoring work loads/levels.
  • Performance counseling/coaching.
  • Planning and evaluating performance.
  • Providing on-the-job training.
  • Reviewing and checking work.
  • Determine salary actions.
  • Disciplining/terminating employees.
  • Hiring new employees.
  • Promoting/demoting.

Preferred Qualifications


  • Master’s degree in journalism/communications/public relations or related field required.


  • Have more than 10 years of communication leadership, with at least 5 in an academic setting

Special Requirements

  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse community.

For more information and to apply,

At Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, our employees' well-being is important to us. CDU continues to offer health and wellness benefits to help employees stay healthy and provide financial protection against high medical costs. The program incorporates a variety of benefit plans from which employees can choose. The following summary provides a brief overview and high level summary of the benefits that may be available as a member of the faculty or staff working at least 20 hours per week in a regular or conditional position at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. For more information, visit

Charles R. Drew University is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Company Details

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Los Angeles, California, United States