Job Information

CUNY Chief Communications Officer in New York, New York

Job Title: Chief Communications Officer

Job ID: 22480

Location: John Jay College

Regular/Temporary: Regular



John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) and an internationally recognized leader in educating for justice. Led by President Karol V. Mason, John Jay is a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution, it is ranked third in the nation in Black student success, and it is a top ten institution for promoting student social mobility. John Jay is proud to serve a diverse and dynamic student body of 15,000 students that includes nearly fifty percent students who are first in their family to attend college as well as students who are immigrants, from low-income families, or from other historically underrepresented groups in higher education.

The College participates in the doctoral programs of the Graduate Center of CUNY, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees both in traditional criminal justice-related fields of study as well as in a robust portfolio of liberal arts and sciences programs that highlight themes of justice across the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The College seeks staff and faculty members who thrive in multicultural academic environments and are committed to access and excellence in higher education.


Reporting to the Vice President for Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives and working closely with the College President, senior College leaders, faculty, researchers, and students, the Chief Communications Officer will provide expert communications counsel to stakeholders across the College and oversee design and implementation of a strategy to enhance awareness of John Jay’s role as both an engine of social mobility and equity for our students and an innovative hub of world-class, justice-focused research for societies across the globe.

Leading a collaborative team of creative professionals in the Marketing & Communications Department, the Chief Communications Officer will leverage innovative methods across social media, news media relations, marketing, video, multimedia, electronic and print publications, graphic design, and web to help cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with key audiences and build the institution’s impact, visibility, value, thought leadership, and base of public and private support.

Responsibilities include:

Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications and marketing plan, directly managing communications activities that promote and protect the College’s brand reputation, broaden awareness and visibility of its programs and priorities across all audiences, support dissemination of its learning and research, drive recruitment and retention of students, and enhance the College’s base of public investment and private support.

  • Work with the leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications challenges, opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to address them.

  • Working with senior College leaders, faculty, researchers, students, and staff, assess their public relations needs and develop and implement programs to meet those needs, particularly including communication projects to support enrollment with the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management as well as fundraising and alumni engagement for the Office of Institutional Advancement.

  • Provide expert counsel to College leadership, faculty, and researchers with recommendations on policy and action in the management of issues and crises affecting the College, and manage related media relations.

  • Assess and improve all institutional communications vehicles including web, print, digital, graphic design, social media, media relations, and marketing so that they are effective in achieving strategy and effectively reach key audiences including, but not limited to, prospective students, students, alumni, parents, donors, faculty, staff, media, political leaders, and stakeholders and partners across New York City and New York State, our nation, and the world.

Communications Operations

  • Provide creative and editorial oversight over and lead implementation for the College’s external communications tools including website, print and electronic publications such as the magazine, marketing collateral materials, electronic communications, media statements, graphic design, social media, and video and multimedia assets in order to ensure enhancement of the College’s brand and consistent focus on College priorities.

  • Oversee service model for intake and fulfillment of all externally facing marketing and communications requests from across the College, ensuring that standards of high quality are maintained and that appropriate metrics are employed to gauge progress in support of the College’s strategic plan.

  • Oversee media relations and ensure that the College has strong relationships with the media for the active participation of John Jay's president, faculty, researchers, and staff as thought leaders on relevant public issues and for the promotion of student achievements, College programs, special events, and public announcements.

  • Oversee the actions of the institution’s crisis management plan, with capacity to serve as needed as University spokesperson for crisis management, and provide counsel and advice on major public relations issues.

Team Development/Management

  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development, and as needed supervise contracted communications and marketing projects and manage relationships with associated vendors.

  • Recruit, mentor, develop, and manage a communications team to support the development and execution of the communications and marketing strategies.

  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that emphasizes learning and a commitment to excellence through a supportive and collaborative approach.

  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals.

  • Effectively manage the department budget and as needed work with other College departments and vendors to ensure that the College is getting the best value from its marketing and communication investments.


This position is in CUNY's Executive Compensation Plan. All executive positions require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and eight years' related experience.


The ideal candidate will be an accomplished professional with significant experience in communications and marketing, preferably within a higher education institution (ideally, a public higher education institution) or other highly complex and decentralized organization, preferably a public institution. The successful candidate must have extraordinary communication and diplomacy skills and experience in supporting, engaging, and mobilizing key leaders and stakeholders, including those inside and outside their direct sphere of control.

Additionally, the successful candidate will possess:

  • Proven experience shaping long-term vision and driving strategies to achieve objectives in marketing, advertising, and communications, excellent project management skills, and a track record of translating strategic thinking into action plans and output in a fast-paced environment.

  • Demonstrated experience leading a multi-faceted communications or marketing program and successful record of overseeing dynamic website development, social media campaigns, graphic design, video creation, multimedia publications, crisis management and high-visibility media placements.

  • Successful track record of designing bold and innovative approaches for communicating through a broad range of media to sophisticated, diverse audiences and developing clear, targeted branding and marketing strategies and campaigns that leverage design, creative storytelling, and new media.

  • Proven track record of improving brand perception, developing and implementing marketing programs, executing successful and strategic social media campaigns with proven results, and developing and managing collaborative relationships with partners.

  • Understanding of the trends and latest technologies in digital marketing, and ability to listen to market trends and continuously evaluate, learn, and improve upon our marketing and communications efforts to ensure the College’s brand maintains and grows in its relevance and influence.

  • Ability to creatively manage a budget in an environment of limited funding and resources; and experience preparing, justifying and presenting business cases, budgets and plans; and measuring the impact of different strategies and programs.

  • Ability to manage internal and external relationships and effectively develop strong cross-functional partnerships, evidenced by a track record of teamwork and collegiality leading cross-functional teams and building relationships beyond the marketing function.

  • Passionate commitment to building collegial teams and demonstrated success as an inspirational manager who has strong interpersonal skills and ability to develop alliances with internal and external groups. S/he must be comfortable dealing effectively, diplomatically, honestly, and sensitively with all levels of management, faculty, staff, alumni, and external stakeholders.

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and student success, or to working with a broadly diverse community.

  • Spanish language proficiency a plus but not required.


Associate Administrator


Salary commensurate with education and experience.

CUNY's benefits contribute significantly to total compensation, supporting health and wellness, financial well-being, and professional development. We offer a range of health plans, competitive retirement/pension benefits and savings plans, tuition waivers for CUNY graduate study and generous paid time off. Our staff also benefits from the extensive academic, arts, and athletic programs on our campuses and the opportunity to participate in a lively, diverse academic community in one of the greatest cities in the world.


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Open until filled. Resume review to begin June 3, 2021.


CUNY Job Posting: Executive


CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.