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Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY, United States (on-site)
26 days ago
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, New York, United States (on-site)
26 days ago


Vassar College, invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Communications. Reporting to the President, the Vice President for Communications is responsible for telling Vassar’s unique story to the world, building the College’s brand, and coordinating the provision of useful and timely information to the Vassar community and its constituents. 

Based in Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college where perspectives cross, ideas intersect, and passion burns bright. Vassar, consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.

Reporting to President Elizabeth Bradley and serving as a member of the Senior Leadership Team and interacting with the Board of Trustees and alumnae/i of Vassar College, the Vice President for Communications leads the Office of Communications in developing and promoting the College’s initiatives and stories and communicating an inclusive, consistent, coherent, and compelling brand and message.

As the College’s chief communications officer and spokesperson, the Vice President represents and promotes the College, increasing its visibility and advancing the institution’s mission, vision, and goals. The Vice President proactively manages the development and execution of a communications strategy, ensuring key messages are delivered to and received by all relevant stakeholder audiences and the thoughtful engagement with diverse communities through the development of inclusive and culturally sensitive communications.

The Office of Communications manages Vassar’s efforts in public relations, executive and internal communications, media relations, college publications, social media, the official college websites, and special events throughout the year. The team manages the dissemination of news about the college internally and externally, including crisis communications, and works to maintain consistency in Vassar’s graphic identity.

Across all responsibilities, the Vice President will center Vassar’s mission, vision, and goals and craft communications and make leadership decisions that are inclusive, equitable, and mission oriented.


The Vice President for Communications must be a strategic, collaborative, and inclusive leader who provides wise counsel, visionary direction, and empowering management across the wide portfolio of communications at Vassar. The successful candidate will understand and be drawn to the College’s liberal arts mission and values, be a strong relationship builder, and have a sophisticated understanding of Vassar’s various internal and external constituents and the issues facing higher ed today.

In addition, Vassar seeks the following qualifications:

  • Significant and progressively responsible experience in communications and/or external affairs, ideally within a higher ed context.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills that demonstrate versatility, speed, and accuracy; the ability identify, create, and articulate messages clearly, compellingly, and quickly and condense complex messages into consistent, concise, and easy to understand messaging for different audiences as appropriate.
  • High level of discretion, judgment, and professionalism and the ability to respond to a crisis with calm and intelligence.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate, build consensus, and effectively engage with a variety of constituents including senior leadership, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, parents, community members, and elected officials.
  • Demonstrated success managing teams, multiple projects, and competing priorities.
  • Proven track record of effectively and equitably managing staff including in developing and empowering talent, providing direction and execution, and inspiring an inclusive team-oriented, can-do attitude.
  • Demonstrated ability to create, implement, and evaluate successful, large-scale public relations campaigns, lead integrated communications, and build effective media relations.
  • Experience with brand management, social media platforms, executive communications, crisis management, internal communications, and public relations.
  • Experience establishing metrics to measure effectiveness of communication efforts and proven ability to interpret analytics and data to build or adapt communications strategies.
  • Discerning ear for a good story, and discerning eye for compelling and creative visuals.
  • Fiscal acumen and experience in budget development and oversight.
  • Robust understanding of key issues in higher education.
  • Keen interest in local, national, and world news coverage of major events and issues; comprehensive understanding of print, digital and social news cycles.

Vassar invites candidates who may bring a greater depth of experience in some but not all of the functional areas of the portfolio and would be eager to learn more about how the candidate would approach leading the full portfolio.

To Apply

Vassar College has retained Opus Partners ( to support this recruitment. Sarah Gaines, Associate Partner, and Abigail Maynard, Senior Associate are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent to The search process will unfold with the greatest possible attention to candidate confidentiality. Required application materials include a resume and cover letter. The cover letter should reflect how qualifications and experience match those described in this leadership profile, including examples of demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the context of the Vice President for Communications role.

Vassar College is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community and to promoting an environment of equality, inclusion, and respect for difference. The College is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer, and especially welcomes applications from veterans, women, individuals with disabilities, and members of racial, ethnic, and other historically underrepresented groups.

Job Information

  • Job ID: 68244180
  • Workplace Type: On-Site
  • Location:
    Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
  • Company Name For Job: Vassar College
  • Position Title: Vice President for Communications
  • Industry: Educational Institutions
  • Job Function: Management/Administration
  • Job Type: Full-Time
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