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Washington State University
External Affairs and Government Relations
Website URL:
Posted: 08/23/2021
Public Affairs Director

Summary of Duties:

The Director of Public Affairs will help align and coordinate government relations, strategic communications, issue and advocacy management, university research initiatives, and information dissemination. The Director will work to advance the university’s public policy and advocacy goals, build and maintain a strong reputation for WSU, grow visibility and build relations with identified stakeholders and leverage WSU leadership to advance public policy and advocacy strategies. The position will work closely with WSU Marketing and Communications in strategizing coordinated communication activities in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue media market. This includes developing a thought leadership program and campaign-style messaging and outreach to highlight WSU’s impact on public education, research initiatives, and innovation that are important to key audiences in the market. Critical to advancing the University’s public policy and advocacy goals, this position will be responsible for spotlighting how WSU contributes to the quality of life in the state and specifically the Greater Seattle region. The director will work collaboratively with campus communicators across the state to engage in strategic policy-related communications, bringing discipline and coordinated communications tactics to inform targeted audiences and to ensure and guide the statewide amplification of unified messaging of WSU policy priorities.

In concert with the Office of External Affairs and Government Relations, this position will be responsible for direct outreach and collaborations with targeted sector leaders, associations, influencers, media, and public partners in order to achieve public policy advocacy outcomes and to optimize WSU’s position and brand with relevant constituents, while stewarding strategic partnerships to address challenges and seize opportunities in the public policy realm that align with WSU institutional priorities. This includes both developing and implementing strategies to elevate our profile in targeted geographies/markets and regarding certain issues to increase WSU visibility and profile for the benefit of WSU students and research. The key markets will remain constant; priority issue-based areas will evolve to reflect those that WSU is responding to in the region and what is desired for advancement as a University priority, such as strategies to support the strategic plan and Drive to 25. This position provides senior public relations expertise to enhance WSU’s brand and reputation with stakeholders, leading to a greater awareness, appreciation, understanding of, and support for, the land grant mission and imprint of Washington State University in relation to strategic objectives and public policy priorities.

Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor’s degree in public relations, mass communications or a relevant field AND three (3) years of professional experience in print or broadcast news media, public relations or marketing including proven experience with writing and editing skills; writing feature articles, brochures, annual reports and speeches; executing strategic communication plans and complex communication projects.

Additional Requirements:

  • Communications experience which include three (3) years in an institution of higher education or comparable experience in a complex matrixed organization.
  • Experience developing, leading, executing, and evaluating comprehensive integrated strategic communications and marketing plans.
  • Experience directing, designing and producing digital and print materials including Web sites, newsletters, brochures, displays, presentations, video/audio, and advertising, and especially social media.
  • Must have, or able to obtain, a valid driver’s license by time of hire.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with local and regional news media.
  • Experience fostering constructive partnerships with individuals and organizations to advance institutional interests.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, web content development, Photoshop,and social media/online networks and tools

Additional Information:

Monthly Salary: Commensurate with qualification and experience.

FTE: 100 %

Permanent/Temporary: Permanent

Position Term in months: 12

City, State, Zip: Seattle, WA 98164

Area/College: External Affairs and Government Relations

Department Name: External Affairs and Government Relations

Department Link:

Background Check: This position has been designated by the department to require a background check.

Posting Close Date: This position has been reposted, screening of applications will begin August 23, 2021, and will continue until the position has been filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants: Applicants must attach the following documents to their online application: 1) resume and 2) cover letter. Applicants are required to include contact information for professional references within the application.

Required Documents:

1) Resume

2) Cover letter

Time Type:

Full time

Position Term:

12 Month

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATOR AND EMPLOYER. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veteran, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services: 509-335-4521 (v), Washington State TDD Relay Service: Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259(f), or