Executive Director, Strategic Communications

by Western University

Reference #: 28890
Position Type: Full-time
Location: London, ON
Date Posted: Dec 14, 2022
Western University

Job Description

Classification & Regular Hours

Hours per Week: 35

Salary Grade: 30

Posting will remain open until filled, with applications beginning to be reviewed starting January 4, 2023.

About Western

Since 1878, Western University has been committed to serving our communities through the pursuit of academic excellence and by providing students, faculty, and community members with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social, and cultural growth.  We seek excellent students, faculty, and staff to join us in what has become known as the "Western Experience" - an opportunity to contribute to a better world through the development of new knowledge, new abilities, new connections, and new ways to make a difference.

About Us

The Western Communications team provides strategic advice to university senior leadership, faculty, staff and teams of internal and external communications staff across Western in order to build the university’s brand on a local, national and global scale.


Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer and working in close collaboration with the leadership team in Western Communications, the Executive Director is responsible for high-level strategy and planning for the Strategic Communications portfolio at Western, which includes strategic research communications, issues management, University senior leadership communications, and institutional communications planning. The role will lead and direct the creation and implementation of an institutional communications framework, which aligns with Western’s brand, and drives the creation of each unit’s strategies and annual plans. The Executive Director will lead communications strategies and planning for the University’s leadership team, including the President’s Office and the Vice President portfolios. The role will be a strong leader who can foster the growth of a high-performing communications and issues management team, to mitigate reputational risks to the University. The Executive Director will provide strategic direction to senior leaders, and oversee the development of high quality communications plans, and responses to issues that will advance the university’s brand strategy and goals.



-    Undergraduate Degree in marketing, public relations, communications or related field
-    Masters Degree in marketing, public relations and communications or a related field preferred 


-    10 years' experience in strategic communications or public affairs with experience advising and supporting senior stakeholders within a large, complex organization
-    7 years’ experience managing budgets and projects, with accountability for managing staff who are balancing a broad range of activities across multiple stakeholder groups
-    Significant experience advising on high-profile, highly charged and/or sensitive files that may present reputational risk to an organization 
-    Experience working in strategic communications in a post-secondary environment a significant asset

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

-    Expertise in strategic communications planning and issues management
-    Proven leadership skills with an ability to draw on diversity of skills, backgrounds and knowledge of people to achieve more effective results
-    Ability to establish and build healthy, respectful working relationships with academics and administrative staff, as well as community members
-    Superior people and project management skills and the ability to manage multiple projects at once, from conception to completion and with tightly prescribed timelines 
-    Expert knowledge of the necessary building blocks for outstanding communications and issues management materials, including expertise in producing, writing and editing for a wide variety of audiences and channels 
-    A well-defined sense of confidentiality and diplomacy, including solid negotiation and conflict resolution skills
-    Commitment to learning and staying informed about current and emerging marketing trends and best practices, including new and emerging strategies and technologies
-    A strong understanding of the nuances and complexities of working in an academic environment
-    Ability to collaborate across internal and external boundaries to meet common objectives, improve outcomes and support work beyond one's own unit
-    Ability to effectively drive and manage change initiatives that align with organizational strategies and/or provide opportunities to increase efficiency
-    Advanced computer skills in Microsoft Office

Western Values Diversity

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process.  If you require accommodations for interviews or other meetings, please contact Human Resources at hrhelp@uwo.ca or phone 519-661-2194.

Please Note:

Interested applicants are asked to visit: https://recruit.uwo.ca for further information and to apply online referencing job #28890.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.