83089 Requisition #

Join the rapidly growing Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (“HAI” - hai.stanford.edu). The HAI team is seeking an experienced communications director to develop, execute, and assess a proactive communications strategy aimed at creating a brand, establishing globally-recognized thought leadership, and elevating the reputation of the Institute as a partner of first choice for academia, industry, government, and civil society.  The strategy and its execution will take into account the global competitive and communications landscape, target multiple audiences with tailored messages, and make effective use of all relevant channels and forms of content.  HAI also seeks to influence and shape policy by communicating research, data, and ideas both in public and private to journalists and policymakers; in addition, the communications director will take a leading role in promoting HAI’s global impact.


The Communications Director will recruit, develop, and manage a team, coordinating all communication activities of the HAI institute and working with its partner organizations on campus, overseeing collaborations with faculty, fellows, researchers, and staff that translate academic material into accessible and compelling material for target audiences, and produce and place content in major U.S. and international media outlets and on social media. The Communications Director will also oversee the continued development and updating of the HAI website and social media accounts, hiring and managing a team to execute the overall communications and outreach strategy.  The communications team will also support development activities, as appropriate.


The Communications Director will coordinate with other Stanford policy institutes as appropriate to maximize joint opportunities to advance shared communications objectives.


The Communications Director will report to the HAI faculty co-directors and to the University Vice President for Communications.

As part of an incipient organization, a motivated individual will have the opportunity to make substantial contributions in other functional areas related to building the initiative, offering a substantive career development opportunity in a challenging and entrepreneurial environment.

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description


Manage public relations team. Develop, execute and assess a proactive communications strategy aimed at brand management and elevating the Institute’s national and international reputation as a global center of excellence and partner of choice for academics, civil society, governments, industry, journalists, and the broader public.

  • Participate in the development of strategic communication plans, including long and short term goals, with methods of measuring the plan's impact on and contribution to the school/VP area.
  • Participate in the development of key messages and strategies to communicate complex information to multiple audiences and constituencies through a wide variety of communications platforms, including digital, print, social and media.
  • Prepare for crisis communications response.
    • Coordinating relevant parties internally, crafting comments, and managing responses from the press and social media as well as be able to direct response if needed
  • Contribute to devising and implement efficient and effective means of communicating the innovations, academic excellence, and essential nature of the school/VP area and its components to internal audiences, the general public, the media, alumni, prospective and admitted students, faculty, staff, and current students.
  • Monitor staff and resources to determine if they are appropriately aligned to deliver the objectives of the organization.
  • Leverage relationships with key reporters and editors, media, community and/or government leaders.
  • Cooperate closely with the university's communications office to ensure consistent and complementary strategic plans with overall university outreach and communications.
* - Other duties may also be assigned

Education & Experience:

Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Excellent communications skills and presence at all levels and for all audiences.
  • Strong influencing, negotiating, and relationship management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to earn credibility and influence opinion leaders.
  • Understanding of brand management principles.
  • Capacity to write and synthesize complex materials and communicate highly technical information in a manner easily understood.
  • Ability to motivate, develop and train staff. 

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Fluency and general knowledge of technology industry, including artificial intelligence.
  • Curiosity; an interest and an ability to learn new concepts.
  • Excellent writer who can crystallize complex subject matter quickly and concisely.
  • Confidence and grace under pressure.
  • Creativity in problem solving as well as creating new content.
  • Inspire and manage creative agencies and individual contributors ranging from writers and designers to illustrators and videographers.
  • Dependability meeting deadlines in tight timeframes.
  • Judgement on how to handle nuanced, difficult topics under public scrutiny.
  • Fast-thinker who can solve problems both alone and with teammates in real-time. 
Certifications and Licenses:


  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently stand/walk, sit, use a telephone, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, speaking.
  • Occasionally grasp forcefully, writing by hand.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Occasional work on evenings and weekends.
  • On call and ability to respond 24/7. 
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide, http://adminguide.stanford.edu.

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