Senior Director, External Relations

Posting Number 2021-8490
Posted Date 1 month ago(8/11/2021 1:44 PM)
Office of External Relations
NYU Abu Dhabi (AD00001)
Is relocation available for this job?
Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations/Media/Video/Audio

Position Summary

UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seeks to appoint a Senior Director, External Relations reporting to the Associate Vice Chancellor, External Relations for NYU Abu Dhabi.


The Senior Director will lead the team responsible for NYUAD digital communications, media and public relations, branding, and marketing, online services and applications, community relations, and university and commercial events. The person in this role will: Develop and build on NYUAD’s sense of recognition, value and respect globally; raise the University’s brand and profile as the model for the best, broad, liberal arts and research university in the world with connections across cultural differences and borders; develop strong support across the region through relations with local and regional media, influencers and opinion leaders; articulate, define, and raise the profile of NYUAD, creating strong brand recognition and support for the University in the United Arab Emirates and abroad; develop and maintain close relationships with the university’s Abu Dhabi partner and colleagues at NYU in New York and across NYU’s global network; build and maintain strong relationships with university leadership, students, faculty and staff and promote a deep understanding of academics and research at NYUAD; and ensure that all stakeholders and members of the NYUAD community are proactively engaged with and represented effectively.


Key Responsibilities:

Internal and External Audience Engagement

  • Develop and implement key messages as well as targeted stakeholder engagement activities including targeted distribution of branded materials and university communications to ensure increasing brand awareness and recognition among targeted audiences. 
  • Working with the AVC for External Relations, the Abu Dhabi partner, and others on events involving University guests, news media, and other people linked with the university and campus activities. 
  • Ensure that all departments across the university adhere to visual style and branding and editorial guidelines, and coordinate with other departments in the University to ensure that all university events, print and digital channels appropriately present NYUAD’s vision and mission through appearance and programming. 
  • Provide functional leadership of media outreach and external communications from the University’s public facing areas, including the Arts Center, Arts Gallery, and startAD.
  • Work in close coordination with the Chief of Staff and Vice Chancellor’s office on preparation, coordination and coverage of visits from and other engagements with VIPs and dignitaries.

Communications, Public and External Relations

  • Work with the AVC for External Relations to ensure NYUAD’s mission and vision are communicated by the University with clarity at all times.
    • Oversee the University’s global media output through effective management of an international media plan. This includes oversight of all of the university’s traditional as well as new media.
    • Develop strong relationships with leading local, regional and international media outlets to maximize positive coverage of NYUAD’s mission and accomplishments.
    • Work with AVC for External Relations to develop and implement appropriate crisis communications and issues management plans and integrate the same into the broader crisis communications plan for NYUAD and its relationships within NYU.
  • Lead the content strategy for the university’s website, social media and other channels. Promote media coverage of the University aimed at advancing awareness of NYUAD among prospective and current students, alumni, parents, and prospective and current faculty and staff.
  • Work closely with University leadership and the University's partner in Abu Dhabi to comprehensively plan for and generate positive publicity; raising awareness of NYU Abu Dhabi globally; and undertaking careful stewardship of its reputation and brand.
  • Serve as an alternate point of contact for communications related inquiries from local government partner. Work with the AVC for External Relations to proactively identify, analyze and act in response to matters and emerging issues that could impact NYUAD’s reputation.
  • Develop an annual strategic work plan and ensure execution of activities in support of the University’s priorities, the Vice Chancellor’s vision and priorities, and prompt and effective responses to current and emerging issues.
  • Direct NYUAD’s online services and applications unit to ensure the University’s web and applications reflects its values and mission, and serve as valuable communication tools both inside and outside the University.

Branding and Marketing 

  • Work with the AVC for External Relations to lead and implement the university’s marketing and branding initiatives:
    • In the UAE, demonstrate contributions within Abu Dhabi and the UAE and build a sense of pride amongst the community. 
    • Globally, raise the University’s brand of excellence and carefully protect and work to build brand advocates and third-party validators. 
  • Provide general oversight of third-party creative, marketing and media buy companies; 
  • Direct the media planning and branding budget in collaboration with key stakeholders;
  • Work with the AVC for External Relations to act as brand ambassador for the university, maintaining a constant presence across all relevant institutions, in order to promote NYUAD interest and perception
  • Represent the AVC for External Relations and NYUAD at partner meetings and local and global events as required. 
  • Lead digital and traditional marketing presence for NYUAD including the print and online content, including blogs, video desk, social media channels, microsites and other owned-digital, print, and video content.


Required Education:

  • Bachelor's degree.

Preferred Education:

  • Master's degree. 
  • Membership in a relevant professional organization.   

Required Experience: 

  • At least 10 years of experience in similar, related or equivalent fields, including 3 years in a leadership role, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Experience leading a team, managing sensitive and confidential matters, promoting internal and external collaboration, writing and editing, coordinating complex projects and activities, and meeting tight deadlines.
  • Experience in any combination of internal and external relationship management, government relations, and the development and implementation of strategic communications, marketing and branding campaigns, would be an asset. 
  • Exceptional communication skills to gather critical information, build relationships and generate   sufficient influence to achieve success.
  • Strong writing and editing skills with the ability to adapt content and language for different purposes.
  • Team leader with proven ability to lead, coach and develop both experienced and early career staff.
  • Excellent listening, planning and problem-solving skills.
  • Highly organized project manager with the ability to prioritize multiple projects effectively and work independently
  • Experience working directly with the news media.
  • Team player comfortable in a highly collaborative environment, but comfortable working independently while liaising with remote teams.
  • Creative problem solver and strategic thinker with a strong work ethic.
  • Excellent understanding of digital communications and how to effectively position the University on the digital landscape.
  • An individual who shares, understands, embraces and champions the unique, distinctive vision and mission of the institution.
  • Proven ability to respond to unexpected, fast-paced and time-sensitive events in a calm, confident, carefully considered and balanced way.
  • A global citizen with the emotional intelligence to adapt their style to the appropriate audience.
  • Strong personal integrity; committed to understanding and supporting the mission of the University.

Preferred Experience:  

  • Familiarity with the UAE and how to effectively operate within the GCC.
  • Knowledge of global media markets and how to effectively build relationships and proactively secure media coverag


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