SVP of External Affairs
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Requisition No: 20-00010
Supervisor: President and CEO
Last Updated: March 2020
Job Purpose: Leadership of Comms, External Affairs and Government Affairs
What we’re looking for
The SVP should be an exceptionally articulate, and concise synthesizer, analyzer, story-teller, and explainer of complicated legislative and political landscapes and community college system priorities. A successful SVP will systematically cultivate long-term, collaborative, collegial, and strategic relationships with key stakeholder organizations and individuals, including government officials, Calbright College employees and adult learners, sister community college district representatives, labor unions, and others as may be required. This position is highly visible and consequential, and requires a highly ethical, thoughtful, strategic, and prudent individual with a history of demonstrable accomplishment.
The Senior Vice President of External Affairs (SVP) for Calbright College oversees the development and implementation of strategies for proactive and transparent external communications programs designed to inform, influence, and educate a diverse range of stakeholders and constituents of COCCD. These include elected officials, including the California State Legislature and the Governor of California, the Chancellor’s Office for the California Community Colleges, the State Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges, local elected officials, representatives for other 114 California Community Colleges, labor and trade unions, and other constituencies.
The SVP is also responsible for proactive, reactive, and crisis communications programs targeting the professional media, social media channels, and professional associations and think tanks. Finally, the SVP is responsible for budgeting, reporting, analyses, recommendations, and a wide range of management responsibilities.
Primary duties and responsibilities
- Develop and execute immediate- and long-term strategies to ensure that a broad spectrum of stakeholders and constituencies understand, amplify, and value Calbright College’s mission and impact.
- Oversee the development of messaging and positioning platforms in collaboration with the President and CEO and executive team members to ensure consistency and discipline in all outbound communications.
- Establish communications and thought leadership programs that proactively tell our story, communicate our unique value, clearly articulate our accomplishments, and build support for the vital mission of the Calbright College.
- Ensure programs of outreach and education are developed and executed that result in bipartisan support among elected officials to decrease or eliminate barriers to the growth, sustainability, and impact of Calbright College, and ensure continued access to state funding.
- Lead efforts to establish lasting, positive relationships with the many organizations in the California Community Colleges constellation, including the Chancellor’s Office, the State Academic Senate, and the other 114 Colleges, among many others.
- Ensure the development of “customer service-oriented” systems that enable highly responsive communication between stakeholders (individuals and organizations) and Calbright College, and especially enable professional media to get the support they need for their work.
- Build, refine, and maintain systems and processes to support the work of Calbright College’s Board of Trustees, including adhering to Brown Act requirements, the scheduling and management of monthly meetings, event planning and management, administrative support, and any other needs of the Board or its individual Trustees.
- Develop emergency and crisis communications plans to enable the Calbright College to nimbly respond immediately following the development of situations requiring an urgent and rapid response.
- Work closely with the President and CEO and other executives on the leadership team to provide preparation, staffing, and support for thought-leadership events, public testimony, speaking engagements, listening tours, press interviews, and other public relations activities.
- Establish transparent tracking and reporting mechanisms to show progress against stated objectives, including budget performance of the External Affairs programs.
- Develop strategy for the management and use of third-party contracts, including government relations, media relations, public relations, and/or analyst relations.
- Develop fluency of California Community Colleges system priorities to support the Chief of Staff/Director of Operations in reinforcing Calbright College’s position as a thought leader in the system.
- Support cross-functional efforts to assess Calbright College’s impact, innovation, and influence on all those we serve and seek to serve, including underserved adult learners in California and employers, industry, and related labor unions.
- In collaboration with the Chief of Staff/Director of Operations, identify content and lessons learned for publication externally to exert amongst leadership and influence partners and policymakers.
- Contribute to team efforts by completing other assignments and serving on project teams, as assigned.
- The SVP is responsible for recruiting, training, development, work assignments, and appraisal of their direct reports as defined in the Calbright College’s org chart. The role provides executive-level leadership of the functions listed in this position description and others as may be assigned by the President and CEO.
- The SVP receives general direction as to organizational, departmental, and individual goals and the achievement of those goals. The role is evaluated based on the successful performance of essential job duties and responsibilities, and achievement of goals. The position is subject only to broad communications associated with the duties and responsibilities of the position.
To be successful in this position, you’ll need:
- Relevant Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) or equivalent required; Master’s degree preferred.
- Minimum of ten (10) years progressively-responsible related experience required.
- Contribution to team efforts by participating in assignments that may not be included in or part of this position description, and serving on program teams as assigned, and achieving related results as required;
- Knowledge of strategic planning principles and practices;
- Knowledge of advanced mass communications best practices and strategies;
- Knowledge of project management best practices and principles;
- Knowledge of political and legislative processes;
- Knowledge of applicable laws, statutes, initiatives, policies, regulations, and other outcomes of legislative processes;
- Knowledge of basic business applications including G Suite, MS Office, Slack, video conferencing, Asana, and general use of personal and mobile computers, printers, telephones, telephone answering machines, Internet, and electronic mail;
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, and especially story-telling abilities;
- Skills in supervision and interpersonal relationships;
- Ability to work in a collegial, collaborative environment;
- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents in English;
- Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints in written and spoken English;
- Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, or boards in English; and
- Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, and present/explain in a concise manner.
- Previous experience in an academic, governmental, nonprofit, and/or venture-backed start-up with state and federal contracts a plus.
The office environment
You’ll be working in a well-lit, air conditioned indoor office setting with adequate ventilation and/or in a remote setting. There might be some overnight travel by land or air (less than 20%). You’ll also need the:
- Ability to work on a computer for periods up to four (4) hours at a time
- Ability to speak on the phone for a total of up to three (5) hours per day
- Ability to sit for up to three (3) hours without breaks at meetings.
- Ability to operate a personal vehicle for District business and possess a current valid California driver’s license and insurance
- Ability to walk and stand for up to four (4) hours without breaks at program site visits and meetings.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Calbright College provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, veteran status, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Calbright College complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.
Who We Are
We’re here to connect the disconnected.
Calbright College is California’s newest community college – the first statewide, online campus designed to bridge the gap between employers with unfilled positions and learners who don’t have either the time or money to attend a traditional school. Our mission is to increase economic mobility for working adults who lack easy access to traditional forms of higher education by offering flexible, affordable skills-based programs that provide tangible economic value for both working adults and hiring managers.
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