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  • Non Union

Job Category

  • AAPS


AAPS Salaried
  • Information Services, Level C

Job Title

Director, Communications


Administration | School of Population and Public Health | Faculty of Medicine

Compensation Range

  • $10,228.92 CAD Monthly

Posting End Date

June 6, 2021

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.

Job End Date Jun 30, 2022

Job Summary

The Director, Communications is responsible for providing senior leadership for School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) communications and marketing functions.

The Director, Communications is responsible for the managing the development of the internal and external communications strategy and operational plans for the School, using the SPPH strategic plan as a guide. This position provides strategic leadership and tactical advice on internal and external communications including brand management, marketing communications, staff/faculty communications, media relations, and partner communications. The Director, Communications will lead and orchestrate communications strategies across a broad range of content channels.

As part of the School Management Committee (SMC), this position works closely with School leadership to ensure communication objectives and strategies are consistent with other SPPH, Faculty of Medicine (FoM) and university-wide initiatives. The primary purpose of this role is to optimize communications to ensure the reputation of SPPH is enhanced, and as a result, the reach and reputation of SPPH's teaching, learning, research activities and impact on health-related policies are elevated. Equally adept at engaging external and internal stakeholders, the position is a communications innovator who drives organizational objectives and promotes the strengths and values of the SPPH locally, nationally and internationally.

Organizational Status

The School of Population and Public Health is an innovative unit within the Faculty of Medicine that encompasses many of the health-related groupings at UBC that focus on population and public health and epidemiology. The SPPH is structured around four divisions: Occupational and Environmental Health; Health Services and Policy; Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health Practice; and Health in Populations. The resulting mix of professions and disciplines is seen as a means of connecting individuals and learners to galvanize the relationship between health research, public health and health services and to enhance learning.

The SPPH's academic program includes teaching in the medical undergraduate curriculum, courses for UBC undergraduate students, the Residency Program in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and the following graduate programs: MHA, MHSc, MPH, MSc, MSc (OEH), PhD. The SPPH also has several joint graduate programs with the Department of Statistics, School of Nursing, Faculty of Dentistry, MD/MHA Program, and is in the process of developing a joint MD/MPH Program.

The SPPH is one of the most research-intensive units at UBC, and is home to the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, Centre for Applied Ethics, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Human Early Learning Partnership, and the WHO Collaborative Centre in Global Health.

The Director, Communications will work with a high degree of autonomy and minimal guidance, as established by the School Director and Director, Administration and Operations. The Director, Communications is supervised directly by the Director, Administration and Operations and may receive direction from members of School leadership. The Director, Communications will coordinate with other senior communications professionals in the Faculty of Medicine and across the University. The Director, Communications will also lead the SPPH Communications team.

The Director, Communications will start working remotely due to COVID-19, with the possibility of moving to in-person work when normal business operations resume at the University. The Director, Communications must provide their own computer and software until the University resumes in-person staff activities.

Work Performed

Guide School strategy and integration between marketing tactics and communications tactics and ensures all strategies support the business goals of each unit within the School and the School at large.

Lead a Communications team that will develop an internal and external communications strategy and operational plan that supports and expands on the new SPPH strategic plan, ensuring it is reflective of the School's culture and is nimble and flexible in its operationalization. This will involve working with Director, Partnerships and Community Engagement to identify and prioritize internal and external stakeholder groups.

Work in collaboration with the FoM Communications Team and establish a working relationship, so that the FoM and SPPH work together on important announcements or news items (e.g., regarding SPPH faculty).

Liaise regularly with the communications teams from SPPH's external stakeholders, namely the external research Centres based at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) including BC Cancer Research Institute (BCCRI) and the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR); Providence Health Care Research Institute (PHCRI) including the Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences (CHEOS), and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) including the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (C2E2). The incumbent works with these stakeholders on important announcements or news items regarding jointly affiliated SPPH faculty.

Implement and evaluate broad marketing and communications strategies to advance the School's strategic goals. The Director will manage the changes and create needs assessments for ongoing communications strategic development.

Provide advice on emerging trends and opportunities to enhance the School's communications.

Responsible for creating a high-level plan for the re-development of the School website in a way that showcases the School's value, promotes the School's activities, and maximizes usability for stakeholders both nationally and internationally. This plan will be implemented by a website developer at a later date.

Assess communications and marketing needs and gaps with the SMC, and formulate objectives that include an evaluation of performance metrics and provide recommendations on priorities. This entails developing an implementation plan for the communications strategy, and a system to measure the effectiveness of all communications strategies and tactics, including marketing communications: paid media (advertising and promotion), owned media (digital and social), earned media (journalism), and partner media (international partners) to ensure they are meeting the objectives of the School.

Lead projects and initiatives that support the Communications strategic plan. This position is expected to work on major projects to enhance the reputation of the School.

Design and deliver communications advice and perspectives on major strategic initiatives at SPPH, including SPPH's strategic plan; equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives; alumni engagement; enhancing public awareness of the School's impact; and more.

Build and manage the annual communications budget and provide input into annual plans.

Build relationships with internal and external partners to tell SPPH's brand story.

Build brand education and inspiration for all SPPH Divisions and departments.

Provide leadership and coordination of the propagation of SPPH's brand management.

Responsible for staying current on best practices in digital engagement and communicating to stakeholders.

Ensure all SPPH marketing and communications policies and plans are current and relevant. Develop new policies and perform needs assessments on working methodologies.

Perform other duties as required.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

This position represents the School of Population Health as well as the Faculty of Medicine and the University. Failure to maintain information in confidence could result in damage to credibility and poor relations with internal and external stakeholders. Incorrect decisions or judgment will directly affect UBC's reputation with students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. Must be able to work independently and exercise extensive judgement and decision making in managing proactive and reactive brand and communication needs and issues.

This position will be responsible for access, collection, use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996) and other UBC privacy and security policies. This position requires employees to work under strict confidentiality requirements; internal procedures and policies to protect personal information must be followed and adherence to these requirements will be regularly reviewed by the employer.

Supervision Received

The Director, Communications will work with a high degree of autonomy and minimal guidance, as established by the School Director and Director, Administration and Operations. The Director, Communications is supervised directly by the Director, Administration and Operations and may receive direction from members of School leadership.

Supervision Given

The Director, Communications will supervise the SPPH Communications team in order to achieve strategic communications objectives. Manages staff, consultants and external service providers, directly and indirectly through subordinate managers.

Minimum Qualifications

Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Minimum six years of related experience, or communication services, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications

Minimum 10 years of experience is preferred or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

University degree in Communications, Marketing or Journalism preferred.

Communications and marketing experience, preferably in large, complex organizations, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

Strong leadership skills and experience with building and motivating teams in a collaborative environment.

Prior knowledge/familiarity of the field (i.e., medical journalism, medical terms and writing) is preferred.

Ability to initiate and build effective working relationships, including a network of local and national health reporters and media outlets.

Effective and engaging communicator with strong verbal and written communications and presentation skills.

Proven track record of achieving results relative to stated objectives.

Proven experience in digital and social media. Advertising agency experience is an asset.

Proven experience developing communications and marketing strategies and guiding the execution of tactics.

Passion and track record for brand strategy and bringing a brand to life

  • internally and externally.

Innovative when it comes to digital media and the use of social media to educate, engage and inspire.

Ability to see the big picture opportunities and challenges and manage to the finest detail.

Innovative thinker with the ability to lead the University in new directions. A leader that looks outside of the category for inspiration, but can translate and bring ideas into the academic environment.

Ability to work effectively and collaboratively within a team environment.

Ability to exercise diplomacy, tact and discretion when working with confidential and/or sensitive information and in dealing with various levels of administration and external agencies.

Ability to work independently.

Ability to assess own performance and regularly report on project status.

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