Director of Communications (VCUarts-Qatar)

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts-Qatar)

Position FA6020

Full-time, 12-month position beginning January 2019

Application Deadline: To guarantee full consideration, application materials must be received by Friday, April 6, 2018. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

The Opportunity:

VCUarts-Qatar seeks a dynamic Director of Communications to lead the school’s communications office and be responsible for developing creative strategies to promote the school to both internal and external audiences. Under the direction of the Dean and through close collaborative relationships with senior VCUarts-Qatar leadership, department/program administrators, and colleagues in the VCUarts Office of Dean, the Director will oversee the flow of news and information that informs the public and ensures that the communications office is focusing on the projects that have the greatest and most immediate impact on the reputation of the school and university. The Director will ensure a vibrant culture and bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to lead an integrated marketing and communications team, which includes web, print and digital media, design and production, alumni publications, public relations, internal communications, videography, and social media.


VCUarts-Qatar ( is the international branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts). Located in Richmond, Virginia, VCUarts ( is the top-ranked public art school in the U.S. VCUarts-Qatar was established in 1998 through a partnership with the Qatar Foundation and offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking; a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history; and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. Located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, VCUarts-Qatar is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. The current student body represents a diverse range of nationalities with students coming from 38 countries.

VCUarts-Qatar is dedicated to global outreach and education and provides students with an environment for cross-cultural exchange that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation. Examples of this mission are the two significant international conferences hosted by VCUarts-Qatar—the biennial design conference, Tasmeem and the biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art ( VCUarts-Qatar attracts globally recognized designers, artists and scholars while fostering partnerships within the region, and beyond, that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of Qatar. Having established itself as a center of excellence for education and research, VCUarts-Qatar has substantial involvement with the influential art and design world of the Middle East, and is a catalyst for the growth and development of these fields in the region.

VCUarts-Qatar has 156 full-time faculty and staff and a student body of 361. VCUarts-Qatar was the first campus established in Education City, a unique 2500-acre multiversity campus. VCUarts-Qatar was joined by Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Carnegie-Mellon University, Texas A&M University, Weill Cornell Medical College, Northwestern University, HEC Paris and University College of London.

Qatar, with English as the standard second language, is a progressive country in the Arabian Gulf and remains one of the healthiest economies in the Gulf region. Doha offers all the conveniences found in a contemporary and cosmopolitan city, while honoring a rich tradition that is evident in the old markets and the city’s Islamic Arab architecture. The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M.Pei opened in November 2008 and the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) opened in 2010. The U.S. Embassy considers Qatar among the safest countries in the world for Americans.


  • Design, direct, administer and evaluate campaigns that create synergy and passion by communicating the school’s dynamism with a unified voice through various media in order to solidify its brand at the national and international level.
  • In collaboration with the Dean and other school leaders, develop and implement a strategic marketing plan and related timeline(s) that is aligned with the goals of VCU and VCUarts, while being appropriately and uniquely tailored to Qatar and the gulf region.
  • Craft the appropriate messaging, unique to the school and region, to recruit prospective students.
  • Promote the school, its conferences, events and related endeavors.
  • Tout the success of VCUarts-Qatar alumni, students and faculty.
  • Support the engagement of alumni and others in support of VCUarts-Qatar through appropriate messaging and outreach.
  • Communicate important and appropriate information in an effective and regular manner to the school’s major constituencies, including prospective students and families, current students, faculty and staff, alumni, academic peers, media, the general public, and the national and international art community.
  • Provides input for annual budget development by anticipating needs for annual communications and marketing campaigns as well special projects and one-time events.
  • Act as the liaison between the communications team and its clients which includes the school’s academic departments and administrative units, the Office of the Dean, admissions, student affairs, and others.
  • Using data-driven technology, spearhead an innovative redesign of the school’s website that is easy to navigate and appeals to target audiences; complies with the university’s website accessibility policy; and promotes alignment with VCU and VCUarts brand guidelines.
  • Develop an aggressive social media strategy that links seamlessly to the web site and other publications.
  • Supervise the areas of communications project management, videography and photography, and the communications team, which consists of a project manager, graphic designers, social media production and web developers.
  • Ensure that the work generated by the VCUarts-Qatar communications office equals or exceeds that of the school’s top-ranked art and design school peers.
  • Work with VCUarts and other university offices to ensure adherence to the university’s brand standard in all communications activities across the school and to guarantee appropriate degree of consistency and high quality.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Personal Qualifications and Qualities:

The Director of Communications must have:

  • Master’s degree in a related field required, and/or training and professional experience that equates to a graduate degree.
  • Significant number of years of experience with a complex organization engaged in marketing, communications and/or advertising and public relations.
  • Proven superior strategic and tactical communication skills, instincts, and message development.
  • Significant and progressive experience in leadership roles to design and implement strategic communications plans incorporating clear definition of goals and target audiences aligned with institutional priorities.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.
  • Demonstrated expertise in writing, editing, public relations, marketing, and/or design.
  • Ability to build, develop, supervise and energize a team of communications professionals.
  • An understanding of creative processes associated with print, web design and social media.
  • Background in publications/printing; web site design, architecture, navigation; social media; digital and print advertising.
  • Precise attention to detail and the ability to understand and adhere to the policies and procedures of the university.
  • An interest in visual, design and performing arts.
  • The speed of a jackrabbit, flexibility of an Olympic gymnast and meticulousness of a brain surgeon.

The Director of Communications must be:

  • Creative and ambitious yet flexible in order to thrive in a fast paced, academic environment while juggling numerous projects and simultaneously responding to numerous constituencies with ease.
  • A natural at telling stories with words and images.
  • Able to demonstrate successful and engaging writing and editing and use written language accurately and creatively.
  • A strong strategic thinker, anticipator and planner.
  • Able to quickly determine the appropriate venues for information (public relations pitch, newsletter story, events site, social media, etc.)
  • Decisive and possess a solid grasp on priorities by working with Dean’s leadership team in establishing those priorities.
  • Able to work well under pressure on a variety of projects simultaneously.

Preferred valued qualifications and experiences:

  • Successful history of pitching of stories to the national media.
  • Familiarity with Basecamp, WordPress, Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.
  • Experience with a major art school, university recruitment and/or an arts organization or creative enterprise.

Salary and Benefits:

  • Competitive international salary commensurate with relevant experience.
  • Tax protection for U.S. taxpayers.
  • 30% Off-shore supplement to base salary.
  • Medical Insurance (100% employer funded premium and employer cost shared options available)
  • Fully furnished villa or apartment.
  • Annual travel allowance to home of record (to include a spouse and dependents relocated to Qatar).
  • Monthly transportation allowance.
  • Educational reimbursement for up to 4 dependent children enrolled in an accredited K-12 program.
  • Professional Development Opportunities.

Application Instructions:

Applicants should submit:

  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant professional experience.
  • Current resume.
  • A list of five current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval).

Submit materials to the attention of [name of search committee chair], [title] and search committee chair, via VCU eJobs at Instructions are provided on the ‘Home’ page of VCU eJobs for new and returning users on how to search for open positions, create/access an account, and review the status of positions. The Letter of Interest should be submitted as a PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the resume should be submitted as a PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and the list of references should be submitted as a PDF in the “Other Document” section of eJobs.

To guarantee full consideration, application materials must be received by Friday, April 6, 2018. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Only electronic applications submitted via VCU eJobs will be accepted.

To read the full position announcement and to learn more about VCUarts-Qatar and VCUarts, visit:

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