Vice President for Communications and Public Relations
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see www.oist.jp) is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST rapidly is gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research. Under the leadership of the President, Dr. Peter Gruss, OIST is now embarking on an exciting new stage of growth to double the size of the University by 2023.
Reporting directly to the President and serving as a member of the executive leadership team, the Vice President for Communications and Public Relations (VPCPR) will promote, enhance and protect OIST’s reputation and brand awareness across the globe.
Responsible for the development of OIST’s internal and external communication strategy, the VPCPR will devise and implement a world-class communications plan for OIST, directly managing OIST's communications channels including: newsletters and other print publications; web, enews, and other online communications such as social media; and other media and public relations. S/he serves as an ambassador and spokesperson for the organization and will build relationships with multiple media outlets.
OIST provides a vibrant international scientific community. Currently, our Communications and Public Relations’ Division consists of sections spanning media relations, community relations, digital content, brand and design, translation and interpreting, internal communication and editorial services. The VPCPR will ensure that the CPR Division remains aligned to the vision and continuing development of OIST, bringing to the table fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. The VPCPR will have full support of President and the executive leadership in executing this task.
We seek a highly-skilled professional who has exceptional interpersonal communication skills and a deep appreciation of science, with experience in getting things done at an organization where processes are evolving and services are in need of ongoing development.
- Provide leadership to the teams developing content that positions OIST research achievements and outcomes across multiple channels for varied audiences ranging from prospective students and faculty to academic peers, government officials, parliamentarians, business, and local community.
- Continue to drive a ‘digital first’ approach, embedding and enhancing multimedia and social channels.
- Devise and implement an integrated and measurable strategic communications plan to advance OIST’s brand identity; broaden awareness of its outstanding research and graduate program; and increase visibility of OIST’s programs among key stakeholder audiences worldwide.
- Nurture recently established Internal Communication strategies and strengthen internal engagement which promotes positive and reciprocal dialog within the Institution.
- Create a public relations strategy that will allow OIST’s leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, external audiences.
- Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with the leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities, challenges and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
- Serve as communications counselor to OIST’s leadership and faculty.
- Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting material for OIST leadership as needed.
- Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development.
- Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing communications or a related business or scientific field; advanced degree is a plus (e.g. Ph.D. in science).
- A minimum of 5 years of senior management experience in science or corporate communications with significant background in external communications.
- Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and public relations program.
- Strong media relations knowledge and experience, including social media, as well as demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with leading reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact story placement.
- Successful science writing and verbal communications experience including online content, PowerPoint development, key messages, speechwriting, and oral presentation skills in English. Japanese language skills are a plus.
- Experience in building, mentoring, and coaching a team of communications specialists.
- Demonstrated commitment to building and maintaining a diverse workplace
- Self-motivated, self-reliant, highly disciplined, and well-organized with the ability to communicate complex ideas and concepts to people at all levels.
- Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
- Highly developed interpersonal skills and ability to be a value-adding team member.
- Must be willing to travel at least 20% of the time.
Term & Working Hours
Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment for 3 years. Contract initially with 3 month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed.
Working hours: 9:00-17:30
Compensation & Benefits
In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations
Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
Annual paid leave and summer holidays
Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid http://www.shigakukyosai.jp/ )
Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)
How To Apply
or send by post to the following address:
HR Recruiting Support Section
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University
1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan
If you have any questions, please contact us at recruiting[at]oist.jp.
(replace [at] with @ before using this email address)
1) Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available) that details experience and fit relative to the responsibilities and qualifications for the position.
2) Curriculum vitae in English (and Japanese if available) with educational and employment background, including names and contact information for at least three references.
Application Due Date
- OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
- Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
- Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website www.oist.jp.