University of California Office of the President, Oakland, CA USA

Work at University of California Office of the President

Level: Executive (Director, VP, Department Head)

Duration: Full-Time


Location: Oakland

Job ID: 33696

Job Posting

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At the University of California (UC), your contributions make a difference. A world leader producing Nobel and Pulitzer prize recipients with over 150 years of groundbreaking research transforming the world. Choose a career where you can leverage your knowledge, skills and aspirations to inspire and support some of the greatest minds in the world, and those who will follow in their footsteps. Working at the University of California is being part of a unique institution, and a vibrant and diverse community. At the University of California, Office of the President, we propel our mission through impactful work locally, in government centers and systemwide. We are passionate people, serving the greater good.

The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the headquarters to the 10 campuses, six academic medical centers and three national laboratories and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world.


Media Relations enhances the public's understanding of the university and its contributions to the world. The team interacts with journalists and media outlets, responding to some 150 inquiries a month; strategizes, develops and coordinates communications/messaging on various systemwide issues and events; and helps promote UC priorities through proactive media outreach and tactics. In addition, the department also evaluates and arranges media opportunities for the President, drafts statements and op-eds on his behalf as well as that of other senior leaders, and helps manage perennial issues and crises.


Working in the External Relations and Communications Division, the Director of Media Relations & Press Secretary directs media strategy for systemwide UC initiatives and campaigns; serves as the primary point of contact for members of the media; manages a team of media affairs specialists; and drafts and edits a range of strategic communications documents for the President and other senior leaders, including public comments and talking points. This role also serves as a senior advisor to the President and other senior leaders on media affairs.

Reporting to the AVP Communications, the Director of Media Relations & Press Secretary drafts and edits media statements, letters to the editor, and op-eds for the President. Serves as a primary spokesperson and media strategist for the University. Develops media-focused messaging and works in partnership with Marketing Communications, Executive Communications, Internal Communications, State and Federal Government Relations, Legislative Analysis and other areas across the Office of the President.

The Director sets short- and long-term department goals, manages staff, oversees proactive pitching for positive UC narratives and placements in national and local media, and manages responses to media inquiries.

When necessary, the Director of Media Relations & Press Secretary travels with the President or coordinates staffing; schedules, coordinates, and staffs media interviews of the President.



Media Strategy and Management: Under the direction of the AVP Communications, develops proactive media strategies and outreach to support the overall promotional goals of the University of California. Performs similar duties as part of the University's crisis communications and issues management function. Develops remarks and talking points for senior leadership as necessary. Maintains strict confidentiality. Supports the division in upholding and maintaining UC's reputation.


Press Secretary: Serves as the senior press secretary and media affairs strategist for the University. Duties include serving as an on-the-record spokesperson and coordinating across the University on responses to media inquiries and proactive media pitching.


Management and Coordination: Oversees a team of dedicated media affairs specialists charged with developing and maintaining relationships with print, broadcast, and digital media in service of the University's tripartite mission of teaching, research, and service. Serves as a primary point of coordination with campus-based media affairs staff on issues impacting the University.

Required Qualifications

  • Thorough knowledge of the concepts, principles and technical aspects of media communications, including in-depth understanding of print, broadcast and online media.
  • Thorough knowledge of principles and practices in crisis and emergency communications.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including editing, and verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Excellent skills in conceiving and implementing media relations plans and strategies with media relations team(s) and providing leadership to colleagues in academic and administrative units across the location.
  • Expert knowledge in a specialty area such as broadcast news including TV/radio, internet, social media and other emerging technologies.
  • Supervisory skills and management experience to oversee media relations specialists and direct work.
  • Excellent skill to establish an environment of and maintain strict confidentiality.
  • On the record experience with California and national media.
  • Preferred Qualifications
  • Thorough knowledge of the location, its vision, mission, goals, objectives, infrastructure, programs, policies, and achievements.
  • Education
  • Bachelor's degree in related area and ten years relevant experience and/or equivalent experience / training

    Salary: Commensurate with experience.

    Benefits: For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:



    Please be prepared to attach a cover letter and resume with your application.


    The first review date for this job is April 28, 2022. The position will be open until filled.


    Background Check Process: Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position.

    Smoke Free Work Environment: The University of California, Office of the President, is smoke & tobacco-free as of January 1, 2014.

    August 2021 Update: The University of California has issued a policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID -19 before physically accessing the University location or programs. Upon hire into a UCOP position, you will be provided detailed instructions on how to comply with this policy including access to the COVID vaccination at no cost. New hires to UCOP who work onsite or will come onsite for any activities at a UCOP or other UC location must comply with this policy within 8 weeks after their start date. The policy allows for employees to request approval for an exception or deferral.


    The University of California, Office of the President, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

    The University of California, Office of the President, strives to make this job board accessible to any and all users. If you have comments regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact us at: or email the Human Resource Department at:


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