Director of Communications

Founded in 1995, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni’s (ACTA) mission is to advance academic excellence, academic freedom, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. We are the only organization that works comprehensively on higher education reform with alumni, donors, trustees, and policymakers across the United States. ACTA works “inside the walls” of colleges and universities to create real reform across the country. Our network, which includes over 23,000 university trustees representing more than 1,100 schools, provides us with unique access to the changemakers on campus.

The Communications Department is charged with presenting ACTA’s message in an informed, articulate, and accurate manner and maintaining a distinctive tone and style across all external-facing materials and communications. The Director of Communications works to advance ACTA’s core message and serves as the point person for media and public relations, digital and social media, and other external-facing communications. He or she focuses on developing high-quality written materials such as news releases and op-eds and on cultivating relationships with members of the media and external partners who can help further ACTA’s mission. The Director of Communications reports to the President and works extensively with both the President and senior staff to plan multi-pronged communications campaigns designed to expand the organization’s reach and profile.


Among other responsibilities, it is the role of the Director of Communications to:

  • Develop creative release strategies for ACTA’s reports, publications, and initiatives that leverage multiple channels, including earned media, digital and social media, and external partnerships with allies and influencers.
  • Manage relations and proactive outreach to national, local, and trade media and continuously search for ways to maximize media opportunities.
  • Regularly draft news releases, op-eds, articles, blog posts, and other external-facing collateral for print and online publication.
  • Serve as ACTA’s frontline media contact and work to prepare on-the-record spokespeople, principally ACTA’s president.
  • Initiate and maintain strong relationships with key trade publications and members of the media, as well as think tanks and analysts covering the higher education sector.
  • Oversee ACTA’s digital and social media campaigns, working with ACTA’s Communications Officer and Program Associate for Educator Outreach & Digital Strategies to develop digital and social media content, including blogs, podcasts, and web, email, and social media copy.
  • Ensure that reports and publications consistently and accurately reflect the organization’s messaging and positioning by collaborating with subject matter experts and project directors.
  • Supervise the creation of digital and traditional media analytics and provide other staff with analytical reports that document key outcomes and achievements.

The ideal candidate would have several years of experience in communications in a nonprofit setting. A bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, or a related field is desirable, but relevant work experience will also be considered. The ideal candidate will possess comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of print, broadcast, and digital channels, as well as the specific requirements and strategies for disseminating an organization’s message using each of those channels. He or she should be personable, creative, and well-organized. He or she will be expected to act with the highest degree of personal responsibility, accountability, and honesty.

Applicants should email a resume, cover letter, and two writing samples to Jordan Thomas at info@GoACTA.org with “Application – Director of Communications” in the subject line.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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