American Council on Education (ACE)

The American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body and convener for the nation’s higher education institutions, is looking for a strategic and savvy Associate Director of Public Affairs to help advance ACE’s mission to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. 

ACE’s Office of Public Affairs works to maintain the Council’s presence as a top source for media on higher education issues and policy, enhance public understanding of a wide range of higher education topics, advocate on behalf of ACE membership on key issues, and promote the important work of ACE programs.

The Associate Director will work with the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Public Affairs; the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Government and Public Affairs; and the Senior Staff of the Division of Governmental Relations and Public Affairs to plan and execute communications strategies designed to achieve ACE public policy objectives and to inform ACE presidents and other constituents on public policy issues.  In addition, the Associate Director works independently with other departments to develop and execute strategies for communicating with ACE member presidents and other constituents on the full range of ACE activities and resources.

Key Responsibilities: (in coordination with the AVP of Public Affairs and SVP of Government and Public Affairs)

Responds to queries involving national higher education issues from both national and regional media outlets, which may include helping prepare ACE experts for interviews and on-the-record comment on behalf of ACE and its members. Develops and maintains extensive contacts with educational and other reporters.  Schedules media interviews for ACE leadership.

Develops and promotes knowledge base of specific divisions within ACE.  Formulates and implements annual strategic outreach plan for each division, including special events and briefings, tip-sheets, op-eds, letters to the editor, and regional media support.  Helps prepare periodic news bulletins for ACE member presidents.  Helps prepare a Public Affairs plan for the ACE Annual Meeting, including promotional materials, press releases, and logistical arrangements.

Serves as a contributing editor of assigned ACE communication vehicles, including publications, blogs, and website.  Participates in ACE’s expanding social media activities.  Collaborates on the development of story lists, coverage plans, and writing assignments.  Prepares articles and provides editing/proofing support.

Helps plan and execute regional and national op-ed strategies highlighting ACE advocacy efforts.

Provides promotional support to special-focus, community-wide activities which may include planning, publications, media, and special events.

Represents ACE to professional associations and organizations in areas of higher education.

Education/Experience/Specialized Knowledge and Competency Expectations: 

Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree (or equivalent work experience) preferred.

A minimum of 8 to 10 years of experience in discipline, i.e. public affairs and media relations, higher education issues, and public policy process.

Excellent editing and writing skills.

Experience with social media as a communications tool.

Ability to work independently and meet frequent deadlines.

High energy, multi-tasker with strong organizational skills.

Excellent interpersonal skills and a demonstrated ability to collaborate and work effectively.

Please submit a resume, cover letter, plus a minimum of 2-3 writing samples to

The American Council on Education 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, or protected Veteran status.

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