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Director of Community Relations (6813)

Date: May 20, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  

About the Department

Located in a beautiful residential neighborhood in the nation's capital, American University offers a personalized curriculum of theoretical study and experiential learning, taught by internationally recognized faculty in courses that take students from the classroom to the nation’s capital, and all around the globe.  American University is a leading student-centered research university where passionate learners, bold leaders, engaged scholars, innovators, and active citizens unleash the power of collaborative discovery.
American University’s Office of Community and Government Relations helps deepen the institution’s relationship with its neighbors, the District of Columbia and metropolitan region.  The office supports the university’s growth through its campus plan; facilitates and develops relationships with community organizations, local governments, and civic organizations; supports community-based research and learning; guides the Working with Washington imperative of the Change Makers for a Changing World Strategic Plan; and strengthens the university’s partnership with its neighbors.


Under minimal supervision, this position works with the Assistant Vice President of Community & Government Relations, and collaboratively with other departments and individuals across the University, to develop and carry out the overall strategy for managing the University’s relationship with the neighboring communities.  The position has principal responsibility for the development and maintenance of long-term relationships with neighborhood residents and is responsible for advancing the University’s interests in all areas where they are affected by community organizations or individuals. 

Essential Functions

  1. Develop and implement a communications program to build and maintain a positive image of the University among residents and to promote the University as a community resource.  Manage the writing, editing and distribution of the monthly online newsletter, AU in the Neighborhood.  Serve as the primary contact for community organizations seeking support from the University for neighborhood events.  Serve as the primary contact for inquiries that come to the University through the community relations website, email account, or phone line.  Ensure personal follow-up within 24 hours and work with internal departments to ensure a timely and effective response.  
  2. Plan, coordinate and execute events and programs that will both help the local community and promote a positive image of the University.  Help to identify and manage special projects, as assigned, which support the University in expanding its outreach to broader sections of the city.  Cultivate community relationships to increase awareness and collaborative opportunities with businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and neighborhood and community organizations.  
  3. Work with the Dean of Students Office on strategies to engage local building managers, property management companies, and landlords to ensure positive dialogue and conflict resolution where there are issues with student conduct in off-campus properties. 
  4. Support the Assistant Vice President for Community & Government Relations in serving as the University’s liaison to the District of Columbia government. Assist in monitoring proposed legislation as well as electronic and print media, community listservs and websites, social reports and studies, and other information sources to keep the University informed.  

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time, 35 hours/week.
  • Exempt.

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 8 years of substantial progressive community and/or government relations experience.
  • Master’s degree and experience in higher education preferred.  
  • Experience with town-gown relations or government related experience a plus.
  • Ability to forge effective and efficient working relationships and to function as a consensus builder.
  • Excellent written and oral presentation skills.
  • Exceptional listening and facilitation skills.
  • Ability to function in a private sector institution, understanding and appreciating relations with University leadership, alumni, and other important external and internal constituencies and audiences. 
  • Familiarity with the utilization of social media to help manage and coordinate community relations.
  • Team oriented with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent persuasive skills with the ability to be calm and professional under pressure.  
  • Requires knowledge of and familiarity with the neighborhoods surrounding American University as well as with District issues, agencies and regulatory processes.
  • Enjoys working with people. 
  • Be community-minded and have an understanding of the workings of non-profit, civic and community groups.
  • Be outgoing, personable, and articulate.
  • Good writing, organization and planning skills are essential.  


AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Other Details

  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC