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Senior Director Health System Communications & Engagement

Regular Full Time Durham, North Carolina
Requisition Number: 201648

Senior Director Health System Communications & Engagement

Duke University Health System (DUHS) Corporate Communications

The Senior Director of Health System Communications & Engagement serves as a key team member, supporting the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and senior leadership team of Duke University Health System (DUHS) by building a system-wide multi-channel internal communications and engagement strategy from research through rollout and implementation. Reporting to the AVP, Brand Communications for DUHS and working with a network of Duke Health communicators, the senior director will oversee strategies that educate, inform and inspire team members about our mission of advancing health together and vision to deliver tomorrow’s healthcare today.

The senior director approaches their projects as a systems thinker and provides strategic counsel to Duke Health leadership regarding communications and engagement activities and provides strategic direction to the media relations, entity and department communicators and marketing teams to develop content promoting systemness in the execution of strategic goals, HR initiatives, top talent recruitment and retention marketing, culture transformation initiatives, manager expectations and leadership development, financial stewardship, team member recognition activities, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and ongoing system-wide strategic initiatives, operational priorities and process improvement. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborates frequently with Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Marketing Communications Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Quality Officer, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Financial Officer and other stakeholders to sponsor, gain feedback on and launch communications strategies.
  • Establish and proactively manage a comprehensive system-wide strategic internal communications function focused on designing and implementing system-wide team member communications across digital platforms, SharePoint intranet sites, multimedia channels (emails, social media, gamification, video, mobile, text, apps, presentations, publications), interactive events (virtual and onsite), print and signage mediums. 
  • Serve as the enterprise’s content management editorial director tasked with developing a system-wide network to source and connect stories across DUHS’ entities, locations and operations. Includes managing, creating and delivering excellent copywriting/editing projects that drive the creation and approval of compelling content highlighting the organization’s values, operating model, recruitment marketing goals, change initiatives, HR policies, career development programs, and business priorities.
  • Lead the content management development strategy and assignments to reinforce stories and messaging incorporating Duke Health’s employer value proposition and brand guidelines.
  • In collaboration with DUHS’s senior executive team, direct content planning, cadence and channels to ensure messaging is consistent and distributed to the right audience, in the right channel at the right time.
  • Lead and supervise a team of senior communications consultants and creatives to build and roll out internal communications and engagement campaigns from concept development to production and launch.
  • Cultivate manager engagement communications resources utilizing respect and belonging content as the foundation for project implementation, “bringing to life” a unified set of values/beliefs and collaboration opportunities where managers and team members exchange ideas about decision-making outcomes.
  • Design and oversee two-way communications feedback channels (onsite meetings, virtual, digital, events), emphasizing the connections between team members’ daily work and Duke Health’s continuous improvement initiatives supporting quality, safety and system innovations. 
  • Mentor and connect communicators across Duke Health, partnering to align communications strategies, tactics and goals.
  • Provide counsel to leadership, management and staff on the effective use of communications and engagement activities.
  • Monitor and measure the impact of internal communications programs. Use a data-driven strategy to revise and recommend new strategies, channels, resources and tools. 
  • Benchmark and recommend internal communications and employee engagement activities to enhance strategies across channels, as well as recommend new platforms and project management techniques.
  • Negotiate and prepare proposals for new projects. Engage vendors and other resources as necessary to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery.

Preferred Skills

  • Superior and relevant writing and editing capabilities for internal and external audiences. (A portfolio of recent writing and project samples is required.)
  • Has a passion for creatively using storytelling techniques and channels to illuminate the “heart of a story” so audiences can connect to the message.
  • Innovator who is considerate of legacy systems and seeks to improve and build for the future by embracing new methodology and strategies. Is comfortable with ambiguous details and enjoys the process of creativity and balancing risk to implement projects with a strategic system-focused approach.
  • Action oriented with the strategic experience to understand, recognize and incorporate diverse perspectives, opinions and methods to accomplishing tasks.
  • Open minded and willingness to change strategies, deadlines and processes.
  • An eye for detail and research to gain audience insights on what motivates, engages, and defines the call to action in communications efforts.
  • Can influence without authority through active listening, collaboration and partnership.
  • Passionate about working in an organization that values and promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Comfortable and able to present information to a variety of roles.
  • Approaches work as a lifelong learner able to synthesize complex concepts and translate topics into streamlined captivating content and messages.
  • Ability to design effective project oversight and management tools to implement multiple projects by prioritizing tasks, action plans and timelines.
  • Time management skills with demonstrated ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Second language proficiency preferred. 

Preferred Experience & Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, marketing, journalism, or a related field is required. Master's in Communications, Organizational Change Management, Healthcare, Public Health, Business Administration, Organizational Development, Marketing or another related field preferred.
  • Must have 10+ years of corporate communications management experience in a matrixed organization, with an emphasis in editorial content management, internal communications, employee engagement/experience strategies, organizational change management, technology content management platforms (SharePoint Online), leadership communications, and production (social media, video, emails, publications, corporate intranet management, digital, events, mobile applications, new technology platforms).
  • Experience leading communications for a health care organization or company undergoing growth across multiple regions, locations and service lines is preferred.
  • Expertise with employee recognition, community outreach, media relations and marketing activities is a plus.

Required Qualifications at this Level


Bachelor's degree in business administration, healthcare administration, marketing, communications or a related field is required.


Five years of directly related experience is required.

Experience in the development, execution and measurement of multi- dimensional strategic marketing initiatives. Key experience includes working with all levels of organizational leadership in the adoption of plans and tactics, and making plan course corrections as needed based on emerging information or market evolution. Experience with emerging marketing tools (i.e. social media and customer relationship marketing) strongly preferred.

Degrees, Licensure, and/or Certification


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Distinguishing Characteristics of this Level


Job Level: H2

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

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