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Director of Public Relations - UCSF Health

University of California - San Francisco Campus and Health
United States, California, San Francisco
September 30, 2023

Director of Public Relations - UCSF Health

R_Public Affairs

Full Time


Job Summary

The Director of Public Relations will join the UCSF Office of Communications (OC) at a time of significant investment and expansion, which are intended to better serve the growing needs of UCSF's mission and strategic initiatives. A key leader in the OC's Public Affairs team, the Director's primary responsibility will be to develop and implement communications strategies that promote the clinical and business priorities of UCSF Health-the health care delivery enterprise of UCSF.

In this role, the Director will collaborate closely with the UCSF Health Marketing team to co-develop integrated marketing-communications (marcomm) strategies that promote UCSF Health's growth strategy, priority service lines, affiliations with other health care partners, and national and local reputation. The Director reports to the executive director of Public Affairs in the Office of Communications, with a dotted-line reporting relationship to UCSF Health' Vice President of Marketing.

As a deputy to the executive director of Public Affairs, the Director will ensure the integration of UCSF Health's marcomm strategies with the Public Affairs team's media relations and owned content strategies supporting UCSF's clinical, research, education, public service missions. This role requires significant communications experience in a health care delivery setting and, preferably, a strong understanding of how an academic medical center functions and current business challenges and sensitivities in health care. Among its responsibilities will be developing strategies to position the UCSF Health CEO and other clinical leadership as thought leaders on issues that are critical to the future of UCSF.

The Director will manage a team of public information representatives who are the primary news media liaisons for UCSF's clinicians, front-line care teams, and faculty, and will serve as the primary editor for the team. As part of the Public Affairs leadership team, the Director will work closely with:

  1. the managing editor of Owned Media to develop and leverage stories across our owned platforms, identifying the most strategically important and compelling stories to share across a range of targeted audiences,
  2. a counterpart overseeing Research/Education communications to develop and leverage compelling stories that illustrate the advantages of UCSF's integrated academic medical center enterprise, and
  3. the marketing strategy director responsible for assuring the growth of the clinical priority areas.

The Director also will collaborate closely with the OC's Strategic Communications team to manage sensitive issues involving UCSF's clinical enterprise. The Public Affairs team also works closely with counterparts in the OC's Brand Strategy, Content Strategy, Internal Communications, and Central Administration on integrated communications disseminated across the university and health system. In addition, the Public Affairs team collaborates with University Development & Alumni Relations to support and advance donor and fundraising priorities.

Tactics will include news releases, pitches, ghost-written op-eds, graphics, podcasts, video, press briefings, public forums, and media training.

A significant responsibility of this position is to stay current with a rapidly changing media and digital communications landscape and identify strategies that can reach targeted audiences beyond traditional news media. This includes owned media content distributed via social and paid digital media in geographies with little local earned media infrastructure.

The role will grow with the Public Affairs team, contributing to and/or leading various OC initiatives and priorities, ranging from team building and goal setting to faculty media training and emergency response planning.

To see the salary range for this position (we recommend that you make a note of the job code and use that to look up):

Please note: The compensation ranges listed online for roles not covered by a bargaining unit agreement are very wide, however a job offer will typically fall in the range of 80% - 120% of the established mid-point. An offer will take into consideration the experience of the final candidate AND the current salary level of individuals working at UCSF in a similar role.

For roles covered by a bargaining unit agreement, there will be specific rules about where a new hire would be placed on the range.

To learn more about the benefits of working at UCSF, including total compensation, please visit:

Department Description

UCSF's Office of Communications (OC) provides comprehensive and coordinated leadership in planning, creating and implementing integrated brand and communications programs across the UCSF enterprise, including the university campus and the UCSF Health system. These programs foster increased awareness, understanding and support of UCSF's mission, vision, accomplishments, and strategic priorities among its many internal and external constituencies. It serves as the official voice of UCSF to regional, state, national and international news media.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in related area and 6+ years of directly related work experience including 5+ years of supervisory/management experience; and / or equivalent experience / training.
  • Ability to communicate complex or health-related information in an accessible and engaging manner.
  • Fundamental understanding of health care and biomedical research, and the ensuing judgment to determine which research is newsworthy.
  • Skill to establish an environment of and maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Strong supervisory skills; may require budgetary administrative skills.
  • Skill in visualizing and implementing media programs to showcase the department / unit and communicating the location's desired message.
  • Skill in conceiving and implementing media relations plans and strategies and in providing leadership to staff and colleagues to achieve desired objectives.
  • Strong interpersonal and written communications skills, including strong editing skills.
  • In-depth understanding of best usage of print, broadcast and online media.
  • Strong knowledge of principles and practices in sensitive and emergency communications.
  • Broad knowledge of the institution, its vision, mission, goals, objectives, infrastructure, programs, policies, and achievements.
  • Strong knowledge of the concepts, principles and technical aspects of media relations and communications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training.

About UCSF

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It is the only campus in the 10-campus UC system dedicated exclusively to the health sciences. We bring together the world's leading experts in nearly every area of health. We are home to five Nobel laureates who have advanced the understanding of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, aging and stem cells.

Pride Values

UCSF is a diverse community made of people with many skills and talents. We seek candidates whose work experience or community service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence - also known as our PRIDE values.

In addition to our PRIDE values, UCSF is committed to equity - both in how we deliver care as well as our workforce. We are committed to building a broadly diverse community, nurturing a culture that is welcoming and supportive, and engaging diverse ideas for the provision of culturally competent education, discovery, and patient care. Additional information about UCSF is available at

Join us to find a rewarding career contributing to improving healthcare worldwide.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California San Francisco 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, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.



Job Code and Payroll Title


Job Category

Marketing / Communications, Supervisory / Management

Bargaining Unit

99 - Policy-Covered (No Bargaining Unit)

Employee Class





Mission Bay (SF)



Shift Length

8 Hours

Additional Shift Details