Vice-President, Communications

Morgan Philips Group SA



About McGill University
 
A beacon of academic excellence and innovation, McGill University, with a campus in the heart of Montréal, in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and in Outaouais, stands prominently in the province of Quebec. Renowned for its record of excellence dating back to 1821, McGill has consistently been ranked among the world’s top universities. With an enduring commitment to fostering a diverse and vibrant community, McGill attracts over 40,000 students from over 150 countries each year, creating a rich tapestry of global perspectives and academic disciplines. McGill is celebrated for its cutting-edge research, boasting a wide array of programs across various fields including Medicine, Engineering, Business, Law, and the Arts. Its illustrious alumni network and strong partnerships with industries and institutions worldwide underscore its role as a leader in shaping the future of education and research. Set against the backdrop of Montreal, one of Canada’s most dynamic cities, McGill University offers an unparalleled blend of tradition and innovation, making it an ideal environment for learning, discovery, and growth. More information is available at www.mcgill.ca.
 
In order to further advance McGill University’s mission and strengthen its status as a premier institution that attracts talent from all parts of the world, we are currently seeking a: Vice-President, Communications
 
Context
 
Reporting directly to the President, the Vice-President (VP), Communications is entrusted with a mission critical to McGill University’s success: crafting and executing a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy that elevates McGill’s brand, on both the local and global stages. This role demands a strategic leader who can unify and guide dedicated communications teams throughout the organization, ensuring that McGill’s achievements and stories of excellence are presented in a compelling and cohesive manner to the world, in both of Canada’s official languages.
 
Position Overview
 
The VP, Communications’ scope of responsibilities is broad, spanning the entire spectrum of communications and marketing. This includes not only the global oversight of McGill’s marketing efforts but also the management of all external and internal communications, public relations strategies, and the dissemination of information related to university life and accomplishments. Through innovative public relations campaigns and strategic digital marketing, the VP significantly enhances McGill’s presence and fosters engagement with the internal community and the wider public, reinforcing its status as a leader in higher education and research.
 
In addition to traditional communications roles, the VP, Communications is a strategic advisor in areas such as brand management, digital marketing, social media, market research, and compliance with ethical marketing standards.
 
Ultimately, the VP, Communications is a linchpin in preserving and advancing McGill University’s revered position as a pivotal contributor to society and a leader of innovation in higher education. 
This role calls for a visionary leader adept in strategic communications, advocacy, and relationship-building, ready to guide McGill through the evolving landscape of modern higher education with foresight and integrity.
 
We are seeking a leader who can not only navigate the complexities of contemporary communications and marketing, but who can also embody the values and aspirations of McGill University, thereby reinforcing its position as a leader in HIGHER EDUCATION, MADE HERE.
 
Key Responsibilities
 
Integrated Communications and Marketing Leadership

  • Provide strategic counsel to the President and the Executive Team on a wide range of communications and marketing matters, offering insights and recommendations that align with McGill’s vision and objectives.
  • Collaborate on strategies tailored for diverse groups within the McGill community, including current and prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni, and both local and business/strategic partners, while working closely with McGill’s senior executive team to advance key projects aligned with the University’s academic and research goals.
  • Lead, inspire, and guide the Communications and Marketing team in developing and executing McGill’s new comprehensive communications and marketing strategy to advance the University’s brand and institutional priorities through strategic marketing, branding, and communications initiatives.
  • Provide executive leadership in marketing to protect, promote, and enhance the McGill brand among all possible audiences, both within Quebec and globally.
  • Encourage the integration of artificial intelligence and technological advancements to enhance marketing and communications activities.
  • Oversee the renewal and optimization of the University’s website, ensuring alignment with McGill’s institutional objectives, and manage the implementation of a new web model for key strategic sites.
  • Ensure the visibility of McGill’s news, events, and announcements across various platforms, including the McGill Reporter news site, the What’s New @ McGill and McGill Dans la Ville newsletters, and manage McGill’s principal social media channels.

 
Reputation Stewardship


  • Serve as a key spokesperson for McGill, particularly during crises, demonstrating expert-level competency in both traditional and digital communication mediums. Lead the University’s response in crisis situations and proactively manage relationships with external media.
  • Support, from a communications perspective, the University’s efforts for engagement with all levels of governments, in collaboration with the University partners (professors, alumni, students, business community, and others), to foster pride and recognition of McGill as a pivotal asset to the province.
  • Contribute to the University’s strategic planning by fostering growth and developing partnerships with external stakeholders to achieve McGill’s objectives.
  • Enhance McGill’s standing within the Quebec and Canadian higher education sectors through active participation and strategic contributions on relevant issues.

Community Leadership

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with the executive team, faculty, staff, and students, establishing itself as a trusted and respected representative of the University’s interests and values.
  • Establish a strong network within the University to maximize the talents of communications and marketing professionals across McGill.
  • Champion bilingual internal and external communications by leading by example, ensuring compliance with language laws, and promoting McGill’s identity as an institution integral to Quebec’s educational landscape.


 
Selection Criteria
 
The following priority selection criteria were identified by the Advisory Committee as key qualities, characteristics, skills and experiences in an ideal candidate. The Advisory Committee recognizes that no single candidate for the position is likely to meet all the following criteria in equal measure; nevertheless, the following are seen to be highly desirable.
 



  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 15 years of relevant experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline is an asset.
  • Exceptional leadership characterized by a propensity to lead by example, prioritizing the well- being of employees and colleagues and ensuring their needs and development are forefront. Natural ability to nurture and leverage the talents within the team and across McGill, fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and empowerment.
  • Extensive leadership experience in marketing, communications, and public affairs within complex, multi-unit organizations, with a proven track record of unifying and leading diverse communications efforts towards a common goal. This includes a sophisticated understanding of these roles in intricate environments and the ability to exert a positive influence at the executive level.
  • Demonstrated capability to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders and partners in building and implementing a common vision, institutional priorities and plans.
  • Commitment to embodying and promoting McGill’s principles of academic freedom, integrity, responsibility, equity, and inclusiveness and ensuring these principles guide all professional behaviors and interactions within and outside the university community.
  • Adept at developing both formal and informal relationships with a wide range of individuals and organizations, internal and external to the University, displaying a talent for building and sustaining meaningful connections through a broad number of stakeholders, including government officials, students, faculty, staff, and the wider Quebec community.
  • Significant experience in strategic planning and implementation of comprehensive marketing and communications plans, including the issues and crisis management, within a complex, multi- stakeholder environment, augmented by an up-to-date understanding of information technology advancements.
  • Exceptional analytical, organizational, and administrative skills complemented by a collegial and results-oriented management style. This includes superior interpersonal and communications skills capable of engaging effectively with diverse audiences and excelling in influencing, negotiating, and managing relationships.
  • Proficiency in the development of evaluation frameworks and key performance indicators, to measure and guide success.
  • Solid experience in social media and a thorough understanding of digital marketing tools, indicating an ability to leverage modern platforms and technologies in marketing and communications strategies.
  • Strong proficiency in both of Canada’s official languages is required, this skill being crucial for effective communications within Quebec, across Canada, and on the international stage.
  • High energy, innovative and creative problem-solving skills, with a talent for seeking and optimizing opportunities for innovation.
  • This role demands the finesse and expertise to amplify McGill’s presence and bolster its reputation beyond Montreal, acknowledging the University’s significant contribution to Quebec’s economy and cultural landscape.


To Apply
 
Individuals interested in applying are invited to submit their application to Morgan Philips Canada by sending their resume, accompanied by a cover letter, to Claude Martel or Julie-Catherine Racine, Executive Directors and Partners.
 
Claude Martel
Executive Director and Partner         
514.618.5243
[email protected]
           
Julie-Catherine Racine
Executive Director and Partner
514.974.0330
[email protected]
 
McGill University is committed to equity and diversity within its community and values academic rigor and excellence. We welcome and encourage applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all qualified candidates with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with diverse communities.
 
McGill further recognizes and fairly considers the impact of leaves (e.g., family care or health-related) that may contribute to career interruptions or slowdowns. Candidates are encouraged to signal any leave that affected productivity, or that may have had an effect on their career path. This information will be considered to ensure the equitable assessment of the candidate’s record.
 
McGill implements an employment equity program and encourages members of designated equity groups to self-identify. It further seeks to ensure the equitable treatment and full inclusion of persons with disabilities by striving for the implementation of universal design principles transversally, across all facets of the University community, and through accommodation policies and procedures. Applicants anticipating a need for accommodation at any stage of the selection process are encouraged to contact Morgan Philips Canada. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

 


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