Special Assistant to President for Communications and Special Events - Rhode Island School of Design in Providence Rhode Island

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Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island

United States

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Detailed Job Description

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks an artful writer and skilled strategic communicator with strong relationship skills to join the President's team as the Special Assistant to the President for Communications and Special Events. The successful candidate will work closely with RISD's newly appointed president, Rosanne Somerson, to plan, develop and coordinate communications and special events for the President in alignment with Presidential priorities and strategic initiatives.

As a key member of the President's team, the Special Assistant to the President for Communications and Special Events will conduct research; prepare and provide exceptional writing and editing support; and draft critical communications, proposals, policy statements, and talking points for the President on a wide array of topics and for a breadth of constituents. The Special Assistant will serve as an executive liaison between the President and VIP guests or special visitors and may act as primary host. The Special Assistant will also organize, and help to coordinate and support, and staff the President at special events that may be hosted by the President or events generated by President's office staff or other areas of the College.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.  


Bachelor's degree with at least 5 years of related experience, preferably writing for a high-level executive; or Master's degree with at least 3 years of related experience, preferably in writing for a high-level executive.

A background in rhetoric, communications, journalism, public relations, marketing or public policy preferred.

Strong experience preparing high-impact visual presentations in Keynote (preferred) or Powerpoint

Exemplary experience in research, writing and editing skills.

Ability to capture and amplify a distinctive voice.

Ability to communicate effectively and target and adapt messages to specific constituencies while sustaining a consistent message.

Strong interpersonal skills and ability to interact with guests at all levels and to create a warm and welcoming environment are required.

Strong understanding of and ability to implement institutional protocols is essential, as are diplomacy and commitment to confidentiality.

Experience in higher education preferred.

Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully, both verbally and in writing, within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, and backgrounds is required.

In addition, strong analytical skills, attention to detail and ability to research complex issues and synthesize information into communications and messaging quickly and effectively are important qualities  

Other Requirements

Traveling with the President on occasion will be required.  

Keyword Phrases

  • Creative, studio-based education
  • Diversity & Inclusivity are fundamental
  • flexible thinking & risk-taking
  • Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
  • Event Coordination
Employment Type:Higher Education Executives
Degree Required: Bachelors
Experience: See Job Description
Salary: Not Specified
Type of School:4 - Year / Masters Institution
Application Requirements: See Job Description