AACTE American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Director Communications and PR
Job Description


The Director, Communications & Public Relations develops, manages, and executes AACTE’s communications and media relations activities to disseminate key messages and narratives that promote the association’s events, programs, products, and services. The Director plays a pivotal role in developing and implementing media and public relations efforts, amplifying AACTE’s brand and writing compelling stories that advance the association’s strategic priorities and position the organization as the dominant thought leader in educator preparation. The Director will also be responsible for the day-to-day communications activity for various editorial projects to support AACTE initiatives. This position collaborates with the Senior Director, Marketing & Communications Strategy to develop the annual organizational communications plan to identify and clarify goals and benchmarks for success.


1. Communications Planning

  • Develop and implement communications campaigns to engage stakeholders to advance and promote the association and its’ strategic priorities.
  • Collaborate with AACTE staff to develop member voice, package programmatic insights, and increase thought leadership exposure.
  • Develop and manage editorial and MarComm calendars to ensure effective implementation of communications plans.

2. Public Relations

  • Position AACTE and its leadership, board members, and key champions as thought leaders through media engagements and speaking opportunities
  • Create compelling written content, including press releases, Association statements, op-eds, bylines, Q&A/talking points, briefings, and media pitches/emails that position AACTE as the leading voice in educator preparation.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with journalists, columnists, editors, and other media personnel covering the education field.
  • Advise and prepare senior leaders for external communications engagements, including media interviews, conference speaking, and thought leadership opportunities.
  • Fulfill media requests, arrange interviews in collaboration with AACTE executive leadership team and develop talking points and other resources that support the association’s outreach in a timely manner.

3. Writing & Editing

  • Write and edit relevant and compelling press material, newsletter copy, blog postings and other content to promote AACTE’s key messages across platforms.
  • Oversee the design, and production of print and digital materials to include social media, publications, newsletters, website, reports and meeting collateral.
  • Collaborate with other departments to ensure all published materials align with AACTE’s style guide and brand manual and present a holistic narrative consistent with its strategic plan across platforms.

4. Other projects as assigned


The Director of Communications & PR is expected to accomplish their work in accordance with AACTE’s core values as follows:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Be mindful and inclusive of our diverse range of colleagues and stakeholders – who we are, how we think, the experiences we bring to work, and our skill sets and personalities.
  • Treat all colleagues and stakeholders with fairness, dignity, and respect to create a positive environment.
  • Role Model exceptional interpersonal skills and professionalism across all levels of the organization, demonstrating high levels of tact, judgement, and poise.
  • Adhere to all workplace policies outlined in the Employee Handbook to create a safe working environment free of harassment and all forms of discrimination.

Quality & Impact

  • Process/maintain documents and information according to all federal, state, and local requirements, using the highest standard of discretion to protect the confidentiality of AACTE, our members, and our employees.
  • Lead the development and implementation of organizational data analytic practices, performance and operational metrics and financial forecasting to develop, track, and report on project plans and metrics to accomplish strategic priorities.
  • Organize multiple projects simultaneously, track data and metrics, provide regular updates to stakeholders, and respond quickly with accurate answers when questioned.

Inquiry & Innovation

  • Extend the reach and reputation of AACTE through articulating its value proposition, vision, and mission across diverse range of external audiences.
  • Support the development of strategic plans and business growth goals in alignment with alignment with AACTE’s mission, purpose, and strategic goals.
  • Champion new ideas to grow the organization and build our culture and create/manage change processes to advance the organization in the envisioned direction.
  • Challenges assumptions and status quo using rational argument and evidence, and then experience.
  • Identify key professional working relationships and proactively develops them over time.
  • With support from Supervisor, keep abreast of knowledge, outside developments, and trends in our field; and identify key professional working relationships and proactively develop them over time.


Up to 25% travel will be required, typically to the National Office in Washington, DC, Board of Director meetings, or conference locations.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing, Education, or related field required. Master’s degree preferred.
  • 7+ years of marketing, PR, or media relations experience in the non-profit or higher education space; experience at a national association preferred.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills, including the ability to develop and articulate key messages in a relevant, compelling way across audience segments.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain relationships with members of the press such as journalists, columnists and editors.
  • Strong project management skills with demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet both deadlines and quality standards. Experience with project management platforms highly desirable.


When in the national office, working conditions are characteristic of an office setting.  Work is performed in an area that is adequately lighted and ventilated.  When working remotely, staff must adhere to guidelines set forth in the AACTE Remote Work Policy. Physical demands required to perform work include walking, standing, bending, and carrying of light items.


Base pay for this position is $79,000 – $113,000 DOQ, plus a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance coverages, as well as generous leave time; and 403b and/Roth IRA retirement plans with employer match after 6 months. 


At AACTE we expect job descriptions do not limit employees, but rather encourage them to stretch their experience, adapt to change, grow their skills, and develop their ability to contribute to the mission of AACTE. Thus, while this document provides a general overview of the expectations, duties, and responsibilities of this position as of the date on the first page, the incumbent can expect to review it with their Supervisor during the annual performance review meeting to ensure that it is updated appropriately as business needs shift and evolve.

Equal Opportunity Employer

AACTE is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits against harassment of any applicant or employee because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.  AACTE allows for reasonable accommodations that enable an individual with a disability to participate in the application process, to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of a job, and to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment that are available to individuals without disabilities.