Director of Communications


Andy Ryan

Andy Ryan

by Lisa Breede

April 6, 2021

Job Description

The Media Lab seeks a dynamic, experienced, collaborative, and highly creative communications expert with a proven commitment to diversity and equity to head Communications at the Lab.

Serve as strategist, content creator, leader, and manager of the full range of Media Lab communications—both internal and external. Share the Lab’s unique vision, legacy, and transdisciplinary research approach in an easily understood and compelling way that highlights the Lab’s distinctive syntheses of art, design, engineering, and science. Integrate digital, social, and print communications with its visual identity to maximize global impact. Work closely with the Lab director, faculty, students, and staff to direct and publicize a wide range of research, events, performances, exhibitions, and initiatives.


Communications Strategy

●      Work with Lab director, faculty, and administrative staff on conceptualizing, writing, and disseminating messaging on the Lab’s cutting-edge research in a way that draws attention to the Lab’s unique history and advances future initiatives.

●      Participate in Lab strategic planning and implementation.

●      Implement emerging communication technologies and trends, provide comprehensive metrics and analysis, and ensure that the Lab maximizes its use of available channels.

●      Oversee the communications staff and work with the Lab director, faculty, and the Member Relations team to ensure that the Lab’s messaging reaches important constituencies, including the public, press, member companies, donors and prospects, alumni, the rest of MIT, the internal Lab community, and a global audience.

●      With communications staff, advise the Lab community, including leadership, on communications best practices, including media relations, social media, and accessibility issues.

●      Work with the Lab community to develop strategy and best practices for disseminating their work in creative ways that closely align with the Media Lab’s brand, messaging, vision, and shared values.

●      Serve as the director’s primary advisor on all internal and external communications, including responding to sensitive or challenging communications issues, both within the Lab and externally.

●      Continuously learn about the newest research in areas of importance to the Lab to best articulate and position the Lab’s contributions in context of larger societal issues.

Media Relations and Branding

●      Oversee strong identity and branding (including social media and website) for the Lab.

●      Create and drive the creation of editorial content in print, on the main web pages and Lab blog, and on social media.

●      With press liaison, develop press releases from the Lab, work with MIT News office, and review releases from sponsors and collaborating organizations.

●      Work closely with development and member relations staff on producing materials to use with prospective and existing sponsors.

●      Develop talking points and draft speeches, presentations, and content for Lab director.

●      Work with Lab designer to art direct photographers, videographers, and graphic designers for a wide range of communication materials.

●      Work with the events team to develop themes and materials for major events.

●      Serve as the primary liaison to external public relations firms for special projects.

●      Oversee Lab contributions to Institute-wide initiatives and publications, including annual Report to the President and materials for the Lab’s Visiting Committee.

●      In consultation with MIT’s General Counsel and Technology Licensing Office, serve as primary Lab decision-maker on external use of Lab identity and copyright permissions.

●      Serve as the primary communications liaison to the School of Architecture + Planning, the MIT News Office, and other offices and departments across MIT.

The position will be fully remote until the MIT campus reopens, at which time this position will be fully in-person on the MIT campus.

Job number:  19476


●      Creative thinker with exceptional written, verbal, and visual communications skills and a minimum of seven years’ experience heading a communications team;

●      Impeccable judgment. Leadership and management excellence of diverse, inclusive teams;

●      Experience in developing strategies for effectively messaging organizational priorities and accomplishments to potential donors, societal influencers, and top-tier media outlets;

●      Familiarity with a wide range of media channels appropriate for disseminating Lab news;

●      Familiarity with copyright law and best practices. Proven ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced, highly creative environment with conflicting priorities, while maintaining a sense of humor and strong commitment to advancing the dynamic Media Lab mission, vision, and shared values;

●      Bachelor's degree in a related field required.


●      Master’s degree in a related field preferred.

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