AVP Communications

RRU is market-responsible and tailors its policies, delivery models, and education and training solutions to the labour market needs of its students, contributing to economic prosperity, social advancement, and environmental sustainability in all communities. Having granted professional degrees to over 20,000 graduates now active in over 65 countries, RRU is one of Canada’s premier public research institutions, and ranked first in the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement for an active, collaborative learning experience and level of academic challenge.


We are leaders and partners creating an enduring prosperity. Transformation in career and life results from our teaching and research, applied to solve problems and create opportunities.


We connect people, ideas, and experiences to change lives and the world.


To create demand-driven growth in high-quality, effective education and research that contribute to economic prosperity, social advancement, and environmental sustainability, and establish ourselves as the university of choice for relevant applied and professional education providing continuous opportunities to learn and transform lives and careers.  To learn more, please Royal Roads University’s website.


Under the strategic direction of the Vice-President Communications and Advancement, the Communications unit provides a centre for initiatives and services, including: university corporate communications (including external stakeholder and multi-level government relations), internal communications, news services, media relations, and editorial services. The work of the Communications unit and the objectives of communications initiatives are aligned with and defined by the university’s strategic goals and relate to all audiences. Whether they are members of the internal or external community, prospects, students or alumni, donors, members of the public, federal, provincial or municipal government, or media, Communications connects people to the university’s mission and its unique value proposition.

With an approach built on the foundation of RRU’s values (caring, creative, and accountable) and in alignment with its strategic anchors (programs, process, people, profile, and place), the AVP Communications acts as a strategic public affairs and government relations advisor, providing expertise and strategic communications counsel for the VP Communications & Advancement, the President, and other members of the Executive team. Integrating annual and multi-year initiatives and tactics across several mutually-supporting functions—such as
stakeholder, public and government relations, media relations, executive services, institutional corporate communications, and emergency and crisis communications—the AVP Communications ensures the strategic positioning of Royal Roads’ messaging, guided by the need to convene public trust, regulatory compliance, and ministry policy.

The AVP Communications leads and provides oversight and strategic direction to the Communications Manager and Communications team, including prioritization of the unit’s work with a variety of proactive, responsive and emerging communications initiatives linked to university priorities. The AVP also plays a lead role in public affairs, government relations, community engagement, and strategic planning and execution for the university with external and internal stakeholders.

Core Accountabilities

  • Link communications activities with strategic organizational priorities; 
  • Act as the strategic public affairs advisor and strategic communications counsel and facilitator for the VP, Communications & Advancement, the President, and other members of the Executive and university leadership team, integrating annual and multi-year initiatives and tactics across several and mutually-supportive functions 
  • Ensure consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness of university corporate communications in keeping with university strategic objectives and reputational management requirements;
  • Develop and maintain trust and performance across relationships within the functional scope (multi-level government relations, community relations, media relations, news services, internal communications and editorial services) necessary to lead communications strategically;
  • Establish specific communication metrics within goals and priorities;
  • Champion integration and collaboration in support of division and enterprise-wide initiatives/priorities;
  • Ensure the integrity of the organization and department’s alignment to university priorities;
  • Direct the communications team and supervise the Communications Manager’s performance management of the communication team members;
  • Provide clear strategic direction, priorities, and expected outcomes for the Communications unit to allow the Communications Manager to build and manage an annual comprehensive work plan in support of university’s strategic priorities and goals;
  • Lead the development and implementation of, and ongoing adherence to, effective communication policies;
  • Direct the Communications Manager in the assignment of resources – budget, staff, time, projects (planned and emerging, proactive and reactive);
  • Direct the planning, build capacity, and oversee execution of the unit’s internal and external stakeholder communications, crisis and emergency communications, issues management, media relations, community and government relations. and university corporate communications services activities within that work plan;
  • Supervise the Communication Manager’s leadership of the news and editorial services, including the university’s social media approach and activities and day-to-day coordination and execution of the work plan;
  • Provide strategic and tactical communications guidance, advice, and service for academic units, business units, and special projects; and
  • Build and manage the annual budget for corporate communications and public affairs activities in support of and aligned with university strategic goals and priorities.

Required Qualifications, Education and Experience

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • A graduate degree or equivalent in communications, public relations, or a related field, plus a minimum of ten years of relevant experience (or an equivalent combination of education and experience) with increasingly progressive levels of professional communication/public relations responsibility, preferably for a post -secondary institution;
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills;
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing communications and stakeholder relations plans;
  • Successful track record of building positive stakeholder relations, including media and multi-level government relations;
  • Ability to deliver effective, integrated communications strategies as part of a cross-functional emergency management team;
  • Demonstrated experience leading media relations for evolving markets, digital media, and social media;
  • Track record as an effective media spokesperson;
  • Well experienced with issues management; demonstrated experience in leadership communications and C-suite coaching and support for crisis communications;
  • Being an accomplished professional writer is essential; deep experience and successes as the architect of speeches, strategic plans, editorials and think pieces, with demonstrated ability to foster and develop high quality editorial standards;
  • Cutting-edge presentation skills, with significant public engagement experience including planning and leading events and initiatives for issues management and community relations.

Competencies and Personal Characteristics

  • Leadership - Achieves desired organizational results by encouraging and supporting the contribution of others; a proactive and positive team player who acts with a sense of urgency and leads by example; sets and communicates clear goals.
  • Accountable – Holds self and others accountable for responsibilities; focuses on results and measuring attainment of outcomes in a business focus.
  • Strategic – Develops and implements a plan in support of organizational strategic direction. Demonstrates an understanding of the link between one’s job responsibilities and overall organizational goals and needs, and performs one’s job with the broader goals in mind.
  • Integrity and Honesty – Demonstrates a resolute commitment to and respect for the spirit and intent behind the rules and core values of the organization, setting an example of professionalism and ethical propriety.
  • Creativity and Innovation – Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new, cutting edge programs/processes.
  • Effective Working Relationships – Treats staff, colleagues, and students with respect; resolves conflicts respectfully and in a timely manner, negotiates effectively, and provides effective feedback to colleagues/employees.
  • Influential and Collaborative – Has an honest, open, and consistent approach to working with others and possesses strong relationship and interpersonal skills, with the ability to delegate, build relationships, and develop/maintain partnerships, obtaining stakeholder agreement.
  • Communication – Clearly presents written and verbal information and writes with clarity and purpose; communicates effectively in both positive as well as negative circumstances; listens well.
  • People Development – Fosters long-term learning and development of others through coaching, managing performance, and mentoring; has a genuine desire to develop others and help them succeed; formally recognizes deserving staff and colleagues.
  • Student Focused – Anticipates, responds, and attends to the needs of colleagues and students, and other internal and external stakeholders of the department and institution; keeps the student interests in the forefront.


A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits.  Further details will be discussed further in a personal interview.

For Information please contact:

James Laing or Greg Longster
#880—609 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1G5
Phone: (604) 688-8422
Email: vancouver@leadersinternational.com