Director, Communications

State of Tennessee

Nashville, TN

Marketing, Communications & Information Technology

Position Description / Responsibilities

Department: Communications

Classification (Payroll Title): Communications Director

Position Number: 00100254

Reports to: Chief of Staff

Last Revised Date: 11.22.19


Department of Education Vision: We will set all students on a path to success.

Priorities:  Academics: All Tennessee students will have access to a high quality education, no matter where they live.  · Whole Child: Tennessee public schools will be equipped to serve the academic and non-academic needs of all students. · Educators: Tennessee will set a new path for the education profession and be the top state to become and remain a teacher and leader.


Position Summary: The Tennessee Department of Education is seeking a Communications Director who can lead a team to drive new insights and actions through effective communication, significant engagement, and transparency. This role contributes to each of the strategic priorities by serving as a conduit of story-telling and key information between stakeholders and the department.














Position Requirements

Minimum Qualifications:

·        5+ years relevant experience; experience in both private sector and government a plus

·        Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing, public relations or related field

Essential Functions

·        Office of the Governor: Effective, efficient, and responsive communications with the Governor’s Office. Regular updates and the ability to navigate close collaboration and messaging on education-related topics, or any other areas requested.

·        Media Relations: The ability to build strong media relations and foster trust that the department is meeting its commitments to transparent and accurate reporting of department activities and decisions. Proactively and successfully generating media attention for the positive work happening in districts and schools. Effective and active social media presence.

·        Legislative Relations: Ability to work closely with the Assistant Commissioner of Policy and Legislative Affairs to create effective and personalized collateral and communications with public officials, including proactively reaching out around critical issues in the department.

·        District Communication: Solicit regular and clear feedback from districts around the most effective ways to both solicit information and provide updates and information. Develop a close relationship with representative district officials to ensure proactive and immediate communications. Develop strong relationships with district communications directors, through the Director of Communications.

·        Web Site Communication: Produce a website that is user-friendly and meets all legal requirements around state regulations and accessibility. Review all vendor-created web materials for effective storytelling and communications practices.

·        Internal Communications: Support the Chief of Staff in developing a comprehensive and consistent internal communications operation within the department, so that there is a broad understanding of: (1) department internal activities; (2) department external activities; (3) decision-making rationale and timelines; (4) external activities and potential important issues; (5) media activity; and (6) general understanding of messaging topics and expectations.


Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

·        Time and Project Management: Excellent time and project management skills, with the ability to prioritize critical tasks, manage detail work, and communicate project status effectively to all stakeholders

·        Critical Thinking: Demonstrated ability to influence others with the story within the data to make programmatic recommendations and to communicate information in a way that supports informed decision-making aligned to the strategic priorities

·        Accountability: High level of personal responsibility, optimism, and judgment

·        Service Orientation: A student achievement orientation required

·        Management of Personnel Resources: Motivating, developing, and directing people around the work of the Communications team


Supervisory Responsibility

The Communications Director will be responsible for managing the communications team.


Work Environment

The duties will primarily be carried out indoors, in environmentally controlled conditions. The employee will be required to perform general physical abilities and handle and move objects.


Physical Demands

Physical demands include walking, standing, bending, lifting, climbing stairs, and moving during working hours.


Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full time position. Expected work hours are 37.5 hours per week, from 8-4:30pm with an hour lunch break.


Travel Some travel within the state is required (approximately 15-25%).

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.


Other Duties Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for their job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


Pursuant to the State of Tennessee's policy of non-discrimination, the Tennessee Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or military services in its policies, or in the admission of, access to, treatment, or employment in its programs, services, or activities.


Tennessee Department of Education also provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. If you need an accommodation during the application process, please contact the Human Capital team at 615-741-5158.  You can also direct your request for accommodation in writing to the Tennessee Department of Education, Attn: Human Capital Division, 710 James Robertson Pkwy., Nashville, TN 37243.

Application Instructions

To Apply

Please email a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references to

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