Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks a strategic, proactive and innovative chief marketing & communications officer (CMCO) to serve as a member of the President's Cabinet charged with working to further bolster the institution's standing as the premier college for art and design and advancing organizational vision and priorities by fostering engagement with the institution. Led by a committed faculty, RISD enrolls 2,567 students hailing from 60 countries in 44 full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs and supported by a worldwide network of over 31,000 alumni who demonstrate the vital role artists and designers play in today's society. The institution has set an ambitious vision for bringing creative practices to bear on today's most urgent social, political and environmental issues. Further, RISD is deeply committed to being proactively anti-racist, to advancing broad social equity and inclusion goals in principle and practice and to making consequential, strategic and scaled changes throughout the institution. Indeed, RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education and RISD's story. RISD's mission, at both the college and museum, is not only to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, but to transmit that knowledge and make global contributions.

This is an exceptional opportunity for a talented marketing and communications professional to build on existing strengths and successes, further elevating the institution's reputation and advancing its mission. Reporting to the president and working closely with cabinet colleagues, the chief marketing & communications officer will oversee efforts to strengthen an already best-in-class institution, utilizing the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and audiences, engaging constituencies both on and off campus. The CMCO will lead the 17-member Marketing & Communications team, a creative and well-respected group, as they articulate, steward and promote RISD's brand to create connections with the institution through storytelling, brand development, and communications direction and support.

The successful candidate will be an innovative and confident leader with a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience guiding a successful strategic communications program for a prominent, complex, large, mission-driven organization. An undisputed track record will be leveraged across an enterprise with multiple constituencies and a wide array of audiences. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds will be considered; tenure in higher education or the arts with prior experience in government affairs, political affairs or advocacy work would be of high interest. We seek a leader with current knowledge of best practices in all aspects of communications, marketing and messaging, including the sophisticated and creative use of storytelling and brand development as well as social media, analytics and other forms of digital communications.

A complete position specification is available here:

A review of applications will commence immediately, continuing until the position is filled. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible; applicant materials should be received by March 11, 2024. Please send a resume with a letter of interest, via email, in strict confidence to RISD's search consultants:

Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.
Attention: Shelli Herman