Chief Communications Officer

University of the Pacific

Chief Communications Officer

University of the Pacific (Pacific) invites innovative and forward-thinking communications professionals to apply for the newly established role of Chief Communications Officer (CCO). Serving on the President’s Cabinet as one of Pacific’s 10 key executive leaders and reporting directly to President Christopher Callahan, a former journalist and founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, the CCO will be responsible for the alignment of the University’s branding and communications strategies with its mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities across all platforms.

The University
Established in 1851, the University of the Pacific – California’s Private University of Choice – is California’s first and oldest university and is ranked by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education in the Top 100 nationally and the Top 20 in the West. As a comprehensive national university located in Northern California across three campuses, the University offers its 6,300 students an experience that produces successful alumni who lead in their communities, in California, and beyond. Pacific’s campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Stockton connect students to some of the most diverse, dynamic, and rapidly growing centers for industry and innovation in the country. Situated in the heart of one of the country’s most diverse cities and within reach of Sacramento, San Francisco, the Napa Valley, and Yosemite, Pacific’s residential campus in Stockton is home to most of the University’s undergraduate programs and a variety of graduate programs in six schools and colleges: College of the Pacific (liberal arts and sciences); Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy; School of Engineering and Computer Science; Conservatory of Music and Benerd College; and the University’s 17 Division I athletics programs.

Under the leadership of President Callahan, Pacific has the ambitious goal of becoming the best student-centered comprehensive university in the nation. His focus includes the personalized learning that is a hallmark of Pacific, expanding on-campus and off-campus opportunities coupled with service to communities, accelerating the pace of innovation and becoming a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion. To achieve this goal, Pacific has recruited new and visionary vice presidents for Academic Affairs; Athletics; Enrollment Strategy; Student Life; Finance; Development; and the school’s first VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. There also are new deans in the College of the Pacific, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Eberhardt School of Business and the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center. For more information about Pacific, please visit

Position Summary
The CCO will work closely with the President and other key stakeholders to build and enhance the University’s regional and national footprint through their leadership and oversight of the Strategic Communications portfolio, including branding and creative design, digital communications and social media, media relations and issues management, internal communications and campus intranet, digital marketing for university strategic initiatives, and student life communications. The CCO will also partner with the President to successfully drive the development of strategic communications plans and tactics that enhance Pacific’s brand and achieves both long- and short-term objectives including advancing Pacific’s national rankings; increasing national media presence; growing organic and paid digital and social engagement; and supporting marketing plans for new university revenue streams. In leading the 18-member Strategic Communications team, the CCO will provide leadership, coaching, mentoring, and active management in order to grow and further develop the team’s capabilities and continue to position the department as strategic advisors to their university colleagues. As a champion for the Pacific brand, the CCO will be in a critical position to lead and influence communications professionals across the University to foster an exchange of innovative ideas, resources, and best practices that help to move stakeholders toward measurable actions, ultimately advancing the realization of Pacific’s vision.

Pacific’s new Chief Communication Officer must possess an entrepreneurial spirit, a forward-thinking mindset, and a talent for innovation in order to contribute to a university culture that is focused on student success and academic excellence. At a minimum, the successful candidate will possess a Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience in progressive leadership positions in strategic communications. To view the position profile and a comprehensive list of qualifications, skills, and attributes sought in Pacific’s next Chief Communications Officer, please visit

Application and Nomination Process
University of the Pacific has retained SP&A Executive Search, a national executive recruiting firm, to assist with this search. Review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. Applicants must submit: a current curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position. For fullest consideration, applicants are advised to submit their materials by Friday, November 10, 2023. Nomination letters should include contact information for the nominees. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence. SP&A will begin reviewing applications immediately and continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled.

Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted by email to:

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Sal Venegas Jr., Partner

SP&A Executive Search
6512 Painter Avenue, Whittier, CA 90601
Refer to code: Pacific-CCO in subject line

University of the Pacific is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer dedicated to workforce diversity. In compliance with applicable law and its own policy, Pacific is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff and does not discriminate in its hiring of faculty and staff, or in the provision of its employment benefits to its faculty and staff on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, sex/gender, marital status, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, medical condition, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression or mental or physical disability. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with a disability.


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