Vice President for Communications and Public Relations

1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495
Annual salary: 12.8 million yen ~ 20.0 million yen (Job class: Vice President, A8)
April 16 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Reporting directly to the president and serving as an integral member of the executive leadership team, the Vice President for Communications and Public Relations (VPCPR) is responsible to promote, enhance and protect OIST’s reputation and brand awareness across the globe.

Responsible for the development of OIST’s internal and external communication strategy, the VPCPR will develop a world-class communications plan for OIST, directly managing OIST's varied and integrated communications products and services including: newsletters and other print publications; web, enews, and other online communications such as social media; and other media and public relations. S/he serves as an ambassador and spokesperson for the organization and will build relationships with the multiple media outlets. 

OIST offers working in and with a vibrant international scientific community. Currently, our Communications and Public Relations’ Division consists of five sections including media, community relations, conference and workshop, digital services, and language.  The VPCPR is expected to redesign the division’s structure and function so that it is aligned with the future vision of OIST, bringing to the table fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. The VPCPR will have full support of President and the executive leadership in executing this task.

We seek a highly-skilled and seasoned professional who has exceptional interpersonal communication skills and a deep appreciation of science with experience in getting things done at an organization where many things are still new and in need of development.


  1. Develop content that positions OIST research achievements and outcomes across multiple channels for varied audiences ranging from prospective students and faculty to academic peers, government officials, parliamentarians, business, and local community. Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to advance OIST’s brand identity; broaden awareness of its outstanding research and graduate program; and increase OIST’s visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences worldwide. Create public relations strategy that will allow OIST’s leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, external audiences. Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities, challenges and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them. Serve as communications counselor to OIST’s leadership and faculty. Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting material for OIST leadership as needed. Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development.


  1. Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing communications or a related business or scientific field; advanced degree is a plus (e.g. Ph.D. in science).
  2. A minimum of 5 years of senior management experience in science or corporate communications with significant background in external communications.
  3. Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and public relations program.
  4. Strong media relation knowledge and experience, including social media, as well as demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with leading reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements.
  5. Successful science writing and verbal communications experience including online content, PowerPoint development, key messages, speechwriting, and oral presentation skills in English. Japanese language skills are a plus.
  6. Experience in building, mentoring, and coaching a team of communications specialists.
  7. Demonstrated commitment to building and maintaining a diverse workplace
  8. Self-motivated, self-reliant, highly disciplined, and well-organized with the ability to communicate complex ideas and concepts to people at all levels.
  9. Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  10. Highly developed interpersonal skills and ability to be a value-adding team member.
  11. Must be willing to travel at least 20% of the time.


Full-time, fixed term appointment for 3 years. Contract initially with 3 month probationary period (inclusive). This contract may be renewed.  

Working hours:



- Relocation, housing and commuting allowances

- Annual paid leave and summer holidays

- Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )

- Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)

- Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

Submission documents:

1) Cover letter in English (and Japanese if available) that details experience and fit relative to the responsibilities and qualifications for the position.

2)  Curriculum vitae in English (and Japanese if available) with educational and employment background, including names and contact information for at least three references.

Starting Date:

On or after August 1, 2019

Application Due Date:

May 31, 2019 (Selection process will start as the application is received)

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