Vice Chancellor - Strategic Communications & Public Affairs

Search for the Vice Chancellor - Strategic Communications & Public Affairs

University of California, Irvine

Irvine, California


The University of California, Irvine (UCI) seeks a dynamic and accomplished leader to serve as its next Vice Chancellor, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs (VC-SCPA). This is a unique opportunity to drive a demonstrably effective communication and public affairs strategy at a growing research university in one of the most dynamic regions in the country. As a key member of the Chancellor’s cabinet, the new VC-SCPA will help define, articulate, and effectively broadcast the vision, goals, and successes of the University as it continues its remarkable trajectory. The Vice Chancellor will develop a comprehensive, high-level strategy for communicating the University’s excellence and distinctive role in higher education while also deftly navigating and responding to unanticipated events. The VC-SCPA will impact UCI’s legacy by ensuring consistent and integrated messaging across traditional and emerging communication channels and advancing engagement across the University, throughout the state, and beyond.


As a recently designated Hispanic-serving institution and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution, UCI is home to nearly 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 1,300 ladder-rank faculty, and over 11,000 campus and medical center staff members. Launched in 2020, the UCI Black Thriving Initiative further fortifies UCI’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The University continues to excel in student interest, experiencing a nearly 40% rise in applications over the last five years, holding the number one campus for California freshman applications. Founded as an interdisciplinary university, it boasts excellence across its arts and sciences core and in its professional schools and has been ranked among the top 10 public universities in the nation for six consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. As one of the youngest members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, UCI combines the strengths of a major research institution with the dynamism and agility of an emergent campus. In addition, its mission as a public land grant institution plays a significant role in contributing to the advancement of the state, the nation and the world. For more information about UCI and the University of California, please see Appendix 1.


The new VC-SCPA will partner with the Chancellor, the Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, vice chancellor colleagues, the deans, and other key stakeholders to ensure that UCI remains well-poised to meet the demands of an evolving higher education landscape. Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, UCI continues to grow in enrollment and prominence through astute campus management, continued application growth, and fortification of its position in the heart of Orange County. To be successful, the ideal candidate will address a set of key opportunities and challenges, including:


  • Develop, enhance, and execute an effective communications strategy
  • Advise and consult on marketing, communications, and community relations issues across the UCI community
  • Champion and steward mutually beneficial partnerships with external audiences that create opportunities for engagement, and
  • Lead and manage the budget, personnel, and administrative functions of the Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs.

UCI has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.



Courtney Wilk-Mandel, Joe Kralick, and David Bellshaw

Isaacson, Miller

1925 Century Park East, Suite 1700

Los Angeles, CA  90067



The University of California, Irvine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. The recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity, UCI is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples, supports work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies, and is dedicated to broadening participation in higher education.