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Global Agricultural Productivity Initiative (GAP Initiative) Communications Manager

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Work type: Administrative & Professional
Senior management: Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department: CALS Global
Location: Hybrid
Categories: Communications / Public Relations / Marketing, Agriculture / Life Science

Job Description

The GAP Initiative at Virginia Tech educates, advocates, and collaborates to accelerate agricultural productivity (total factor productivity) growth at all scales of production to create returns to farmers, society, the economy, and the environment. The GAP Initiative brings together expertise from Virginia Tech and other universities, the private and public sectors, civil society organizations, and global research institutions to align efforts to accelerate agricultural productivity growth around the world. The GAP Initiative is financially supported by Virginia Tech and private and public sector partners and technically supported by our financial partners and organizations from the non-profit and public sectors that provide important contextualization to productivity-enhancing solutions and innovation through their work.

The annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report) is the heart of the GAP Initiative - a core pillar of CALS Global in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Virginia Tech. Founded in 2010, the GAP Report uses publicly available data to monitor global trends in agricultural total factor productivity - a measure of how efficiently agricultural resources and inputs are used to produce output.

The GAP Initiative Communications manager will be responsible for producing the annual GAP Report, which has a global readership and informs policy and decision-makers on the critical issues related to sustainable agricultural productivity growth. The communications manager will also be responsible for strategic communications products to grow the reach and influence of the GAP Report and other GAP Initiative activities. The role may also involve speaking responsibilities at GAP Initiative events.

Key responsibilities include:

● Create and execute a comprehensive communications strategy to grow the reach and influence of the GAP Initiative and Report to audiences worldwide by using media, social media, website, videos, leveraging partner communications channels, etc.
● Collaborate with more than 20 partner organizations worldwide to develop content to grow the reach and influence of the GAP Report and GAP Initiative
● Using content generated by partners and colleagues, produce the annual GAP Report, including developing the layout and graphics. Work with the editors to ensure that deadlines are established and met.
● Develop, deploy, and promote other online and written communication products in support of the GAP Initiative, including presentations, written reports, the website, social media accounts, and other means. Manage social media (Twitter, Linkedin, others TBD) accounts to disseminate messaging. Create “social cards” and other visual elements to attract readers.
● Collaborate with partners to organize and execute the annual GAP Report launch in October of each year. Make appropriate arrangements for presentation(s), travel, venue, audio/visual services and online streaming.
● Produce and distribute event guides with logistical information for GAP-related events
● Collaborate with CALS Communications and Marketing to identify opportunities for earned media coverage.
● Create communications tools for GAP Initiative and Report® partners for internal and external communications, including a social media toolkit, presentation, and press releases.
● Support efforts to deepen relationships with partners and attract new partners.
● Other duties as directed

The base location for this position is Blacksburg, VA. Travel to Blacksburg on a routine basis will be required. The position is opened to hybrid or remote; however, the remote location must be within a reasonable commuting distance (e.g., Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. area).

Required Qualifications

● Bachelor’s degree with substantial and relevant professional experience
● Experience developing and executing communications strategy
● Outstanding interpersonal skills
● Impeccable English writing and editing skills
● Website and graphic design experience (especially InDesign)
● Project management experience

Preferred Qualifications

● Media relations experience
● Experience translating scientific information into products for general readership
● Agricultural sector exposure and experience

Appointment Type


Salary Information

$55,000 - 66,000; commensurate with experience

Review Date

November 9, 2023

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jessica Agnew at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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