UCLA Health System - Executive Director, Communications

CA, Los Angeles
Mid-Level Executive Search - Marketing/PR/Sales/Business Development

Position Summary

UCLA Health is seeking an experienced marketing and communications professional who can be visionary in developing the marketing agenda for the system. The Executive Director oversees the communication, a strategic media relations program designed to enhance the reputation of the UCLA Medical Enterprise nationally and in key markets, including the schools of medicine and public health; the UCLA Health System, Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Mattel’s Children’s Hospital UCLA and related organized research units. UCLA Health is among the most comprehensive and technologically advanced health care systems in the world, providing an extraordinary opportunity for the advancement of medicine and improving patient care.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead a clinical and research news program of national impact. Cultivate strong relationships with local, national and international media, including editorial boards, key reporters and other media stakeholders. Proactively expand media relations beyond a responsive platform to leading and developing media strategies amplify UCLA’s reputation and drive compelling news and stories across a wide spectrum of news distribution channels.
  • Work closely with the Chief of Communications, direct issues management and crisis communications. Serve as the chief media spokesperson. Part of the disaster planning team.
  • Ensure news content is aligned with internal needs for use in other outlets across the UCLA system. Coordinate media activities with Marketing, campus University Communications, Medical Sciences Development, University of California Office of the President and other departments and schools to ensure a coordinate and efficient approach to communication.
  • Collaborate with Marketing on web-based media activities such as videotaping events, press conferences and other news for use on the UCLA website. Oversee the UCLA Health Sciences Newsroom website presence, and coordinate with Marketing and shared content team to maintain a fresh and current presence.

Candidate Qualifications


  • Master’s degree preferred.
  • Background in academic medicine preferred.

Knowledge and Work Experience

  • Minimum of 15 years’ experience of progressively increasing responsibility.
  • Strategic, creative thinker.
  • Proven leader with experience leading, motivating and inspiring effective teams.
  • Demonstrated success in working with top tier national media. Deep understanding of current media trends and media landscape.

Leadership Skills and Competencies

  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, high degree of diplomacy and social acumen in order to build positive relationships across the continuum of executive, internal and external audiences.
  • Confident in acting as spokesperson and handling news situations, especially at a moment’s notice. Strong editorial skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to present effectively.
  • Strong ability to translate medical research stories in a compelling manner and that consumers can understand.
  • Ability to work effectively within a complex, diverse organization.
  • Excellent at recruiting talent and retaining an engaged team.

Please direct all formal applications (resumes and cover letter), nominations and inquiries to Ben Haden and Kristina Paudler the WittKieffer consultants supporting this search, preferably via e-mail to:



4 Park Plaza, Suite 730

Irvine, CA 92614

Phone: (424) 352-1667