UNH Extension Seeks a Public Affairs Manager

This position is based at UNH's campus in Durham, N.H.

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The public affairs manager coordinates University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension county office operations and public affairs activities to further UNH’s community engagement, while developing local leaders and champions among Extension staff, volunteers, and stakeholders. UNH Cooperative Extension has staff in each of N.H.’s 10 counties and performs vital work throughout the state. This position enhances the awareness and reputation of UNH among elected officials and the State of New Hampshire, while providing coordination and support for county operations.  

 The public affairs manager reports to the assistant director of operations for UNH Cooperative Extension, and works closely with the university’s director of government relations. 

UNH is a federal contractor within the meaning of the Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. This position may require that you be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the future, unless you apply for and receive a religious or medical exemption. 

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Duties and Responsibilities 
 
County Extension Operations 
  • Serve as a liaison between Extension administration and the 10 County Office Administrators (COAs). A COA is an Extension educator with a two- to four-year appointment managing county Extension office and public relations activities.
  • Work with Extension administration to appoint new COAs and develop succession plans for future COAs. 
  • Coordinate orientation and training of COAs. 
  • Provide COAs support in leading county offices through policy implementation.
  • Provide ongoing and annual performance feedback of COAs to their supervisors. 
  • Assist county-based staff and county advisory councils in developing relationships with elected officials and key county government employees. 
  • Provide direction to COAs on county operations and annual budget processes. 
  • Support the development of full, active, county advisory councils with membership representative of the county.
  • Coordinate orientation and training of advisory council members. 
  • Create strategies for advisory council members and county commissioners to support, serve, and build awareness of Extension locally.  
  • Manage and host quarterly meetings of advisory council chairs to build synergy and camaraderie among county advisory councils. 
Public Affairs
  • Plan, develop, implement, and evaluate programs, activities and daily operations focused on building relationships and strengthening the University’s reputation. 
  • Expand advocacy efforts to engage key stakeholders (alumni, parents, students and community leaders) in support of UNH. 
  • Gain familiarity with regional and local issues and proactively seek opportunities for UNH to engage stakeholders and communities when appropriate. 
  • Develop communication and outreach channels and programs designed to strengthen regional appreciation for UNH’s impact on N.H.’s economy and quality of life. 
  • Identify and train advisory council members in advocacy efforts that engage lawmakers and convey the value and impact of Extension.  
  • Working closely with Extension administration, county management team, and advisory councils to play a leading role in ensuring the successful adoption of annual Extension funding in each county budget. 
  • Represent UNH on community and regional committees as assigned. 
Administration 
  • Assist the Extension director in maintaining Memorandums of Understanding between UNH and the 10 N.H. counties. 
  • Establish relationships with Extension program team leaders to encourage ongoing communication and transparency with regards to COA management and support. 
  • Ensure annual reporting is completed to county specifications. 
  • Coordinate and track interactions with elected officials and other government officials and staff. 
  • Ensure state advisory council webpage and database remain up to date. 
  • Plan and implement state advisory council meetings in cooperation with Extension administration. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 
Minimum Qualifications: 
  • Bachelor's degree and 3 years to 5 years’ experience in Extension operations, government relations, community relations, or related field. 
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment and coordinate several assignments simultaneously. 
  • Demonstrated ability to organize, motivate and lead volunteers and other stakeholder groups. 
  • Must know how to work with a diverse set of stakeholders and be appropriately diplomatic and discrete. 
  • Deadline-oriented and able to prioritize work accordingly.
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively in a team-based environment. 
  • Excellent organizational, verbal, and written communications skills. 
  • Knowledge of state and county government organization and legislative processes.
  • Frequent travel throughout N.H. is required. Mileage will be reimbursed at the federal rate.

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The University System of New Hampshire is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access/Affirmative Action employer. The University System is committed to creating an environment that values and supports diversity and inclusiveness across our campus communities and encourages applications from qualified individuals who will help us achieve this mission. The University System prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or marital status, genetic information, and political orientation. Application by members of all underrepresented groups is encouraged. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the U.S. 

Author(s)

James McKane
Assistant Director of Operations
Phone: (603) 862-4064
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension Administration, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824
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