The Chief Communications Officer reports to the Commissioner of Education and provides strategic direction and communications counsel to the executive team and other department leaders, focusing on raising awareness of the department's strategic plan and progress toward achieving its goals.


Colorado Department of Education – What We Do 
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) provides leadership, resources, support, and accountability to the state's 178 school districts, 1,888 schools, over 53,000 teachers, and over 3,200 administrators to help them build capacity to meet the needs of the state's approximately 905,000 public school students. In addition, CDE provides structural and administrative support to the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind and the Charter School Institute.

As the administrative arm of the State Board of Education, CDE is responsible for implementing state and federal education laws, disbursing state and federal funds, holding schools and districts accountable for performance, licensing all educators, and providing public transparency of performance and financial data.

CDE is a values-based agency that serves students, parents, and the general public by protecting public trust through ensuring adherence to laws, strong stewardship of public funds, and accountability for student performance.

Why Work For CDE
The work we do is rewarding and impacts the students, families, educators, and communities across Colorado. Our leadership also promotes a culture that puts families and self-care as a priority. Along with meaningful work and an environment that puts employees first, the state also offers rich benefits that intend to make us an Employer of Choice!

The following is a summary of the benefits we offer:

  • Flexible work schedules and flexible workplace options may include flexible working hours, working from home, working in the office, and/or a hybrid working environment.
  • Premier medical, dental, vision, and dependent life insurance options. All with a generous employer contribution, keeping employee costs as low as possible.
  • Employer-paid short-term disability and life insurance
  • 160 hours of Paid Medical Family Leave (PMFL)
  • 11 paid holidays per year
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals
  • Retirement through the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)
  • Employer-paid RTD Eco Pass (certain restrictions may apply)
  • Paid professional development opportunities

Description of Job

This position is Hybrid (Remote/Home Office w/requirement to report to Work location per business needs).
  • Office hours are typically Mon-Fri, 8 am-5 pm.
  • Extended hours during the evening or the weekend may be required by business needs
  • 20% Travel required within Denver Metro/Downtown for Meetings/Training 
  • 10% Travel Within the State of Colorado (outside the Denver Metro area)
  • A Remote (Home) office is required
  • Required to report to the work location per business needs
  • Essential Functions (ADAAA)
    • LIGHT/Office environment:
      • Required to sit, view a computer screen, and utilize a keyboard and mouse for extended periods.
      • May be required to lift and move up to 10 lbs of force frequently or 20 lbs occasionally. 
      • Required lifting, bending, stooping, pushing, walking, etc.
      • Light work usually requires walking or standing to a significant degree.
    • Drivers License Required. 

The Chief Communications Officer reports to the Commissioner of Education and provides strategic direction and communications counsel to the executive team and other department leaders, focusing on raising awareness of the department's strategic plan and progress toward achieving its goals. This position also serves as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the agency. This includes responsibility for communicating with the public, media, and/or coordinating with other agencies, as necessary, with incident-related information requirements.

The CCO develops and implements communications plans on priority initiatives, leads the communications and web management staff, and oversees all communications to key audiences for clarity and effectiveness. This position is designated as NON-CLASSIFIED.  


  • Provides strategic communications advice and counsel to the commissioner, State Board of Education, and other department leaders on key initiatives, helping to shape policy and practice at CDE.
  • Identifies, develops, and implements comprehensive communications plans to increase meaningful understanding of agency's initiatives to improve student performance.
  • Serves on the Commissioner's executive team and cabinet.
  • Serves as a strategic partner with senior leaders at the department to ensure they have appropriate input into communications strategy and activities.
  • Drives and leads the Communications team in the identification and development of internal communications strategies and activities to build a positive workplace culture and support the Department's strategic plan.
  • Provides leadership and strategic vision to the public communications and the Department's brand to support the Department's mission and vision through well-developed internal communications, public affairs, crisis communications and marketing plan and strategy.
  • Manages and coordinates public communications, including news releases, incident triage with other agency PIOs, and taking the lead in critical communications for incident-related communication requirements.
  • Serves as a key member of the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) in emergency communications and response for the Department. 
  • Manages the Communications and Web Management offices, determining organizational structure, setting individual goals, and managing staffing to ensure delivery of services in support of CDE's strategic plan.
  • Directs all agency media relations and requests for information.
  • Provides strategic communications support for all major CDE offices to build meaningful understanding and support for their work in improving student achievement.
  • Collaborates with the Department’s legislative liaison to ensure consistency in media relations and government relations messaging.
  • Collaborates with the Commissioner on developing presentations, speeches, talking points, and articles.
  • Represents the Commissioner and the Department at meetings and events as needed.
  • Oversees the implementation and responses to Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests.
  • This position does have supervisory responsibilities. 
  • The duties and responsibilities of employees who supervise staff include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Models and ensures consistency with organizational values and policies.
    • Clearly communicates expectations and standards to staff.
    • Conducts timely performance management of staff including formal evaluations, on-going and routine feedback, and holding staff accountable.
    • Awareness and approval of employee time worked and work schedules. This includes approval of time worked for payroll and monitoring and approval of all work schedules, including remote work and flex schedules, based upon CDE's policies.
    • Provides the applicable tools and resources staff require to perform their job.

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights
Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, marketing, English, history, political science, public policy, or a closely related field OR have applicable experience in an organization with high visibility and oversight.

Qualifications for Success in the Position:

  • Five to eight years of progressively responsible, full-time experience in journalism, communications, or public policy;
  • This must include at least two years of senior leadership experience in public relations or communications, managing a professional staff, developing strategic communications plans, and developing and controlling budgets;
  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience in public relations, marketing, and communications, preferably in the public sector;
  • Proven success in strategic thinking, development and execution of strategic goals, and organizing diverse, multi-disciplinary teams to accomplish objectives;
  • Proven ability to synthesize data/results, identify trends/key findings, and present innovative communications objectives;
  • Creative and strategic ability to address complex issues and execute solutions and approaches that meet the needs of the State of Colorado and advance the mission of CDE;
  • Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills and experience with writing a variety of communication pieces;
  • Polished oral communication skills;
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines and be adaptable to changing assignments;
  • Ability to partner with public and private organizations, special interest groups, and elected and appointed officials in situations that may be politically sensitive;
  • Ability to be available outside of normal office hours to respond in cases of emergencies or incidents that require immediate communications;
  • Negotiation skills to find mutually acceptable solutions; building consensus through give and take;
  • Holding self and others accountable for behaviors, performance results, and service delivery;
  • Coaching, mentoring, and supervision of professional and support staff;
  • Highest work/personal ethics and integrity;
  • Must be able to attend meetings and conferences and make an appearance on behalf of the role as the PIO for CDE;
  • Excellent time and project management skills;
  • Fluency in Microsoft Office Suite, G-Suite, SAP, and ability to quickly learn other software systems.

Conditions of Employment (Required):

  • Must be willing and able to submit to the pre-screening process and pass a background check.
  • Work extended schedule per business needs.
  • Willing to travel to complete the duties of the position.
  • Valid Driver's License Required: Required to operate a motor vehicle to complete travel requirements.

Supplemental Information
Complete Applications must include:

  • Completed Online Application: Required
  • Resume: Required 
  • References: Required – Please include to the online application.

**Failure to submit a complete application as defined above by the announcement close will result in your application being removed from consideration.**

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and Equal Employment Opportunity
The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The State of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, a medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.
The Colorado Department of Education is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or performing essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to

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