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Chief of Communications

Washington, DC, USA | Non Profit Organization

  • Industry:
    Non-Profit / Social Enterprise
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    15-20 years
Job Description:
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We are looking for a Chief of Communications to lead and grow this dynamic department into a strong, nimble communications operation. 

The ideal candidate is a senior level communications professional with strong management and skills and experience overseeing media relations, digital media, creative content, and narrative development strategies. In addition to driving the vision of the department, the Chief of Communications will be a member of CPD/A’s Senior Leadership Team and will collaborate on shaping and advancing organizational wide practices and strategies that position our team to do high-impact work that advance the strategic vision of our network. While the Chief of Communications is not expected to be a policy, advocacy, or organizing expert themselves, they must have a campaign-oriented mindset and an ability to work in close coordination with policy, campaigning, and/or organizing professionals, with expertise in integrating communications strategies to advance that work.

This position offers the opportunity to grow and build a team. We are in the process of restructuring our Communications Department to significantly expand our capacity and position the team for increased impact. The Chief of Communications will oversee media relations, digital strategy and (a newly created) creative content teams, and provide strategic leadership to adepartment that is expected to more than double in size over the next year. We are looking for a leader ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of growing a team, designing new practices of internal coordination with other departments, and driving innovative communications strategies that serve bold ambitions for progressive change in a dynamic and fast-paced organization that is home to a diverse network of organizations and grassroots advocates.

The Chief of Communications reports to the Chief of Staff.

Primary Responsibilities

The Chief of Communications will:

Lead a growing department, which is budgeted to grow to 18 staff in the next year; 

Create, manage and execute comprehensive communications strategies and plans—across media relations, digital and multimedia content creation— for CPD’s overall family of organizations and for network-wide initiatives, including identifying and managing towards goals and balancing competing priorities;

Lead the development of powerful narratives to advance core CPD/A campaigns and identify opportunities and innovative ways to tell the stories of members and constituents across the CPD/A network—Black and brown people, immigrants, workers, people living with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses, and others;

Develop an overarching strategic approach to communicating the identity and vision of CPD/A as home to a nationwide of community-based organizations, to help stakeholders better understand how CPD/A operates in the world, how it makes a difference and has meaningful and critical impact.

Collaborate with other department leads and staff to ensure the integration of a communications lens into all campaigns, projects and other efforts at an early stage;

Develop strategies and tactics that demonstrate digital savvy and a strong understanding of the most effective tools available;

Serve as a critical, sought-after leader and counselor in strategic communications throughout the organization;

Keep a finger on the pulse of organizational priorities, and build consensus around key priorities for the communications department accordingly;

Act as an external voice and spokesperson, as needed, and develop others across the organization and network to serve as spokespeople;

Attract, develop, manage, motivate and support the retention of a diverse, high-performing team of communications and content professionals through effective leadership, recruitment, training, development and succession planning. Directly supervise at least four people—CPD’s leads for Media, Creative/Multimedia content, Digital strategy and the team’s Project Management Associate.;

Monitor and evaluate the impact of the communications department’s efforts, seek out best practices, create and review metrics and indicators to assess returns on strategies, and adjust plans and activities based on learnings;

Anchor systems for team-wide project management, coordination and workflow, with the direct support and assistance of the Project Management Associate

Serve on the organization's Senior Leadership Team and work with senior leaders to build our desired organizational culture, meet annual goals, and achieve our strategic vision. Report on progress towards goals to the Executive Team.

Job Requirements

At least 15 years of experience in communications, strategic advocacy and campaigning, or grassroots organizing, with at least 10 years of experience in communications for non-profit, progressive or advocacy organizations and at least 5 years in managerial and leadership roles. A track record of success managing and developing communications teams to meet the needs of a progressive, advocacy advocacy or grassroots movement building organization, with preference of experience working with people’s organizations and telling stories of directly impacted people;

At least 10 years experience working in grassroots organizing, campaigns and advocacy, progressive politics and/or movement spaces advancing social, racial, and economic justice;

Experience building and strengtheningcreating strategies, processes, and infrastructure for effectiveness; 

Exceptional verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills. Strong public speaking, presentation, and editing skills. A track record of supporting others in their development of these skills is preferred.

Strong organizational skills with the ability to juggle multiple tasks, set priorities, effectively manage time and meet deadlines;

Occasional travel if based in Brooklyn or DC, regular travel if based elsewhere (once safe, given COVID-19);

A desire to build the progressive movement and a demonstrated commitment to social, racial, and economic justice.

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