Associate Director, Global Communications

International Rescue Committee
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 29

Position description

More than 80 years after Albert Einstein helped create the International Rescue Committee, the number and intensity of humanitarian crises across the globe warrant a dose of Einstein-inspired vision.   

Every month, nearly one million people flee their homes because of conflicts or natural disasters. With few wars ending, and new wars starting, the number of people displaced by conflict has reached nearly 60 million, the most since World War II. Their growing and increasingly complex needs mandate a transformation—a creative rethinking—in the global humanitarian response. 

Job Overview/Job Summary: 

As a key member of the IRC's Global Communications Team, the Associate Director, Global Communications will develop and execute communications strategies positioning the IRC as the thought and practice leader of the humanitarian sector, with a focus on our international programs, reaching US audiences through top tier US media and earned channels.

The Associate Director will lead the International Programs, U.S. Communications Unit and drive annual strategy and prioritization processes, responding to changes to IRC’s context and the external communications landscape in the U.S..

This position is based at the IRC's headquarters in New York with some travel expected. The Associate Director will act as a spokesperson as needed, and manage at least one communications colleague. 


Major Responsibilities: 

• Lead on annual strategic prioritization processes to deliver strategic proactive US communications and media relations, leveraging IRC's global insights and programming to secure top tier US media results, including counter-intuitive “earned” outlets that will help IRC's story and message cut-through to defined strategic audiences.

• Convene, lead, and build deep relationships and understanding with a broad range of internal IRC stakeholders that support and have a stake in U.S. communications regarding IRC’s international programs in over thirty countries: Including regional and country program teams, technical unit experts, U.N. and U.S. aligned advocates, nationwide IRC fundraisers and marketers.

• Collaborate with IRC departments to create powerful communications products that can be the center-piece for proactive “tent-pole” moments, tied to the external landscape that IRC is seeking to influence

• Drive “whole of organization” profiles of the IRC, leveraging IRC’s unique footprint across the arc of refugee crises, from war-zones, to Europe, and to the U.S.. 

• Provide surge support – both strategic and tactical - on crisis communications, as well as reputational / issues management

• Deploy excellent coaching, analytical, and writing skills that deliver: killer communications strategies; pitches that land IRC-led features; high-level IRC messages for cross-organizational use; top tier landing op-eds; and talking points for spokespeople.

• Represent the IRC as a spokesperson to external and internal audiences, both via media interviews and contributing to digital content.

• Partner with Digital Content and Communications to coordinate digital content aligning to proactive “earned” moments, working closely with digital communication technical specialists on distribution and measurement as appropriate.

• Produce quarterly reports on coverage and communications results using industry standard metrics and bench-marking, and refine target U.S. audiences and IRC’s target outlets to reach those audiences

• Strengthen / develop internal systems and processes to deliver on communications objectives.

• Step in as needed in emergency moments with flexibility and an ability to pick up new tracks of work and issues quickly

• Deliver and lead executive communications for IRC's international program leaders, including supporting annual CEO communications strategies and planning

• Expand and nurture IRC’s communications network.

Key Working Relationships: 

Position Reports to:  Director of Global Communications 

Position directly supervises: n/a

Indirect Reporting: n/a

Other Internal and/or external contacts: 

Internal: Work with global communications colleagues, writers, content creators, IRC advocates and fundraisers

External:  Work with journalists, media producers and editors, strategic influencers and sister humanitarian organizations 



Minimum:  Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, international affairs or related field


Work Experience: 

Minimum:   Six to eight years of professional experience in communications, preferably with a focus on international affairs or issues that cross with the humanitarian sector.


Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:


• The Communications Associate Director will bring experience in strategic and analytical communications planning, execution and evaluation, with demonstrated cross-functional experience (digital, internal, media etc)

• Strong communications skills to influence and advocate internally for communications priorities

• Effective project management skills that initiatives on track, within budgets, and maintain energy and enthusiasm for complex multi-department collaboration projects

• Demonstrate a flexible approach and ability to navigate ambiguity, as well as multiple projects and competing priorities at once 

• Ability to work effectively, efficiently, diplomatically and calmly in a high-pressure environment on issues that are often complex and politically sensitive.

• Deep knowledge and experience of working successfully with US media covering international and humanitarian issues (or similar) and proven track-record of results.

• Experience in coaching, producing and editing, under tight-deadlines, delivering accurate and dynamic communications materials including press-releases, op-eds, talking points and digital content.

• Record of creativity in developing compelling content, and creative pursuit of targets in achievement of communications objectives across different channels (media, social, web etc.)


Working Environment:  

• Standard office work environment

Application instructions

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