JOB TITLE: Director of Communications
REPORTING TO: President
LOCATION: Flexible, any of the locations where the Population Council has an office
JOBS SUPERVISED: Five to Seven positions responsible for editorial and production services, content and knowledge management, library services, conferences and events, social media, and website.
ASSIGNMENT LENGTH: Indefinite
POSITION SUMMARY: The Director of Communications will join the Population Council at an exciting time, with a recently launched Strategic Plan 2023-2030 and increasing opportunities to advance our mission through longstanding relationships in the more than 30 countries in which we work around the world.
Reporting to the President, the Director of Communications will serve as a strategic advisor to a dynamic Executive Leadership Team and will provide vision, direction, and oversight of our global brand, communication, and dissemination of our scientific content to a range of audiences beyond the research community. The Director will lead a team of communications and publications professionals and work collaboratively with researchers and scientists around the world to align communications and amplify content across programs and geographies, grow the Population Council’s sphere of influence, augment our communications platforms, promote and protect our reputation, and nurture diverse voices.
The ideal candidate will be a visionary communications leader with experience in international development, global health, and/or research/academic sectors. They will have knowledge, understanding, and/or curiosity about the value of science and research; a commitment to the Population Council’s vision, mission, and values; and an appreciation of the breadth and depth of the work we undertake. The incumbent must also offer a track record of bringing people together, managing and motivating colleagues (both direct reports and beyond) to deliver results, and collaborating across diverse contexts and cultures. They must be willing to spend time and be excited by the opportunity to engage with the Council’s scientists and researchers around the world and understand how they can elevate colleagues’ work by packaging and promoting it for diverse audiences through a range of communication channels.
1. Strategy and Leadership (30%): Develop and deliver an integrated, Council-wide communications strategy that advances our Strategic Plan, and that:
a) Secures opportunities to raise the voice and visibility of executive, scientific, and country leadership, providing talking points, speech material, and coaching as needed;
b) Intensifies digital and social media presence in both global and country-level contexts, including new digital and social media tools;
c) Strengthens media relations by building and maintaining relationships with relevant journalists and outlets and fostering opportunities to feature Council research and experts;
d) Aligns communications with the Council’s resource mobilization strategy to position the Council for funding and partnering opportunities based on our comparative advantage;
e) Advances our Agenda for Change — our commitment to become an antiracist organization and address wider issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) — in particular efforts to nurture and amplify diverse voices and insights, including those of colleagues in low- and middle-income countries; and
f) Produces metrics, including web analytics, to measure and report on progress to the Board of Trustees, President, and Executive Team.
2. Branding, Corporate Messaging, and Reputation Management (25%)
a) Ensure that brand, quality assurance, and editorial standards are consistently implemented across the Council, sensitive to geographic contexts, and in-line with the Council’s values of DEI;
b) Curate content for and oversee production of corporate publications including the Council’s Ideas that Matter e-newsletter and annual report, as well as the website;
c) Identify, provide counsel on, and offer solutions to potential communications and reputational risks and opportunities; identify and implement mitigation strategies; and
d) Work with the Office of the President to strengthen internal communications to foster a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration.
3. Scientific Communications and Publications (25%)
a) Commission thought leadership and other high profile content for publication in a variety of fora to raise the Council’s profile and bridge the gap between research and policy action;
b) Identify and oversee high-level events to raise visibility and connect with key audiences; and
c) Strengthen capacity within the Council to communicate research findings to non-academic audiences through a variety of channels (e.g., science communications writing, digital storytelling, data visualizations).
4. Team Development and Management (20%): Manage, develop, mentor, and foster a high performing team of communication professionals responsible for:
a) Design, editing, and production of technical publications and content, including reports, briefs, and infographics, as well as the Council’s website;
b) Professional conference presence; and
c) Scientific knowledge management including the Council’s library, external platforms (Knowledge Commons, Dataverse), and internal platforms (Pure, Altmetric).
We understand that there are many paths to acquiring expertise and experience and strong candidates may not have every qualification listed here. We encourage applications from individuals with diverse and/or nontraditional backgrounds who bring passion, skills, and experience in many or most of these areas.
1. At least 12 years of experience developing and implementing communications strategies to build an organization’s influence and impact; and enhance positioning, brand, and reputation, preferably with an international non-profit organization, research/academic institution, or think tank.
2. Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in journalism, marketing, business, communications, public health, international relations, or another related field preferred.
3. Exceptional English-language written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with a broad range of constituents, including Board of Trustees, senior management, and multidisciplinary scientists.
4. Expertise utilizing digital and social media technologies to expand, engage, and influence both scientific and general audiences.
5. Demonstrated ability to lead, manage, and develop a team of communication and publishing professionals under direct supervision and embedded in Council’s programs and offices around the world to implement a wide range of activities including digital and social media presence, media relations, conference strategies, corporate and technical publications and products.
6. Proven ability to work with and across diverse contexts and cultures, to collaborate with multidisciplinary scientists, and to work independently and within a complex, international organization.
7. Finely-tuned organizational skills, including ability to manage multiple initiatives effectively and efficiently.
8. Ability to travel internationally and within the U.S.
SALARY AND BENEFITS: If position is based outside of the United States, the salary range and benefits will be in accordance with the local pay scale and benefits structure in the relevant Council international office. Our international offices provide competitive benefits packages including health insurance available immediately upon hire, generous annual and sick leave, and paid parental leave.
For U.S.-based positions, salary range is between $125,000-$181,000 annually, depending on knowledge, skills, and experience. Excellent benefits package includes:
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