Director of Strategic Communications

Open Society Foundations, Baltimore, United States

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th June, 2015

Job Description

Job Profile

  • The Director of Strategic Communications is responsible for all aspects of communications and marketing for OSI-Baltimore, including publications, public relations, communication through online and social media, assistance in the communications component of OSI-Baltimore and grantee campaigns, and special events.  
  • The Director works in partnership with OSI-Baltimore staff to develop strategies and activities that promote the impact of the office, to engage individuals to support OSI-Baltimore through their financial investment and influence, and to shape public debate and increase understanding in OSI-Baltimore’s key policy areas.  
  • These currently include: criminal and juvenile justice reform; drug policy reform and addiction treatment; education and youth development; civic engagement; and, racial inequities and structural racism. The Director supervises and directs the activities and professional development of a Communications Coordinator.  
  • The position requires occasional travel.

The director specifically will:

  • craft and oversee an evolving communication strategy and work plan to raise the public profile of OSI-Baltimore, including its mission, activities, impact, and lessons learned
  • collaborate with OSI-Baltimore Program staff to integrate communication strategies into their work, including campaigns directed by OSI-Baltimore or grantees
  • coordinate with Development staff to develop messages, written materials and programs to support fundraising efforts
  • participate actively in OSI-Baltimore and Open Society Foundations staff meetings and other organization-wide activities

Essential duties and responsibilities also include the following:

  • develop and implement all strategies and tasks relating to: media relations; message development; website development and maintenance; development, production and distribution of print publications; film and video production; social media presence; and public opinion assessment
  • conceptualize, curate and implement educational programs and events, such as the “Talking About Race” public lecture series and Big Change Baltimore events, that engage influential thought leaders and prospective donors, create awareness of OSI-Baltimore and increase understanding of complex issues
  • facilitate the OSI-Baltimore Leadership Council, including serving as the staff liaison, creating compelling and issue-focused programs, selecting guest speakers, and preparing briefing materials
  • commission, edit and finalize reports and briefs to document and analyze the work of OSI-Baltimore for various audiences
  • prepare talking points and presentations for the OSI-Baltimore director and board members, as requested
  • prepare materials to report on OSI-Baltimore programs, activities and impact to OSF colleagues, including the US Programs Board
  • procure and oversee the work of consultants and vendors who support the communications program
  • coordinate the provision of technical assistance to OSI-Baltimore staff and grantees
  • provide leadership on media and communications-related grants
  • secure media opportunities for staff and prepare staff for presentations
  • assist with conceptualizing and publicizing occasional regional or national conferences hosted by OSI-Baltimore or other OSF staff in Baltimore
  • conduct or commission research to identify effective messages and materials for prospects
  • take lead in developing and finalizing publications
  • lead the planning, concept development and implementation of high profile events for awareness building and fundraising purposes
  • collaborate with colleagues in the Open Society Foundations communications department including by attending meetings with communication staff
  • participate in task forces occasionally organized by U.S. Programs or Open Society Foundations
  • participate in planning meetings to strategize and critique program initiatives;
  • support OSI-Baltimore Board members as requested and provide reports and analyses at Board meetings


  • advanced degree (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.F.A.) in a relevant field of study
  • ten years of relevant work experience and/or training, including in a senior leadership position, in communications, public relations, marketing and/or journalism or equivalent combination of education and work experience
  • experience in a non-profit, philanthropic and/or government agency
  • demonstrated leadership and management abilities, including program development, budget and financial management, policy analysis, and creative problem solving
  • demonstrated interest in and capacity to communicate regarding racial, social justice and human rights issues
  • superior writing, proofreading and editorial skills
  • demonstrated oversight of creative process and understanding of the importance of brand development, design quality and consistency
  • experience incorporating social media and electronic tools in a communications strategy including design, maintenance and effective utilization of a website
  • excellent analytical and organizational skills and demonstrated ability to develop and implement    effective systems, policies and procedures
  • ability to manage multiple priorities to accomplish short- and long- term goals, often with a heavy workload and under short deadlines
  • high level of self-motivation, at ease working independently, and proven ability to work efficiently under pressure and in a fast-paced environment
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including ability to speak publicly and listen effectively
  • demonstrated ability to use discretion and judgment regarding sensitive and confidential issues
  • professional, diplomatic manner with the ability to maintain and cultivate relationships, to represent a global organization and to interact with colleagues from diverse backgrounds


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