Demos is pleased to invite nominations and applications for its Director of Communications position. With a visionary President, evolving leadership team, and high impact staff, Demos works at the intersection of democracy and racial and economic justice, to achieve transformative social change for Black and brown communities. Demos’ work recognizes the importance of power building in service of creating a society that is equitable and that works to ensure that Black and brown communities are fully thriving. In doing so, Demos helps create the conditions for all of us to thrive. Demos moves ideas powerful enough to improve the lives of everyday Americans through the full life cycle of change. Through championing over-the-horizon policy solutions and shifting the dominant narrative, Demos works to galvanize acceptance and support for radical change and commits to sustain advocacy until that change is implemented. Demos’ program model leverages litigation, policy research, strategic communications, and movement building to meet the ever complex and shifting demands of the moment. This interwoven approach to impact has translated into real victories, from landmark credit card reforms to over 3 million new voter registration applications from citizens who earn low incomes. Throughout all our work, Demos is advocating not just for people, but for the very idea of the people – of one nation, united by shared fate.
The Director of Communications will be an innovative leader, gifted storyteller, excellent manager, and brilliant strategist who can help to lead a team of communications professionals with specialized expertise in earned, print, and digital media, and in messaging and narrative shifting, who has a shared dedication to elevating the goals, people, and visibility of Demos. In this role you will grow Demos’ reputation as an institutional powerhouse that develops and mainstreams ideas that disrupt systemic racism, build power, and advance ideas that address the biggest challenges facing our nation today. This position will report to and work closely with the Chief of Communications, and be a key collaborator with our president, issue experts, thought leaders, and partners.
The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker, with some exposure to change management, having led teams to implement new bodies of work and/or new strategies. The Director of Communications should also understand the vision of the organization and proactively propose and develop communication and marketing workplans to leverage organizational strengths, identify opportunities in the field that Demos is well positioned to pursue, and bring new ideas to the organization.
Success in this role will require someone who is:
- A resourceful leader able to articulate and communicate a clear and compelling vision for the communications, organizational brand building, and marketing work of Demos that inspires, mobilizes, and galvanizes the communications team;
- An exceptional relationship builder, increasing rapport, trust, and transparency across a diverse and growing community of robust, passionate, and talented stakeholders, including staff, external media organizations and partners, supporters, and racial justice movement partners; and
- A strong listener, public communicator, and storyteller who can articulate and amplify the values, lived experiences, and lessons that demonstrate the potential and impact of the work in meeting communities where they are.
OPPORTUNITIES FACING THE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
The Director of Communications will join a dedicated team of communication professionals that include a dedicated group of staff and a thriving community of racial justice movement partners committed to securing and strengthening our democracy and drive racial justice and impact in our communities. The Director of Communications will:
Implement a Strong Communications Strategy that Elevates Organizational Impact
The Director of Communications will be a hands-on strategic leader that will work across Demos’ programmatic and non-programmatic areas to strengthen Demos’ organizational brand and heighten the visibility of Demos work. They will develop relationships with both new and established stakeholders, that leverage opportunities for staff, partners, supporters, and nonprofit leaders to engage as Demos’ community of practice in building towards a new era and society that places Demos’ core commitments around racial justice and economic equity at its center.
- Co-create and implement internal and external organizational communication strategies that reflect Demos’ vision and mission, and that elevate and integrate the organization’s programs, issues and narratives into the public discourse and policy arenas to galvanize support and momentum in building progressive power of black and brown communities.
- A strong orientation to adaptive communication approaches that are responsive to Demos’ ever evolving landscape and that position Demos for prompt action that prioritize and safeguards Demos’ organizational brand during crisis or challenging moments.
- Cultivate relationships with national and local media outlets and platforms (i.e., The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, tv networks, social media platforms, podcasts and others) that will bring visibility to Demos’ work and engage interested parties around Demos’ core issue areas.
- Stay on the cutting edge of trends, emerging gaps, and opportunities to leverage programmatic impact in advancing bold new policies and ideas that shift power and promote structural reforms to building a racially just democracy and economy.
Strong People Leader Committed to Collaborative Leadership
The Director of Communications will support the development of, and provide day-to-day leadership to, a high impact team of professionals. They will be responsible for articulating and building a healthy, results-oriented team culture across Demos’ communications and marketing work and instill a collaborative spirit that will become the hallmark of their work across the organization. The Director of Communications will be focused on delivering results, reframing challenges as opportunities for team and organizational growth. They will model Demos’ values and will translate a compelling vision into action. They will support and build the leadership capacity of their direct reports and ensure that they have the tools they need to be successful.
- Ensure direct reports managing staff have the skills, tools, support, input, and feedback they need to effectively lead high impact teams.
- In partnership with the Chief of Communications, regularly review the organization’s external positioning to assess, and when necessary, address Demos’ standing amongst its peers and the broader advocacy space.
- In partnership with the Chief of Communications, support recruiting, hiring, assessing, and supervising program leaders (Digital Engagement, Press and Media Relations, Narrative Change).
- Supervise staff and lead teams during gaps in team leadership positions, as needed.
Protect Demos’ Organizational Brand
The Director of Communications must have a strong desire and interest to work and develop communication and marketing strategies that catalyzes the organization’s goal of building power for and with Black and brown communities. The ideal candidate will be deeply committed to racial equity both personally and within the organization, and will work to maintain, build, and extend partnerships in the service of Demos’ work and its commitment to core issues of democracy and racial and economic justice. Additionally, the Director of Communications will:
- Be prepared to represent Demos at conferences, high-level strategy meetings, retreats, key national tables, philanthropic gatherings, etc.
- Identify, cultivate, and steward strategic relationships with external partners in public relations, the media, within the racial justice movement, political ecosystem, think tanks, funders, or other spheres to further position Demos as a leading resource for policy, narrative, and legal ideas that advance a multi-racial populist agenda.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate will be first and foremost committed to Demos’ mission and the visionary evolution of the organization. They will be eager to step in and help Demos leverage design thinking and collaborative organizational development to increase investment from staff and movement partners resulting in more sustainable impact. They will be distinguished as a leader in racial equity and organizational development, and as a successful people-developer grounded in an asset-based approach.
While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- A hands-on strategic leader who balances a sense of urgency with empathy and humility when building and maintaining relationships with new and existing funding partners and with leaders and power builders in the field.
- Lived experience that promotes knowledge of and sensitivity to the challenges vulnerable communities face, including appreciation for historical context, discernment of relationship nuances and power dynamics, and understanding of social, racial, and ethnic realities.
- Highly developed emotional intelligence and active listening skills, and the ability to use interpersonal and relational skills in ways that facilitate strong collaboration with both internal and external partners.
- Successful experience leading a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
- Demonstrated success in communications, either at a think tank, advocacy organization, in government, or on political campaigns, with experience in rapid response communications management.
- Excellent writing, editing, analytical, and oral communication skills including the ability to collect, review, synthesize, and present information and findings tailored to myriad audiences.
- Strong relationship building and communication skills with the ability to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues including strategic priorities and ecosystem partner concerns.
- Ability to multitask and meet deadlines within designated timeframes and demonstrate resourcefulness in setting priorities; strong organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail with the ability to work both independently, take initiative and contribute ideas for enhancing performance.
- Exemplary public communication skills and experience participating in national and regional convenings as a panelist or speaker.
- An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, kindness, and patience necessary to work within a transformative environment.
Additionally, candidates need to bring a strong commitment to excellence and an ability to work in an evolving environment.
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS & WORK LOCATION
Work Location: Demos staff are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplace attendance criteria is still being determined as public health conditions continue to evolve. This is a full-time position and will ideally be based in the New York City or Washington D.C. area, though Demos has fully embraced hybrid and remote work.
Salary and Benefits: The salary range for this position is $150,000 - $160,000 and is negotiable depending on experience. Demos has a generous benefits package which includes health insurance, dental and vision insurance, 10 paid holidays, 18 vacation days per year, 5 floating holidays per year, 12 sick days per year, paid time off Dec. 25- Jan. 1, and a voluntary 403b plan.
For more information about Demos, please visit: www.demos.org
This search is being led by Julian Jackson, Sarah Hecklau, and Robert Diggs of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
Demos is an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.