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Vice President, Communications, Joint Center

Washington, DC
Vice President, Communications
Washington, DC
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies (Joint Center), America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. For more than 50 years, the Joint Center has been the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. The Joint Center uses evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.
Founded in 1970 to support newly-elected Black officials who were moving from civil rights activism into governance, the Joint Center quickly evolved into America’s Black think tank. Currently, the Joint Center focuses on the future of work in Black communities, the impact of economic policies on Black communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology policy and Black communities, congressional staff diversity, and Black presidential appointments.
For more information about the Joint Center, please visit https://jointcenter.org.
Framed by the pandemic and systemic inequality, 2020 was a difficult year for Black communities. Despite the challenges, the Joint Center responded quickly to the health and economic crises, continuing its long-standing work to address systemic economic inequity and promote Black civic participation. The Joint Center also celebrated its 50th anniversary by convening leading voices to envision the economic agenda for Black America and launching an ambitious five-year strategic plan that will position the organization to achieve its updated mission.

The Joint Center’s Vice President of Communications (VP) is a new leadership position designed to maximize impact through strategic communications.  The VP will develop and implement an innovative integrated communications strategy to amplify and advance Joint Center’s strategic audience engagement, research priorities, and growth ambitions. Reporting to the President and serving as the senior-most communications professional at the Joint Center, the VP will serve as the organization’s lead on communications, marketing, audience engagement, PR, branding, media, and events and will work across departments to support the organization’s mission, priorities, and initiatives through strategic communications and messaging to key stakeholders, including policymakers, experts, funders, and community leaders.

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly entrepreneurial mission-driven leader to join a goal-oriented team during a period of exciting growth.

The ideal candidate is a creative and innovative leader with deep experience on the cutting edge of strategic communications, who thrives in an entrepreneurial environment, piloting new ideas in the constantly changing and evolving communications landscape.  The VP will bring a record of success growing and engaging diverse audiences, and proven ability to elevate the profile of an organization. The VP will embody the Joint Center’s cultural principles including a deep commitment to healthy, growing, and empowered Black communities in the United States and an unapologetic focus on and prioritizing Black people, and disseminating accurate data, research, and solutions that reflect Black interests.
Communications Strategy, Vision, and Leadership
  • Design and implement a data-driven, strategic communications plan that maximizes impact through raising awareness of the Joint Center’s work and increasing visibility with key audiences including policymakers, experts, funders, and community leaders
  • Create a marketing and public relations plan that allows leadership across the Joint Center to cultivate and enhance relationships with the media and key influencers
  • Develop and implement a media engagement strategy and drive digital and editorial content
  • Drive innovation in new communication channels to help amplify ideas, messages, research, and convenings 
Communications Operations
  • Collaborate with staff and consultants to promote a compelling brand platform that resonates with diverse audiences
  • Enable the Joint Center to drive policy conversations through accessible data, analysis, and research
  • Create compelling multi-media campaigns, collect key data on the success of the campaign, and constantly pilot new tools and tactics
  • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with communications professionals in partner organizations and the media
  • Work with key Joint Center partners to develop stories to share with a broader audience
  • Develop and maintain a compelling and engaging website and organizational collateral
  • Identify creative opportunities for Joint Center leadership to be represented in media outlets and positioned as experts in the field at local and national events
  • Maintain current knowledge of relevant information and news in the shared Joint Center community
  • Develop content for the web site, collateral, partner communications, blogs, etc.
Team Leadership and Management
  • Recruit, onboard, train, and manage a growing team of communications professionals to support the growth strategy
  • Promote a culture of data-driven high performance and animate the values of the Joint Center within the Communications team and across the organization
  • Coach, mentor, and help develop staff with a collaborative and supportive approach in a consistent way 
  • 15+ years of relevant communications experience with demonstrated success leading an integrated marketing communications strategy across internal and external audiences
  • Knowledge of the national political landscape with a clear understanding of policy implications on the Black community strongly preferred
  • Deep understanding of the DC policymaking ecosystem
  • Strong experience working with the national and local general market and media: print, broadcast, digital, and social
  • Experience in a similar think tank environment, non-profit advocacy group, political campaigns, public relations, and/or a public affairs firm is highly desired
  • Demonstrated success developing proactive, creative media relations campaigns and events
  • Superb interpersonal skills with experience motivating, coaching, and developing high-performing teams
  • Ability to distill complex policy issues into effective communications materials for diverse target audiences
  • Superb writing skills
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage a variety of projects in a fast-paced environment while maintaining focus on high-level organizational goals
  • A savvy, creative, smart, and innovative leader with keen public relations intuition, exceptional judgment, and excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Familiarity engaging Black communities, and experience developing segmented and targeted communications strategies to reach Black audiences strongly preferred 
  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications or a related field required; Master’s degree a plus
The Joint Center is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status.
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