Communications Director

American Oversight

Washington, District of Columbia

Date Posted January 24, 2023
Industry Nonprofit
Specialty Not Specified
Job Status Full-time
Salary $130,000-$150,000 commensurate with experience
Website http://www.americanoversight.org

Description:

American Oversight is looking for a dynamic and creative Communications Director to lead a communications operation that maximizes our work advancing truth, accountability, and democracy. We’re a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog that uses targeted public records requests and litigation to uncover evidence of misconduct, abuse of power, or threats to democracy across the country.

The Communications Director will drive a creative, high-impact communications operation, overseeing media relations, web content, and digital strategy. This position will serve as a key member of the leadership team, responsible for advancing American Oversight’s mission with a smart and innovative communications strategy that advances the facts we uncover through compelling narratives, media savvy, and partner collaboration – while always upholding our reputation for accuracy and integrity.

American Oversight uses its extensive experience in open records law to act where corruption and government power overlap — and communications is a critical element of our work. From the federal Freedom of Information Act to state transparency laws, we file carefully crafted records requests to extract information from the government, and if officials fail to respond as required by law, our team has the expertise to take them to court and enforce the public’s right to hold our leaders accountable. American Oversight has obtained and published more than one million pages of emails, memos, calendars, text messages, and other records. Through our public communications, we have used those records to ensure accountability, expose misconduct, and drive significant corrective action at all levels of government.

Job Responsibilities

Specific tasks will shift day by day with our work, but in a typical week, you will:

  • Drive communications work at American Oversight, leading a talented seven to eight-person team to craft and execute strategic communications plans that elevate the organization’s impact, profile, and reputation.
  • Serve as a member of the senior management team, collaborating across departments to leverage the impact of our substantive work.
  • Build an inclusive and equitable work environment, with responsibility for recruiting, developing, and managing a team of communications experts.
  • Maintain and enhance American Oversight’s high standards of accuracy and quality for all messaging materials, media outreach, digital content, and external communications. Serve as “the final pen” on content created by the communications team.
  • Engage in rapid response to current events, developments, and document releases by mobilizing communication efforts. This will occasionally include after-hours or weekend work in high-priority cases.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with media, identifying outlets and individuals best suited to maximize organizational impact and reach.
  • Prepare American Oversight team members for media appearances and interviews, partnership meetings, and public statements. As needed, serve as an on-the-record spokesperson for the organization.
  • Develop subject matter expertise and a fluency in public records, the Freedom of Information Act, and American Oversight’s priority areas of investigation.
  • Select, manage, and collaborate with external vendors and consultants.
  • Participate in regular planning meetings (typically scheduled during East Coast business hours) to help identify new opportunities to share the information we’ve uncovered and to help inform the public on key issues.

Qualifications

A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant experience, including experience leading and executing an organization’s comprehensive communication efforts.

  • Exceptional communication skills including the ability to write and edit others’ work for accuracy, clarity, and impact.
  • Sound independent judgment to make critical decisions on organizational priorities and resource allocation.
  • Experience supporting and preparing others for media engagement and public appearances.
  • Previous supervisory experience, including the proven ability to hire, manage, and drive a team’s performance. This includes setting clear goals and expectations, ensuring constructive feedback, building an inclusive team environment, and investing in the development and growth of staff members.
  • A sophisticated understanding of the political, policy, and media landscape in which American Oversight operates, as well as an ability to quickly assess information for relevance and newsworthiness.
  • Strong relationship-building skills and ability to serve as an external facing ambassador.
  • High degree of professional ethics and integrity. A commitment to high journalistic standards of quality and accuracy. It's great to be first, but it is most important to be correct, honest, and trustworthy.
  • Cares deeply about how government actions impact the lives of ordinary people and believes that transparency and an informed public are essential to government accountability.

Additional Information

American Oversight is proudly an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse team. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they have every one of the qualifications listed. We are dedicated to finding the best candidate for the job. Our hiring process is centered on assessing candidates with diverse lived experiences. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our qualifications described. If you are unsure of whether you meet the qualifications of this position, or how this would be determined, please contact us to discuss your application.

The salary range for this position is $130,000 to $150,000 commensurate with experience. Generous and comprehensive benefits package.

The responsibilities of the role require candidates to be based in Washington, DC. Candidates must be in the DMV area or willing to relocate. Candidates will work at our office on a hybrid basis, while managing a primarily remote team.

American Oversight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by February 1, 2023, to ensure consideration of your application. Following February 1, 2023, we will be interviewing candidates and will continue to review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.