Vice President, Communications and Advocacy
Freedom House monitors, strengthens, and defends democracy worldwide through programs that support frontline activists, research, and advocacy. We are leaders in identifying threats to civil liberties and political rights. Never in our 77-year history has our work mattered more, and as we embark on a new chapter of growth, we seek a Vice President, Communications and Advocacy, to fulfill our ambition of being the leading voice for democracy.
In partnership with Freedom House’s president, you will set strategy and manage implementation for Freedom House’s overall communications and advocacy efforts. You’ll join a mission-driven senior leadership team built on a culture of strong internal relationships and collaboration. Your extensive experience in creating and managing internal and external communications on multiple platforms helps you successfully work with board members, funders, and advocates worldwide.
The strongest candidates share these traits with our team: creativity, initiative, and curiosity -- tempered by pragmatism, patience, and close attention to detail; a collaborative, flexible, optimistic leadership style; and understanding of and passion for our mission. We anticipate that the applicants for this position may be stronger in either communications or advocacy and therefore will take a pragmatic approach when evaluating candidates. Nonetheless, you should be comfortable leading teams in both areas.
Essential duties include:
1) Communications Strategy - Working with the president, senior staff, and board, you’ll create near- and long-term communications strategies for Freedom House, its brand, reports, initiatives, and partnerships. You will identify issues and opportunities, ensure our external and internal communications are aligned and consistent in message and tone, and prepare for potential crisis/breaking news situations. Your strategic plans will cover both internal and external communications on a variety of media (especially our digital properties), with audiences that include news organizations and journalists; staff; board members; donors/funders; advocates; U.S. and international governments, policymakers and influencers; and as yet untapped audiences.
2) Advocacy Strategy - You’ll lead the staff responsible for developing and implementing short- and long-term advocacy strategies, campaigns, and measurable goals that align with Freedom House’s overall strategies and goals. Foci will include a new initiative for advocacy and related campaigns in the United States, as well as determining ways to use our digital properties to their fullest potential. The strategies will necessarily include a strong emphasis on Congress and parts of the Executive branch, but there are additional audiences to consider for specific projects, e.g., tech leaders and academia.
3) Implementation - You’ll strengthen and build the team that plans and delivers communications and lead us in best practices for: developing messages to a variety of external audiences, generating meaningful media coverage on all platforms, and evaluating success. In particular, you’ll work closely with our Research & Analysis division to help design and build a new, unified data platform, which you’ll use to deliver compelling, interactive digital experiences with Freedom House content from our flagship democracy and freedom indices. You’ll also oversee our advocacy partnerships with other NGOs, think tanks, and other public and private institutions, determining ways in which we can work together to achieve mutual goals, and with greater impact.
4) Events & Public Programs - In partnership with internal staff and (at times) external partners and vendors, you’ll oversee our events and public programs to ensure they are well-run and aligned with Freedom House’s overall mission and goals.
● Previous work in communications, Congress, or the Executive branch and deep experience in advocacy, preferably in roles of ever-increasing responsibility
● understanding of U.S. government institutions (including Congress and the Executive Branch), the tools at their disposal, and how to effectively leverage those tools
● experience implementing successful advocacy and/or communications campaigns, domestic and/or international
● strong understanding of digital content platforms and delivery opportunities, with experience managing digital/social media campaign teams and using data analysis to evaluate success and make decisions
● excellent organizational, public speaking, writing and communication skills with all levels of staff and a variety of external audiences
● adept at forming and maintaining external partnerships and networks
● strong leadership skills and abilities, including department goal setting and planning, budgeting, and personnel management
● Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in a related field
● ability to travel as needed, including internationally (approximately 10-15%)
● preferred: understanding of U.S. and international policy-making processes, especially relating to democracy issues
● preferred: experience leading cross-department teams and/or projects
● preferred: experience working with third-party vendors that specialize in public affairs and/or digital infrastructure/delivery
Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit their resume and a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position.
Sedentary, regularly required to sit for extended periods of time. Constantly talk, hear, and understand speech at normal levels using a telephone. Occasionally required to stand, walk, and bend over; reach overhead; use hands, wrists, and fingers to grasp, push, pull, move, handle, feel, and type. Constantly required to use close vision and distance vision for regular computer work. Occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 25 lbs. to waist height.
General Working Conditions:
General working office environment. Some long hours, including evenings and/or weekends as reasonable, to complete essential tasks or attend important events and to be responsive in a timely manner to emergency assistance requests. Travel to event and meeting sites. Exposed to outside weather conditions when required to attend event venues or travel.
Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. Read more about the application process and search answers to common questions here. Freedom House offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and professional development.
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