Senior Director of Public Engagement, Communication and Marketing

American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)
Rockville, Maryland
Competitive salary and benefits
Aug 02, 2019
Sep 06, 2019
Full Time

ASHG seeks a highly experienced nonprofit public engagement, communications, and marketing professional to join our senior management team and help advance one of the most dynamic and promising areas of biomedical research. With a new five-year ASHG strategic plan in place, the Senior Director, Public Engagement, Communication, and Marketing will play a leadership role in helping us pursue ASHG’s vision that “People everywhere realize the benefits of genetics and genomics research.”

Working with an accomplished team, the Senior Director will oversee the creation and growth of public communication and engagement strategies that build public awareness and understanding of human genetics research achievements and potential; celebrate the benefits of human diversity; and promote broader participation in genetics research. The Senior Director will also oversee and help expand growing marketing strategies that increase awareness and use of ASHG programs and services by our diverse community, including membership, the Annual Meeting, scientific journals, and expanding advocacy and professional education programs.


Working with senior peers, department staff, volunteers, and external consultants, your core responsibilities include:

  • Strategy: Develop, expand, guide, and evaluate integrated strategies and campaigns that build toward strategic plan goals. Assess public opinion data on genetics and genomics research, as well as member survey and experience data, to inform strategies, messages, and tactics. With Executive Director, volunteer leaders and development staff, identify and propose public activities that could be funded and launched in partnership with philanthropic or private sector organizations.
  • Implementation: Work with a strong internal team and select consultants to create and distribute multi-channel communications and marketing activities. These include social media and email content; editorial planning and writing for newsletters and Web; media relations; events such as annual DNA Day and ASHG’s signature essay contest; growth of advocacy communication and public material about human genetics; etc. Work as part of an IT/digital platform group to advance our digital strategy, including our core web site (new site to launch Dec. 2019), content strategies, and potential site additions that serve program needs.
  • Management: With other senior staff, develop and manage to cross-organizational goals and strategies, and advance our collaborative, positive, productive culture. Supervise, support, and develop four skilled staff; oversee and inform their management of delegated responsibilities; and engage their creativity on activities and on program enhancement. Develop and monitor department budgets with organization and team; ensure programs & expectations reflect budget.
  • Governance: With Executive Director, provide senior-level strategic communication advice and planning for Society activity. Staff and provide counsel to the Executive Director and Board on communications activity including on media relations and policy/advocacy communication strategy and response. Support and serve as a senior liaison to the Public Engagement and Awareness Committee in shaping public awareness strategies, and become familiar with and help advance the work of all committees through communication and marketing.

Senior Director, Public Engagement, Communication & Marketing

  • Brand Stewardship: Reinforce ASHG’s brand presence to protect, enhance, and leverage the Society’s reputation for scientific excellence with public and field audiences. Guide further distillation and communication of its member value proposition and support continued advancement of graphic design.


Bachelor’s degree, preferably in communications, journalism, English, political science, or other field  that engages public life and emphasizes clear, accurate, engaging, and persuasive communication with a social purpose. Advanced degree a plus.

  • At least 15 years of relevant, progressively senior experience in public affairs, public engagement, public relations, media, and/or marketing with substantial experience on scientific, biomedical research, and/or health topics. At least five years of full-time staff management experience.
  • Substantial experience in nonprofit and/or scientific society environment, including communications support for executive and volunteers. Association experience a strong plus.
  • Exceptional written, oral and interpersonal communications skills. Comfortable reaching out to and interacting actively with others. Demonstrated strength and fluency with media relations, digital strategy and social media.
  • Ability and facility to comprehend and distill complex scientific and health concepts and their societal implications, working collaboratively with scientists and subject matter experts to accurately and effectively convey information and meaning.
  • Strong organizational, project management, and delegation skills. Attention to detail. Sound professional judgment and tact. Team orientation and ability to work collaboratively in accomplishing organizational goals. Confident in managing and triaging priorities, seeking and integrating feedback, & adjusting project plans based on emerging needs.

Why ASHG is a great place to work: Our mission, approach, and team

We’re a collaborative and innovative professional organization supporting human genetics and genomics researchers, clinicians and other professionals who work at the leading edge of biomedical discovery and innovation. Our 8,000 members worldwide generate new genetic knowledge and work to translate it rapidly to improve human health and well-being, and they help the public understand the wonders of the human genome, the benefits of genetic diversity, and the importance of research and its responsible application. A non-profit founded in 1948, ASHG hosts the world’s largest human genetics and genomics meeting. It publishes a highly respected journal and undertakes a growing array of year- round public outreach, professional education, policy, and advocacy programs. ASHG is a vibrant and growing organization with about 25 staff.  To learn more about ASHG, please visit our website:

ASHG offices are in lower Rockville/North Bethesda, with easy access to Metro, I-495/I-270, and amenities. We offer a work environment with a great mission, collegial team, and professional trust and respect. We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits, including flexible schedules and a telework policy; a generous 403(b) pension plan; free parking; and excellent vacation policies and medical/dental plans.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter, with salary requirements, in confidence, to


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