Director, Strategic Communications

Job Responsibilities

The Director, Strategic Communications, promotes the work of the National Engagement and Philanthropy (NEP) Division of USA Funds®, with special focus on its national research partnership with Gallup, providing strategic direction and execution in the areas of public relations, earned media, social media, publications and stakeholder outreach.
About the NEP and Gallup Research Initiative
USA Funds focuses its grant-making around postsecondary education through its initiative Completion With a Purpose℠ — supporting postsecondary students’ attainment of credentials and competencies that lead to productive and rewarding careers. By supporting Completion With a Purpose, USA Funds seeks to translate gains in college access into meaningful improvements in completion rates and in the value of educational attainment after graduation.
USA Funds supports grant-making and collaboration with like-minded organizations to advance Completion With a Purpose and ensure graduates are prepared for the global workforce.
The Gallup Research initiative delivers first‐ever insights from consumers of higher education, conducting nationally daily interviews with U.S. adults about their higher education interests, experiences and outcomes. The aim is to disseminate concrete research that enables more U.S. students and adults to complete postsecondary education with a purpose — to achieve a great career and fulfilling life. The research will provide the substance for weekly reports related to training and postsecondary education; periodic reports based on in‐depth research; and an annual report focused on the voices of postsecondary education consumers at the national, state and local levels.

Essential Functions

The Director, Strategic Communications, will help disseminate information and promote the work of Completion With a Purpose and Gallup research findings to key stakeholder groups, including decision-makers in higher education, public policy, business and philanthropy, along with students and families and the media. Specific duties will include the following:
  • Create and execute a communications strategy to identify and reach key stakeholder groups across multiple communications channels.
  • Track and measure the level of engagement generated by communication strategy.
  • Manage external communications consultants assigned to NEP and Gallup research projects.
  • Collaborate effectively with key project staff and subject matter experts to learn research results, develop key messages and create content.
  • Write and edit materials, including op-eds, speeches, blog posts, social media content, web content and presentations — often on tight deadlines.
  • Identify and schedule speaking appearances at convenings of target audiences.
  • Think creatively to develop new and compelling methods for storytelling to reach target audiences.
  • Ensure a consistent message and voice across channels.
  • Ensure content aligns with the organization’s other national engagement and communications strategies, objectives and priorities.

Education

Bachelor's degree in journalism, English, public policy or related field required.

Experience

  • Considerable and demonstrated experience in journalism, corporate communication, public relations, public policy, content strategy or related field.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to create compelling stories, both narratively and visually.
  • Strong organizational and project-management skills.
  • Strong understanding of the media, social media and online user behavior.
  • Strong understanding of relevant higher education and public policy stakeholder groups and communications tools to reach each group.
  • Ability to be a self-starter; experience and aptitude managing long-distance relationships.
  • Attention to detail and problem solving, with a demonstrated capacity to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, as well as independently.
  • A commitment to the mission of USA Funds.
  • Unquestionable ethics and personal integrity.
  • A high level of discretion, judgment and confidentiality.

This position based in Indianapolis, Ind.

Reports to Executive Vice President of National Engagement & Philanthropy

Application deadline is June 3, 2016.

Please reference requisition number 0148 in your application.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume to the Dir. Human Resources at careers@usafunds.org