Position Description

Vice President, Communications
Work Location Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number 1202
# of Openings 1
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THE ORGANIZATION 

Freedom House works to defend and expand freedom globally to help secure a world where all are free. Around the world, antidemocratic forces are preventing billions of people from exercising their fundamental rights. Freedom House identifies and analyzes threats to freedom, mobilizes decision makers to respond to those threats and seize opportunities for progress, and supports activists and organizations working to defend and expand freedom. We are dedicated to ensuring that the United States serves as a positive model of democratic practice at home and a consistent champion of freedom globally. By gathering authoritative data and leveraging our global networks, Freedom House is an unwavering beacon in protecting human rights and promoting democratic governance. 

Established nearly 80 years ago to respond to the threats posed by fascism, we know there is no more powerful force for the development of human society than democracy. Working as an independent watchdog organization dedicated to defending and expanding freedom and democracy around the world, Freedom House is notable for its nonpartisan character and commitment to maintaining support for its mission across political divides.  

We believe that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of women, minorities, and historically marginalized groups, are guaranteed. Freedom House conducts analysis and reporting on current threats and opportunities related to democracy and freedom. This reporting frames the policy debate in the United States and abroad on the progress and decline of freedom. Freedom House's flagship publication Freedom in the World is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. Freedom House also produces other reports, including Freedom on the NetNations in TransitFreedom and the Media, the China Media Bulletin, as well as periodic special reports. 

Freedom House advocates for leadership, particularly by the US Government, to vigorously oppose dictators and oppression, and strengthen democracy at home and around the world. We amplify the voices of those struggling for freedom in repressive societies and counter authoritarian efforts to weaken international scrutiny of their regimes.

Freedom House's programs support human rights and democracy advocates in their efforts to promote open government, defend human rights, strengthen civil society, and facilitate the free flow of information and ideas. We assist through grants and programs that provide emergency support, training, and support to courageous defenders around the world.  In addition, Freedom House helps through advocacy and visible demonstrations of solidarity on behalf of counterparts abroad.  

Freedom House has 13 field offices, two US offices (Washington, D.C. and New York City, N.Y.), and a global staff of nearly 200, including contractors. The organization’s annual operating budget is roughly $35 million, with a blend of public (coming from United States Government sources such as USAID and the Department of State) and private (individuals, foundations, and corporations) support. 

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

In every region of the world, democracy is under attack by populist leaders and groups that reject pluralism and demand unchecked power to advance the particular interests of their supporters, usually at the expense of minorities and other perceived foes. Freedom House works to inform key decision makers about the threats to democracy, mobilize action to counter these threats, and support key activists on the ground who are courageously pushing back on antidemocratic forces.  Leveraging its trusted brand and world-class reporting, strong and effective communication is central to Freedom House’s ability to counter the undemocratic forces that limit freedom globally. 

The Vice President for Communications will be the organization’s lead for developing and driving our communications strategy and messaging, working across all parts of the organization to ensure our entire team is communicating effectively.  This position will also manage and develop our brand and build and leverage a strong network of external partners to amplify Freedom House’s message to multiple and diverse audiences.  As Freedom House advances its new strategic alignment process, this person will lead efforts to ensure that our communications and brand are used most effectively to bring tangible change around the world and to communicate with key stakeholders, including donors, governments, and partners. 

The Vice President for Communications reports to the Executive Vice President and is a crucial member of the executive team.  This person will work closely with Vice Presidents for Research and Analysis, Policy and Advocacy, and International Programs, as well as colleagues across the organization.  This person will lead a relatively small but growing communications department and work closely with external consultants who advise and implement various aspects of our communication work.  The Vice President will also work closely with Freedom House’s President on the organization’s messaging and his communications to key audiences for thought leadership and fundraising.

The Vice President for Communications will be a(n):  

  • Crucial leader of the organization’s communication strategy and operations and key member of the executive team
  • Architect of Freedom House’s external messaging and brand
  • Implementer of Freedom House’s communication strategy
  • Collaborator with colleagues across the organization to build message and brand discipline to ensure Freedom House communicates with a strong, impactful, and consistent voice
  • Skilled manager who will supervise communication experts to manage the organization’s communication with key audiences in the press, on the web, at public events, and on social media
  • Team player committed to the mission of Freedom House, fostering an inclusive and collegial workplace, and working effectively to fulfil the organization’s mission

Key Responsibilities

  Communications Strategic Planning and Execution

  • Refine and implement a strategic communications plan, including a robust digital strategy, that is aligned with and integrated into Freedom House’s organization-wide strategic plan
  • Educate and collaborate with colleagues across the organization to ensure that all members of the organization are communicating consistently and effectively

Brand and Message Development

  • Refine core messaging about the mission of Freedom House and ensure consistently high-quality communication in all Freedom House outreach and web presence
  • Develop messaging around emerging and new areas of engagement for the organization to ensure that Freedom House is an influential thought leader and shaper on key emerging issues
  • Ensure consistent and effective strategy implementation across Freedom House’s social media, print publications, web presence, external communications, and public speaking
  • Develop and oversee internal processes to enable Freedom House’s external communications, particularly in response to fast breaking news related to the organization’s mission and work
  • Ensure that messaging maintains and protects Freedom House’s nonpartisan commitment

External Stakeholder Engagement

  • Manage the team that implements media outreach, including relationships with journalists and media outlets
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization and primary contact for elite journalists
  • Oversee the team that manages media and oversees logistics at major events
  • Collaborate with internal staff and external partners and manages vendor to develop and implement communications products across a variety of media channels.
  • Collaborate with FH development team to ensure that messaging advances Freedom House’s development strategy
  • Develop partnership with outside organizations, media companies, board and major donors to further Freedom House’s reach and mission

Management and Leadership

  • Recruit, manage, and mentor small communications team, ensuring all team members’ contributions support high quality communications, aligned with the strategic goals
  • Foster a respectful, inclusive team environment in the communications team and wider organization
  • Promote a culture of high performance, collaboration, effective, respectful and inclusive teamwork
  • Contribute to Executive Team thinking and decision making related to overall management and leadership of the organization
  • Develop policies and trainings for Freedom House staff on media relations, social media use, public speaking and other core communications functions
  • Identify challenges facing Freedom House and work with executive team colleagues and staff to identify communications opportunities and solutions, and execute strategies in response

Qualifications

Experience

  • Senior-level communications/marketing and/or branding leadership experience (digital/creative agency and/or in-house) for organizations that are thought leaders
  • Digital/creative agency, non-profit, and/or public policy experience
  • Demonstrated expertise in strategic communications, with a compelling combination of experience (to include as many as of the following) audience and message segmentation, editorial and content planning, operational delivery, developing and executing campaigns that shape policy or opinion; measurement of results; and managing the work of communications’ colleagues.
  • Demonstrated skill in building relationships with top tier reporters and editors, in successfully positioning content with the media and online to achieve high-impact results
  • Direct knowledge of, or experience in democracy, human rights, and/or related issues preferred.

Skills and Attributes

  • Ability to think strategically while simultaneously overseeing tactical implementation
  • Creativity about utilization of social, email, and online communications
  • Creativity to effectively leverage a variety of media technologies
  • Exceptional written and editing skills
  • Strong analytic capacity, ability to master new subject matter quickly and articulate complex concepts clearly and effectively.
  • Brings judgment, creative problem-solving, and responsiveness.
  • Excellent organizational and management skills with a focus on achieving measurable and ambitious goals, including willingness to assume accountability for all areas of responsibility.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet tight deadlines, developing and moving projects forward with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Strong and diplomatic interpersonal skills, demonstrating both a collaborative spirit and the ability to make decisions.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced and highly professional environment that emphasizes excellence, collegiality and teamwork.
  • Ability to travel as needed, including internationally (approximately 10-15%) when health conditions permit.
  • Acute political awareness.  Consistently non-partisan and deeply committed to democracy and freedom.  Able to work effectively with partners and colleagues from across the political spectrum.  

COMPENSATION

  • Salary commensurate to experience.

TO APPLY

  • Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
  • Please share nominations or confidentially submit a resume and cover letter to Doris Cook dcook@freedomhouse.org 
  • Please reference Job ID:  VPC1202 in the subject line of your e-mail communication  

EOE M/F/D/V

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors,  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Freedom House, please call: 202-227-4308

 

 

 

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