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Job Details

Director of Communications - New York NY

Company name
The Opportunity Network

Not Specified

New York City, NY

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Status: Full-time Exempt

Start Date: Q1 2018

The Job

The Opportunity Network (OppNet) is seeking a Director of Communications.

This timing of this role is special. OppNet is poised to embark on a transformation of our organizational identity to align with our new commitment to becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive organization. We are looking for a visionary and strategic communicator to help us tell our evolving story with impact, a candidate to come in at the start of the process and collaborate with the leadership team and staff to redefine our core values, brand, messaging and communications, and to develop and execute an external communications strategy to bring them to life. We are seeking a candidate deeply invested in equity and inclusion in youth development, and who recognizes and is attracted to this unique career opportunity to build and lead a powerful communications strategy in service of our students and their communities.

The Organization

Founded in 2003, The Opportunity Network works with students from historically and systemically underrepresented communities in developing their skills, knowledge, and passions to achieve their college and career goals. We honor the identities and embrace the power of each member of our community.

OppNet believes networks of support are essential ingredients for success, so we take an innovative approach by underscoring the power of personal connections and professional relationships as vital complements to skills, passions, aptitude, and work experience. Our students thrive in college and careers as they master college and career competencies through OppNet’s Career Fluency ® programming, including building networks, mobilizing social capital, increasing career awareness, excelling in internships, and making “best fit” college choices through intensive college counseling.

The Person

We are looking for a candidate who brings expertise in strategic communications grounded in anti-racist and anti-oppressive principles. The candidate’s expertise may be demonstrated through relevant jobs and responsibilities or through their lived experience. We want someone who appreciates the complexity of the work, and is energized by the challenge of crafting and executing effective communications strategies that are both deeply impactful and aligned with our values. The candidate will further demonstrate the values of diversity, equity and inclusion by actively participating in all organizational-wide learning sessions and self-reflection, and work with others to enact changes that contribute to meeting the organization’s DEI goals.


Organizational Identity

With organization leadership, engage staff in reimagining and relaunching organizational identity

Codify core values, ethos, brand, voice aligned with new identity

Lead participatory (staff) effort to redefine core messages for key stakeholder groups

Lead participatory process to develop new external organizational language: mission, organizational description, the communities we serve, problem statement, program descriptions, outcomes and impact, etc.

Ground external communications about our students in an asset-based approach; articulate our work in explicit recognition of the history of oppression in U.S., and how it relates to our work today in college and career context

Strategic Communications Planning

Conduct audit of current communications practices across the organization

Develop, implement and evaluate organization’s overall communications strategy to enhance brand visibility, broaden reach, and deepen impact

Work collaboratively with senior leadership to develop annual strategic communications plan, with outcomes, metrics, budgets, roles, national focus, local focus, etc.

Work closely with Chief of Staff to ensure alignment between external and internal communications

Codify and streamline organizational protocol and processes for external communications opportunities

Create plan and process to develop and train staff to be OppNet ambassadors in representing OppNet externally

Support various staff as communications partner on array of strategic initiatives

External Communications


Manage content and process for all external communications vehicles: website, social media, speaking engagements, national and local PR, media relationships, intellectual capital, etc., including aligning external communications with executive priorities through close collaboration with the Chief of Staff

Lead development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral, i.e. newsletters, brochures

Ensure coordination with Development and Program teams on external communications that impact donor-facing audiences and student programming, respectively.

Serve as executive editor of web site on content and maintenance; work with COO on site redesign execution

Manage all media relations for the organization—press releases, media alerts, by-lined articles, media opportunities

Develop and manage speaking engagement calendar for OppNet staff; provide support on proposal submissions

Develop and implement social media strategy across multiple channels to reach, influencers, decision-makers, peer organizations, policy makers, etc.

Craft policy and protocol for engaging our students and alumni in media opportunities

Track, measure, analyze, and report the effectiveness of the mix of communications vehicles

Office of the CEO

Serve as communications advisor and writer to both CEO and President

Drive efforts to position both as thought leaders in the field

Manage development of thought leadership intellectual capital

Work with Chief of Staff to develop speaking engagement calendar for CEO and President; work with CEO’s Executive Assistant to submit proposals

Advise on Twitter plan, strategy and tactics for CEO

Prepare CEO and President for PR-related appearances, opportunities

Fieldwide Dissemination and Impact

Develop strategy to leverage changes we are making internally to catalyze change outside of OppNet’s walls

Bring passion and vision conceptualizing OppNet’s advocacy muscle for long-term impact: what can like-minded organizations working toward similar goals achieve? How can the power of a collective wield more influence than any solo organization?

Inventory core issues and themes in our field, and work with senior leadership to engage staff in developing core messages on these select themes for what OppNet stands for

Gather field intelligence on people and institutions across non-profit, education, business, policy, higher education, government, etc. to understand landscape

Develop, execute and measure campaign strategies and tactics for how best to use our platform to that end


The successful candidate will possess the following assets and attributes:

Commitment to The Opportunity Network’s mission and to social change work

Appreciation for and commitment to helping to operationalize equity and inclusion across OppNet

Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. accredited college/university

Minimum of eight years of transferable prior experience in strategic communications in the nonprofit or higher education sectors, especially in antiracist, anti-oppressive communications

The ability to manage multiple priorities in a complex environment with various stakeholders

Maturity to be trusted advisor to the C-Suite

Personal dedication to the quality of work produced and a high level of accountability

Excellent oral and written communication skills

Comfort in team-oriented environment based on open, transparent and continual communication, information sharing, and inclusive decision-making

Professionalism, poise, and excellent judgment

Open to feedback and professional development

Capable of “managing up” to ensure effective communication and time/deadline management

Personal commitment to continuous learning and improvement

Strong sense of self-awareness

Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint


Commensurate with experience, plus benefits including 401K and retirement matching, generous paid and sick time off, and professional development.

How to Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter, including salary requirements and available start date , to . Please put “Director of Communications” in the subject line. - 2 hours ago

Duties / Expectations:

Minimum of eight years of transferable prior experience in strategic communications in the nonprofit or higher education sectors, especially in antiracist, anti---

Primary Skill


Critical Skills

Company Profile

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