Communications Officer, Latin America & Caribbean Programs
- Job posted by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a leading philanthropic institution helping communities create the conditions children need to thrive, is seeking nominations and applications for a Communications Officer for its Latin America and Caribbean Programs. Working on the team led by the Vice President of Communications and reporting to the Director of Communications and Director of Latin America and Caribbean Programs, the new Communications Officer will execute the foundation’s internal and external strategy with the Officer managing that strategy from the field throughout the foundation’s network. The Communications Officer will be a seasoned, skilled storyteller with the ability to craft content that engages audiences around the foundation’s identity, mission, programming, and impact. S/he will join the Latin America and Caribbean team to implement a communication and outreach strategy to raise awareness and advance the social impact of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s priorities. The Communications Officer will be chiefly responsible for telling the foundation’s story in Haiti and Mexico. This includes: managing media relations and social media platforms, writing high level editorial content, leveraging the work and relationships of the foundation to advance narrative change, and other relevant communication and outreach activities. The new Communications Officer will also be responsible for a small set of communications-focused grantee relationships.
To advance its mission, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation created a framework to prioritize investment decisions toward achieving desired outcomes. Leveraging the foundation’s matrixed or networked model, the Communications Officer will collaborate closely with program staff and foundation leadership as they strategize the goals and objectives of grantmaking portfolios in both countries. This collaborative working model positions Communication Officers not only as thought-partners on communication strategy but also as thought-partners to Program Officers as they conceptualize and execute the foundation’s grantmaking strategy.
The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, fine arts, marketing, or related field and at least eight years’ experience in communications with an agency, corporation, publication, or nonprofit organization. S/he will be committed to advancing social change with particular interest in the foundation’s mission to create healthy communities for children and families, and a desire to lean into the foundation’s new networked model that relies on agile, collaborative teams. Importantly s/he will have relevant regional knowledge related to Haiti and/or Mexico including and especially the micro-regions to which the foundation is committed, including Chiapas, the Yucatan Peninsula, Central Haiti and Southern Haiti. Additionally, s/he will have demonstrated experience partnering with leadership to create content across mediums; the ability to analyze and translate raw data and/or technical information; the ability to translate it into accessible language for multiple audiences; and an in-depth understanding of current digital marketing technologies, industry trends, and audience engagement tactics. Success at a networked organization requires each team member to be highly motivated and nimble, results-oriented
and adaptable. The ideal candidate will be flexible, independently motivated, and able to balance robust engagement across the two countries served by the team. S/he will bring passion, maturity, creativity, and humility to the role of Communications Officer.
This Communications Officer will be based in Mexico or the US and travel regularly to Mexico, Haiti and the US to work directly with the Programs Teams in the three countries. They must be willing and able to travel extensively (up to 50%) and fluent in English, plus one (or both) of the following languages: Haitian Creole and/or Spanish.
The search committee is being assisted by the search firm NPAG. Please see application instructions at the end of this document.
ORGANIZATONAL OVERVIEW, HISTORY, AND MISSION
In 1930, breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg donated $66 million in Kellogg Company stock and other investments “to help people help themselves,” launching the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The foundation began its work in Michigan, but by the 1940s had expanded its work internationally and was breaking ground in areas such as rural children’s health, “mainstreaming” children with disabilities, and the development of the healthcare profession. By its 50th anniversary, the foundation was among the world’s largest private philanthropic organizations.
“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.”
To advance this mission, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation created a framework supported by an innovative matrixed organizational design to prioritize investment decisions and maximize effectiveness toward achieving the desired ends and improvements for children and their families. This new framework supports disciplined choices toward targeted outcomes and stronger alignment across programs. It is a focused and networked approach to strategic programming that relies on close cross-foundation collaboration and agile teams [to leverage human capital and knowledge resources] to positively impact vulnerable children, families, and communities. Across bodies of work the foundation will access an array of change-making tools – grantmaking, impact investing, contracting, networking and convenings – to ensure progress. Racial equity, community engagement and leadership development are woven into each endeavor as essential to the creation of a social context in which all children can thrive, particularly the most vulnerable.
COMMUNICATIONS AT THE FOUNDATION
The Communications team plays a central role in elevating the foundation’s strategies and engaging its diverse stakeholders around funding, programmatic priorities, grantees, and partners to priority audiences, including internal staff, grantseekers, grantees, policymakers, thought leaders, community leaders/members, peer foundations, the media, job seekers, and the general public. The foundation’s robust website is the central hub of communications with the overarching goal of highlighting grantees, sharing lessons learned, fostering conversation, and advancing the foundation’s mission.
MEXICO AND HAITI PROGRAMS
WKKF began building partnerships in Mexico in the 1940s to improve the well-being of the country’s most vulnerable rural and indigenous communities. The core belief for WKKF’s work in Mexico is that active and inclusive participation is essential to creating conditions where children and families can thrive. Today, the foundation’s efforts are concentrated in two regions of the country where poverty is particularly high, the Highlands of Chiapas and the inner areas of the Yucatan Peninsula. WKKF works closely with the Mayan, Tsotsil, and Tseltal indigenous communities on comprehensive investments in education, health, and family economic security. In keeping with its core belief of active and inclusive engagement, the foundation partners with leaders and members of indigenous communities in creating visioning plans to guide these efforts. Recent efforts include grassroots intervention strategies based on improving food security through land management, creation of community observatories in Chiapas to monitor and evaluate municipal decisions that affect indigenous residents, and a program in the Yucatan which trains women in different activities to increase family income.
WKKF began working in Haiti in the 1950s, first through fellowships and scholarships, and later with a full-scale grant programs.. The foundation’s current investments in health, income generation, and education are based in two micro-regions in Haiti: the Central Area and the Southwest Corridor. WKKF’s efforts in health focus on improving healthy birth outcomes and early development for mothers and babies with improved maternal and infant care to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and increasing access to potable water and healthy food in order to improve children’s nutrition levels and prevent disease. The foundation’s income generation portfolio in Haiti is dedicated to improving agricultural production and agricultural product development, investing in promising value chains, and developing diverse, sustainable microenterprises beyond agriculture. Schools in Haiti’s rural communities are scarce, and those that exist are often unregulated and unstructured. A priority for WKKF’s education portfolio in Haiti is increasing the number of qualified teachers available to students in rural communities. This preliminary step is essential to increasing the number of students receiving a quality education.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
The new Communications Officer will be responsible for the effective execution of the foundation’s internal and external communications goals and objectives by ensuring the integration of the perspective of its Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Programs. Working on the team led by the Vice President of Communications and reporting to the Director of Communications and the Director of Latin America and Caribbean Programs, s/he will collaborate with program staff to appropriately elevate LAC funding strategies, programmatic priorities, grantees, and partners to priority audiences.
Specifically, the Communications Officer will:
Partner with the VP of Communications on the foundation’s broad communication strategy and goals while also contextualizing that strategy in order to advance the social impact of the programs in Haiti and Mexico. The new Communications Officer will be a thought-partner, deeply committed to crafting and sharing the nuances of the WKKF Story – specifically how that story is influenced and shaped by grantees, communities, and programming in Mexico and Haiti. The new Communications Officer will ensure content generation and regional communications initiatives support the broader communication strategy and mission and values of the foundation and reflects close collaboration between the foundation leadership in Battle Creek and the program team in Mexico and Haiti.
Create a communications framework for narrative change with and in the communities in the micro-regions in which the foundation works. The new Communications Officer will be responsible for shaping a positive narrative that reflects WKKF’s commitment to community driven solutions and values the rich and complex histories and diverse cultures and languages in the Mexican regions of Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula and in Central and Southern Haiti. S/he will work closely with the LAC team to build strong relationships with key community partners, grantees, and other key stakeholders in order to develop a deep and sustained understanding of the critical issues and trends facing children and communities in Mexico and Haiti. S/he will ensure that all communications products reflect the priorities, cultures, and histories of the regions and support both the LAC and larger foundation’s goals.
Maintain close, mutually collaborative relationships with foundation leadership, program teams, and headquarters-based work groups to continuously drive and refine the development of the programming strategy. Communications Officers at the foundation serve as integral voices in grantmaking strategy and will participate in program meetings and offer support to Program Officers and Directors as they develop and execute the goals and objectives of the portfolio.
Support the foundation’s social media engagement to advance the digital ecosystem’s effectiveness. The new Communications Officer will support the Digital Communications team as it designs and develops content optimized for social media platforms. This will include advising the team on appropriate country specific tools and platforms that enhance the foundation’s region presence and programmatic strategy.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
While no one person will embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
* A bachelor’s degree or equivalent in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, or related field and eight plus years relevant work experience in communications with an agency, corporation, or nonprofit organization.
* Exceptional communication skills in written and oral forms with professional level fluency in English, plus one (or both) of the following languages: Haitian Creole and/or Spanish. Fluency or working knowledge of Maya, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and/or French is a plus.
* Familiarity with the micro-regions of Haiti and Mexico where the foundation is currently working including a sophisticated and nuanced perspective on the history, cultures, languages, and roles of government, international organizations, and other outside actors have played in the regions.
* Commitment to advancing social change and a particular interest the foundation’s grantmaking strategies to create healthy communities for children and families; commitment to achieving racial equity and understanding of how that translates across different regions and counties.
* Demonstrated successful experience interviewing and story-telling in English, Haitian Creole and Spanish including narrative writing, journalistic writing, blogging, copy editing, and long form conceptualization.
* Demonstrated experience partnering with colleagues and organizational leadership to collect raw information and translate that information into multimedia content accessible by diverse audiences.
* The ability to consistently create high quality content (including but not limited to: press releases, blog posts, features for the WKKF website, scripts, op eds, long form narratives, and other tools to communicate with grantees and community partners) independently and/or in partnership with colleagues.
* Entrepreneurial-minded; a self-starter who is also a highly motivated, results-driven collaborative leader who works well in cross-functional teams; a well-rounded, driven, and highly dependable individual who thinks creatively, approaches work with humility, and is committed to delivering quality results on large projects and daily tasks.
* Experience leading and or collaborating with a digital communications team with in-depth knowledge of digital and social media engagement tactics and trends for audiences in the US, Mexico, and Haiti.
* The ability to actively participate in problem resolution, reacting positively and quickly to changing dynamics; strong trouble-shooting capabilities with a skill for remaining flexible and open to internal workflow changes; ability to work well under pressure with tight timelines and the demonstrated ability to approach challenges with tact and diplomacy.
* Pristine spelling, grammar, punctuation, and verbal and written communication skills required; ability to work independently, handle multiple projects with various deadlines and priorities, exercising good judgment and multi-tasking skills.
* The ability and willingness to travel extensively to rural areas in Haiti and Mexico as well as regular travel to Battle Creek, MI, in the USA.
APPLICATIONS AND NOMINATIONS
More information about the W.K. Kellogg Foundation may be found at http://www.wkkf.org.
Applications, including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to: WKKF-COLAC@nonprofitprofessionals.com
The search is being led the search firm NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Minimum Education Required