Who we are:
At The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, we develop research-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities. We combine the power of a membership association, representing state officials in all three branches of government, with the expertise of a policy and research team focused on assisting others to attain measurable results. We help achieve those results by:
- Bringing people together from both sides of the aisle to foster collaboration
- Driving the criminal justice field forward with original research
- Providing expert assistance to translate the latest research into policy and practice
- Building momentum for policy change at the state and local level
The CSG Justice Center is one of the most robust criminal justice organizations in the country, composed of over 100 employees with decades of experience in law enforcement, community corrections, court administration, housing, mental health and addiction services, state prisons, local jails, juvenile justice, education, workforce development, and victim advocacy. Staff here have served governors, state legislators, and members of Congress on both sides of the political spectrum. What bonds us together is a shared commitment to our mission, a common set of values, and to the national, bipartisan advisory board that guides our work. Learn more about careers at the CSG Justice Center.
How you'll fit in:
The division director for Communications is responsible for leading the CSG Justice Center's efforts to use content, media, and general branding to accomplish its goals. Reporting to and working closely with the director of the CSG Justice Center, they will oversee the core functions of the Communications Division: content development, public affairs, and online services. In addition to leading those operations, the Communications director will also drive strategy and the execution of key elements of special projects and campaigns. Additionally, they will have significant responsibilities related to strategic partnerships and cross-cutting initiatives and will coordinate on foundation and individual fundraising. Moreover, this individual will be encouraged and expected to develop new initiatives for the division. They will help strengthen the CSG Justice Center's profile as a trusted source of information and influential leader in the criminal justice field.
What you'll do:
Specific responsibilities of the division director include the following:
- Shape and articulate the division's long-range strategic direction and short-term priorities.
- Identify the best strategies and tactics to accomplish the division's priorities and lead their execution.
- Develop and execute the organization's communications strategy.
- Working in partnership with staff in other divisions, define clear communications objectives and resource requirements for CSG Justice Center projects; ensure that all project communications align with the organization's established vision and mission.
- Oversee the CSG Justice Center's editorial development, writing, and editing process, including ensuring consistency and balance of all external messaging, offering creative input, and maintaining a publications calendar.
- Oversee and develop certain critical internal communications.
- Maintain a robust and proactive traditional and social media strategy.
- Develop and execute the organization's online services strategy, including ensuring the effectiveness of our website and managing institutional branding issues.
- Ensure that the organization's messaging is responsive to and inclusive of all people who have been impacted by crime and the criminal justice system, mental illnesses, and/or substance use disorders, including people who are or have been incarcerated, victims of crime, and impacted family members and children.
- Ensure that the messaging of the organization is truly national in scope, communicating across race, class, and geographic boundaries.
- Develop and execute comprehensive communications strategies for CSG Justice Center campaigns, including the Face to Face, Justice Counts, and Stepping Up initiatives.
- Manage communications and ensure that CSG headquarter partners and partners in the CSG regions are apprised of our activities and messaging strategies, ensuring maximum coordination and mutual leveraging of the CSG Justice Center's and CSG's communications goals.
- Oversee event planning, including logistics, creation of event materials, and coordination with policy staff.
- Support the development and launch of new initiatives and lead various key projects (particularly those with a strong communications component) in coordination with the deputy director for policy and strategic planning.
- Coordinate and partner with the External Affairs Division on messaging of products that are intended for policymaker audiences.
- Coordinate on efforts to develop messaging for new project concepts with the Director of Foundation Relations and relevant policy divisions.
- Fundraise to support the efforts of the division by, for example, identifying funding opportunities that are communications driven.
- Oversee the provision of editorial support on foundation proposals, concept papers, and letters of inquiry.
- Serve as a thought partner in efforts to engage individual donors.
- Communicate effectively internally; encourage cooperation and cross-fertilization between divisions within the CSG Justice Center.
- Promote and demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion within the CSG Justice Center.
- Serve as an ambassador of CSG's mission to champion excellence in state governments to advance the common good.
Operational responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:
- Supervise a team of communications professionals.
- Participate in senior management meetings related to activities across the CSG Justice Center.
- Motivate and maintain a high-performance team by working with other senior staff to recruit new team members as appropriate, ensure effective training/development of current and new staff, and evaluate staff performance.
- Coordinate with the other CSG Justice Center divisions to develop and advance cross-divisional initiatives, projects, and goals.
- Please note this job description is not designed to include a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
What you'll bring:
- A bachelor's degree (required)
- 10+ years of relevant work experience (ideal)
- Significant relevant work experience in communications, public relations, editing, or a relevant field
- Experience managing staff and budgets, preferably in a nonprofit/government organization
- Experience generating financial support, particularly from the federal government or private foundations
- Experience interacting with the media and with officials in state and federal government
- Strong leadership and people management skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire a team and to attract and develop talent
- Organizational savvy and a demonstrated ability to operationalize complex and competing priorities
- Superior research, writing, and editing skills
- Strong oral communication skills, including the ability to effectively present complex information in a concise way to audiences of diverse backgrounds, levels of prior knowledge about criminal justice and health issues, and political orientations
- A successful track record of engaging with national, regional, and local media outlets, as well as awareness of criminal and juvenile justice-focused outlets and publications
- Experience with content development and a track record of creativity in the development of new approaches to content and its dissemination
- Demonstrated success designing new projects and securing funding for them
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including maturity, keen judgment, and self-confidence, with a sense of humor and ability to maintain balance and perspective
- Ability to work with (and find consensus among) people from a wide array of backgrounds and perspectives, as well as an appreciation for the need to address issues in nonpartisan and non-polarizing ways
- Efficient, organized work style and an ability to prioritize quickly and confidently
- Willingness to travel an average of four to six days per month (when it is safe to do so)
- Ability to demonstrate cultural competence, including self-awareness, understanding and valuing others, skills to interact effectively with diverse people in different contexts, and skills to foster equity and inclusion
- Dedication to public service with an unfailing commitment to act with civility, be nonpartisan in performing CSG Justice Center duties, and be a responsible steward of public funds
How you apply:
If you're interested in helping us drive change across the country, you should upload the following elements with your application:
- Cover letter with salary expectations
- Two Writing sample on a relevant topic (preferable no more than three pages each)
- Names and contact information for three references
Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to characteristics including but not limited to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.