675 Massachusetts Avenue
The Scholars Strategy Network is hiring a Director of Communications to lead the Communications team. SSN is a one-stop resource that connects journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders to America’s top scholars and their research. Together they inform news and help solve the nation’s toughest policy problems.
Across the country, chapters and scholars volunteer their research, time, and energy. Scholars join the network to become part of a community of leading researchers who are dedicated to improving policy and strengthening democracy. Through the network, journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders connect with responsive scholars and jargon-free research to support their work.
The network is a membership organization of almost 980 scholars at over 234 universities and research institutions. Our is staff is driven by a desire to improve policy and strengthen democracy. SSN achieves its mission by creating relationships between our member researchers and journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders.
As an editor, media strategist, organizer, matchmaker, and coach, the Director of Communications will help scholars become powerful players in public policy debates. The Director will be based at the SSN national office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Dedicated to SSN’s mission to improve policy and strengthen democracy and excited about the positive impact researchers can make in the U.S.
- Experienced in and enjoy managing a small staff.
- An excellent writer and editor.
- Talented at translating complex concepts into accessible language.
- Experienced working with and framing messages for different audiences (academics, journalists, policymakers, civic leaders, donors, etc.).
- A doer, but also enjoy thinking big picture, learning, problem solving, and experimenting.
- A self-starter.
- Organized and detailed oriented, but flexible and can adapt with a growing and fast-paced organization.
- Excited about being at the relative beginnings of a growing organization.
You ideally have experience:
- In journalism, public relations, university press, marketing, or science communications.
- With organizing or working with volunteers.
You will need to:
- Travel to conferences and chapter events several times a year
- Be flexible with your schedule. Sometimes, you will need to be available during evenings or weekends for events or tight deadlines. However, work-life balance is important to SSN, so this will not be frequent and you will be encouraged to take time off when you do.
- Be available to work on office-wide projects as needed. SSN is a team, and we help each other out.
Lead SSN’s Communications team
- Management: Our communications team is made up of a Communications Manager, Content Manager, paid interns, and a sound engineer for the No Jargon podcast – all fantastic co-workers. The Director will supervise and support the Communications Manager and Content Manager, and work closely with the team as a whole.
- Visioning: The Director will work with the Communications team to set goals, build our network of journalist contacts, support chapters to incorporate media into their local policy work, expand media capacity beyond the national office, and more.
- Building: Along with SSN’s leadership, the Director will envision and design the future of SSN communications, which could include hiring, new programs, and new partnerships. SSN is growing. Just last year, for example, the communications team only had one full time staff person.
- Coordinating with the rest of SSN: The Director will be responsible for keeping the Communications team in the loop with activities from the Policy and Development teams. They will also report to the Executive Director and other teams about the work and successes of the Communications team.
Media support for members and chapters
- Help scholars communicate their research and ideas effectively.
- Edit opinion pieces, articles, and letters to the editor from scholars and pitch to media outlets. Provide media strategy advice for upcoming research.
- Work with scholars insert strategically research into public conversations.
- Lead media trainings for scholars on talking to reporters, OpEds, TV interviews, and more.
- Develop new and improve current media trainings.
- Maintain and build new relationships with local and national journalists on behalf of SSN members and chapters.
Communications about SSN to increase awareness of the organization
- Execute and refine the SSN marketing plan with the Content Manager.
- Work with the Content Manager to balance communications about SSN and member activities.
- Advise podcast production team led by the Communications Manager
- Communicate about SSN with members, media, potential donors, and other stakeholders on and offline.
The salary range for this position is $65k-95k based on qualifications and experience. The Scholars Strategy Network offers its employees a competitive benefits package including health, vision, dental, long-term disability, and life insurance; a generous 403(b) plan; and generous paid time off.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Email a cover letter, resume, names and contact info of two references, and a short writing sample (i.e. blog post, newsletter, OpEd, or short essay) to Shira Rascoe at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “SSN Communications Director - Your Name.” Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and women are encouraged to apply. SSN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.