External Relations Officer

Posted by
Chicago, IL


Published 3 days ago

October 1, 2020
October 1, 2020

About RefuSHE

RefuSHE protects, nurtures, educates, and empowers young refugee women and girls in East Africa through a unique holistic model that provides shelter, education, case management, counseling, childcare, legal advocacy, and vocational training. RefuSHE’s holistic program meets the imminent and longer-term needs of unaccompanied, separated and orphaned refugee girls, young women, and their children.   

Founded in 2008, RefuSHE is a global nonprofit with headquarters in Chicago and operations in Nairobi, Kenya. It is the first and only organization dedicated to refugee girls in East Africa. Today, RefuSHE is poised for strategic growth and scale. We are looking for someone who has a passion for social change, aspires to use their talent for good, and thrives in fast-pace growth environments.  

The Opportunity 

RefuSHE is looking for an experienced, forward-thinking External Relations Officer to develop and lead RefuSHE’s overall external relations strategy and implementation to help further RefuSHE’s mission.  

RefuSHE is looking for an experienced, social sector-focused, visionary storyteller, communications, and event planner to step into our newly created External Relations Officer role.  

S/he will lead the creation and execution of a strategy that is consistent with and elevates our organization as a leading institution and global thought-leader in the field of refugee and women and girl protection.  

The ideal candidate is ready to combine their passions for communications, marketing, and public relations with their passion and knowledge of issues related to women and girls, social enterprise, and refugees. This person will be instrumental in taking our brand to the next level in order to garner new, additional support and funding globally and in the U.S. There is flexibility to either join the team as a Consultant/Contractor or as a full-time employee if it is a mutual fit.   

S/he will work directly with RefuSHE’s leadership team in both in the US and Kenya while collaborating across divisions (both in the US & Kenya) for content.  

 This position will also be responsible for planning and executing RefuSHE’s largest event, the annual Fashion Challenge. This person will support planning for other events on an as-needed basis. The ideal candidate will have a strong event management and planning background.  

Key Responsibilities: 

External Relations & Communications 

  • Work in partnership with their Kenya-based counterpart, the Director of Communications & Marketing, to design, develop, and implement communications, marketing, and external relations strategy to advance RefuSHE’s mission. 
  • Create and manage an editorial calendar for content production, posting, and promotion across various digital platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, website, and email 
  • Design, develop, and launch communications plans for fundraising campaigns that match the organization’s overall business development goals. Communications will include but are not limited to email announcements, blog posts, and social media posts 
  • Craft ideas, messaging, and talking points for the team for external use that will solidify long-term, strategic partnerships  
  • Support the development team with donor communications, specifically for private family foundations and individual major level donors  
  • Stay abreast of changes in the global refugee landscape so that RefuSHE may publish timely content and serve as a thought leader in this space 
  • Draft and edit press communications materials; approve all materials created by staff for external purposes 
  • Design, develop, and lead the creation of organizational marketing materials in both print and digital format, including but not limited to brochures, impact reports, blogs, articles, thought pieces, graphics, videos, and photos 
  • Maintain and update RefuSHE’s website on a regular basis  
  • Oversee all Media Relations in the US & globally. Support colleague in Nairobi with Media Relations in Kenya to ensure seamless messaging across the board.  

Marketing Artisan Collective Products 

  • Work closely with the Director of Marketing and Artisan Initiatives on product launches and promotions, especially during the holiday season 
  • Support Director of Marketing and Artisan Initiatives to bring RefuSHE Artisan Collective products to new markets 
  • Create and manage a communications schedule for Artisan Collective content production, posting, and promotion across digital platforms  

Major Event Planning 

  • Lead the planning and execution of RefuSHE’s annual signature Fashion Challenge event (check out our virtual 2020 Fashion Challenge!)
  • Explore ways to expand and launch the Fashion Challenge in other global cities, like LA and New York 
  • Draft and publish all communications for RefuSHE-hosted events 


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field required, Masters’ degree preferred  
  • Advanced experience in communications, marketing, and/or public relations; experience working for a nonprofit organization or social enterprise preferred 
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, including a strong ability to tell a story with data  
  • Exceptional storytelling skills a must, an eye for sharing stories through photography, video, and other multimedia channels a strong plus 
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills with the ability to cultivate relationships with a diverse group of stakeholders 
  • Experience with social and digital communications platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Buffer, and Mailchimp and various donor management platforms  
  • Highly organized with a demonstrated ability to manage concurring projects in a fast-paced environment 
  • Experience working both independently and collaboratively across teams and time zones  
  • Demonstrated experience managing and planning large scale events, especially as it relates to event communications 
  • Demonstrated experience in website management and design (on Squarespace or similar platform)  
  • Demonstrated graphic design experience highly desired 
  • Experience creating short and compelling videos, short films, documentaries a strong plus 
  • Experience with international nonprofits, knowledge of artisan markets/social enterprise a strong plus 

 Expectations & Compensation  

Travel to Kenya at least once a year may be required. All international travel is currently on hold and will be resumed at a later date once safety concerns regarding COVID have diminished. 

Salary commensurate with experience; RefuSHE offers a competitive benefits package, inclusive of flexible paid time off, medical (health, dental, vision) insurance, and 401(k). 

Willing to consider position as full-time or contract.

Preferred Location(s): Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, or Washington, DC (some flexibility on other locations) 

Start Date: October 1, 2020 

How to Apply 

To apply please send your resume, cover letter, and a 1-2-page writing sample to Mary Henneberry at mhenneberry(at) with “External Relations Officer – (Your Name)” in the subject line.  

Applications will be considered incomplete without the submission of all three requirements.   

RefuSHE is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.

About RefuSHE

RefuSHE protects, nurtures, educates, and empowers young refugee women and girls in East Africa through a unique holistic model that provides shelter, education, case management, counseling, childcare, legal advocacy, and…

Details at a glance

  • Remote Possible
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Contract


Chicago, IL

How to Apply

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