Senior Communications Officer
Open Society Foundations - New York, NY

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The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.

We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.

We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.

We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.

We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.

Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.

The Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. It works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grantmaking and other activities include:

The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies;
Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government;
Supporting increased civic capacity at the local level to create more inclusive, equitable places throughout the country.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

U.S. Programs seeks a dynamic, experienced communications professional to:

Work with U.S. Programs and the Office of Communications to develop long-term communications strategies and tactics to advance U.S. Programs goals;
Advise U.S. Programs staff on media, communications, and publications approaches to their work, in collaboration with the director of public affairs and the Office of Communications;
Develop the capacity of programmatic staff to evaluate and support the effectiveness of the communications strategies deployed by our grantees;
Serve as an advisor and sounding board to the Senior Management Team, including the director of U.S. Programs;
Communicate U.S. Programs’ vision and programs to grantees, the media, and the public, as well as within Open Society and U.S. Programs;
Work with programmatic staff to provide support to field leaders on communications strategies within U.S. Programs’ priority issues where appropriate;
Devise rapid responses to current events that directly impact issues we address.

The senior communications officer will work closely with the Office of Communications, including attending daily morning Communications meetings, participating in regular office conversations, consulting with communications officers in the department regularly to stay abreast of Open Society Foundations news, systems, approaches, and best practices, and attending regular check-in meetings with the director of public affairs. The Office of Communications plays a central role in the work of Open Society by coordinating and strengthening the public presence of the global network and by helping to advance relevant issues. The senior communications officer will require a deep understanding of (and commitment to advancing) Open Society’s overall goals and strategies.

Responsibilities will also include:

Acting as the first point of contact for U.S. Programs within the Office of Communications, and coordinate U.S. Programs’ requests for media and communications support;
Proactively identifying and pursuing traditional and social media opportunities to promote U.S. Programs issues and handle incoming press requests;
Drafting press releases and media advisories and organize press conferences;
Writing (op-eds, speeches) for the director of U.S. Programs;
Maintaining list of media contacts and develop and maintain relations with key journalists;
In conjunction with Communications staff, assisting U.S. Programs in refining publication concepts and revising early drafts of publications and other printed materials;
Reviewing and overseeing U.S. Programs’ content on Open Society’s website;
Build support for U.S. Programs issues and strategies on the web and through the philanthropic and popular press and social media.

Skills Required

In-depth experience as a communications professional;
A combination of previous journalism experience and communications will also be considered;
Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of social justice issues;
Extensive contacts in U.S. media, particularly on social justice issues;
Fluency with social media;
Excellent written and verbal skills in English as well as editing expertise;
Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures;
High level of self-motivation, initiative, and creativity;
Commitment to working as a member of a team, patience, and a good sense of humor;
Ability to travel for work.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Compensation
Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.
Application Instructions

Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements by April 14, 2014. Include job code in subject line: USP-SCO.

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