Communications and Strategy Director

Johns Hopkins University seeks a Communications and Strategy Director  for its Center for Government Excellence (GovEx). GovEx aims to work with city leaders and stakeholders to use data and performance management to improve operations and promote equitable city service delivery that is reliable, quality, efficiently supplied and affordable by promoting data driven solutions and fostering collaboration that delivers impact at scale and improves resident outcomes.

Working closely with Executive Director of GovEx, the Communications Director will play a senior leadership role at the center and direct an expansive communications effort. This includes forging a long-term communications strategy and supervising the work of a communications team, which will elevate the work of the center and grantees in media, produce videos and infographics, provide communications assistance to city grantees, and share timely stories of impact within our community. The Communications Director will also work in close collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has been a pioneer in supporting creativity with city halls for the past decade and is providing the initial funding for the new center.

The new center is committed to addressing structural and entrenched racism and recognizes the public sector’s role in perpetuating these legacies over time and addressing them today. We are looking for a leader committed to dismantling structural and entrenched racism and addressing these issues, both as they build a new organization and advance this work in communities.

This position reports to the Executive Director.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Active participation in the development of the center’s vision and strategy for driving the use of data and performance management in city governments in the US and abroad
  • Creation of a long-term, integrated communications strategy that hones and elevates the center’s external voice as a preeminent and recognized authority on matters of civic innovation and gains independent validation for the center’s work
  • Elevation of center staff and program participants as subject matter experts, positioning them to make impactful contributions to civic discourse
  • Management of an editorial calendar spotlighting the work of programs, center experts, and grantees
  • Directing the production of content for public dissemination, including videos, infographics, case studies, and news-style stories featuring grantee work and trends for civic innovation practitioners and the broader public
  • Management of a new online hub for innovators aimed at building interest and commitment of local government officials to use data, innovation, and best practices in their efforts
  • Overseeing the collection, refinement, and distribution of finger-on-the-pulse stories of impact from grantees for internal audiences, consolidating program information into succinct, timely email updates and reports
  • Overseeing the management of events for civic innovation practitioners to make connections, exchange ideas, learn new skills, and spotlight the work of grantees; and
  • Close coordination with Bloomberg Philanthropies’ communications team and external partners

Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Five years related experience
  • Advanced degree may substitute for required experience, to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula
    JHU Equivalency Formula:  30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience.  Additional related experience may substitute for the required education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in developing and executing multi-faceted communications efforts
  • A successful record of envisioning, developing, and implementing an effective and comprehensive long-term communications strategy with multiple partners
  • Understanding of how city hall works and how communications can serve as a tool to advance programmatic goals
  • Experience building the infrastructure for successful communications efforts in the context of programs with multiple partners and operating in multiple locations, from the collection of stories in the field to their prioritization and refinement among program partners to their dissemination to external audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to proactively craft substantive and cohesive messages based on an institution’s strategic goals and mission and history; communicate messages successfully with key audiences; and adapt and adjust messages as appropriate over time
  • Ability to inspire excitement about the power of communications and translate complex communications concepts for programmatic staff and partners
  • Ability to write and edit quickly and clearly for both general and academic audiences, across the full range of communications products
  • Experience managing a large team of communications professionals as well as coordinating with external communications partners (e.g., PR firms, content creators)
  • Success in elevating the profile of institutions, organizational leaders, and subject matter experts
  • Eagerness and ability to engage diverse constituencies, build professional relationships, and command the respect of colleagues and University leadership
  • A record of professional achievements in public policy, public administration, or a related field is preferred
  • Proven ability to develop, manage, and thrive in relationships with public sector executives and senior staffers
  • Seasoned personnel skills to manage a team of mid-level professionals
  • Ability to work in and lead teams in a result-driven workplace
  • Familiarity with government, nonprofit, and philanthropic stakeholders

Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Experience with Microsoft Office, G Suite, and project management applications
  • Familiarity with learning management systems
  • Experience using project management and collaboration software such as Asana and Slack
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in coordinating with subject matter experts
  • Understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Excellent oral, written, communications, and research skills
  • Commitment to a collegial workplace
  • Capacity to work independently and in a results-oriented workplace
  • Ability to work on multiple projects concurrently

Level of Independent Decision Making:

  • High level of independent decision making