Policy Communications Director
Background: Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees fleeing from war or disaster.
The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 25 offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees and other immigrants resettle in the U.S. and become self-sufficient. We are committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we work with and serve.
The Global Policy & Advocacy Department (P&A) is a dynamic team whose mission is to use the IRC’s field knowledge, evidence and solutions to shift the agenda and decisions of policy makers for the benefit of our clients. We seek to develop the IRC as an innovative organization driving impactful change in the humanitarian sector. Specifically, we work to achieve improvements in aid effectiveness through evidence-based solutions; speak out on challenges facing the people we seek to assist; and to promote solutions for protracted displacement.
Job Overview: The Director for Policy Communications will work closely with Policy and Advocacy (P&A), Marketing and Mobilization (M&M), technical, programmatic and President’s Office colleagues to establish a coherent and consistent policy voice on strategic issues for the IRC. In this role, you will also amplify our messaging to policy audiences through a wide variety of tools and tactics. You will build and cultivate relationships with key internal partners to: identify communication needs for policy audiences; provide policy content support for broader IRC audiences; and develop creative policy engagement opportunities. You will also prioritize and streamline P&A product development while ensuring that team products and events are aligned with strategic P&A and External Relations (ER) goals. As a steward of IRC’s policy voice, you will be the primary liaison between the P&A teams and IRC’s media and other communications units. You will help ensure coordinated policy content and effective prioritization.
- Work together with P&A leads and M&M colleagues to build robust policy messages and communications plans for advocacy strategies, including the work of IRC’s policy roundtables. Leverage external opportunities and identify creative messaging tactics where appropriate - Develop and coordinate calendar of policy activations - Ensure that plans for policy audiences are fully aligned with and supported by M&M and other ER plans - Work with M&M colleagues, PO and others around the organization to ensure that P&A is a full partner in planning around shared IRC external-facing moments - Serve as primary P&A point of contact for media and digital communications - Participate in meetings with partner teams and facilitate cross-team collaboration with the P&A team - Track the humanitarian and broader foreign policy landscape to help understand and identify key moments of opportunity for P&A policy objectives and profile - Maintain central database of policy recommendations and language (Advocacy Master Documents) across P&A priority areas for use by team members across ER and the broader organization - Help facilitate the creation of internal and external advocacy products and activities (letters, policy briefs, reports, op-eds, panels, meetings, etc.) to ensure adherence to high standards of quality and consistent IRC voice - Write, speak and present as a contributor to IRC’s thought leadership in areas of influence - Help develop and supervise an Officer for Policy Communications position
Key Working Relationships: --------------------------
Position reports to: Vice President, Policy and Advocacy
Position indirectly reports to: Senior Director, Global Public Affairs and Communications (M&M)
Position directly supervises: Officer, Policy Communications (1)
Internal contacts: Policy and Advocacy colleagues in US and Europe; Marketing and Mobilization; President’s Office; IRC Board; Technical Excellence leads; International Programs leads; Resettlement, Asylum and Integration leads
External contacts: Policy professionals at peer organizations, think tanks, current and former government officials, etc.
Job Requirements: -----------------
- Graduate degree in relevant field such as Public Policy, International Relations or Communications preferred
Work experience: ----------------
- 8-10 years of experience researching, writing about and/or developing engagement strategies on humanitarian and/or development issues - Experience in policy writing and communication - Experience leading complex projects across varied stakeholders
Demonstrated skills and competencies: -------------------------------------
- Knowledge of humanitarian aid and refugee issues - Highly skilled communicator with the ability to translate sophisticated information into public-facing communications - Ability to develop, handle and cultivate complex relationships with colleagues and external partners at all levels of seniority - Ability to think strategically and holistically across multiple issues, synthesize sophisticated information and develop innovative approaches - Understanding of how to handle complex policy conversations and events aimed at strategic outcomes - Initiative and ability to work independently on fast-paced issues, and balance multiple demands
Working Environment: Standard office work environment with potential for remote work. Up to 10% travel required
DEI statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.
Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.