Strategic Communications Advisor

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 22 November 2019

Job Description


Are you a savvy global health communicator? Are you passionate about getting evidence used by decisionmakers? Can you translate complex data and research from a variety of development sectors into accessible, jargon-free language? Do you enjoy building relationships with media outlets and coaching technical staff on how to communicate their messages effectively?

About Population Reference Bureau

For 90 years, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has been a leader in harnessing the power of data and evidence to drive positive change in global family planning, reproductive and maternal health, gender, and youth and in child welfare in the United States. Our knowledge, experience, and reputation for excellence has made us a trusted partner to governments, multilaterals, foundations, and NGOs across the United States and around the world.

We are staffed by an award-winning team of communicators, knowledge management experts, data analysts, and demographers. If you spend time with any one of us, you’ll quickly discover that we love data and evidence. When it comes to telling the story of a project’s impact, PRB prides itself on our ability to create compelling narratives that combine data and personal accounts with a journalistic flair. The power of data and evidence comes not just from having it, but in using it… and by making it accessible and actionable. These are PRB’s hallmarks.

At PRB, we are continually adapting our communications tools to new realities. We’ve developed and deployed a variety of tools, including digital dashboards, scorecards, maps, data visualizations, and multivariate indices, as well as podcasts and low-production videos, to make data and evidence more accessible to different audiences.

Core Responsibilities

The Strategic Communications Advisor will report to the Program Director for Research Communications. S/he will lead communications activities for up to two USAID-funded projects. The Strategic Communications Advisor will be responsible for:

  • Management: Lead annual work planning processes, produce quarterly donor reports, develop and staff activity budgets. Ensure adherence to USAID, Population Reference Bureau, and project policies and procedures. Produce deliverables on time, within budget, and to PRB’s high standard of quality. Negotiate scopes of work and maintain strong working relationships with project stakeholders.
  • Technical Leadership: Actively seek out the latest literature, cutting-edge tools, and state-of-the-art approaches for research communication that can be adapted to increase PRB’s impact. Synthesize and share these materials with PRB’s growing research communication team and update existing approaches and tools, as needed.
  • Publication Production: Communicate evidence and program learning using visually appealing factsheets, action-oriented policy briefs, interactive web features, and short videos that convey technical information clearly and accessibly for local policymakers, implementing partners, development donors, and the general public. This may also include drafting press releases to highlight project activities, developing brochures, and other marketing collateral
  • Strategic Communications: Contribute to and execute project strategic communication plans and develop and implement media outreach. Coordinate across implementing partners and subawardees on communications activities to more effectively and efficiently advance common goals and generate greater value.
  • Capacity Building. Act as an advisor on communications and media best practices and policies based on current industry trends and USAID Branding and Marking standards. This may also include the creation of media engagement kits, talking points, or social media collateral.
  • Event Design: Contribute to conceptualizing high-level convenings and knowledge sharing events. Coordinate the project’s visual presence, related collateral, and key messages for global conferences. This may also include managing DC-based public relations agencies, as needed.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Use data and analytics to measure and report on communication activities and results. Initiate making refinements to the project’s communication strategy and tactics using data-driven insights.
  • Supervision: Directly manage a small team of junior staff. Provide oversight and technical direction to freelance technical writers, graphic/digital designers, and web developers.


  • Bachelor’s and 8+ years’ relevant experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Background in journalism, public relations, communication, public health, public policy, or international development, highly preferred.
  • Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
  • At least two years of experience working with USAID or on USAID-funded projects. Demonstrated understanding of USAID communications messaging priorities.
  • A minimum of two years of international development experience including either long term residence or regular travel to work (3-4 per year) in developing countries.
  • Ability to effectively translate technical content into easily digestible materials that resonate with diverse audiences.
  • Progressive experience engaging media outlets and coaching technical staff on how to effectively engage the media.
  • Ability to work successfully as part of a cross-functional, internationally-based team.
  • Excellent English verbal and written communication skills. Additional foreign language skills, especially French, a plus.

About the Organization

The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. Inform. PRB analyzes complex demographic data and research to provide the most objective, accurate, and up-to-date population information in a format that is easily understood by advocates, journalists, and decision makers alike. Empower. Our commitment to putting information into action sets us apart. PRB builds coalitions and conducts workshops around the world to give our key audiences the tools they need to understand and communicate effectively about population issues. Advance. PRB works to ensure that policymakers in developing countries and in the United States rely on sound evidence, rather than anecdotal or outdated information, when creating population, health, and environmental policies.

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