Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs

  • Executive-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 6 November 2018

Job Description

The Role:

Location: Silver Spring, MD

Reports to: President & CEO

Department: Communications and Public Affairs

Position Summary:

The Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, is a member of the Executive Management Team of Global Communities and reports directly to the President and CEO.

The central responsibility of this position is to strategically manage the reputation of Global Communities, both with existing stakeholders and by undertaking targeted outreach to new stakeholders.

The VP will:

  • Outline the vision for Global Communities’ outreach goals, and set high- level objectives to enable the organization and the department to achieve Global Communities’ organizational goals;
  • Work with Global Communities’ senior leaders to align all messaging and ensure an integrated approach to Global Communities’ outreach efforts that reinforces Global Communities’ brand values and thought leadership;
  • Ensure that all communications products and services are of first class quality;
  • Manage the Office of Communications and Public Affairs staff, projects and budget.

Key Responsibilities:

Communications & Media

  • Develop and implement a media relations strategy, traditional and digital, which promotes our practice and thought leadership to specialist and mainstream media, in support of organizational objectives.
  • Anticipate and develop communications resources, policies and competencies to respond to crises.
  • Develop strategies to minimize the possibility of negative press and manage negative stories should they arise, responding where necessary.
  • Function as chief spokesperson of Global Communities in the media.
  • Provide media training to staff who represent Global Communities in public.
  • Advise Executive leadership and Senior Management Team on media management.
  • Maintain, update and enforce Global Communities’ media and public communications policy in collaboration with HR and Legal.
  • Maintain and update Global Communities’ crisis communications policy with Security and, in the event of a crisis, lead the public response with the Executive Team.
  • Build contacts in the media and develop relationships to drive high quality coverage of Global Communities’ work.
  • Direct Global Communities’ social media strategy and oversee the organization’s digital presence and growth.
  • Assist and advise other departments with their social media needs.

Branding & Marketing

  • In collaboration with other senior managers, the VP will identify target audiences, influencers and partners to drive brand awareness to support organizational objectives, including raising funds, influencing decision-makers and engaging in strategic partnerships.
  • Oversee the management of the Global Communities, Partners for Good, brand.
  • Monitor the organization’s reputation among key audiences and take steps to improve or correct stakeholder perceptions.
  • Oversee and review visual and messaging brand guidelines.
  • Monitor Global Communities’ market positioning and refresh / adapt where necessary.
  • Monitor development sector and donors for new trends, and ensure we are strategically aligned for future funding with current and new donors.
  • Be responsible for maintaining, updating and renovating the website to ensure it is user- appropriate and uses up-to-date technology.
  • Ensure that other website stakeholders (Recruitment, Finance, Humanitarian Assistance, Programs and Resources, and Development Finance) have appropriate support.
  • Produce Global Communities Annual Report and other corporate publications.
  • Maintain and produce marketing materials on our areas of expertise, countries of operation and ad-hoc publications / materials to assist with business development.
  • Produce issue papers, white papers, and other material to assist our positioning on thought leadership and business development.
  • Provide donors and partners with materials for their social media, outreach and corporate requirements.

Executive and Internal Communications

  • Produce monthly all-staff newsletter.
  • Assist President and CEO with Executive Communications, speeches, panel presentations, blogs, and media.
  • Advise other departments, such as HR, on internal communications, both at Headquarter and in the Field.
  • Advise departments and new staff on the brand

Public Affairs

  • Develop and implement Global Communities’ public affairs strategy in support of organizational goals.
  • Manage relationships with Congressional staffers, committees and members.
  • Ensure field, program staff and experts frequently update relevant Congressional committees and staff with information and education.
  • Prepare staff for Congressional testimony; write testimony, talking points, and FAQs.
  • Monitor relevant legislation and budget issues and take action where necessary.
  • Represent Global Communities on policy matters relating to US government policy at InterAction, USGLC and other relevant fora.
  • Lead outreach to think tanks, peer groups and advocacy groups, where appropriate.
  • Place Global Communities experts on panels and public fora to promote thought leadership.
  • Plan and run strategic positioning events, on Capitol Hill and other relevant venues.
  • Train Global Communities’ staff in panel presentations, public speaking, help prepare them for questions.
  • Provide assistance on talking points, speeches where necessary.
  • Assist Global Communities President and CEO with recruiting high level supporters for Global Communities.
  • Assist with outreach to partner country embassies and other international bodies.

Support Services

  • Provides support for business development in graphics, websites, media and public affairs advice, writing, planning and strategic communications.
  • Provide support for programs in graphics, websites, media and public affairs advice, writing, planning and strategic communications.
  • Travel and plan travel for others to ensure programs are supported through communications where necessary.

People and Program Management

  • Oversee the Communications Departments’ staff, budgets, programs and projects.
  • Align department staff efforts toward overall objectives and manage performance.
  • Build general capacity of all Global Communities staff on the value of messaging with a focus on capacity building for Global Communities communicators, including programmatic-focused communicators in programs outside span of control.
  • Ensure knowledge sharing between communicators for transfer of ideas on marketing, branding, and relationship building.

The Person:


  • 13-15+ years of prior experience developing, leading and implementing a communications, marketing and public affairs strategy in an innovative and creative international environment.
  • Minimum 5 years of non-profit and international development experience required.
  • Minimum 5 years of supervisory experience required.

Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities

  • Advanced ability to communicate in writing and in speech to a wide range of audiences including press, policy-makers, corporations, technical experts, funders and the general public.
  • Strong knowledge of international development theory, practices, and issues.
  • Demonstrated history of thought leadership and content creation.
  • Strategic vision, and the ability to innovate, clearly articulate and successfully translate strategy into results.
  • Proven ability to lead, manage and develop staff in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities and deadline pressures.
  • Proven ability to lead, manage and implement organizational change and lead organization- wide projects.
  • Proven stakeholder-management skills, including colleagues, donors, partners, press and policy- makers.
  • Ability to handle difficult situations with diplomacy, sensitivity and tact.
  • Impeccable editing skills.
  • Proven ability to manage production schedules of publications, websites and videos from conceptualization to completion.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and lead the work of others in an atmosphere of multiple projects, shifting priorities, and deadline pressures.
  • Able to handle highly confidential material and information that could have substantial impact upon the organization.
  • Excellent organizational skills. Ability to manage a broad portfolio of projects simultaneously.
  • Proven crisis management skills.


  • Master’s degree in relevant discipline and a minimum of 13 years of experience or a Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline and a minimum of 15 years of experience.
  • Minimum 13 years of experience in communications, public affairs and/or related disciplines required.
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience.

Languages & Travel

  • Fluency in English, written and oral. Abilities in a second language preferred.

Able to travel internationally to areas of political instability to complete discrete projects and provide technical assistance (up to 10%)

About the Organization

The Organization:

Global Communities is an international non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that works closely with communities worldwide to fulfill its mission to create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe.

Currently working in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe & the Caucasus, Latin America & the Caribbean and the Middle East, Global Comunities was founded in 1952 (until 2012, known as CHF International and, before that, the Cooperative Housing Foundation) as a politically neutral nonprofit that prides itself on an approach which is accountable, efficient and effective. 87% of funds are spent on programs.


Global Communities is committed to working in partnership with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable, impactful changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Development is not something we do for people; it is something we do with them. We believe that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself.

We make a difference by engaging with communities, governments, the private sector, and NGOs as partners for good—bringing together complementary strengths and shared responsibilities to work toward common goals.

Global Communities has expertise in the following areas:

  • Economic Development
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Governance and Urban Development
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Food Security and Agriculture
  • Global Health
  • Civil Society and Capacity Development
  • Infrastructure and Construction
  • Empowerment of Women and Youth
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

The power of what we do lies in our ability to develop relationships that put the people of the community at the forefront of their own development. Enriched by the ability to build trust and understanding, it is our heartfelt focus on community and partnership that distinguishes our work.

More information

position description - Global Communities - VP Comms & Public Affairs.pdf

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