Vice President for Communications

New York City, New York (US)
Salary is commensurate with the job and experience.
Aug 29, 2017
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law seeks a creative, dynamic Vice President for Communications to lead and expand our public education and communications efforts. 

The VP will drive an ambitious strategy to shape public debate, achieve advocacy goals, expand our digital reach and elevate the Center’s profile and work. This position leads a growing department of eleven people engaged in media outreach, digital media, publications and public events. The VP reports to and works in close partnership with the organization’s President, Michael Waldman, a prominent author, communications strategist and legal expert. She or he is a member of the Center’s executive leadership and works closely with program directors, attorneys, and scholars to shape their work. The VP also works with consultants, journalism fellows, public opinion researchers and book publishers. The job is based in New York City. 

Today the Brennan Center is engaged in a great fight for the future of American democracy. We are a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform and revitalize the systems of democracy and justice so they work for all Americans. We seek to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, curb big money in politics, check executive abuses, maintain judicial independence, and preserve Constitutional protections in the fight against terrorism. We believe we must win in the court of public opinion—and move our issues to the center of public debate. We work to craft a new generation of reforms, and believe powerful ideas can spark real change. 

Effective communications is central to our strategy. Already news organizations, allies and political leaders rely on our experts and research. Our work is routinely cited on newspaper front pages and in editorials, on cable TV, radio and traditional media. Each year we publish dozens of reports, articles and short pieces. We have a large list of subscribers to our substantive e-newsletter and a growing digital audience for our website and social media platforms. We host 30-40 public events each year in New York and Washington, D.C. We aim to expand this work, as described below, while maintaining our rigor and core approach. 

Core responsibilities: 

  • Set and implement communications strategy for the Brennan Center and its priority goals. 
  • Manage a team of eleven communications professionals working in a fast-paced and often unpredictable political environment. 
  • Increase the Center’s high-profile media placements, including news coverage of its research, policy ideas and advocacy. Build ongoing relationships with key media outlets, editors, producers and journalists. Secure media opportunities for leadership and staff. 
  • Expand the Center’s digital presence, including redesigning our website, driving new content creation, and building the electronic newsletter subscriber list to 200,000 people. 
  • Work with President to hone organizational voice and brand, including graphic design and promotional material. 
  • Oversee the editorial team to ensure a stream of top-quality publications that reach a wide, attentive public. 
  • Recruit and hire journalist fellows to write for our website and other outlets. 
  • Lead program growth, including building a dedicated in-house writing staff, a podcast series and an expanded events schedule. 
  • Speak on the Center’s behalf to donors, journalists, allies and the public; where needed, lead communications efforts among allies and advocacy coalitions. 
  • Participate in the Center’s executive leadership team and contribute to organizational management and strategic planning. 

Qualifications: The ideal candidate should have: 

  • 10-15 years experience in journalism or political, governmental, nonprofit or private sector communications. 
  • Senior management experience leading and developing staff with diverse backgrounds and experience. 
  • Acute understanding of how to shape stories and how communications can be used to elevate the work of a national organization and advance issues in the public debate. 
  • Writing and editing skill, political and strategic savvy, and enthusiasm for translating legal and policy work to a wider public. 
  • Record of developing relationships with top-tier journalists and achieving high level media placements. 
  • Extensive experience integrating traditional and digital media strategies and expanding online audiences. 
  • Enthusiasm for and ability to work in a fast-paced, shifting environment with competing deadlines and priorities. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills—and confidence to work well with strong and experienced colleagues. 
  • Passion for democracy, justice and rule of law issues. 

Salary is commensurate with the job and experience. 

Applications:  Please visit, and upload your cover letter, resume, and two relevant writing samples using the drop down menus.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  No calls, please.  If you are unable to upload your documents, you may send them to with "VP Communications" in the subject line, after registering in the online system. 

The Brennan Center, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated.

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