Communications Director

Working from home
$120-$150K DOE
Dec 03, 2018
Metro Area
Full Time


For nearly 40 years, the Center for Effective Public Policy has helped justice system professionals and their partners collaboratively identify and implement effective, evidence- based strategies that reduce harm and improve justice system outcomes. The Center’s staff and network of expert consultants have diverse qualifications and backgrounds in criminal justice planning, policy, and practice, particularly in pretrial justice, sentencing, probation, parole, and corrections. The Center’s main office is in Kensington, Maryland; the majority of Center staff and consultants work from their home-based locations around the country.

The Center’s projects are diverse and nationwide. The Center’s existing projects address, among other topics, evidence-based decision making, parole release decisions, campus sexual assault, dosage probation, and work supporting justice-involved women. In 2019, the Center will launch a multi-year national criminal justice project focused on pretrial reform. Pretrial reform is receiving broad, national attention. State legislatures are passing bail reform laws at an unprecedented pace; state and federal court rulings are requiring justice systems to reconsider and change practices that result in the pretrial detention of low-risk persons with limited economic means; and, at the same time, important research and reform efforts are influencing state and local pretrial practices.

Through this project, the Center will provide training and technical assistance to communities across the country to support pretrial risk assessment implementation and research as well as other pretrial reform initiatives. The project has the potential to change the face of pretrial justice by providing intensive in-person assistance to a select number of jurisdictions throughout the nation, making innovative online resources and services available to interested communities, training a broad network of experts from pertinent disciplines as peer supporters and active champions for local pretrial reform, and engaging in and shaping the national dialogue around matters critical to pretrial reform in the U.S. justice system.

The Center seeks to hire a Communications Director to work full-time on this exciting project. This is a new position that can be home-based or based in the Center’s Kensington, Maryland office.

Job Responsibilities

The Communications Director will report to the Project Director and is responsible for overseeing and managing the project’s broad communications scope of work. The Communications Director will chair the project’s communications workgroup and oversee the project’s communications team, which includes supervising a Communications Manager and Digital Coordinator and overseeing the work of a communications consultant and a communications research organization. Additionally, the Communications Director will:

  • Build and carry out, in close collaboration with others, the project’s communications strategy, including strategies designed to inform the public and justice system professionals (through written materials, a website, curricula, etc.) about contemporary issues in pretrial justice.

  • Act as one of several spokespeople for the Center (for this project).

  • Develop and deliver in-person and online communications training to justice system professionals.

  • Develop and maintain communications materials about pretrial risk assessment and other pretrial reform initiatives (fact sheets, talking points, media toolkits, infographics, press releases, opinion pieces, etc.).

  • Help frame and message the results of research studies on pretrial justice to justice professionals and the general public.

  • Review and stay current on key issues in pretrial justice and risk assessment.

  • Provide proactive and responsive communications support to justice system professionals who are implementing pretrial risk assessments and other reform initiatives.

  • Establish and maintain working relationships with organizations engaged in pretrial

    reform activities.

  • Field and respond to media inquiries in collaboration with project partners.

  • Report to project partners and funders about the project’s communications activities.

  • Work with the project’s digital strategist and web design firm on the design and enhancement of the project website and digital tools, ensuring effective and consistent messaging and streamlined user experience.


  • Bachelors degree required, Masters degree preferred.

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience working in communications, with at least three to five years of managerial experience.

  • Demonstrated experience in messaging and digital media.

  • Demonstrated experience with media relations, including an ability to build reporter and media relationships and an understanding of the media landscape.

  • Deep familiarity with criminal justice issues, particularly with pretrial justice issues, strongly preferred.

  • Existing relationships or experience with media covering criminal justice issues a plus.

  • Experience preparing talking points, speeches, op-eds, and news briefs strongly preferred.

  • Exemplary writing and editing skills, including experience framing complex policy and research for lay audiences and the media.

  • Exemplary critical, analytic, problem solving, and creative thinking skills.

  • Self-starter who enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.

  • Ability to flourish and work independently in a virtual work environment.

  • Highly collegial attitude and adept at working in a collaborative environment.


$120-150,000, based on experience, with excellent benefits.

How to Apply

If interested, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a work sample to Leilah Gilligan, Project Manager, at Please write “Communications Director” in the subject heading. Relevant work samples may include communications materials (media kit, press releases, articles, etc.) or digital materials (infographic, links to websites or social media accounts you have overseen, etc.).

Cover letters should summarize your relevant experience and expertise and explain why you are interested in joining the Center and working on this project. Cover letters should alsoinclude your preferred job location (Kensington, Maryland or home-based).

We will begin to review applications on December 15, 2018, but we will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The position starts immediately. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email if their applications are not accepted.

The Center for Effective Public Policy is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. The Center values diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depends on a diverse staff to carry out its mission.


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