Editorial Director

New York City, New York
Commensurate with experience.
Jan 16, 2019
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Brennan Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion. 

Position Summary: 

Brennan Center is seeking an experienced and versatile editorial director to oversee the creation and management of digital content for a new institutional website launching in 2019, as well overseeing all Brennan Center publications and reports. The editor will manage the editorial content team, directing and collaborating with program staff, writers, designers, and producers to create lively, engaging stories, as well as campaign materials that help fulfill Brennan Center’s mission of protecting and defending our democratic norms and the rule of law. The director also oversees an events team that hosts a number of innovative discussion and talks throughout the fall and spring seasons. 

This role requires versatility and the ability to communicate complicated ideas in a clear and compelling fashion across multiple formats, from printed reports to in-depth digital explainers and data visualizations. The ideal candidate will have strong management experience in a journalism or non-profit communications with a heavy emphasis on digital content, and a powerful writing/editing background. Some subject matter expertise is preferred, but not required. She/He must be comfortable translating lawyerly wonk-speak into everyday English. This position is one of four Director-level positions in the Communications & Strategy department (the others are Media & Strategy, Digital & Advocacy, and Creative), and is responsible for close coordination and interface with other Directors in the department. 

This position reports to the Vice President of Communications & Strategy. 


  • Overseeing the creation of both evergreen and time-sensitive content for both the existing and new BrennanCenter.org website, ensuring a smooth launch and strategic approach to content governance and long-term maintenance. 
  • Directing a team of writers/editors to craft compelling stories that engage both enthusiast and expert audiences, conveying the organization’s priorities, approach, expertise, and opportunity to create lasting change. 
  • In close collaboration with other directors, creating digital-first content including short video scripts, copy for social sharables, text for infographics, tweets, etc. 
  • Overseeing the publication of all Brennan Center programmatic reports. 
  • Editing and managing both staff and freelance writers, developing story ideas, setting goals and deadlines, and producing clear and accurate copy that employs an accessible, optimistic voice and conversational tone and drives readers toward taking action. 
  • Interacting with lawyers and policy experts across the organization to ensure that Brennan Center’s digital publications and marketing materials reflect its policy priorities and advocacy goals. 
  • Working with analytics team to institute a plan for ongoing assessment of content quality and iterative approach to optimizing digital content performance. 
  • Injecting a sense of wit and fun into institutional storytelling, using multiple formats—explainers, Q&As, testimonials, first-person perspectives—to engage new audiences who might not traditionally identify as defenders of democracy and equal justice. 
  • Owning BrennanCenter.org’s information architecture and taxonomy to maximize content accessibility, continually improve user flows, and facilitate effective cross-promotion of content. 
  • Working with social media and SEO experts to ensure that digital content is smart and shareable, and crafting strategies for producing content explicitly for key social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. 


  • At least 8 years of experience at a management or senior editing level. 
  • Collaborative leadership style. 
  • Proven ability to meet deadlines, manage multiple projects concurrently, and pay close attention to detail and fact-checking. 
  • Experience and desire to experiment with new editorial platforms and mechanisms for content delivery. 
  • Keen understanding of what works in a mobile-first world. 
  • Elegant editing and writing skills. 
  • Experience with nonprofit models for fundraising, advocacy, and online conversion. 
  • Expertise in project leadership and new product development. 
  • Demonstrated facility with coverage of complex issues. 
  • Track record of ambitious editorial achievement. 

Applications: Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as exemplary candidates are identified. To apply, visit the link provided.  Please upload the following application materials: cover letter (copy and paste where indicated), resume, and contact information for three references. Also provide URLs for 3-5 projects or publications that you have managed with a narrative explanation of your role in their development; detail any challenges or complications you overcame. No phone calls or faxes. Please reference where you saw this posting. 

If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: brennancenterjobs@nyu.edu with “Director, Editorial” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. Applying through our website is strongly preferred.

The Brennan Center for Justice is committed to a workplace based on equal opportunity and a strong belief in the increased effectiveness that comes from a diverse workforce. To this end, Brennan Center 

  • Hires staff that reflects this country's full range of racial, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic identities; 
  • Creates a workplace where true diversity is fostered and different perspectives are valued and freely exchanged; 
  • Ensures that all members of the Brennan Center community feel welcome and respected, and have equal opportunities to thrive and advance within the institution; and 
  • Is committed to supporting low-income communities and communities of color particularly affected by social inequities.

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