Chief Communications Officer

Garrison, New York
Salary is commensurate with experience and skills.
May 02, 2019
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

An Unusual Opportunity to Play a Transformative Role in a World Renowned Research Institute


Founded in 1969, The Hastings Center is the world’s leading voice on ethical and social issues in health care, life sciences, and biomedical technology. We work to ensure the wise use of emerging technologies and to secure just and compassionate care for people across the lifespan.

The Hastings Center consists of onsite staff scholars, more than 200 Hastings fellows from around the world, guest researchers who participate in our many projects, and an extended community of those who write for, and read, our two journals. The Center is a go-to source for reliable, cutting-edge information for print and broadcast journalists.  Our scholars place scores of bylined essays, op-eds and other forms of public writing every year, and are quoted over 100 times a year in major media outlets.

Yet we are much better known within the small academic field of bioethics than among the general public.  As we approach our 50th anniversary, we are seeking to dramatically enhance our reach, visibility and impact.  We intend to increase the public’s understanding of these crucial issues and equip them to play a part in what should be informed personal and collective decision making.  To do so, we will radically expand the number of readers, viewers, and listeners who come into contact with Hastings ideas, especially by transforming our online capacities, repurposing our scholarly content for use on key media platforms, and developing a strong presence in NYC. 

Although time with our staff based in Garrison, NY in the Hudson River Valley will be important, relocation to our Garrison headquarters is not a requirement.


The Chief Communications Officer will be a member of The Hastings Center’s senior leadership team. He/she will be responsible for all aspects of communications, including setting a vision and strategy for communications and articulating priorities and processes that support the strategy and serve to further the Center’s goals.  He/she will report directly to, and work closely with, the President, as well as scholars, editors, development staff, and board members. The goal is to maximize opportunities that will raise awareness of Hastings’ research findings, recommendations and public engagement activities, so that the public is better equipped to play an informed role in shaping health and science policy.  Other important goals are to increase The Hastings Center’s visibility, its donor base, and ability to secure future grants for research.

The Chief Communications Officer will oversee the organization’s daily content planning and dissemination across mainstream and social media channels and the Center’s website. He/she will lead a rapid response effort on ethics issues in the news and maintain excellent relationships with key reporters and commentators in mainstream media outlets as well as scientific and health/medical journals.

The Chief Communications Officer will ensure that The Hastings Center presents complex issues in a variety of formats that will interest academics, policymakers, practitioners, journalists and the general public through the media and communications channels favored by each audience. He/she will monitor data on the effectiveness of communications strategies, analyze the findings, report to management, and adapt messaging, strategies and tactics as needed.


  • Develop and execute a cohesive communications strategy that advances The Hasting’s Center’s mission and raises the visibility of the important research and reports published by the organization.
  • Establish clear priorities for communications activities and set goals that are actionable and measurable.
  • Set a positive and productive tone for cross-organizational cooperation and closely align communications with the activities and goals of the President, the development team and the editorial team.
  • Be a catalyst for ongoing innovation and support the development and implementation of new initiatives and processes.
  • Maintain positive relationships with journalists to keep The Hastings Center top of mind for background and comments on bioethics issues in the news.
  • Grow the following and engagement across The Hastings Center social media platforms with content that is tailored specifically to these powerful communications tools.
  • Grow the e-newsletter distribution list with effective outreach efforts for sign-ups across all opportunities: speeches, social media, the website, and more.
  • Serve as a trusted leader and advocate within the Center and externally.
  • Partner with organizations dealing with similar issues and advocacy related to the bioethical issues address by The Hastings Center.
  • Ensure that internal spokespeople are trained for speaking opportunities and media interviews with periodic “refresher” trainings to avoid missteps.


An experienced communications professional with demonstrated understanding of and ability to advance conversations around complex issues and to engage audiences that include both academics and the public across all available communications platforms.

  • Has 8+ years of experience in communications, including hands-on media relations experience.
  • Has a nimble and strategic mindset and a keen understanding of the evolving communications landscape.
  • Exhibits excellent written and oral communications skills and the ability to make complex topics understandable.
  • Demonstrates maturity and leadership with the ability to serve as a collaborative and unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
  • Has a deep knowledge of the current digital landscape and the best ways to use current digital platforms (websites, social media, e-newsletters, podcasts, blogs).
  • Has a track record of using social media to contribute to and enhance conversations on important issues.
  • Stays current on topics in the news and can respond quickly to news stories in which The Hastings Center should be included.
  • Has a keen understanding of story hooks and is skilled at packaging and repurposing information into meaningful content for various channels and platforms.
  • Has a proven track record securing media coverage and tailoring pitches to specific media outlets and their audiences.
  • Effectively uses data to evaluate communications efforts and makes appropriate adjustments as needed.
  • Is adept at multi-tasking, meeting tight deadlines and staying within budget
  • Has a commitment to fostering teamwork and collaboration.
  • Can make a meaningful contribution as part of the organization’s leadership and offer sound advice for the good of the whole organization.
  • Experience working in the fields of health, science or education a plus, but not a requirement.


Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. The Hastings Center is committed to a competitive salary and benefits plan that provides opportunities for professional development and supports work-life balance.

If you wish to be considered for the position, please send a resume and cover letter, including salary requirements.      

The Hastings Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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