Communications Director

Working from home
We offer a generous benefits package and competitive NGO compensation commensurate with experience.
May 24, 2019
Metro Area
Full Time

Position & Applicant Profile

AIDS-Free World is looking for a seasoned communications expert who is accustomed to a hefty salary, a big budget, a large staff, and the daily challenge of navigating several layers of upper-management and board approval. We offer none of that. But if you’re ready to throw yourself into work that’s rewarding in entirely different ways, please read on.

We are a small advocacy organization with the giant goal of ending the kinds of discrimination and social injustice that helped to turn a weak virus into a global AIDS pandemic. AIDS-Free World believes that world bodies, international organizations, and national governments were created to serve the people, and that regardless of size or power, they are accountable to the people. Our allies say we’re unafraid to speak truth to power; the powerful say we’re unwilling to compromise. Both are true. We know that change can happen when smart, principled people communicate superbly, and we’re in search of a director to help us do that.

Ideal candidates will have overseen communications on every platform, from traditional to digital, spoken to written, audio to visual, and will have accrued a wealth of knowledge, experience, and contacts. They may have spent their careers to date in the world of non-profit, issue-oriented advocacy and be eager to try working remotely from home, or they may be weary of pouring their talents into profits for a few rather than progress for all. Please apply if you’ve had a great run, but you’re ready for a change.  

In broad terms, AIDS-Free World is looking for a communications director who knows a great deal about everything from producing, targeting, and distributing press releases, opinion pieces, public statements, reports, and funding proposals, to cultivating and pitching journalists, placing original content in media outlets, and maintaining clean, segmented media lists; from formulating social media strategies and tracking their success, to making website content simple to find and compelling to read; from commissioning photos to acquiring rights; from producing and distributing videos, podcasts, presentations, and infographics, to planning, organizing, recording, and streaming press conferences, round tables, and special events, and more.  Naturally, no one person has specialized expertise in every area of communications, but qualified applicants will know where to turn to get the jobs done well.

We are interested in hiring a team member who will enjoy working closely with the Co-Directors, tapping their expertise and bringing new communications approaches to their 12-year-old organization. We’re not interested in “rebranding” or other corporate marketing strategies. For us, advocacy isn’t about beating the competition. It’s about solving problems. It’s about engaging, persuading, and influencing, righting wrongs, and struggling for social justice until everyone benefits equally.

The successful candidate will be a tenacious, inspired problem solver who’s up to challenging the powerful, however uncomfortable that might be.

S/he will be described as a colleague whose default is even-keeled, constructive collaboration, whether working with supervisors, co-workers, or supervisees. He or she will be known as an effective communicator who understands the difference between amplifying the voice of the organization and meddling with the message.

This is not an entry-level or an early-career position. It’s a role for a professional with a strong track record gained through years of experience paired with an equally strong desire to keep learning. The candidate who’s a perfect fit with our small team will be insatiably curious, equally willing to express a point and concede one, and as ready to float a new idea as to move on to the next. Some skills are essential, such as near-flawless grammar and syntax and attention to detail that borders on obsession. So is a demonstrated commitment to feminist principles and social justice. Familiarity with the United Nations and with international human rights work would be a plus, although it is not an absolute necessity for the right candidate who is willing and able to climb a steep learning curve very quickly.

This is a full-time position. The person we select will become part of a small, intense team of global colleagues who work remotely, either from their homes or from rented offices in spaces shared by like-minded organizations.

This unorthodox job description is indicative of an unorthodox NGO. Our team members spend much of their lives plotting against discrimination and double standards but are very good company and maintain great senses of humor. If that description fits you, we strongly encourage you to apply.


  • Direct overall communications and manage the day-to-day communications activities of an advocacy organization whose stock-in-trade is communication
  • Oversee the production and delivery of our advocacy messages using multiple channels (print, audio, video, visual, spoken) on a variety of platforms (website, social media, traditional media, publications, meetings and events, advertising and publicity)
  • Maintain strong media contacts and relations and a constantly updated, segmented media list
  • Merge one’s own professional contacts with the organization’s to build a broad network of skilled specialists to undertake the work above under short-term contracts
  • Identify, foster, enhance, and promote the communication and advocacy skills of staff
  • Introduce state-of-the-art communication tools and guide our ongoing evolution away from reliance on traditional media as the intermediary between our messages and audiences
  • Turn our websites into online destinations known for high-quality content, regularly updated material, appealing presentation, and simple, intuitive navigation
  • Expand our reach and visibility, and implement communications monitoring and evaluation systems to measure that growth in real time and adapt accordingly



  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years’ managerial experience in a directly relevant field
  • Evidence of past successes in developing and implementing strategic, creative communications initiatives and campaigns across multiple platforms
  • Demonstrated experience with state-of-the-art communications tools and approaches
  • A track record of performance in a complex and often deadline-driven environment
  • Outstanding organizational and project management skills
  • Skill in delivering appropriate counsel to senior leadership when required
  • Knowledge of and experience with media tracking services and systems
  • Interest in international development issues and passion for global affairs

About AIDS-Free World

AIDS-Free World is an international advocacy organization co-directed by Paula Donovan and Stephen Lewis.  We are a small team of advocates working remotely from different cities throughout North America and Africa. We are at an exciting moment in the life of the organization: AIDS-Free World’s Code Blue Campaign has re-ignited a global discussion about ending impunity for peacekeeper sexual abuse. We continue to press for change and speak out fearlessly against inequality and injustice.


AIDS-Free World staff work remotely from home or rented office space. This post is open to US-based candidates currently eligible to reside and work in the United States. Occasional travel will be required.


We offer a generous benefits package and competitive NGO compensation commensurate with experience.

How to apply

Please read the following guidelines carefully. Applications will be evaluated based on the fullness with which the instructions below are followed.

Note: Shortlisted candidates will be asked to participate in a timed exercise as part of the selection process.  This exercise will simulate the way the selected candidate will work with the Co-Directors, and it will give all parties an opportunity to evaluate the process.

AIDS‐Free World, a project of the Tides Center, is an equal opportunity employer. We seek and encourage applications from all qualified applicants, and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical history or diagnosis.