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Director, Communications

The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking an experienced Director, Communications, to join the Communications, Policy & Advocacy team.

The Director, Communications, is a senior member of the Communications and Program Influence team and the broader Communications, Policy & Advocacy team. The Director will serve as a core partner across the organization – in leading the overall communications strategy and execution for the Foundation’s key goals and initiatives, managing U.S. and global media relations for the institution and the Foundation President. This position will report to the Managing Director, Communications and Program Influence.

Location: New York, NY

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist the Managing Director, Communications and Program Influence, in providing strategic communications direction and support to the Office of the President.
  • Manage and execute institutional communications strategy in partnership with other team members on the Comms and Program Influence team.
  • Conduct proactive media outreach and facilitate media inquiries, with a focus on advancing the interests and perception of the Foundation among external constituencies.
  • Provide counsel to program teams, as needed, working in partnership with Program Influence leads.
  • Oversee messaging for external communications vehicles, including the Annual Letter/Report, the Foundation’s external website and intranet, among others.
  • Responsible for the development of the Annual Letter/Report, including managing vendors to assist with writing and production.
  • Manage communications firms to advance the Foundation’s strategic goals and key initiatives.
  • Represent the Foundation externally as a media spokesperson.
  • Work with Managing Director, Communications and Program Influence on issues that may arise.
  • Work with VP and Senior Speechwriter to develop messaging.
  • Oversee the development, research and writing of briefings for media and speaking events.
  • Write or assign writing of press releases, talking points, blog posts and other material.
  • Staff or assign staffing for media interviews and events.
  • Supervise Speechwriting and Media Relations Teams.
  • Provide and coordinate media training where need.

Education, Experience and Skills

  • BA or equivalent educational degree; Master’s preferred.
  • 10-12 years significant communications experience in the public policy sector and/or political campaigning.
  • Superb inter-personal skills and professional presence.
  • Extensive proactive media relations experience, with established track-record of consistently obtaining positive media coverage.
  • Experience working directly with executives or other high-profile individuals.
  • Experienced communicator in addressing issues and during critical situations.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Communication: Has excellent interpersonal abilities including strong listening, writing and verbal skills; demonstrates assertiveness and effectiveness in presenting their ideas to a variety of internal and external audiences and for multiple and diverse purposes.
  • Decision-Making: Has the ability to evaluate risks and opportunities; uses analytical and problem-solving skills; takes initiative and drives for results; is able to prioritize their own work and the work of others and understands how their work fits into the team and the overall work of the Foundation.
  • Execution: Has strong project management skills; manages their own time well and provides the necessary guidance and direction to others that allows them to successfully meet deadlines; has a sense of urgency and takes responsibility for their work and how it impacts the rest of the team; is able to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously; is able to multi-task and works well under pressure; employs attention to detail with their work and has high standards for accomplishing their work.
  • Integration: Accesses functional and substantive expertise organizationally, and accomplishes their work with inclusiveness and collaboration.
  • Leadership: Thinks innovatively and creatively about their work, has strong negotiation skills which enable them to work effectively and efficiently across a large amount of work, people and all internal and external constituencies and demonstrates accountability for their work.
  • Partnership and Relationship Building: Has strong professional presence and can be seen as a key representative of the Foundation; has intercultural knowledge and appreciation; and possesses strong strategic partnership-building skills.
  • Strategic Ability: Anticipates future opportunities and consequences, demonstrates an innovative and flexible approach to work, and has the ability to organize chaos into a coherent plan and implement it well.
  • People Management: Has the skills to manage a team of administrative staff and approaches managing people as one that employs teambuilding, skill-building and overall staff development and engagement.


Russell Reynolds has been retained for this search.

To make recommendations or express interest in this role, please email RockFoundComms@russellreynolds.com.

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.