Human Rights Campaign
Senior Communications Leader
About Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community. We've spent over 40 years creating the most powerful movement for equality our country has ever seen. But despite this progress, our most marginalized are still suffering from violence, discrimination, and fear. Our goal is to ensure that all LGBTQ+ people, and particularly those of us who are trans, people of color and HIV+, are treated as full and equal citizens within our movement, across our country and around the world.
We tackle inequality on all fronts
Fighting for equality means we can't afford to let anyone fall through the cracks. We work locally, nationally, and globally on issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community. HRC partners with people across demographics, industries, and governments to provide leadership on how to back up pro-equality statements with real action — and create a society where none of us is left behind.
How we're making change today
HRC's campaigns are focused on mobilizing those who envision a world strengthened by diversity, where our laws and society treat all people equally, including LGBTQ+ people and those who are multiply marginalized.
• We Mobilize Equality voters nationwide.
• We Educate the public and the community about LGBTQ+ issues.
• We Transform the places where LGBTQ+ people go to school, work, get healthcare and
• We Advocate to advance pro-equality legislation and litigation.
Living into the HRC values every day
When HRC is at its best, it is rooted in its values: heart; boldness; learning & openness; equity & intersectionality; responsibility; resilience; respect; and community & teamwork. We look to these values as we explore new opportunities, in times of success as well as crisis. We use them to drive a better way of working together and also to achieve better results in our work. We lean on them to better understand each other and the work we all are called to do. With an estimated 52 million Equality Voters across America, our community is one of the country's largest and most politically engaged voting blocs.
For more information, please visit the Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Our Next Era of Leadership
In November 2022, HRC welcomed visionary leader and civil rights champion, Kelley Robinson, to lead HRC's 3 million members, mobilizers, and supporters. An unwavering advocate for inclusion, fierce optimist, battle-tested organizer, and changemaker whose career has centered around the fight for bodily autonomy and racial and gender equity, Robinson brings a renewed focus on lifting up marginalized communities and building political power.
The first Black, Queer woman to lead the organization, Robinson's strength, compassion, knowledge, and reach are primed to lead HRC through uncharted territory. As legislative attacks, violent political rhetoric, and rising anti-LBGTQ+ sentiment send shockwaves through a divided country, Robinson's leadership and advocacy are already propelling the organization to new heights.
Only 100 days into the role, Robinson and the HRC team have already built upon a legacy of activism and advocacy by cutting through the rising tide of hate and white supremacy endangering the community, its supporters, and allies. It's been a time of victory—the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act; major gains against ending discriminatory blood bans on gay and bisexual men; historic protections for LGBTQ+ people in the long-standing battle for nondiscrimination protections in Michigan; new resources for Black parents of transgender, non-binary, and gender -expansive children; historic participation in HRC's Time to THRIVE conference and our National Day of Reading; and so much more.
After decades of advocacy, HRC is now fighting some of the most vicious cycles of political attacks against the LGBTQ+ community in US history– this year alone, HRC tracked 470 anti- LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced at the state level, 190 of which target the trans community. Despite early landmark victories in Michigan, LGBTQ+ people face record legislative attacks and increasing violence against the community. Through it all, HRC has served as a steadfast mobilizer for pro-equality voices to fight back. Through the resistance and the triumph, through the grief and the joy, HRC has held space for each other, the community, and the movement, continuously proving itself as a power player in a rapidly changing landscape.
HRC's heart, humanity, mobilization, and tireless advocacy have long been a rallying cry for LGBTQ+ people everywhere—and it's just getting started. As Robinson and the HRC team lead the way in a new era of advocacy, coalition-building, and substantive, systemic change, HRC is approaching the future with renewed vigor and purpose to fight for change at every level—and for every single one of us.
This is a watershed moment for the entire LGBTQ+ community, and HRC seeks a strategic and experienced Senior Communications Leader to join our fight for LGBTQ+ equality and civil liberty. As chief communications strategist for the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights organization, the Senior Communications Leader will be empowered to build a responsive, high-performing team to support HRC's communications arm.
Reporting to the SVP Communications and Marketing, the Senior Communications Leader leads the communications team and will develop and direct high-level communications for the organization's political work–particularly federal advocacy, and electoral, judicial, and state legislative efforts–and its programs. As the HRC family of game-changers, light-bringers, and purpose-driven advocates brace themselves against a highly volatile landscape, our next Senior Communications Leader will play an integral role in advancing our work, impact, and influence during this new chapter in HRC's history.
• Serve as chief communications strategist for HRC president: Working closely with the executive communications team to ensure the president's political and programmatic priorities are accurately and effectively represented in media coverage, traveling with the president to key functions, driving proactive strategy to ensure the president is firmly positioned in political and national media and is helping to shape and drive debate across a range of political and programmatic priorities.
• Organizational leadership: Spearhead HRC's efforts on messaging strategy, rollout plans, and rapid response for political, legislative, and policy and programmatic priorities. Serve as a spokesperson (both on and off the record) for the organization as warranted.
• Strategic communications planning: Develop messaging strategy for key initiatives, and work with communications leadership on long-term planning, including the development of editorial calendars and message development. Build and execute HRC's overall political messaging, lead and monitor the creation and execution of strategic communications plans (supporting HRC's programmatic priorities, legislative advocacy priorities both federally and in the states, and other political priorities).
• Earned media planning and execution: Seek out news opportunities and creative
placement strategies as part of short- and long-term planning in coordination with the
leadership of the Communications team.
• Build and maintain relationships with key reporters, editors, and producers: Build
strong relationships with political print, online, television, and radio journalists and leverage those relationships into coverage of HRC's political work, with the integration of HRC programmatic work where relevant. Identify opportunities for HRC to participate in ongoing conversations surrounding LGBTQ+ issues with key reporters and other influential media leaders.
• Lead crisis and rapid response communications: Drive and manage the political rapid response functions (including developing messaging and managing rapid response teams). Cultivate and support a network of allies, mobilize rapid response partners, and apply sound judgment and swift response to redefine opponents, detractors, and other threats to LGBTQ+ and their civil liberties.
• Lead a dynamic communications team: Mentor, develop, and support a four-member (including three press secretaries), intergenerational team. Lead with a strong sense of empathy and compassion for mission-driven communication professionals by offering strategic guidance, feedback, coaching, and insight. Monitor capacity, foster effective working relationships, and build an effective, efficient, and sustainable communications team.
• Produce outstanding written materials: Develop a variety of written materials including press releases, media advisories, talking points, opinion pieces, web content, and other materials. Synthesize research into appropriate messaging.
• Represent HRC's communications priorities outside of the organization: Including coalition work, working with external stakeholders, messengers, and other strategic communications partners.
• Embrace HRC's values and lead based on them: Inspire the communications team to anchor the values in their day-to-day approach to working with each other and across the organization.
• Act as an on-the-record and background source as necessary.
• Due to the urgent nature of crisis communications, willingness and ability to respond to
breaking news, often outside the workday, is required.
Strong candidates will bring a diverse set of skills, characteristics, and experiences, both professional and lived. HRC and Koya strive to mitigate inherent biases that influence hiring practices by focusing on a holistic view of potential candidates and understanding that no single candidate will offer every desired skill and characteristic.
The following offers an aspirational view of the ideal candidate profile; we encourage applications from candidates with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, especially those from historically marginalized groups.
Unwavering Commitment to LBGTQ+ Equality
The next Senior Communications Leader shares our passion and ethos for ensuring that all LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender people, BIPOC community members and people living with HIV, are treated as full and equal citizens within our movement, both at home and abroad. They understand that the entire organization—board members, volunteers, donors, and staff— work tirelessly to make an impact and improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. Mission-driven at their core, they view their work as a vehicle to amplify HRC's voice and work in the community, including through its programs, and exemplify a commitment to and interest in the urgency behind supporting the LGBTQ+ equality movement.
A persuasive communicator, skilled writer, and trusted advisor, they bring a demonstrated record of leading and executing political communications. They communicate effectively and efficiently with both external constituents and a wide range of internal colleagues and partners, cultivate a nuanced understanding of the currency of politics and lead their teams in building communications strategies that advance advocacy campaigns, further their organization's political strategy, build credibility and position their principal for success. A strategic thinker, who tactically maneuvers political and community challenges, possesses strong political and movement instincts, and drives smart decision-making, often in urgent moments, that require swift action. Most importantly, they demonstrate strong media instincts and exhibit excellent judgment, including management of difficult decisions on when and how to engage with a story.
A Builder and a Leader
An exceptional people manager, the Senior Communications Leader is highly organized, detail- oriented, proactive, results-driven, and capable of leading multiple projects simultaneously in a high-volume, fast-paced environment. They provide differentiated guidance, coaching, and critical feedback to staff across all career levels, build effective teams, and empower their staff to achieve sustainable results, celebrate big wins, and reflect on opportunities by setting clear objectives, goals, and measures of success. They collaborate upwards and downward, inspire commitment in others, and build sustainable workflows by clarifying roles and responsibilities, managing team processes, and building morale, efficacy, and trust. As the LGBTQ+ community faces significant extremism and violence, driven by increasingly vicious rhetoric, legislation, and politics, HRC seeks an unflappable leader and steady presence in the face of crisis.
Strategic Media Relations
A strategic thinker, they leverage relationships with journalists, political strategists, and other members of the mainstream and alternative media to successfully place print and digital stories, op-eds, editorials, and media appearances to advance movements and inspire action and engagement. They cultivate and curate mutually beneficial relationships with media and the press to ensure that narratives are simultaneously proactive, reactive, and highly relevant in national and local conversations. They ensure that media hits align with organizational mission and vision, resonate with core demographics, and develop a diverse, inclusive network of reporters, journalists, and other members of the media to steer audience engagement in a rapidly evolving, highly politicized media landscape.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
At the Human Rights Campaign, diversity and inclusion have been embedded in our mission since we were founded in 1980. Our next Senior Communications Leader will have demonstrated success building leading teams with a strong, clear commitment to creating diverse, equitable communication plans and strategies. They hold space for both them and others, see beyond themselves to disrupt the status quo, consider a multitude of perspectives, and share the ethos that racial justice is at the cornerstone of HRC's work. Read more about HRC's DEI Statement.
In addition, strong candidates will offer:
• Progressively responsible work experience in media relations or communications in an electoral, government or political/advocacy organization welcomed.
• Passion for progressive politics, experience working in politics or government at a high level, relationships with reporters, or experience working in highly collaborative, matrixed environments strongly preferred.
• Candidates with backgrounds or experience with LGBTQ+ or other civil rights are highly encouraged.
Compensation & Benefits
The position is based in Washington, D.C. with a hybrid work environment of 2 days in the office. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience, starting at $175K.
All positions at the Human Rights Campaign and/or the Human Rights Campaign Foundation may require travel on a regular basis or periodically. Where the need arises for business travel, appropriate compensation as outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act will apply.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Malissa Brennan of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to by filling out our Talent Profile.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Human Rights Campaign is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information, please visit the Koya Partners' wesbite.
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