Overview

Our client is a leading non-profit healthcare organization. The Senior Director, External Communications, leads the foundation’s external communications efforts to promote and advance the work of the foundation. This role oversees messaging and narrative development, thought leadership, media relations, and policy and advocacy communications. They are a leader in the marketing communications function, working in collaboration with the Senior Director of Marketing and the Vice President of Communications and Marketing, to engage the community of people with a devastating disease and their families, protect and strengthen the foundation’s reputation and brand, and play a strategic role in advancing the foundation’s mission. The Senior Director, External Communications, works across program lines to ensure that the foundation speaks with one voice through an aligned communications strategy and comprehensive messaging. They are a trusted collaborator who can serve the needs of internal stakeholders, effectively setting goals and providing oversight for the management of projects and expectations.

The Senior Director, External Communications, reports to the Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and it oversees the Senior Manager of Media & Policy and a Communications Senior Specialist.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Develops an overall communications strategy for the foundation that will advance its reputation and mission, broaden awareness of its programs and priorities, and increase understanding across key stakeholder audiences, ultimately, aiding the foundation in the delivery of its organization-wide goals
  • Oversees the overall foundation's narrative, knitting together various program lines in a way that emphasizes their most compelling efforts and core promise
  • Collaborates with subject matter experts on developing and conveying their research and innovative investments—ensuring fresh, compelling content and the articulation of their progress and purpose to inspire belief in the foundation, convey hope for the future, and attract researchers
  • Leads speaker prep and executive communications coaching to ensure consistent and authentic message delivery; recognizes that communications is both grassroots and top-down; ensures all levels of the organization are engaged and aligned in their communications messaging
  • Oversees all earned media; responsible for developing deep relationships with relevant healthcare, business, and trade reporters, and for understanding and leveraging trends and opportunities to convey the foundation's story
  • Plays a critical role in issues and crisis management, including strategy, message development, and tactical execution on sensitive issues
  • Works collaboratively across the communications and marketing functions to ensure they are aligned in their messaging to win the attention and support of stakeholders, including donors, volunteers, and people with a devastating disease and their families
  • Leads a team that delivers outcomes-oriented communications and demonstrate a learning mindset—constantly adjusting and accounting for the external environment
  • Leads the path to identifying challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization, working with the leadership team and staff to recognize communications solutions, and defining and executing appropriate strategies to support them
  • Promotes a culture of high performance and continuous improvement; mentors and develops staff; establishes and monitors staff performance and development goals, assigns accountabilities, and conducts annual performance reviews
  • Builds and sustains relationships at multiple levels with various stakeholders, including the foundation's leadership team, donors/volunteers, external collaborators, the media, and thought leaders

Education, Experience, Skills:

  • 12+ years of experience managing comprehensive strategic communications programs; experience in non-profit, industry or agency required, pharmaceutical or venture capital communications experience a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree is preferred; science or policy-related undergraduate focus a plus
  • Innovative thinker with a track record translating plans into actions and output
  • Superb storytelling capabilities, with deep familiarity of media relations and the evolving communications landscape
  • Crisis communications experience and a demonstrated ability to maintain calm under pressure
  • Experience building and coaching a team of communications specialists
  • Excellent judgement and problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills, and the ability to effectively interface with senior management
  • Demonstrated ability and interest in generating engaging, high-quality content and in translating complex subject matters related to science, medical care, and public policy
  • Bilingual Spanish and English communications experience and fluency preferred

Travel: Minimal (e.g., 2x/year to conferences and meetings, as necessary)
 

Procedure for Candidacy
Send resume to:
Bob Barich | CNR Search | bobbarich@cnrsearch.com

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