Director of Communications

December 2021

Data & Society is seeking a highly strategic, dynamic and creative Director of Communications to lead our communications work in its next phase — one where brand development, mindshare, and building a movement are top priorities.  You’ll craft the narrative that will help refresh the brand and public perception of one of the most respected research organizations in the field. In addition, you’ll also shape the way decision-makers understand and think about the implications of data-centric technologies at this crucial moment in time and for years to come as policy is shaped for this new era. The Director of Communications leads a team of highly skilled contributors in cutting-edge research communications through research publication, storytelling, events production, in-house editorial product development, media engagement and creative communications projects to advance our mission and goals of narrative change about technology and society.

We are looking for a senior-level strategic thinker with significant experience navigating fast-paced organizations, movements and/or networks in the tech or tech adjacent fields. The successful candidate will likely have led communications for organizations involved in technology issues or products, research/think tanks, creative work, journalism, or politics. They will have a track record of developing and implementing communications strategy, have excellent people management skills, and will have existing relationships with national media, particularly those covering technology issues, and other influential people. This role requires political deftness, intellectual curiosity, and a deep passion for communicating the impacts of technology.

Responsibilities  

Communications Responsibilities 

  • Communications architecture: Develop and implement a forward-looking, comprehensive strategy that balances our communications products and tactics while considering our goals for broader narrative change, our organizational plans, and our values of equity, integrity, independence, and creativity.
  • Brand articulation and brand management: Work with leadership and the board to develop and refine a brand positioning for Data & Society’s next era. Leads collaborative design and team management. Design a system and training to deploy brand positioning of Data & Society’s brand positioning and brand management, working closely with the Communications team and others to align across social media, web, visual/design, and editorial products. Provides support and advice to senior leadership and board on public spokesperson role; equips all public-facing staff with media training and coaching, public presentation materials, and other forms of support to represent Data & Society and individual project work and ensure the brand and positioning is the north star core to the communications work.
  • Media relations/media engagement: Maintain existing and build new relationships with national and global media to ensure media coverage/placement of Data & Society’s work and to respond to media inquiries. Additionally, form a proactive media engagement strategy to create educational and convening opportunities for journalists, editors, and publishers as an avenue to develop specialized knowledge in D&S research areas. Capable of serving as D&S spokesperson as needed. 
  • Issue management: Responsible for communications issue management and rapid response as needed. 

Management and Leadership Responsibilities

  • Team management: Build, guide and coach a 6- to 8-person team, ensuring the team is structured and resourced to accommodate Data & Society’s cross-programmatic needs. Lead role definition, hiring, and recruiting for new Communications and Events team members; make determinations, in consultation with Communications team members, on where to augment team skills and capacities with consulting expertise to achieve team and organizational goals.
  • Senior organizational leadership: Member of Data & Society’s Senior Leadership Team; actively contribute to building a culture of equity and accountability by modeling leadership and management; lead Communications team representation in organizational strategy and budgeting; participate, contribute to (and at times lead) organizational cross-team initiatives or working groups that fall outside of specific communications concerns, such as organizational culture building and DEI initiatives.

Qualifications

  • 10 - 15 years of experience in successive senior strategic communications leadership roles in non-profit, for-profit, or government environments;
  • Familiarity with the impact of the growing effects of a data-centric society and automation, and how to address the social, technical, ethical and legal issues that are emerging because of it;
  • Strategic and tactical planning; ability to respond to organizational goals with concrete, implemented plans and projects and implement those smoothly; ability to design cross-team process to advance shared communications objectives;
  • Ability to manage multiple contributors and projects concurrently;
  • Thrives on ensuring quality of on-going work while imagining and launching new initiatives;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Team management, mentorship and leadership

Practical Considerations

  1. This is a full-time, exempt position in the Communications Department.
  2. This is currently a remote position. Data & Society is based in New York City, and will for the foreseeable future operate as a Remote-First organization. 
  3. While this role will start as completely virtual, it may likely involve onsite components in the future. 
  4. Annual salary is $160-180k, commensurate with experience. You will be offered a generous benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance and access to a range of opt-in products and services including additional insurance and 401k management as well as paid time off, and paid federal holidays.
  5. You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in this role and why you would be a good fit for this position;
  • Your resume/CV is required.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please feel free to contact us at jobs@datasociety.net should you have any questions about the position. Questions about this opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on your application.

Amy Segelin at Chaloner Associates is leading the search for Director of Communications.

Please apply here or contact Amy at amy@chaloner.com.

About Data & Society 

Data & Society focuses on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development. We seek to inform and develop frames for discussion of these complex issues both through our own research and through supporting the expansion of a nascent field of actors concerned about these topics. We want to be a resource, a catalyst, and a convener as new sectors recognize the complexity of the issues and the need for trade-offs when they increase their reliance on data as a tool for management and decision-making.

We see the field as comprised of researchers, journalists, policymakers, technologists, industry leaders and workers, funders, advocates, and civil society actors. We are committed to helping this field engage substantively, and with an evidence base, in debates over implications arising from the increasing reliance on data at scale to automated decision-making across a range of sectors.

The work and well-being of Data & Society is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We welcome applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities.

Data & Society provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

 

 

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