Who is IDEO.org?

IDEO.org is a nonprofit design studio on a mission to design a more just and inclusive world. Our work is rooted in shifting social systems toward a more just future. We partner with communities, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and governments to co-create solutions focused on health equity, early learning and care, social services, and economic justice. 

Over the past 10 years, our work has expanded beyond traditional service and product design in the social sector, and we are now regularly working hand-in-hand with communities and local organizations to design interventions in service of more equitable outcomes. Some examples include launching an incubator in Kenya for girl-led solutions to reproductive health, working with communities in Southern Dallas to improve access to quality health care, and working with refugee, immigrant, and migrant communities in the US to ensure everyone has access to reliable information about COVID-19. 

The Role

We’re currently looking for a Head of Brand & Communications to grow IDEO.org’s visibility and influence, helping to build a strong narrative and consistent brand both within and outside of our organization. 

As the leader of a 4-person Global Brand & Communications team, you will drive both the strategic direction and creative execution of communications that advance the organization’s goals and embody our commitment to justice and equity.

Reporting directly to our CEO, Shauna, this role is equal parts strategy, team leadership, and rolling up your sleeves to make things happen. Our ideal candidate is a seasoned and creative leader with a depth of experience both developing brand strategies and bringing them to life through inspiring and impactful multi-channel communications. 

The Core Responsibilities

Brand & Marketing Strategy

  • Partner with the CEO and other leaders to set IDEO.org’s global communications strategy and priorities
  • Oversee and actively contribute to the full range of communications activities, including brand strategy and positioning, storytelling, marketing, media relations, and donor communications
  • Evolve and continually refresh IDEO.org’s brand strategy, value proposition, offer, and messaging—developing collateral and campaigns for a variety of audiences that clearly communicate the value of design and our impact 
  • Ensure a portfolio of stories across channels that represent the range of our work, people, and capabilities
  • Expand IDEO.org’s influence and thought leadership, positioning senior executives as thought leaders in their respective fields through media placements, strategic partnerships, and securing high-value speaking opportunities
  • Develop a PR strategy and foster external relationships with media, key conferences, and networks that can help grow awareness of IDEO.org’s work among key audiences
  • Steward the IDEO.org brand, ensuring all touchpoints are cohesive

Cross-Functional Collaboration

  • Work with leaders in the U.S. and Kenya to develop regionally-specific messaging and communications materials that reflect the diversity of our work across geographies
  • Coach IDEO.org leaders (staff and board) to serve as effective external ambassadors for the organization
  • Build marketing mindedness among the organization’s leaders 
  • Partner with the CEO, Talent team, and Chief of Staff to craft clear, effective, and timely internal communications
  • Act as a core collaborator and advisor to the Partnerships team, making strategic recommendations based on your understanding of our brand and audiences

Team Leadership

  • Direct the team’s day-to-day work, including project planning, resource allocation, creative direction, and ROI goals
  • Lead and foster a creative and inclusive team culture—providing regular coaching, creative direction, two-way feedback, and connection to opportunities 
  • Nurture the growth and development of other members on the team, which includes two marketers, a writer, and a visual designer
  • Manage the annual communications budget
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with freelancers, agencies, and collaborators to extend our capacity and capabilities

The ideal candidate has:

  • 10+ years of experience in brand strategy and communications (experience with mission-driven brands or B2B marketing a plus)
  • A passion for social justice, and an ability to create communications that center equity and representation
  • Experience leading multidisciplinary teams (5+ years) and building strong relationships anchored in trust, respect, and communication
  • A gift for distilling complex concepts into clear, digestible language for a diverse range of audiences
  • A leadership style that is both inclusive and decisive—someone who makes space for multiple perspectives, fosters alignment, and nurtures a culture of belonging 
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to create stellar work under deadline
  • Enthusiasm for and experience mentoring others—someone who prioritizes feedback, acknowledgement, and inspiration within their team
  • Comfort working in a hybrid digital/in-person work environment—moving fluidly between digital platforms, including Google Suite and Slack
  • Experience working in a creative or nonprofit environment is a plus

The Pay

IDEO.org values pay transparency to enable jobseekers to make informed and empowered choices with their time and effort. The salary range associated with the Head of Brand & Communications is $150,000 - $175,000, with participation in our benefits, including medical, dental, vision, 4% 401k match, annual caregiver benefit, generous vacation policy, 16 paid holidays a year, and a 5-week paid Sabbatical after 5 years of service.

Wondering where you might land within this range? The exact salary for a role will ultimately depend on many factors, including; peer data within our organization, level of specialization required in the role, a candidate’s level of direct and relevant experience, among others. During your interview process, your Recruiter will discuss level and salary with you, to help you better understand how we make equitable pay and level decisions at IDEO.org.

The When & Where

Location & Working Hours: The Global Brand & Communications team is located across the US and Nairobi, Kenya. To accommodate collaboration across time zones, we’re looking for someone who can be based in the US, working on Eastern Time. Our preference is for someone who is able to work from our New York studio 1-2 days/week, but we are open to candidates outside the NYC metro areas. IDEO.org will provide a relocation stipend to relocate to NYC for the role. 

Travel: Candidates within the NYC area should anticipate travel at least 1x/year to our San Francisco or Nairobi studios, plus occasional travel for marketing-related activities. If you live outside of the New York City metro area, you will also be expected to travel to New York 3x/year for team offsites and strategy meetings. 

The Application Requirements

If you see yourself and your skillset in any of the above, please apply. Studies tell us that the confidence gap and imposter syndrome can prevent women and people of color from applying unless they meet every single qualification. Your experience doesn’t perfectly match the job description? Apply anyway. You just might be a great candidate for this role or others. 

In order to be considered for the role, please submit a resume, a cover letter sharing more about your interest in IDEO.org and in the role, and complete the required application questions. We look forward to learning more about you!

What You Can Expect from Us

  • A diverse and multidisciplinary team that is passionate about advancing our mission to design a more just and inclusive world. Over 70% of IDEO.org’s global staff identify as people of color and over 75% identify as women or non-binary.
  • A community of creative thought partners across San Francisco, New York, and Nairobi.
  • A team of collaborators focused on advancing the practices of co-design and designing for equity.
  • A talent team committed to supporting the development of our community.
  • A culture of regular learning and inspiration to collectively develop ourselves and our work.

Commitment to Diversity

At IDEO.org, our mission is to design a more just and inclusive world, and that means centering equity, justice, and belonging in everything we do. We strive to bring together diverse perspectives and lived experiences to create a culture where joy, care, and full self-expression can thrive. This means creating conditions for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief to thrive. This includes our employees, candidates, and the partners and communities we work with. We hold ourselves accountable to providing equitable access to resources and disrupting systems of oppression both within our organization and among the communities we serve. 

This includes the following commitments:

  • Fostering unconditional belonging for all staff
  • Evolving processes and practices to shift power 
  • Translating our values around equity and justice into structural and operational change
  • Engaging in continuous and collective collective reckoning on an ongoing basis

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