Careers >> Communications Director
Communications Director
Title:Communications Director
Department/State Office:Texas
Campaign Start Date:11/11/2020
Location:Austin, Bellaire, Rio Grande Valley, TX

Communications Director
Job Description

Mission of the Children's Defense Fund:

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.

CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by individual donations, foundations, corporate and government grants.

Children's Defense Fund-Texas (CDF-Texas) began in 1999 and has offices in Houston, Austin, McAllen, and Tyler. Paying particular attention to the needs of children living in poverty, children of color, children in immigrant families and those with disabilities, we monitor state and federal policies and programs and organize public engagement to ensure that child wellbeing is a shared priority. CDF-Texas works to ensure every child a healthy start in life through access to affordable health coverage through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Children's Medicaid. Our Beat the Odds scholarship program and CDF Freedom Schools offer innovative programming and mentoring to young people in under-resourced communities. And our Youth Civic Education & Engagement initiative works to lift the youth voice in our democratic processes, with a focus on underrepresented communities of color.

Position Summary:

The Communication Director will manage the full range of CDF-Texas’ digital and traditional media engagement, production and dissemination of publications, and oversee the execution of public facing events. The Director will be responsible for working with CDF-Texas leadership to create, implement and manage a strategic communications vision; effectively bring public awareness to the many issues facing children in Texas and the nation and the work CDF is doing to combat those injustices; modernize and expand CDF’s digital presence; ensure public facing materials properly reflect CDF, and creatively find ways to lift up the voices and needs of children at the state, and local levels. Most imperative will be this position’s ability to expand CDF’s narrative to reach new audiences and increase constituent engagement and action. This position will receive support from communications intern/s and occasional communication contractor/s.

Core Responsibilities:

Strategic Vision and Management

  • Establish a strategic vision for CDF-Texas’ communications that effectively conveys solutions to the challenges facing children in Texas, to established and new audiences and supports the transition from awareness to action in CDF’s programs, advocacy and organizing efforts;
  • Execute upon the vision through implementing short-, mid- and long-term strategies for CDF’s public relations working in partnership with relevant CDF-Texas team members;
  • In conjunction with members of leadership, establish messaging priorities and ensure that public facing activities and publications are aligned with those priorities.
  • Work across the organization to ensure CDF-Texas materials are consistent with CDF’s message, tone and style guide, and to ensure Communications resources support CDF-Texas programs and initiatives.
  • Effective project management in reaching goals on various projects and finalizing content to get products to completion.
  • Ensure quality control for external facing products.
  • Coordinate CDF-Texas communications with national office priorities and assist with state-level rollout and media engagement for CDF publications, statements, press releases, etc.

Digital Communications

  • Expand the reach of CDF-Texas’ digital communications to penetrate new audiences and bring more constituents to CDF-Texas’ digital platforms.
  • Draw more exposure to CDF’s work and priorities through online platforms.
  • In coordination with the national office maintain – and update – the CDF-Texas website to keep updated content consistent with best practices for digital environments.

Publications and Recurring Communications

  • Oversee the process to complete publications and reports.
  • Execute on the public-facing written materials for CDF-Texas events.
  • Ensure public facing materials are produced to high standards of quality and consistent with CDF’s messaging and tone.

Media Relations

  • Establish and maintain relationships with key outlets and reporters to advance CDF-Texas messaging and strategies.
  • Engage with reporters to promote CDF’s publications and messages.
  • Strategically collaborate with CDF programs, partners, and leadership to advance CDF-Texas’s message.


CDF-Texas is currently managing an extensive non-partisan campaign for healthcare coverage with organizations and coalitions throughout the state to organize everyday Texans to push for Medicaid expansion in Texas. For more information, please visit

Working with CDF-Texas leadership and campaign partners, the communications director will be responsible for managing and guiding campaign messaging and communication strategies. The Communications Director should expect to spend 50% of their time on #SickOfItTX-related communications activities for the duration of the campaign.


For #SickOfItTX related communications activities the Communications Director will report to the campaign director and work in partnership with the campaign leadership team which holds policy, organizing and strategy expertise. The Communications Director will also supervise a Digital Organizing Manager who will have primary responsibility for executing campaign-related digital communications and organizing activities. The #SickOfItTX campaign team also includes staff responsible for story collection; local partners in target communities; and a digital strategy and research firm.


#SickOfItTX Activities

  • Craft overarching narratives that align and articulate the values, strategy, and structural change sought by #SickOfItTX
  • Lead the creation of strategic communications plans, including message and content development for campaign brand, website, advocacy events, social and traditional media.
  • Manage the organizational identity and brand consistency of images and messages across all platforms in collaboration with the Digital Organizing Manager
  • Create and implement ambitious narrative and digital content distribution goals and evaluate progress.
  • Ensure consistency, timeliness and cohesion of messaging across campaign platforms, including website, social media channels, and email contact program
  • Develop and implement campaign communications strategies that grow the campaign’s base of supporters and gain influence with policy makers through the demonstration of people power.
  • Expand and deepen #SickOfItTX’s online presence, paying particular attention to the growth and engagement of supporters in targeted regions of the state
  • Ensure the voices and stories of #SickOfItTX storytellers are heard and reported on by news media
  • Identify and implement effective messaging strategies in targeted communities in partnership with digital strategy firm. This will include developing location-sensitive messaging and assisting developing a strategy for traditional media or other non-digital communications strategies.
  • Primary contact and collaborator with digital strategy and research firm;
  • Monitor and stay current on issues affecting push for the healthcare coverage expansion in Texas, including Texas media and legislative arenas.
  • Track campaign-related media coverage


  • A demonstrated interest and deep commitment to social justice and improving the quality of life for children and families, especially those who are most vulnerable
  • A strong understanding of CDF-Texas’ mission, programs and priorities.
  • 5+ years of relevant communications experience
  • Demonstrated experience effectively managing teams, consultants and contractors
  • Experience creating and implementing strategic communications plans
  • Experience with technical platforms for constituent management and engagement on social media
  • Demonstrated creativity and an understanding how to penetrate news cycles
  • Relationships with reporters and/or an ability to create key relationships
  • Political awareness and acumen regarding federal, state and local policy making
  • A “get it done,” results-driven, proactive attitude, capable of working independently and under pressure, ability to take initiative, set priorities, efficiently and effectively organize work and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Experience in an issue-based campaign designed to build public will for policy change or a political campaign.
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills
  • Experience working on organizational or branded accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and/or other social media platforms.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate well with partners.
  • Spanish language is a plus.


Salary and Benefits

Compensation: Salary range is $55,000 - $70,000, depending on qualifications and experience. CDF-Texas offers excellent medical, dental, and vision benefits, and a 403b retirement plan with employer contributions.

Hours: we are committed to a healthy work-life balance. We are also committed to standing up for progress at times that often occur outside of regular business hours, so this person may sometimes have to work weekends and evenings.

Position is based in Austin, Texas but currently all staff are working remotely during the Public Health Emergency.

To apply submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement 

This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications