Careers >> Communications Director
Communications Director
Title:Communications Director
Department/State Office:Communications
Campaign Start Date:05/10/2018
Location:National Office - Washington, DC

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, foundation, corporate and government grants.


Position Summary:

The Communication Director will manage the full range of CDF’s digital and traditional media engagement, production and dissemination of publications, and oversee the execution of public facing events. The Director will ultimately be responsible for that the Communication’s team ability to create, implement and manage a strategic communications vision; effectively bring public awareness to child poverty 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 national, 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.


Core Responsibilities:

        Strategic Vision and Management

  • Establish a strategic vision for CDF’s communications that effectively conveys solutions to ending child poverty, to established and new audiences as well as makes 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 through the management of an approximately 5 person communications team and working in partnership with relevant CDF divisions;

  • In conjunction with members of leadership, establish messaging priorities and ensure that public facing activities and publications are aligned with those priorities.

  • Identify communication messaging and strategies as relevant for organizational priorities.

  • Work across the organization to ensure CDF materials are consistent with CDF’s message, tone and style guide, and to ensure Communications resources support divisions and state offices to the extent possible.

  • Effective project management to assist Communication Team members in reaching goals on various projects and supporting finalizing content to get products to completion.

  • Ensure quality control for external facing products through management of personnel and processes.

Digital Communications

  • Expand the reach of CDF’s digital communications with the intent to penetrate new audiences and bring more constituents to CDF’s digital platforms.

  • Draw more exposure to CDF’s work and priorities through online platforms including social media.

  • Maintain a modernized website (Wordpress) through management of the Webmaster to keep updated content consistent with best practices for digital environments.

  • Lead in electronic engagement with CDF constituents.

        Publications and Recurring Communications

  • Oversee the process to complete regular publications including reports like the State of America’s Children, the Portrait of Inequality, and the weekly ChildWatch column.

  • Execute on the public-facing written materials for CDF events including CDF Freedom Schools® National Training, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, the Children’s Sabbath and Beat the Odds® 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 messaging and strategies.

  • Engage with reporters to promote CDF’s publications and messages.

  • Strategically use CDF programs, partners, and leadership to maximize CDF’s impact to advance CDF’s message.


  • Oversee the effective public facing elements of events including CDF Freedom Schools® National Training, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, the Children’s Sabbath and Beat the Odds® Events.


  • Other duties as assigned


  • A demonstrated interest and deep commitment in and commitment to social justice and improving the quality of life for children and families, especially those who are most vulnerable

  • 8+ years of communications experience

  • Demonstrated experience effectively managing staff including webmasters, graphic designers and writers

  • 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

  • A strong understanding of CDF’s issues: Health Care, Child Welfare, Education, Gun Violence, Youth Justice, Housing, Early Childhood Development, and Poverty.

  • Political awareness and acumen regarding federal, state and local policy making

  • Experience effectively working in senior teams and an ability to work well in teams and to build bridges across priorities and work responsibilities

  • Strong proofreading skills

  • An ability to set, choose between, budget for, and implement team priorities

  • Integrity, institutional loyalty and high standards of excellence and accuracy

  • A “get it done,” results-driven, proactive attitude

  • A self-starter capable of working independently and under pressure

  • Ability to take initiative, set priorities, efficiently and effectively organize work and manage multiple tasks simultaneously


Salary and Benefits


Salary will be commensurate with experience. Employees receive an attractive benefits package.

To apply submit cover letter, resume and salary requirement




25 E Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 |


This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications