Director of External Affairs and Communications

25 Feb, 2021


Director of External Affairs and Communications

Student Defense
Washington, DC

Organization Description
The National Student Legal Defense Network (Student Defense) is a non-profit
organization focusing on consumer protection in higher education. Through litigation and
advocacy, we work to advance students’ rights to educational opportunity and ensure that
higher education provides a launching point for economic mobility. We seek to protect
students from predatory lending and other abusive practices by for-profit and other
institutions of higher education. Student Defense has successfully brought challenges to the
Trump Administration’s attempts to rollback key regulatory protections for student loan
borrowers and helped clients secure discharges of their federal student loan debt.
We are seeking a highly qualified individual to manage Student Defense’s communications
external and political outreach and policy development activities. Our office is located in
downtown Washington, D.C. However, given COVID-19 considerations at the time of this
posting, our team is working remotely and thus, this selected individual may begin this role
Job Duties and Responsibilities
The Director of External Affairs will be responsible for:
• Developing and executing a strategic communications plan;
• Cultivating relationships with media;
• Managing and developing social media and digital strategy for Student Defense;
• Writing press releases, OpEds, blog posts and newsletters;
• Conducting research and drafting reports on higher education and consumer issues;
• Directing Student Defense work with partner organizations;
• Representing Student Defense at public events;
• Talking to reporters on the record and conducting and tv and radio interviews;
The ideal candidate will have:
• At least 8 years of communications and/or public affairs experience in government,
campaigns, policy advocacy or related fields.
• Strong administrative, research, writing, and communication skills and ability to
execute a high-level of attention to detail in a fast-paced work environment;
• Sound judgement and discretion in handling and communicating confidential
• Strong organizational and interpersonal skills and the ability to work independently
with little supervision in a small, start-up environment; and
• A commitment to Student Defense’s mission, purpose, and values.
Although experience and knowledge of consumer protection issues in higher education is
not required, Student Defense values applicants with knowledge of and experience with
such issues.
Salary and Benefits
Salary is highly competitive and commensurate with experience.
Student Defense offers excellent benefits, including healthcare, a pre-tax retirement
match, and a transportation stipend (once remote work ends), among others.
To Apply
Please e-mail a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to as
soon as possible. Student Defense will review applications and make decisions on a rolling
Please address your cover letter to the Hiring Committee and include Director of External
Affairs and Communications in the email subject line. Candidates should highlight any
personal or professional experience that demonstrates their connection to the populations
that Student Defense serves.
Student Defense is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and encourages
applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, national origin,
religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or veteran status, or other
non-work-related factors.

Job posted: 2021-02-25