Director of External Communications

24 Jul, 2019


Director of External Communications

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Bethesda, MD

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has a current opening for a talented Director of External Communications. This important position plays a critical role in delivering on the Communications team’s topline objectives: To protect and strengthen the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s reputation and brand and advance the Foundation’s mission. The Director, External Communications is charged with creating and executing communications strategies that build and maintain the CF Foundation’s reputation as the world’s leader in the fight against CF, and position the Foundation at the vanguard of patient advocacy through its efforts in research, care, policy, and patient support. We are highly collaborative and purpose-driven culture with five shared values. These core values are the pillars on which CFF stand and will continue to sustain us as we move forward.

  • Keep sight of what really matters.
  • Aspire for excellence in all we do.
  • Stronger together.
  • Innovate with courage.
  • Care about our people.
Areas of Responsibility
  • Bring the CF Foundation’s narrative to life through creative storytelling. Pursue media, thought leadership, and other visibility opportunities to promote the Foundation’s work across all program lines and keep the Foundation top of mind among key external stakeholders such as potential collaborators, policymakers, and other influencers in the biopharmaceutical ecosystem. Support speaker and spokesperson preparation to maximize the impact of these engagements.
  • Collaborate with colleagues across the Foundation, and particularly within the Communications function, to formulate and execute strategies that will advance the Foundation’s reputation and elevate our influence with key audiences. Partner closely with Director, Research Communications to raise external awareness of our research efforts in a manner that aligns with the overall research communications strategy and amplifies their efforts promote and drive understanding of the Foundation’s research priorities and progress, provide hope to the CF community, and inspire confidence on our ability to deliver our mission.
  • Lead and/or oversee the development of key messages, press releases, presentations, and other collateral to communicate the Foundation’s story, such as the Annual Report; collaborate with colleagues across the comms function to ensure the Foundation’s narrative is reflected on our website and channels.
  • Oversee the Manager, Policy and Advocacy Communications in their work to raise awareness of and support for the Foundation’s policy agenda and engage the CF community and other external stakeholders to advance solutions to meet the needs of people with CF. Advise on policy communications strategies and ensure that policy-focused content, collateral, and campaigns are of the highest quality and align with the Foundation’s broader positioning, messaging, and communications priorities. Serve as a thought partner and counselor to Foundation leadership who are focused on policy and advocacy efforts.
  • Serve as an internal champion of the Foundation’s policy efforts and collaborate with the Director, Internal Communications to ensure colleagues across the Foundation are aware of the Foundation’s policy agenda.
  • Play a key role in anticipating and managing potential reputational issues for the Foundation and partner with the Senior Director, Communications and SVP, Communications to support communications related to sensitive issues.
  • Work collaboratively across the comms function to ensure external placements are consistently communicated and appropriately leveraged in community-focused communications channels.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement; mentor and develop staff.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Build and sustain relationships at multiple levels with various stakeholders including CFF senior leaders, donors/volunteers, external collaborators, media and thought leaders in the CF field.
Educational Background
Bachelor’s degree in communications or related field is required.
  • 10-15 years of progressively senior communications experience with a focus on health care and/or public policy at a large nonprofit, corporation, or communications agency environment.
  • Passion for groundbreaking scientific and medical innovation a must; familiarity with trends related to cost and access in the U.S. health system and experience with payer communications strongly preferred.
  • Highly collaborative, with the ability to work in a complex organization with multiple divisions and priorities.
  • Enthusiastic, curious, and solution-oriented; committed to continuous learning and improvement; eager to embrace organic opportunities.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to effectively interface with senior management.
  • Experience managing junior staff.

Job posted: 2019-07-24