Director of Communications

12 Sep, 2021


Director of Communications

The Institute for Political Innovation
Chicago, IL

Position Profile: Director of Communications

This is a rare opportunity for an exceptional, multi-faceted individual to contribute to the national democracy innovation movement. The Director of Communications (DOC) will play an integral role in executing the mission and vision of IPI to catalyze action, bringing Politics Industry Theory to further life and extending its reach, to supporting the passage of ballot initiatives and legislation.

Reporting to the Executive Directors, the DOC is responsible for crafting and executing the Institute’s high-level communications strategy, which includes a national PR campaign, proactive/defense public affairs strategy in support of state-level campaigns, packaging and distribution of thought leadership, and crafting a best-in-class messaging and talking points plan ensuring that IPI (and partners) are using the most persuasive and accurate arguments to win minds and hearts This position will manage the Marketing Director along with PR consulting firms and other vendors. The DOC will serve as an advisor to state FFV campaigns as they build their messaging strategy for passing Final-Five Voting in their state. Messaging will likely differ from state to state depending on the political landscape, history, and culture. The DOC will build and manage a mid-six-figure yearly budget.

The Director of Communications will be accountable for:

IPI Public Affairs: Build a best-in-class, cross-partisan public relations strategy that influences national and local public opinion and promotes IPI ideas and services. Proactively build a network of engaged top-tier media and surrogates and respond to requests for information from the media. Track media coverage and work closely with the IPI team to respond or amplify. Craft and educate a publishing plan and schedule (op-eds, essays, etc.)

IPI Messaging: Be the conduit between IPI theory & scholarship, and campaigns/marketing with the goal of crafting a best-in-class, data-driven messaging that wins hearts and minds. Works directly with our national cohort of political operative and manage pollsters and focus-group consultants to build a tailored package and deploy it with a customer-service mentality to our partners. Make sure all surrogates of IPI are using the best talking points and most persuasive data when representing IPI.

IPI Image: Develop strategy to maintain IPI’s image as a cross-partisan, scholarly, and politically savvy leader in the political reform space. May include raising the individual profiles of Katherine Gehl or IPI senior leadership team.

IPI Advocacy: In partnership with the rest of the IPI team, act as a member of the consulting team with state FFV campaigns. Help them build their strategy for passing Final-Five Voting in their state. Strategies will likely differ from state to state depending on the political landscape, history, and culture. Simultaneously, create national approaches that catalyze support for FFV in ways that can be leveraged by state campaigns.

IPI Relationships and Network: As a key player, build and manage relationships around the country with a keen eye toward “network-effect opportunities” to perfect and consolidate all PR efforts and support high-leverage projects as needed.

The character sketch of the ideal candidate is as follows:

A top-tier public affairs mind

A natural leader who gravitates toward problem-solving at a grand scale

A preternatural ability to build buy-in around a plan, and drive to completion

Experience and excellence in media management, both strategically (toward setting agendas) and actively (writing)

A manager who identifies and hones talent and creates exceptional environments

A strong backbone; ability to work at a fast pace and manage coolly through a crisis

Intrinsically motivated; a self-starter who seeks out and thrives in fast-paced environments with the highest expectations for accuracy and efficacy

Unbreakably organized with demonstrated ability to simultaneously balance deadlines and projects in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment

Ability to assess opportunities and create systems to execute on strategic priorities

A collaborator, a phenomenal written and oral communicator, and an outstanding project manager

Adept at engaging stakeholders with through external relationship management

Exhibits a positive attitude and executes tasks with ease and a calm demeanor

Willingness to engage at all levels, doing whatever it takes to get the job done

The qualifications for the ideal candidate are as follows:

At least 10 years of communications experience in professional environments, including a track record of driving measurable results and successes

At least 3 years’ experience leading communications for political or public affairs campaigns, elected officials, and/or Fortune-500 corporate leaders

At least 3 years’ experience developing and executing effective communications strategies on policy issues that live in the overlap between public and private sectors

Experience gathering and analyzing information using polling, surveys and focus groups

Ability to quickly develop subject matter expertise on complex policy challenges and solutions

Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Constant Contact, Mailchimp, CRM, databases and various social media platforms, WordPress (CMS)

Willingness to travel as required for the position

English proficiency • Able to work legally in the United States

Willing to take post-offer pre-employment psychological profile, and, if requested, a drug screen

While this profile is intended to be an accurate reflection of the most significant duties of the current position, it is not necessarily exhaustive of all responsibilities, duties, efforts, requirements or expectations. Other duties may be assigned as necessary. IPI strives to be an inclusive organization that fosters learning, collaboration, and respect. We actively recruit for diversity in the workplace, believing that a range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences contributes to our mission. IPI is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any applicants for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability; or on any other basis prohibited by law. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate who needs reasonable accommodations to apply for this position, please contact us.

TO APPLY: Please submit cover letter and resume to Solomon Lieberman, co-Executive Director of IPI, at

Job posted: 2021-09-12