Director of Communications

26 Oct, 2022


Director of Communications

Arlington, VA
CNA fosters an inclusive culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Our flexible and engaging work environment encourages iterative and creative collaboration at every stage of the problem solving process. Our employees are committed to helping clients develop effective solutions to better manage their programs through scientific, data-driven approaches. We are looking for creative and innovative individuals to help carry out our mission.


Responsible for developing, directing, and executing CNA’s overall communications activities, including public relations, brand management and internal communications. Establish institutional policies and practices to develop and maintain the desired image of the organization. Act as advisor to the CEO. Collaborate with and support executive leadership on outreach and business development efforts. Increase CNA’s visibility and reputation with stakeholders, sponsors, and key audiences.


1. Develop, direct, and execute a corporate communications and outreach strategy. Collaborate with leaders across the organization to identify key messages and audiences for CNA’s research and develop appropriate tactics to deliver messages to the target audiences.

2. Direct and manage external and internal communication efforts to include media relations, social media, CNA’s web sites (unclassified and classified), CNA’s social media presence, and internal employee communications and newsletters. Act as chief spokesperson for CNA in matters that require a response from the company.

3. Oversee CNA’s budget dedicated to outreach activities. Coordinate and manage proactive use of this funding to promote CNA research and analysts as thought leaders.

4. Coordinate the production of communications materials and vehicles to support the dissemination of research and thought leadership activities of the analysts. This includes print materials, podcasts, blog articles, and photography.

5. Protect the CNA brand and manage the CNA’s branding guidelines. Ensure that CNA’s brand standards are supported in all internal and external communications.

6. Manage relationships with reporters and news outlets that cover defense, homeland security, law enforcement and national security.  Partner with research divisions to identify and position work for placement in appropriate publications and journals.

7. Train the research staff and corporate staff leadership in best practices to engage with the media, social media and external stakeholders. Facilitate and provide training on public speaking, presentation, and media/press interview skills.

8. Develop and oversee digital media capabilities including, video, podcasts and integrated digital multimedia campaigns to support research projects and programs as well as corporate communication efforts.

9. Manage crisis communications. Serve as an advisor to the CEO and executive leadership.  Act as primary communications POC in the event of an emergency.  Serve as a member of the Incident Command team. Maintain and update the CNA Crisis Communications Plan as needed.

10. Manage the daily activities and performance of assigned Communications Staff. Oversee Communications work processes and offer solutions to ensure maximum productivity, efficiency and quality within Communications.

11. Perform other duties as assigned.


1. Education: Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism or related field required or equivalent combination of education and work experience required.  Master’s degree preferred.

2. Experience: Minimum of 12 years progressive experience in a communications management or similar position that included hiring and supervising staff, directing workflow, making decisions, and working closely with writers, editors, and designers. Experience managing public relations in a research organization/environment desirable.

3. Skills: Must have an extremely high level of oral and written communications skills; be an experienced public speaker; good editing skills; demonstrated experience with the use of web sites, social media and other digital media for communications; knowledge of public relations; ability to plan and accomplish goals; ability to lead and direct the work of others; ability to lead and manage projects; ability to work effectively in multi-disciplinary environment, wide degree of creativity; high level of tact; and ability to multi-task. Demonstrated team player with ability to collaborate across a mid-size organization.

4. Other:  Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance. Build and sustain a respectful workplace. Accountable for modeling respectful behavior, as well as recognizing and addressing offensive behaviors exhibited by any employees.

5. Remote/Hybrid Work Eligibility: This position is eligible for telecommuting or hybrid work arrangements at the discretion of the Supervisor.  Employees may be required to work at CNA headquarters or other work locations resulting in changes to the scheduled telecommuting or hybrid work arrangements.

***Required Documents***

1. Cover Letter – Please include a cover letter as part of your application to be considered for this position. A cover letter should introduce yourself, briefly summarize your professional background, explain why you are a good candidate and the reason for your personal interest in applying for this job

***Voluntary (but highly desired) document***
Please include a personal statement as part of your application. A personal statement is a chance for us to get to know you. The statement is your opportunity to share your goals, interests, influences and show us that you will be a valuable asset to our organization. Please click here for personal statement guidelines – Click here
Personal statements will not be used as an elimination criteria for this position. They will only be used to enhance a candidate’s application

CNA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service and protected veterans, or other non-merit based factors. In addition to federal legal requirements, CNA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. These protections extend to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring practices, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training and career development programs. For more information about EEO protections, please view the EEO is the law posters here: “EEO is the Law” Poster”“EEO Poster Supplement”. The pay transparency policy is available here: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Poster. To be considered for hire, all individuals applying for positions with CNA are subject to a background investigation. For positions requiring access to classified information, U.S. citizenship is required. Individuals will also be subject to an additional government background investigation, and continued employment eligibility is contingent upon the ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.
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Job posted: 2022-10-26