Senior Communications Manager, Service to America Medals Program

07 Oct, 2020


Senior Communications Manager, Service to America Medals Program

Partnership for Public Service
Washington, DC


The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a compelling mission: we are working to help make the federal government a more dynamic, innovative and effective servant of the American people, and we have a great team that helps make it happen.


Our staff is diverse in experience and perspective, but at our core, we share a lot of the same traits. We are mission-driven, creative, collaborative, optimistic and inclusive.


Our work is strategic, fast-paced and guided by our values:


  • Passion for public service and our work toward a more effective government
  • People who promote a culture of learning, leadership, collaboration, inclusion and respect
  • Persistence to drive change, take strategic risks and deliver results
  • Promise to be trustworthy, nonpartisan and fiscally responsible

We hire smart and friendly people who are great at what they do and are good to one another in the process.


The Partnership for Public Service believes that good government begins with good people, and in 2001, we launched the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) – also known as the ‘Oscars of government service’ – to celebrate and recognize federal innovators. Since we started the Sammies program, we have gathered thousands of stories of accomplishment and honored more than 550 extraordinary individuals and teams. Over the past year, Sammies was featured on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and in a virtual event with Axios, featuring CNN’s Anderson Cooper and bestselling author, Michael Lewis. Due to the current circumstances, we have transformed our annual fall gala to be a one-hour virtual awards program featuring celebrities, former presidents, business leaders and top government officials. Building on that momentum, we now seek to broaden the impact of the program so that the public learns more about the great work of government, and best practices are spread across federal organizations.

The Senior Communications Manager will lead the strategic direction and oversee the planning and execution of the Sammies program, including a virtual and in person annual awards program. This position will also conceive, design and implement new programming to foster a stronger culture of recognition in government and to enhance understanding of our nation’s federal workforce. We are seeking a candidate with the proven ability to strategically grow a program and increase brand recognition. The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership, communications and program management skills, and have prior experience with in-person and virtual event design and execution.

The Senior Communications Manager will work as part of an interdisciplinary communications team, which is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s communication strategy. The team manages the Partnership’s brand, messaging and editorial content, generates media and publicity for the organization and its activities, develops digital media strategies, produces award-winning publications, manages events and markets the Partnership’s programs.


  • Design, implement and manage all aspects of the Service to America Medals program, including developing its long-term strategy, setting goals and objectives, establishing metrics, developing and monitoring the program budget and driving results through program implementation.
  • Formulate and lead short- and long-term plans for Sammies program growth.
  • Conceive, design and implement new programming to foster a stronger culture of recognition in government and to enhance the public’s understanding of our nation’s federal workforce.
  • Lead the creation of new audience development strategies and generate creative, strategically aligned programming to cultivate new audiences and increase awareness about the Sammies program and the work of the federal government.
  • Create strategic, high impact programming to engage Sammies alumni and inspire further involvement with the Partnership.
  • Lead a matrixed team in planning and managing the annual awards program including vendors, guests, run of show and program content, materials and audience development.
  • Work across the Partnership to coordinate key program deliverables including communications, fundraising, audience building, analytics tracking and relationship management.
  • Oversee the nominations process for the annual Service to America Medals program, with an eye towards increasing agency participation and the diversity of nominations.
  • Develop connections and build relationships with key external partners including federal leaders.
  • Willingness to occasionally work early mornings, evenings and weekends when needed to plan and execute events or to meet project deadlines.


  • Possess the ability to think big picture and strategically.
  • Have an entrepreneurial approach and creative out-of-the box thinking.
  • Superior written and verbal communications skills.
  • Excellent project management skills and very skilled in prioritizing, organizing, delegating and planning work.
  • Able to work in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment and to organize multiple and varied projects simultaneously.
  • Consistent, sound judgment and decision-making skills; ability to identify potential problems, analyze issues and provide proactive solutions.
  • Outstanding management skills, with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Flexibility, a can-do attitude and willingness to pitch in.
  • Experience working collaboratively with internal teams and external partners and/or vendors.
  • Well-developed professional network of industry and entertainment contacts.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Stays abreast of the latest communications and events trends and emerging platforms that may be relevant to the Sammies program.
  • Passion for the mission of the Partnership for Public Service and our nonpartisan values.



  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, events or nonprofit management, marketing or similar field, or equivalent professional work or military experience.
  • A minimum 8 to 10 years of relevant work experience in project management and strategic communications.
  • Experience with nonprofit event planning highly preferred.
  • Strong experience with program budgeting and strategic planning.
  • Experience using complex database software to manage and communicate with organizational contacts; experience using Salesforce and MailChimp preferred.


This position reports to the Vice President of Communications. This position may supervise junior staff.


This job operates in a professional office environment in Washington, DC and at external venues, both local and out-of-state. This position requires consistent use of office equipment such as computer, telephone, printer and scanner. Please note that as a result of COVID-19, Partnership staff are currently working remotely.


This is a full-time position with regular work hours Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There may be occasional evening or weekend activities required. Please note that as a result of COVID-19, the Partnership is allowing maximum flexibility in work schedules.


If travel occurs, it is usually during the business day. Some out of the area and/or overnight travel may be required as well.


The Partnership offers a compensation package that includes a competitive salary; medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; long- and short-term disability insurance; a 401K program with a 4 percent employer match; opportunities for training and development; 15 days of annual leave per year, 10 days of sick leave per year, plus all federal holidays and the day after Thanksgiving off; and use of an on-site exercise facility.


The Partnership strives to be an inclusive organization that fosters learning, collaboration and respect. We actively recruit for diversity in our workplace, believing that a range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences contributes to our mission of revitalizing government.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-10-07