Senior Director – Communication

14 Sep, 2021


Senior Director – Communication

American Kidney Fund
Rockville, MD
  • Description

    About the American Kidney Fund

    The American Kidney Fund (AKF) is the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit fighting kidney disease on all fronts. We are proud to be recognized as one of the top 50 nonprofit employers in the United States by The Nonprofit Times. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. We are able to reach this level of efficiency and effectiveness because of our incredible team.

    About the position

    As a senior member of the Office of Communications and Marketing, the Senior Director of Communications develops a visionary strategy and manages and grows a robust media relations program that generates over 2 billion impressions annually. The Senior Director is responsible for managing other internal and external communications vehicles that help to build the AKF brand. A collaborative colleague, a creative thinker and a talented writer, the Senior Director works closely with colleagues from across the organization to advance fundraising and programmatic goals that undergird our service mission. Reporting to the Vice President of Communications and Marketing, the Senior Director serves as a key adviser to the AKF Executive Team on communications issues.

    Are you someone who is:

    • Collaborative: Leads through collaboration and teamwork.
    • Creative: A thinker who designs communications that audiences can’t stop reading.
    • Innovative: Optimizes all media channels.

    Every member of the communications and marketing team is hands-on and is able to see the direct results of their efforts. Join the team and grow professionally while making a difference in the lives of people living with kidney disease.

    Employee benefits:

    In addition to your competitive salary, paid holidays, vacation, sick and personal days; health, dental and vision coverage; life insurance and disability coverages; and a generous matching 403(b) retirement plan, we’ll shower you with perks, including:

    • Culture: We make sure our team knows how much they are valued demonstrated through our Quality Work Environment  (QWE) Task Force and employee-led recognition and social events throughout the year.
    • Compressed work week: Start the weekend early with shorter workdays on Fridays – closing at 3 p.m. Labor Day to Memorial Day and 2 p.m. in the summer.
    • Flexibility: Employees work from home three days a week.
    • Clear expectations: You’ll know what you need to do to succeed; annual raises and bonuses for all employees are based on your performance.
    • Location: Convenient location and a short walk to the popular Pike and Rose shopping center
    • Parking: Arrive and leave work comfortably, thanks to an underground parking garage whose monthly cost is paid for by AKF. Metro subsidies are provided for those who do not drive.
    • Dress code: Business casual through the week and casual on Fridays.

    At AKF, we embrace diversity and emphasize the importance of working together as a staff to continue making the organization a great place to work.


    • Develops and executes effective media and public relations strategies that accurately position the work of AKF and support the organization’s programmatic and fundraising goals.
    • Fosters a culture of responsiveness to communications opportunities and ideas. Takes a hands-on approach and contributes positively to a departmental culture that serves as a strategic partner to internal stakeholders.
    • Effectively translates programmatic and disease state data into understandable and impactful messaging for the general public, AKF constituents and media.
    • Serves as a key AKF spokesperson.
    • Maintains and builds working relationships with media.
    • Writes and edits press releases, blog articles, infographics and other materials, ensuring high quality content is produced in a timely fashion.
    • Collaborates closely with the Senior Director of Marketing to ensure AKF’s communications and marketing program is effectively aligned and fully supporting organizational goals.
    • Works closely with colleagues in Programs to identify opportunities for PR around key initiatives.
    • Works closely with colleagues in Development to raise profile of fundraising programs in media and provide communications deliverables to sponsored campaigns, special events and other fundraising efforts.
    • Works closely with colleagues in Government Affairs office to develop effective messaging and media outreach supporting AKF’s policy agenda and Advocate engagement.
    • Uses experience in crisis communications to proactively identify and mitigate any issues facing the organization.
    • Uses knowledge of industry trends, including digital tools, to enhance communications efforts.
    • An excellent supervisor who provides coaching and mentoring to help team members grow in their careers at AKF.
    • Manages agency and contractor relationships, including AKF PR agency of record.
    • Drafts and manages communications budget.
    • Uses thorough knowledge of nonprofit communications best practices to serve as a key member of AKF’s internal website development committee.
    • Maintains and improves upon the newsroom.
    • Communicates and actively engages with kidney patients, medical professionals, and others in order to maintain a database of individuals who are available to speak to the media.
    • Maintains and grows AKF’s blog, Kidney Today, working closely with Associate Director of Communications to identify topics and contributors.
    • Closely tracks and measures PR metrics, providing regular reports to VP.
    • Other related duties as assigned
    • Travel is required – up to 10%.
  • Requirements

    Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in communications, public relations or journalism, and 10 years of progressively responsible experience in communications and public relations, including experience involving budgeting and strategic planning. Experience in nonprofit communications is required. Experience with communicating complex health information and government policy issues a plus. 3-5 years of supervisory experience is required. Though knowledge of public relations, internal and external communications, and crisis communications within nonprofit organizations. Proven ability to serve as an effective spokesperson and leader. Excellent writing, editing and presentation skills. Organized and detail-oriented; able to work effectively within a team framework as well as independently. Successful candidate will have a proven ability to prioritize and handle multiple projects, meet deadlines, and produce outstanding results in a fast-paced environment. Ability to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity and discretion. Must have excellent interpersonal skills. Knowledge of AP style. Proficiency in MS Office. Ability to speak Spanish a plus.

    AKF will be returning to the office on November 1, 2021, with employees working two days in the office and three days of telework. AKF requires employees to be fully vaccinated and the 14 day waiting period completed by November 1 or their first day of hire, whichever is later. A request for medical or religious accommodation may be provided and will be considered confidentially by HR on a case-by-case basis.

    Learn more here

Job posted: 2021-09-14