Senior Director, Communications, External Affairs and Advocacy

28 Dec, 2020


Senior Director, Communications, External Affairs and Advocacy

National Urban League
Washington, DC

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment,
equality, and social justice. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the Urban League
collaborates at the national and local levels with community leaders, policymakers, and corporate
partners to elevate the standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved
groups. The National Urban League is led by Marc H. Morial, President and CEO.
Through its nearly 100 Affiliates, diverse programs, and advocacy, the League advances its mission to
enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. The League
reaches more than one million Americans each year through its valuable and relevant resources and
programs, such as the online jobs network, the Mature Worker Program, the Urban Youth Empowerment
Program, the Community Health Workers program, financial literacy, homeownership preparation and
foreclosure prevention classes, and education development. The collective economic impact of the
programs and operations of the National Urban League and the Urban League Movement is $1.2 billion
per year.
The League, a non-partisan, civil rights, and community-based movement, serves over two million people
each year, providing direct services, research and policy advocacy to assist individuals and communities
attain their fullest potential. The League’s network of professionally staffed affiliates in 37 states and the
District of Columbia work principally with African Americans and other disadvantaged urban communities
to diligently close equality gaps for people at all economic levels and stages of life, thereby creating an
opportunity for citizens to give back as volunteers. In pursuit of its mission–helping African Americans and
other underserved urban residents to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights–the
League’s five-point approach to empowerment consists of:
 Economic Empowerment invests in the financial literacy and employability of adults through job
training, homeownership counseling, and entrepreneurship support.
 Education and Youth Empowerment ensures that all children receive an education by providing
access to early childhood literacy, afterschool programs, and college preparation.
 Civic Engagement and Leadership Empowerment encourages all people to take an active role in
improving their quality of life through participation in community service projects, and public policy
 Health and Quality of Life Empowerment encourages all people to take an active role in improving
their wellness and quality of life through participation in preventative measures, health literacy
programs, community service projects, and public policy initiatives.

Civil Rights and Racial Justice Empowerment guarantees equal participation in all facets of American
society through proactive public policies and community-based programs. Technical Assistance to
Affiliates–NUL’s affiliates offer services in 36 states and the District of Columbia to over 350
communities across the country. These professionally staffed offices fulfill NUL’s services: where
people and their neighborhoods grow, change, and are strengthened. The League’s Affiliate Services
Department’s goal is to provide information and training to affiliate CEOs, Boards of Directors, staff,
and volunteers to increase their understanding of the League’s mission, and to enhance their
professional skills and effectiveness.
The Washington Bureau
The National Urban League has had a formal presence in the U.S. Capitol for more than 50 years,
advancing policies that protect and expand civil rights for more than 50 years. The “Washington Office”
as it was first known, was charged with building a direct relationship with the federal government in the
interest of protecting and expanding civil rights for all Americans. From its inception, the Office worked
to ensure the Urban League had a voice in the legislative process, educating and advising lawmakers on
the challenges and injustices facing urban America.
Today, The Washington Bureau, as it is now known, focuses on policy and advocacy goals grounded in the
local program experiences of the Urban League’s more than 90 affiliates throughout the U.S. Informed by
this on-the-ground, real-world perspective, the Bureau is uniquely qualified to lead policy discussions that
directly impact the capacity of urban communities to grow and prosper. Through its D.C. presence, the
Urban League pushes for greater resources and more effective policies to advance economic and social
The need for community-based advocacy has become more urgent as state and local governments assert
a more direct role in such critical issues as workforce development, healthcare, and education. Each
Spring, The Washington Bureau brings the Urban League movement to Capitol Hill for its annual Legislative
Policy Conference (LPC). Part of the League’s State of Black America summit, the LPC is an opportunity for
Urban League affiliate presidents, board members, young professionals, and Guild members to meet with
U.S. representatives and congressional staff for policy updates and discussion.
The Washington Bureau develops insightful policy and research reports on the economic state of urban
America and other underserved communities and produces publications that explore issues critical to the
progress and well-being of African Americans.
The Washington Bureau is led by Clint Odom, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, who serves as
the senior policy executive in Washington. Mr. Odom has previously held senior staff positions in the U.S.
Senate and the Federal Communications Commission during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

The Senior Director, Communications, External Affairs & Advocacy will promote, direct, and support all
communications and events on behalf of the NULWB. Based in Washington, DC, this role will have
significant interaction and coordination with the headquarters marketing and communication team in
New York. This will be a key role responsible for amplifying the important work and involvement of
NULWB in a variety of issues on a multiplicity of platforms. The Senior Director will have relationships
with relevant news organizations or be eager to develop and build those relationships. These include
earned media, print media and working with technical partners (such as Google and Facebook) and
technology platforms (such as Salsa Engage and Phone2Action) to help promote the organization’s
visibility and brand. The Senior Director will drive messaging and communications in a continuous and
consistent way.
Primary Responsibilities
This role will serve as the communications and media lead for NULWB with responsibility for increasing
the visibility of the Bureau’s legislative and advocacy work. This role will:
 Develop and maintain NULWB visibility plan, to include media outreach, NULWB social media
accounts, policy & advocacy initiatives on the NUL website and promoting the staff of NULWB and
President and CEO of NUL for policy-related visibility opportunities
 Serve as the lead curator of the “For The Movement” weekly podcast and oversee editing and
promotion of each episode
 Serve as the lead editor of the Washington Bureau Insider (WBI)
 Develop and implement media plans, to include press outreach, driving event attendance and working
with funders (Urban Solutions Council) and colleagues to widely disseminate all publications and
 Develop relations with press staff on the Hill and with partner organizations in order to promote
NULWB visibility and drive shared messaging around NUL Policy & Advocacy goals
 Edit all NULWB content that leaves the office for final review by the Senior Vice President
 Work with the Senior Vice President to draft and refine funder proposals and other NULWB support
materials, including the WBI, Board Reports, Federal Agenda, etc.
 Lead NULWB advocacy efforts by managing its civic engagement portfolio and advocacy initiatives to
include coordination of Affiliate Hill Day during the Legislative Policy Conference, creation and
dissemination of action alerts to the movement and manage any junior Advocacy & Comms staff

Leadership Skills and Experience
 An ability to navigate a cross-functional team to strategically and opportunistically advance the
advocacy and communications strategy of the NUL
 The capacity to research, curate and propose timely and distinctive story segments and, as required,
locate and book diverse sources and interviewees for the NUL Podcast
 A track record of leveraging digital content and social media to amplify a perspective and the agility
to do the same to support the NUL, its funders/supporters;
 A demonstrated history and understanding of government affairs, advocacy, civic engagement and
the community organizing;
Personal Characteristics and Skills
 Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach
diverse audiences and create consensus
 Excellent problem solving and strategic communications experience
 Demonstrated ability to organize/prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced
 An ability to question and challenge colleagues in a constructive and collegial manner without losing
sight of organizational objectives
 Strong customer service mindset; responsive to a variety of audiences
 Comfort with public speaking and representing the NUL in public forums and on audio/visual
 A commitment to social justice, economic empowerment and equity issues
 High standards of personal integrity
 Master’s degree in communications, journalism, or related disciplines.

The National Urban League – Washington Bureau has retained Diversified Search Group to assist in this
recruitment. For best consideration, please submit all expressions of interest, nominations or inquiries
electronically to:

Job posted: 2020-12-28