Senior Director of Policy and Communications

25 Nov, 2019


Senior Director of Policy and Communications

Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI)
Chicago, IL

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) at the University of Chicago is recruiting for the Senior Director of Policy and Communications position, which is a key position on the leadership team and is responsible for both internal and external communications. This is a unique opportunity for candidates interested in both policy and communications, working closely with faculty across the University of Chicago’s extensive group of incredible economists. In coordination with BFI leadership and with the support of a highly-talented communications and event staff, the Senior Director leads the institute’s efforts to communicate Chicago Economics research insights to key external stakeholders, including media and policymakers. The Senior Director is also responsible for communicating BFI programming, resources, and other news with the University of Chicago academic community, alumni, and University leadership. The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit


1) Strategy/Vision: Work as part of the BFI leadership team on overall strategy, goals, and vision for the institute.

2) Research Translation/Producing Outreach Materials: With the support of BFI’s Senior Economic Writer, work with UChicago scholars to create policy-relevant and accessible summary documents to accompany research (e.g., policy briefs, op-eds, blogs, testimony, speeches, video clips and podcasts, etc.). This involves developing relationships and working closely with University of Chicago economists to understand their research and to identify the most effective and appropriate ways to communicate their research.

3) Research Dissemination/Media Outreach: Lead strategic outreach to media regarding BFI research and, as appropriate, other UChicago economics research. This includes the development and cultivation of media relationships, particularly among national economic reporters, as well as maintaining and growing BFI’s working paper series. Also serve as primary liaison to communications staff throughout UChicago to coordinate BFI’s work with other relevant offices.

4) External Stakeholder and Policy Outreach: In coordination with BFI leadership and external advisers, create and build opportunities for BFI to routinely engage with US and global economic policymakers and policy-relevant institutions. This will include, but not be limited to: direct policy engagement (e.g.: Capitol Hill and Administration visits, round-tables with media outlets, Capitol Hill briefings and/or other public events), NGOs, the private sector, and new opportunities for internships in economic policy for UChicago students.

5) Communications: With the support of communications staff, responsible for managing/leveraging all BFI communications and communications assets for both internal and external audiences, including BFI websites, social media, newsletters, programming announcements (events, awards, etc.) and more. This includes oversight of the BFI editorial calendar and quality control over all BFI content.

6) Events: In coordination with BFI’s Executive Director and with the support of the events team, leads execution of BFI events, both internal (research conferences) and external (high-profile public events on policy-relevant topics). Working with the BFI communications staff, oversee event marketing (e.g.: event pages on website, event announcements, call for papers, etc.).

7) Management: Directly leads a team of highly-talented professionals, including web/social media, communications, design, and events staff. Coordinates with or manages multiple external consultants or advisers as needed.


1) Demonstrated ability to develop relationships with multiple stakeholders.

2) Capability to understand complex research and identify the best way to communicate said research to a variety of different audiences.

3) Comfort and experience with working with members of the media.

4) Knowledge of and experience with online tools and social media platforms.

5) Ability to handle multiple tasks and assignments simultaneously.

6) Creativity and an ability to think outside-the-box.

7) Project management skills.

8) Knowledge of grammar, punctuation, spelling and style.

9) Excellent oral and written communication skills.

10) Strong interpersonal and leadership skills.

11) Problem-solving skills.

12) Ability to work independently with a high degree of initiative.

13) Ability to work as a member of a team.

14) Attention to detail with excellent organizational skills.

15) Ability to set priorities, and meet deadlines.

16) Knowledge of MS Office Suite.

Preferred Qualifications:


1) Bachelor’s degree.


1) 8-10 years working in an economic research/policy communications environment in a leadership role.

2) Significant management experience.

3) Demonstrated experience working directly with academic researchers.

4) Experience with common web/communications tools and software platforms.

5) Demonstrated ability to influence a diverse group of people to meet goals and deadlines, build and manage teams, and work collaboratively with senior leadership.

Required Documents:


2) Cover Letter

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

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If you would like to apply directly to UChicago’s HR portal, please do so here:–BFI_JR06215

Job posted: 2019-11-25