The Ford Foundation is seeking a communications executive passionate about social justice who will partner with a dynamic and engaged president, an energized and collaborative leadership team and inspiring grantee partners to advance the foundation’s mission by developing and leading a high-impact communications strategy. Overseeing a staff of 20 professionals, the vice president will devise approaches that strengthen the foundation’s voice, identity and brand with key audiences, policy makers, the media and other strategic stakeholders. As the foundation’s chief communications strategist, the Vice President, Global Communications (VPGC) will lead and oversee all internal and public communications including reputation management, media and public relations, digital and social strategy, and strategic communications that support and advance program work in the US and internationally. The VPGC also oversees a creative team of storytellers - visuals artists, writers, multimedia and content producers - who contribute to the foundation’s brand expression.
As a member of the foundation’s nine-member Executive Leadership Team, the VPGC will occupy a critical leadership position at the intersection of the foundation’s programs and operations.
For a leader passionate about social justice and skilled at the art and science of strategic communications, this role presents an extraordinary opportunity to harness energy, intelligence, creativity and a bold vision in support of the Ford Foundation's mission, and play a critical role in helping to advance meaningful change in communities around the world.
As the lead communications counselor to a highly visible president and collegial leadership team committed to advancing the Ford Foundation’s influence and impact, the VPGC will offer strategic counsel and advice ensuring their message, priorities and vision are effectively communicated with internal and external stakeholders. She/he/they will:
As an organization supporting courageous individuals and organizations around the world, the foundation is keen to build and strengthen engagement with key audiences to advance its mission. The VPGC will support this objective by developing and executing sophisticated communication strategies to engage those audiences with targeted, resonant messages that tell a compelling story of the foundation’s work and that of its grantees and partners. She/he/they will have comfort with and enthusiasm for new technologies and platforms that can enhance and expand the effectiveness of public engagement in both proactive and reactive communications.
As the foundation’s leading communications advocate supporting the president and leadership team on issues of social justice generally, the VPGC will help deepen institutional understanding of the power and value of strategic communications to driving change. The VPGC will help strengthen the integration of strategic communications into the foundation’s work - along with that of its grantees - by leading and convening efforts to develop effective capacity, research, messaging and strategy in organizations and amongst staff that can increase the impact of the work Ford supports. She/he/they will also identify opportunities to advance the foundation’s social justice agenda by leveraging Ford’s convening power and facilities to engage key audiences on issues we care about.
The nature of the foundation's work may result in vocal public discourse, and sometimes the foundation and/or its grantees become engaged in high profile controversies. The VPGC will be required to think strategically and act rapidly and decisively to support the foundation’s work and protect its reputation in the countries in which it works. The VPGC may also be called on to offer strategic counsel and advice to grantee and partner organizations facing similar crisis. A key requirement of this role is to ensure that the foundation is alert, poised and ready to support its mission and values, in some cases under pressure and in the midst of potential controversy.
The successful candidate will have deep experience with storytelling, message development, and narrative building in regions throughout the world. S/he/they will have concrete and vibrant examples of successfully communicating messages on a global scale and engaging both external and internal stakeholders through strategic communications.
This leader will have a well-established record of providing advice, counsel and strategic coaching to a high profile senior executive and leadership team. S/he/they will be well known, admired and highly regarded in their field.
This leader will have a proven record of developing, inspiring, promoting and motivating a team of professionals, including creatives, and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth, while also managing poor performance with appropriate urgency and resolution.
The VPGC will have proven crisis management experience, with a record of sound, prudent judgement, thoughtful decision making, and hands-on engagement that results in accurate coverage and minimal damage to the foundation’s reputation.
The VPGC will have hands-on experience with the most advanced communications, strategies and technologies available to build brand, expand share of voice, and engage stakeholders through their preferred mediums of communication.
Knowledge of the Nonprofit Sector, Philanthropy
The VPGC will have a sophisticated understanding of the unique attributes, character, culture and features of mission driven, nonprofit organizations.