Manager of Strategic Communications


FOCUS seeks a self-motivated, skilled, sophisticated, dynamic team player with communications experience to fill the position of Manager of Strategic Communications. This person will help FOCUS articulate its mission and play a key role in executing the organization's strategic priorities. The Manager of Strategic Communications is part of the organization's senior leadership team, working under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with other senior staff members, including the Chief Operating Officer, Senior Director of Government Relations, and Manager of Advocacy and Policy.


  • StrategyConceive a broad vision for using communications to further the goals of the FOCUS, and develop plans and strategies — long- and short-term — to carry out that vision. Determine ideal communications channels and tactics for distributing FOCUS news, promoting advocacy campaigns, publicizing events, broadening FOCUS audiences, and making education reform issues accessible and relevant. 

  • MessagingCarefully shape the language, images, and multimedia that represent FOCUS and its positions compellingly and convincingly. Ensure that consistent, clear messaging follows through all modes of communications, for a range of audiences, and across FOCUS functions.

  • SupervisoryDirect, manage, and supportively mentor communications interns and volunteers. Build organizational relationships with vendors, such as designers. A key part of this function involves carving out specific roles for team members based on their strengths and interests. 

  • Writing & EditingReview and draft a range of documents and resources — both print and online — for public education, fundraising, community outreach, legislative, and other purposes. 

  • Media RelationsManage media relations, including story development, media targeting, pitching, and relationship management. Plan proactive media campaigns and outreach, as well as rapid-response work in reaction to breaking news. Monitor the media for opportunities to engage.
  • Digital CommunicationsManage the online presence of the FOCUS, generating and supervising the creation of engaging, current content. Explore new media and innovative methods for presenting the FOCUS’s work. Implement long- and short-term strategies for the FOCUS’s use of email, social media, web, video, and emerging communications technologies. 

  • Campaigns & Project ManagementFurther the work of issue-oriented advocacy campaigns through communications, including through long-term, large-scale communications projects. 

  • OutreachIdentify and manage opportunities for community outreach at events, fairs, forums, and engagements that will broadly and strategically communicate the mission of the FOCUS and engage the community. Recruit, train and deploy volunteers to speak about FOCUS before community groups and in schools. 

  • Newsletter & PublicationsOversee production of the FOCUS newsletter and annual report as well as other reports, educational materials, brochures, fact sheets, and materials. 

  • Internal Communications & Administrative TasksCreate and maintain administrative resources and protocols that strengthen the organization, ease interdepartmental communications, and allow for long-term planning. Develop and oversee the Communications Department budget. 

  • BrandingOversee branding and design of FOCUS promotional materials. 


  • B.A. required, preferably in journalism, public relations, marketing, or English;
  • Minimum of four years of experience and demonstrated success in communications or related field, preferably in the nonprofit, government, or education sector;

  • Exceptional writing, editing, & analytical skills; versatility on a range of topics; and creativity; 

  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with members of the media. 
Knowledge of District of Columbia media, including digital outlets, a plus;
  • Ability to understand and grasp fast-changing media markets and platforms;
  • Ability to manage projects, such as reports and website creation, from inception through execution;
  • Strong, demonstrated commitment to the FOCUS's mission; a deep understanding of the range 
and implications of education reform issues;
  • Ability to work independently and organized in a fast-paced environment, while managing 
several projects simultaneously and adjusting to frequently shifting immediate demands;
  • Strong team-building and organizing skills;
  • Values differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance;
  • A diplomatic touch and a sense of humor. 


FOCUS offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience, within the parameters of a Washington, DC-based non-profit. Excellent benefits offered, including health insurance; life, short-, and long-term disability insurance; retirement plan; sick, vacation, and holiday leave; and public transit assistance.

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