Program Director, Peace & Security

THE OPPORTUNITY

There is no doubt that 2020 is going to be a pivotal year for the United States and the next few years may set the direction of American foreign and security policy for a generation to come.

Here are just a few of the major questions:

  • After the tragedy of the Iraq invasion and the quagmire of Afghanistan, will America fundamentally move away from a military-dominated approach to foreign and security policy?
  • With polls showing that the majority of younger people want to see our country play a positive, problem-solving role in the world, will we embrace a generational shift away from swaggering intransigence and toward greater international cooperation?
  • Will we spend a staggering $2 trillion dollars on a new generation of nuclear weapons and continue down the road of destroying international agreements, or reorient spending to more pressing priorities and resume the path of steadily reducing the nuclear threat?
  • And will we continue to allow the Pentagon to collect more than half of every discretionary tax dollar even as a global pandemic demonstrates that our real vulnerabilities are more nuanced and require cooperative solutions?

With these questions at the heart of our work, ReThink Media seeks a passionate and seasoned advocate to lead our Peace and Security program—supervising a team of communications professionals, working alongside our outstanding Media and Opinion Analysis team, and drawing upon the media skills and extensive contacts of our entire staff.

By the end of 2020, the successful candidate will have delivered media skills training workshops for a wide network of colleague organizations, they will have partnered with our Analysis team to roll out new messaging research aimed at building the constituency for peace, and they will have worked alongside leaders from the top progressive foreign policy organizations to craft impactful communications strategies.

But we are in it for the long haul. The right Program Director will have their eye on the path from here to 2024 and will have an abiding commitment to building a genuinely progressive US foreign and security policy.

Advancing a Progressive Foreign Policy

Working alongside nearly 100 state and national groups, our goal is to help move our country toward a foreign and security policy that emphasizes human rights, diplomacy, conflict resolution, and cooperative solutions to global problems.

This currently involves four primary threads of work: 

  • Promoting an integrated approach to reducing the nuclear threat, including: a return to arms control and disarmament, steep reductions in nuclear weapons spending, and the adoption of policies that reduce the risk of nuclear war;
  • Restraining the use of lethal force overseas, reducing civilian casualties, and bringing transparency to military operations that currently face minimal scrutiny;
  • Reducing out-of-control Pentagon spending and reprioritizing those tax dollars; and
  • Taking on the contributing factors that lead to endless war including runaway arms exports, the lack of meaningful congressional oversight, and a revolving door between the Pentagon, Congress, and the arms industry.

 

Description

The Program Director, in coordination with the Director of Strategy, will serve as the organizational lead for all of our work within the Peace & Security sector. In this senior-level position, the Program Director will oversee initiatives to develop shared media and messaging strategies, provide media and spokesperson training, build organizations’ media outreach and rapid response capacity, provide groups with media and opinion analysis, and support multi-organizational communications initiatives and campaigns.

Our experience has proven that by providing shared resources, eliminating duplication of efforts among organizations, developing agreed-upon overarching messages, and providing consistent high-quality consulting advice and staff support, we can successfully impact media discourse and move issues forward. While we value and affirm the importance of differentiation amongst advocacy organizations, we work to reduce competition for media attention because it often detracts from a sector achieving its maximum potential.

The ideal candidate is a highly ambitious and motivated communications strategist with a minimum of six years of experience working in the field of advocacy, political, or campaign communications. The candidate has a sophisticated understanding of the workings of the nonprofit research and advocacy community. They also have a proven track record of effective management and a demonstrated pattern of innovation and creativity. Experience working as a Capitol Hill or NGO communications staffer, supervising or managing a communications team or campaign, and/or a proven track record in developing media outreach strategies and successfully pitching and placing content and/or spokespeople in the media are preferred.

PRINCIPAL DUTIES

Specific goals will be set annually, corresponding to the following duties:

  • Develop work plans to achieve organizational objectives and grant deliverables. Meet regularly with the Director of Strategy and the Deputy Director of Strategy to discuss work, adapt and revaluate plans, respond to breaking events, etc.
  • Serve on ReThink’s management team. Participate in setting organizational policies, establishing strategic priorities, advancing organizational development plans, etc.
  • Effectively supervise and mentor a team of communications professionals. Facilitate ongoing check-ins and planning meetings, conduct annual performance reviews, manage the hiring process for any new members of the team, ensure adherence to organizational policies and values, and develop written professional development plans for each team member.
  • Assist in the development of annual grant proposals and prepare regular progress reports and briefings of key stakeholders and funders of the collaborative.
  • Serve as a primary point of contact with organizations, helping to set priorities and identify media strategies that will have the greatest positive impact for organizations and campaigns.
  • Act as the final editor for the quality of all content produced by the Peace & Security team, including daily news clips, messaging and talking points, shared press lists, training materials and presentations, media and rapid response resources and engagement on listservs, and any other guides or publications.
  • Develop expertise regarding the issues and organizations served by the collaborative, the issues they work on, their unique media profiles, key spokespeople, areas of expertise, and their access to outside validators.
  • Keep abreast of the evolving media landscape and identify media opportunities for organizations. Be able to quickly identify the most appropriate organizations or experts to connect to a reporter, provide spokespeople, write an op-ed, etc.
  • Manage the delivery of high-quality media skills trainings to improve the core skills of key leaders from field.
  • Facilitate the use by our allied organizations of a range of media tools, including a media database, distribution system, and news clipping service.
  • Participate in longer-term research initiatives such as message testing and media and public opinion audits; coordinate between ReThink’s research team or outside consultants and member organizations to ensure that research is aligned with the field’s needs.
  • Facilitate rapid response media engagement, using coverage monitoring to identify and coordinate joint responses to breaking news developments.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong commitment to advancing a progressive foreign policy.
  • Ambition to develop and execute innovative campaigns, capitalize on media opportunities, and drive policy objectives via the media.
  • Strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in communications strategy and campaign management, with a strong preference for experience in advocacy and/or organizing campaigns.
  • Strong facilitation and project management skills.
  • Detail-orientation and a proven track record of working in a very fast-paced, multi-faceted work environment, ideally involving media and communications and/or coalition relations.
  • Strong supervisory skills with experience effectively managing and mentoring others.
  • Knowledge of print, broadcast, online, and social media.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and background in the major issues identified above.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with varying levels of organizational staff, clients, contractors, and foundations.

 

LOCATION, BENEFITS, & SALARY

This is a full-time position based in either our Washington, DC or San Francisco Bay Area office, with a preference for the former. Roughly 45% of ReThink’s staff is in California, 45% in DC, and 10% in other states. Applicants must be comfortable with the requirements of remote management, although we provide additional support and training in this area. The position will require moderate travel to conferences and training workshops, as well as staff and planning meetings. Planning meetings are usually held at our head office in California; travel to key states for trainings, and to other states for conferences, will be an important aspect of the position. Candidates should have at least six years of full-time experience in advocacy communications.

The salary range for this position is $90,000–$105,000 per year, plus a generous benefits package. Specifics of our benefits and related aspects of the job will be shared with qualified candidates prior to interviews.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

This position is open until filled and we are assessing candidates on a rolling basis. Our number one priority is finding the ideal candidate, but we are moving quickly to fill this position, so we encourage you to apply as promptly as possible. All applications will be acknowledged—but please, no phone calls.

To apply, send an email to [email protected] with the words “Program Director – Peace & Security” in the subject line of your email. Include your resume and cover letter as PDF attachments and make sure to have your name in the filename of each attachment (e.g., cover letter-Jones.pdf).