Posted on December 22, 2011
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation - Communications Officer
About the Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.
MacArthur is one of the nation's largest independent foundations. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media.
The Foundation makes grants and loans through four programs.
International Programs focus on international issues, including human rights and international justice, peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, higher education in Nigeria and Russia, migration and human mobility, and population and reproductive health. MacArthur grantees work in about 60 countries; the Foundation has offices in India, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.
U.S. Programs address issues in the United States, including community and economic development; housing, with a focus on the preservation of affordable rental housing; juvenile justice reform; education, with an emerging interest in digital media and learning; and policy research and analysis.
Media, Culture, and Special Initiatives support public interest media, including public radio, documentary programming, and work to explore the use of digital technologies to reach and engage the public. Grants are also made to arts and cultural institutions in the Chicago area and for special initiatives.
The MacArthur Fellows Program awards five-year, unrestricted fellowships to individuals across all ages and fields who show exceptional merit and promise of continued creative work. It is limited to U.S. citizens and residents.
To learn more about the Foundation please visit www.macfound.org.
About the Public Affairs Department
The Public Affairs Department is responsible for the Foundation's strategic efforts to communicate with the press, public, and policymakers. The five-person team handles media relations, electronic communications, print publications, event planning, and government relations. The team also provides communications support and advice to MacArthur's grantees and staff.
Team members include: Vice President, two Communications Officers, Webmaster, Communications Assistant, and outside consultants, as needed.
Reporting to the Vice President, Public Affairs, the Communication Officer will manage communications for a portfolio of MacArthur program areas. Specifically, the Communications Officer will be challenged to:
- Design and execute communications strategies to advance the grantmaking of the Foundation and the work of its grantees in select fields
- Work closely with individual program staff, grantees, and other stakeholders to develop and carry out these strategies;
- Develop consistent, accessible messaging about the fields of work in your portfolio and be able to represent the Foundation and its perspective in these fields to outside audiences, including the media;
- Write press releases, Web and social media content, and other copy;
- Build relationships with and pitch stories to relevant media in your fields of work;
- Work closely and collaboratively with Public Affairs colleagues to determine shared priorities, consistent messaging, and overall Foundation communications strategy; and
- Other responsibilities, as needed and as assigned.
The Communications Officer should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:
- A track record of success working in comprehensive communications program in a highly complex, multi-layered, intellectually charged work environment;
- Familiarity with the nonprofit sector and its role in social change and experience dealing directly with the media and/or the policy making process;
- A strategic and creative thinker who can get things done under time pressure and despite multiple competing demands;
- Significant experience writing and talking about public policy issues in a style that respects their depth and complexity, but is accessible to a well-educated, general audience;
- An effective communicator and listener with superb organizational and interpersonal skills; and
- An agile, self-motivated, team player.
Please apply online at www.macfound.org/jobs.
The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and benefits from the talents of a diverse staff.