Job Title:        Director of Communications

Department: Communications

Reports To:     President/CEO

FLSA Status:    Exempt


Population Action International, a leading global advocate for family planning and reproductive health for almost 50 years, is seeking an exceptional individual to serve as Director of Communications.  In this capacity, s/he will provide strategic direction and planning for all of PAI’s communications initiatives; be responsible for positioning and managing the PAI brand; creating opportunities for increased organizational visibility; support PAI’s anticipated 2013 fundraising campaign through state-of-the-art donor communications approaches; and supervise a staff of four full-time employees. Reporting to the CEO, the Director of Communications works closely with the CEO and other senior managers to develop and implement strategies that advance PAI’s mission with target audiences, as well as create communications opportunities and respond to emerging challenges.

The primary initial task for the incoming Director of Communications will be aligning PAI’s brand and external communications behind the organization’s new strategic direction, which aims to mobilize funding and/or policy change in a focused portfolio of countries in the developing world. This new focus needs to be reflected in all of PAI’s communications materials, tools, and channels. Over time, the Director of Communications will also play a critical role in helping PAI peers and partners craft effective advocacy strategies in these focus countries.

PAI welcomes creative, high-energy applicants with marketing and communications experience from a wide array of backgrounds, including government, consulting firms or PR agencies, the private sector, or NGOs.

Key Responsibilities

  • Align PAI’s brand behind the new global strategy. Ensure consistency of message, look, and feel of all communications products and channels (digital, print, video, media relations). Develop appropriate metrics for assessing progress in repositioning of PAI with key audiences.
  • Develop and implement comprehensive plan for engaging PAI’s external stakeholders, including policymakers at the global, regional, and national levels; thought leaders and academics; the media; NGO partners; and other non-donors to PAI.  Work with other departments to execute PAI’s “grasstops” strategy.
  • Serve as primary organizational public contact. Test and refine organizational audience and messaging framework. Respond to media inquiries and manage communications crises.
  • Organize events and other visibility opportunities, such as conferences, briefings, convenings, study tours, and other engagement mechanisms. Assist with planning and execution of board meetings and fundraising events.
  • Support PAI’s program and partners overseas with communications tools and technical assistance, on as-needed basis. Work with local partners and PAI staff to deploy marketing and communications strategies to help achieve family planning and reproductive health goals at the country level.
  • Manage the Communications team (currently 4 FTEs, plus interns and consultants). Build a cohesive team that is respectful and responsible to each other, other PAI colleagues, current and potential donors, partners, and key external stakeholders; provide mentoring, guidance, and professional development to staff; ensure right-placement of functions and responsibilities.
  • Develop, monitor and manage the communications department’s annual operating plan and budget. Allocate departmental resources to highest priorities. Ensure interdepartmental cooperation to optimize workflow.
  • Participate in senior management team. Serve with other department heads on organizational leadership group, representing interests of the whole.

Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant experience with increasing levels of responsibility in the private sector, government, or NGOs (communications, marketing, advertising, journalism, public relations, etc.).
  • Demonstrated record of developing innovative communications/marketing programs that deliver measurable results.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceive, organize, and execute multi-channel communications and marketing initiatives/campaigns.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with partner institutions, either representing PAI interests in a global coalition or directly with in-country partners.
  • Digitally literate. Able to provide vision and context for content experts in leveraging digital media for institutional advancement purposes.
  • Fluent with all major communications tools and channels (media relations, publications, digital marketing, video, PSAs, etc.)
  • Experience with fundraising/capital campaigns preferred but not required.
  • Previous management experience, especially in a nonprofit organization, preferred but not required.
  • Meaningful work experience in the developing world strongly preferred.
  • Content knowledge about family planning/reproductive health strongly preferred.


To excel in this position, the incoming Director of Communications will need to demonstrate or draw on the following competencies:

  •  Strategic Thinking – Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization’s strengths and weaknesses; analyzes market and competition; identifies external threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Leadership – Exhibits confidence in self and others; inspires and motivates others to perform well; effectively influences actions and opinions of others; accepts feedback from others; gives appropriate recognition to others.
  • Managing People – Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; takes responsibility for subordinates’ activities; makes self available to staff; provides regular performance feedback; develops subordinates’ skills and encourages growth; solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); fosters quality focus in others; improves processes, products and services; continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Managing Process – Follows through; manages the workflow efficiently and ensures that plans get executed; focused on getting results, on time and on budget; holds themselves and others accountable for their commitments.
  • Delegation – Delegates work assignments; matches the responsibility to the person; gives authority to work independently; sets clear expectations
  • Collaborative – Works closely with Advocacy, Research, and Development departments to achieve PAI’s 10-year and 3-year goals; sets expectations and provides relevant expertise to peers on leadership team; is a team player.
  • Passion – Inspired and motivated to advocate on behalf of women and families; willing to do what it takes/go the extra mile to advance family planning and reproductive health; mission-driven.
  • Cost Consciousness – Works within approved budget; contributes to revenue; develops and implements cost saving measures; conserves organizational resources.
  • Diversity – Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; builds a diverse workforce.
  • Ethics – Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.


  • PAI can offer the successful candidate a highly competitive compensation and benefit package, commensurate with experience.
  • PAI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.


To apply, please e-mail your cover letter and resume to