At IPA, we create and share evidence, while equipping decision-makers to use evidence to reduce poverty. With a long-term presence in 22 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, IPA leads the field of development in cutting-edge research quality and innovation. We test promising ideas across contexts and along the path to scale, proactively engage key decision-makers throughout the research process, share findings with the right people at the right time, and equip partners with the skills and tools they need to co-create and use data and evidence. Since our founding in 2002, our research has led to better programs and policies that have made a positive impact on hundreds of millions of people’s lives worldwide.
About the Role
The Director of Global Communications is a senior leadership role responsible for expanding and leading all aspects of IPA’s integrated strategic communications strategy. The role ensures that IPA’s voice and brand continues to lead the field of rigorous evaluation and policy translation and that the organization’s internal communications continually improve. S/he will develop and execute a new marketing and communications strategy to expand the conversation on evidence use and lift up the diversity of IPA’s voices for the dual purpose of 1) growing IPA’s impact and influence in the world and 2) reaching donor and funder audiences. This highly collaborative role will take inputs and ideas from across the organization (country teams, policy team and technical specialists), and from hundreds of partners and researchers around the world and create cohesive and high impact communications strategies and products to create meaningful impact in the lives of the poor. S/he will report to the Chief Research and Policy Officer to develop and lead IPA’s communications strategy. S/he will support the senior management team, including the Executive Director, on all internal and external communications for the advancement of the mission and vision of the organization.
The Director of Global Communications will supervise a high performing and growing communications function including managers of media, publications, digital media and design, and internal communications and their teams, including a number of strong policy and communications writers. The highly collaborative, fast growing, and well-respected team is both responsive to internal stakeholders and colleagues – from country offices, sector programs, policy, and fundraising teams – while providing focus and consistency across the organization to elevate awareness among and engagement with target audiences.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced communicator; knowledgeable about global development, rigorous evidence, and at least one or two sectors; and possess an entrepreneurial spirit. Success in this role will require strong instincts to “catch the moment” with the right messages and angles to advance IPA’s strategic goals while prioritizing well among many tasks at any given time. A day in this role could move from editing fundraising emails to joining a planning meeting with Nobel Prize winners to drafting a quick brief for a minister level stakeholder interested in scaling up an effective program. The right candidate will be curious, ask probing questions that get to the heart of the matter, and will possess a clear understanding of the role of communications in policy, systems, and mindset change.
Lead IPA’s marketing strategy (40%)
- Oversee global communications strategies serving a dual policymaker and donor audience, to promote, enhance, and protect the organization's brand and advance its mission.
- Equip and empower staff in our 22 country offices to effectively communicate with decision-makers at the country-level.
- Lead IPA’s marketing strategy, emphasizing evidence use and impact in improving lives, while lifting up local voices that are at the heart of our work.
- Push the evidence community forward in both evidence use and diversity, using IPA’s comparative advantage and leveraging communications, marketing, and digital tools.
- Lead communications for donor and funders audiences––from annual reports, to videos, new media, and fundraising appeals, working closely with the Philanthropic Partnerships and Business Development teams.
- Lead IPA’s new website development and brand refresh to completion in time for fundraising season 2022 and lead announcement and roll-out of both, advancing brand awareness, and visibility efforts in the field and across various mediums.
- Develop high-influence strategic partnerships with reporters and decision-makers, and oversee IPA’s media strategy and social media messaging, including writing or ghost-writing popular audience pieces, and managing online or media-based reputational risks.
- Serve as communications advisor to IPA’s senior leadership.
- Create opportunities for, ghost write, and support senior IPA leadership (including self) in speaking or writing in high-level forums.
Lead IPA’s communications function and team (40%)
- Act as vision-setter and operational lead for all internal and external communications across the organization, identifying and resourcing gaps, taking advantage of opportunities for growth and development, and executing on strategies.
- Lead a highly productive and creative team of writers, designers, and communications experts.
- Define and lead the production of IPA’s communications products for policy audiences, working closely with the policy team, and in collaboration with external and internal experts to define, prioritize, and ensure the highest quality content, reaching the right policymakers and decision-makers with evidence, at the right time.
- Advise programmatic leads on dissemination strategies and oversee (or occasionally create) external-facing documents and media summarizing and synthesizing program area evidence and key findings.
- Create & occasionally deliver presentations and represent IPA at conferences and meetings with decision-makers and funders
- Raise and manage resources, or support others to raise restricted resources to grow and advance IPA’s strategic communications for evidence use.
- Create partnerships and orchestrate conversations, in partnership with other IPA leadership, that lead to innovation and meaningful impact in the world.
Support senior leadership in & personally lead effective internal communications (20%)
- Lead mass internal communications products (internal newsletter, mass emails, weekly links, etc)
- Support senior management team in effective internal communications by ghost writing, reviewing and suggesting internal communications products and strategies.
- Provide coaching, training, and tools to senior staff to improve IPA’s communications capacity throughout the organization.
- Contribute expertise to organization wide knowledge management and learning efforts
- 10+ years of experience in the field(s) of policy outreach, communications, marketing and/or international development
- Masters in public policy, public administration, international development or related field strongly preferred
- Experience in a start-up or entrepreneurial environment is a plus, as is experience expanding the visibility of a niche brand.
- An exceptional written and verbal communicator, with the ability to effectively position the organization and to communicate its vision and plans to a range of audiences.
- Exceptional ability to present complex information in clear simple language to a range of audiences and to effectively translate academic research into clear policy lessons
- Experience in and comfort interacting with high-level contacts in public policy, for example senior functionaries in developing country governments, NGOs, foundations, donors, and multilateral aid agencies
- Thrives in big picture thinking and strategy while holding the details needed for exceptional execution.
- Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, collaborative team player, and willing to roll up sleeves to produce (not only delegate)
- Demonstrated ability to build and lead a high-performing team in a lean organization with competing priorities.
- Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
- Demonstrated people and financial management experience and leadership skills, including managing and leading across teams and managing up to executive leadership.
- Knowledge of randomized trials and experience in multiple sectors is strongly preferred
- Experience working in one or more of the countries where IPA has country offices would be a plus
- Willingness and ability to travel occasionally (when it is safe to do so).
Location: New York, NY, Washington D.C.
All US teams are still largely remote and flexibility is always encouraged. A small amount of domestic and international travel, once it is safe, will be essential to success in the role.
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 600 leading academics to conduct over 830 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.
Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at email@example.com or via phone at 1-202-386-6200. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.