| March 20, 2024

Strategic Communications Officer

Guest Author


  • Full Time
  • United States
  • $133,000-$155,000 USD / Year

Website Ford Foundation

Instructions for Internal Applicants:

Attention Current Ford Foundation Employees: To submit an application for posted positions, please close this window and log into your Workday account and apply through the Career worklet.


Instructions for Applicants:

Please read the following carefully before beginning the online application process. You have two options.


1. If you are just joining our general Talent Pool, click on Get Started in the Introduce Yourself section and please disregard the instructions for applicants below.


2. To be considered for employment for this specific position/job at Ford Foundation, please complete our online employment application by clicking on the Apply button. Your application and all required attachments must be submitted for each individual job post for which you are interested in applying. If there is an application deadline, please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. Once you submit your application you will not be able to edit your application.

The application deadline is Monday, April 8th. However we encourage you to apply early if interested, as we will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis. Please submit both a resume and cover letter to be considered.



The Strategic Communications Officer plays a key role on a dynamic team that is harnessing strategic communications to expand the influence and global impact of the Ford Foundation, one of the world’s largest social justice philanthropies.


As a member of a small, specialized team of communication officers that serves as the brain trust for the foundation’s strategic communications efforts, the SCO reports to the Head of Strategy, in the Office of Communications and works closely with program directors, regional directors, and teams for which they serve as a primary communications partner. These relationships provide important direction for the SCO and in turn allow the SCO to meaningfully contribute to wider foundation communications.


A critical role of the SCO is acting as a day-to-day communication thought and action partner for assigned program and regional teams, helping them to realize the greatest potential impact of their work. The SCO builds deep, supportive relationships with program teams; provides excellent ongoing communications counsel; and helps teams deliver on their communications ambitions in smart, effective ways.


As part of larger foundation communications, the SCO helps curate compelling stories that speak to the work and impact of grantees, demonstrating how change happens, and inspires others to join the fight against inequality.


The SCO is a superior writer who can produce and edit key communications materials (including one-pagers, opinion pieces and messaging materials) that advance the communications strategies of the teams and offices. A confident public speaker, the SCO will help plan and lead workshops for program staff – and sometimes for grantees – and build the overall communications awareness and capacity of teams.


Knowledge and experience in the fields of either economic justice or democracy and rights is an advantage.




Capacity-building, media support and messaging: 

  • Researches and writes key communication materials, including messaging, fact sheets, opinion pieces, press releases, speeches, and other marketing material that communicates the foundation’s work
  • Works to strengthen the communications capacity of all foundation program staff by developing, enhancing and delivering key learning tools, resources and workshops
  • Provides prep and support for media interviews, speaking engagements, and more

Surfacing impactful stories:

  • Works in close collaboration with colleagues to develop storytelling efforts that demonstrate impact, expand our influence, and highlight the work of the foundation’s grantees
  • Leads project-based teams composed of multiple stakeholders to ensure institutional stories can be clearly communicated to target audiences
  • Teams with the Head of Media Relations to undertake media outreach where appropriate, seeking opportunities to proactively enhance the reputation of the Ford brand

Managing outside vendors:

  • Oversees selection and management of communications consultants, collaborating with program teams to shape contracts and provide ongoing support.
  • Manages a pool of preferred communications consultants and facilitates successful partnerships between external communications firms and program teams.

Ongoing counsel and support:

  • Serves as strategic communications lead for key program areas and offices, offering advice on communication strategies.
  • Offers ongoing risk and crisis management support as needed.
  • Develops and executes opportunities to communicate foundation’s work on key program initiatives.
  • Cultivates strong relationships internally and externally to advance foundation goals, while staying updated on communication trends and tactics.
  • Helps plan and lead communications workshops for program and regional staff along with grantee teams to build communications plans and strengthen communication capacity


  • BA/BS plus 6 years’ experience in public interest communications, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience in fields related to the foundation’s mission and grant making
  • Strong knowledge of strategic communications and media
  • Strong project management skills, including managing multiple stakeholders, consultants, and project based teams from concept to execution
  • Experience developing and implementing successful communications strategies to advance social change work
  • Strong understanding of digital platforms related to communications; and the range of media outlets, including web-based and social media
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills
  • Proven analytical and research skills
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, particularly working on a fast-paced team
  • Ability to travel for business purposes


  • Journalistic or government public affairs experience
  • Knowledge and experience in economic justice, democracy and rights, or environmental justice related fields
  • Strong understanding and experience of social, economic, and cultural issues and contexts
  • Familiarity with philanthropy, foundations and the nonprofit sector


This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.


SALARY: The Ford Foundation is committed to practicing salary transparency. The minimum starting salary for this position is starting at $133,000 and the maximum is $155,000.
Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams


  • Hybrid Workplace and Flexible Work Arrangement policies
  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)

To apply for this job please visit fordfoundation.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com.