Associate Director, Communications and Policy Engagement

Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) Associate Director
Location Berkeley, United States
Application deadline 3 September 2021
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
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The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) seeks a full-time Associate Director of Communications and Policy Engagement to lead the Center’s communications and external engagement. Communications is critical to CEGA’s mission, ensuring that our research is used by policymakers and others to improve lives, while amplifying our credibility and visibility among key audiences.

CEGA is a hub for research on global development, headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley. CEGA’s large, interdisciplinary network—including a growing number of scholars from low and middle-income countries (LMICs)—identifies and tests innovations designed to reduce poverty and promote development. CEGA researchers use rigorous evaluations, tools from data science, and new measurement technologies to assess the impacts of large-scale social and economic development programs. Through careful matchmaking, competitive grant-making, and integrated research dissemination and policy engagement activities, CEGA ensures that the scientific evidence we produce improves the lives of people living in poverty.

CEGA is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion—please read our values statement here.

The role

CEGA seeks a creative, ambitious, and mission-driven communications professional to develop and implement a new communications and policy engagement strategy for CEGA. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Associate Director of Communications and Policy Engagement will work closely with CEGA leadership (especially the Director of Operations), program staff, faculty, and partners to increase CEGA’s sustainability and impact by developing and disseminating high-quality content for priority audiences and collaborating with them to proactively position and time communications. The Associate Director should be familiar with CEGA audiences, including policymakers, researchers, and the media, constantly leveraging and updating insights about each to design savvy communications and events. They will further enhance the center’s digital communications platforms—including our website, blog, and social media channels—to ensure a cohesive narrative, timely and meaningful commentary, and clear internal processes.

The Associate Director of Communications and Policy Engagement will ensure that communications, events, and policy engagement efforts across the center align with core organizational goals. Strong collaborative skills are key; success in this position will require forming deep working partnerships with CEGA staff, affiliated faculty, grantees, LMIC partners and policy-makers, and consultants. The Associate Director of Communications and Policy Engagement will oversee a small team, including an Events and Communications Associate, consultants, and interns.

Note on location: We are headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley. This position requires regular in-person presence and is expected to work under a hybrid remote/on-site model. Return to on-site work is expected in Fall 2021.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Strategy and Policy – Leveraging insights from senior leadership and consultants, develop and implement a center-wide communication and policy engagement strategy to ensure that CEGA’s research and insights inform policies and programs that aim to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives—and is rooted in a clear sense of purpose, harmonized to achieve goals, and focused on activities that drive impact. Serve as CEGA’s “eyes and ears” to shape what comes out of the center for the right moments, the right people, and the most influence. This involves going beyond simply talking about CEGA’s research; strategically position the work, proactively craft methods to translate it into practical action, and source/integrate insights from key stakeholders into communications and engagement tactics. Develop a focused set of communications and external engagement goals, including updating overarching KPIs, tracking metrics, reporting against “dashboards,” and owning performance management.
  • Storytelling, Narrative and Writing – Develop a clearly articulated umbrella story and set of key messages that serve as the scaffolding for all CEGA communications, and craft corresponding factsheets, shared language and editorial pillars/calendars. Act as CEGA’s “internal journalist,” surfacing research results and perspectives, identifying interesting operational challenges, and highlighting people and findings from our ecosystem. Develop and implement strategies for amplifying the voices and stories of LMIC partners in ways that allow them to build their influence and achieve shared goals related to influencing policy. Write, edit, and promote creative, compelling content across all channels (blog, social, email, web, press, decks, and print) and harness the power of strategic communications, narrative, and creative storytelling to engage key audiences.
  • Digital Media – Accountable for social media accounts and online engagement. Cultivate a sophisticated online presence by overseeing development of social media content, tracking and evaluating metrics of success, gaining cut-through with visual media (e.g. visual storytelling, digital reports, social media cards, etc.), adapting strategies (e.g. A/B testing, strategically integrating channels, leveraging events, etc.), and growing and improving outreach over time. Manage the CEGA website and corresponding consultant contracts, collaborating directly with them to ensure the website tells our story well. Ensure that information is planned, proactive and coordinated, shared in a way that is accessible, understandable, relevant and timely by regularly using communications to push out content and pull in ideas, and participating in broader conversations relevant to the global development community.
  • Build Internal Capacity – Develop a set of processes and rules to integrate communications and engagement into everyday activities, clarify expectations and procedures, put as much of the production process on auto-pilot as possible (including for events), and periodically train CEGA staff. Mentor an events and communications associate and effectively liaise with consultants. Contribute to important CEGA-wide activities, including internal working groups, process documentation, and major events.
  • Press – Own CEGA’s media pipeline by building relationships with journalists, pitching stories and driving awareness through landing media placement—sometimes in collaboration with outside partners. Conceptualize and contribute to opinion and other pieces as appropriate.

Experience and skills

Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent years experience and/or training.Minimum 7 years of experience in a similar role or functionSuccess in the Associate Director of Communications role will depend on a range of knowledge, skills, and abilities. As a candidate for the position, you will need to demonstrate:

  • Experience creating, leading, and overseeing inspiring communications content and external engagement to translate research and ideas into real-world action (including influencing policy decisions, program design, changing behavior in organizations or networks).
  • Knowledge of economic research and trends in global development and how they relate to CEGA’s work and evidence-informed policymaking more broadly.
  • Deep knowledge of CEGA audiences and policy, decision, influence process.
  • Track record of building relationships and networks with key partners and stakeholders from one more of CEGA’s external audiences (i.e. policymakers in LMICs, multilateral or bilateral development institutions, implementers, private philanthropy, and business).
  • Demonstrated expertise writing about global development, economics, social issues, and social science concepts for non-academic audiences.
  • Experience communicating and visualizing quantitative research is strongly desired.
  • Effective storytelling, editing and proofreading skills.Track record of owning and refining brand voices.
  • Ability to use multiple communications channels—online engagement, events, outreach, media relations, publications—for impact and influence. Demonstrated success working across multi-channel environments with experience in content strategy and leveraging one form of content to improve another.
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial yet highly collaborative and responsive. Has a “Yes, and” problem solver attitude.
  • Maturity, and leadership with the ability to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
  • Awareness of and deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Social media fluency including experience growing and managing social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Experience using social media to promote a brand including developing posts, engaging in conversations, managing an editorial calendar and using social media monitoring tools.
  • Track record building relationships with journalists and pitching and placing articles.
  • Experience managing websites (WordPress preferred) both on the operations side and in thinking strategically about SEO, taxonomy, and user experience.
  • Familiarity and experience with the following applications (or similar):
    • WordPress
    • Medium
    • G Suite and Google-related collaborations and productivity apps
    • Salesforce or other centralized customer relationship management (CRM) systems
    • Google Analytics and Google AdWords
    • Hootsuite and/or other social media marketing platforms
    • Mailchimp
    • Adobe Creative Suite, primarily InDesign

Other useful information

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

This is a full-time, 1-year contract position with possibility of extension.