Careers with United States Institute of Peace

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Careers at United States Institute of Peace
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Director, Communications

Department: External Relations
Requisition ID: 580108
Employment Status: RFT - Regular Full-Time
FLSA Status: Exempt
City, State and/or Region Washington, DC

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) prevents, mitigates and resolves violent conflicts around the world by engaging directly in conflict zones and providing analysis, education and resources to those working for peace.

These are the values we expect each USIP employee to live up to in their work and in their interactions with their colleagues.

  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Accountability
  • Openness


The Director reports to the Vice President for External Relations, and is responsible for developing and executing the Institute’s internal and external communications strategy. The Director works closely with others on the External Relations team - Congressional Relations, Development and the Public Education Center – and all programs across the U.S. Institute of Peace. The Director of Communications advises and works closely with the Leadership team to craft creative, timely and accurate products that tell the Institute’s story.


  • Plan, budget, and manage all work of the Public Affairs and Communications team.
  • Update and refine the Communications strategy.
  • Execute an evolving and aggressive strategy to raise the profile of USIP experts and programs.
  • Advise USIP leadership and program staff on the best ways to communicate potentially controversial or sensitive issues to key audiences, the general public, and the media.
  • Develop and execute a dynamic media plan that includes national and international print, broadcast and online media, targeted local media, social media, and the internet.
  • Apply deep knowledge of U.S. national security priorities to the editorial strategy for the website and external publications.
  • Collaborate closely with Vice Presidents, program staff, and others at USIP to design and implement effective ways to publicize and promote Institute programs, projects, and products.
  • Oversee all aspects of the USIP website and online presence.
  • Oversee all written material intended for distribution to policymakers to ensure they are written and designed in keeping with USIP voice and branding (one pagers, backgrounders, talking points, and so forth).
  • Oversee responses to public and media inquiries and requests for information.
  • Design and execute strategies to help staff develop skills necessary to serve as effective spokespeople for the Institute.
  • Manage Communications staff, including motivating, mentoring and making continuous adjustments to the demands of an information and communications revolution.  


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals of countries listed in a U.S. Collective Defense Arrangement per the Department of State. To see a list of those countries, go to
  • Minimum 10-15 years relevant Communications experience required.
  • Experience with prior management of a mid sized to large Communications staff preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in Communications, English or Journalism required.
  • A demonstrated ability to think strategically and to effectively develop, communicate, and execute communications plans.
  • Experience working closely with key global audiences and partners to include experience living and working abroad.
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate through written memos and presentations.
  • Excellent knowledge and use of statistics that define and describe Communications impact.
  • A substantial and proven knowledge of U.S. foreign policy priorities, peacebuilding, and the public discussions of those policies.
  • A mastery of outreach principles and activities to include branding, and marketing.
  • Ability to drive editorial strategy and content to meet the public conversation that guides those policies.
  • Keen understanding of the current media and social media environment including strong rolodex of national security media.
  • Experience leading teams who carry out digital communications, including web sites, editorial, media, video, blogs, and social media. 
  • Experience working well under pressure, determining priorities, and producing results.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage sensitive situations and crisis communications activities.
  • Ability to effectively interact with and maintain strong working relationships with a broad array of stakeholders, including high-level officials, Institute staff, the public, and the media. 

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:
1.  Completed employment application including titles, dates of hire and salary history.
2.  Cover letter
3.  Resume

If a link does not appear on your screen to "Complete your Application", please go to to submit your cover letter and resume.

If you are having problems submitting your online application, please try another browser (Chrome and Firefox work best). If the “Email your Resume” button does not respond, right click on the button and select 'copy shortcut' or 'copy email address' and send your resume to the copied email address using your personal email account.   

For questions about this position, please email Due to the high volume of applicants, only those candidates that are selected for further discussions will be contacted. 

USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

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