Communications Director
The Coalition for Public Safety (Coalition)

As bipartisan momentum builds for criminal justice reform, there has never been a more opportune time to tackle the challenge, nor a more advantageous platform than The Coalition for Public Safety (Coalition). The Coalition, together with our affiliated 501(c)(4) organization, the U.S. Justice Action Network (USJAN), brings together progressive and conservative partners, collaborates with law enforcement, and employs federal and state-specific lobbying, public advocacy, and public education efforts to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms. Partner organizations include the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, the Center for American Progress, Faith & Freedom Coalition, FreedomWorks, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, and Right on Crime.


The Coalition and USJAN, together with our prominent partners, is the largest national effort working to make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more cost effective at the federal, state, and local levels. Together, we are leveraging the “fierce urgency of now” to bring together the nation’s most respected progressive and conservative organizations to aggressively pursue criminal justice reform with unprecedented vigor.


The Coalition works across the political spectrum to pursue a comprehensive set of reforms to reduce jail and prison populations and associated costs; end the systemic problems of overcriminalization and overincarceration — particularly of low-income communities and communities of color; ensure swift and fair outcomes for both the accused and the victim; and make communities safer by reducing recidivism and breaking down barriers faced by those returning home after detention or incarceration.


Position Overview

By design, Coalition partners view issues from different vantage points – and that difference is our strength. In this role, you must be able to respectfully and effectively articulate the opinions of each stakeholder, without bias. Your effectiveness will flow from your ability to listen, synthesize, and centralize communication so that the Coalition and USJAN portray a unified message to key audiences, including our partners and the press.


As the Director of Communications, you will work closely with the Coalition’s president and USJAN’s executive director to develop strategic communication plans. You will be responsible for developing communications strategies to advance justice reform, increasing brand awareness, ensuring alignment of communication deliverables with project portfolios, and coordinating with partner organizations to engage on criminal justice reform issues. As the communications lead, you will have the opportunity to manage all aspects of our communications strategy, from owned media and grassroots engagement, to pitching major news outlets and managing vendors, ultimately ensuring consistent and cohesive messaging.


Responsibilities as the Communications Director

  • Lead the planning and implementation of a nationally focused strategic communication plan, and state campaign-specific plans for CPS/USJAN target states.
  • Position the Coalition as the premier source of information for key audiences, including legislators, advocates, and the media.
  • Oversee the communications budget and outside communications consultants.
  • Draft press releases, blog posts, and speeches to secure earned media coverage.
  • Draft timely and effective talking points, messaging tips, op-eds, and letters to the editor in response to breaking news developments or ahead of known media opportunities.
  • Oversee the digital and social media manager to ensure consistent messaging across all platforms. Utilize web content to broaden our audience.
  • Engage with policy leaders to develop strategic communications.
  • Coordinate with our eight diverse partner organizations and their communications departments to craft messaging related to criminal justice reform issues.


Ideal Qualifications as the Communications Director

  • A passion for criminal justice reform. Familiarity with social justice issues is a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field and/or 10+ years of communications experience – ideally developing communications for legislative and/or issue advocacy.
  • Ability to think creatively and develop strategic messaging.
  • In-depth knowledge of communication strategies, tools, techniques, and technology (including social media, grassroots, and earned media channels).
  • Exceptional writing/editing skills including developmental, copy-editing, and line-editing required, along with ability to shape and improve content for multiple target audiences and repackage material for multiple uses.
  • Proven track record of project management, preferably in coalitions or network-centric organizations. Demonstrated leadership and management skills.
  • Experience monitoring and analyzing news coverage, writing press materials, developing media strategies, and successfully securing earned media stories.
  • Proactive and self-motivated. Flexible and able to adjust to changing priorities and operate effectively in a fluid and fast-paced environment.


Ideal Attributes as the Communications Director

  • Strategic. You are able to see the big picture, anticipating issues long before others. You can effortlessly “frame the issues” and set priorities that advance multiple agendas. You think flexibly and can reprioritize on the fly as new information or opportunities arise.
  • Respectful. You value different points of view and are able to listen, digest, and synthesize information, even when you disagree. You work effectively with people at every level of the organization and every kind of background.
  • Collaborative. You recognize the wants, desires, and goals of each involved party and how to effectively form coalitions and facilitate partnerships between groups. You share your insights, seek out other opinions, and demonstrate respect for the needs and concerns of others. You strategically invest time in building trusting relationships.
  • Credible. You are known as an “honest broker,” earning the respect of friends and foes alike as a formidable advocate who works in good faith to find common ground.
  • Campaign mentality. You have an excellent sense of timing, knowing when to go forward with a calculated risk and when to temper passion and hold back. You are able to pivot based on political realities and resources, realizing that the perfect is the enemy of the good. You think critically about message, messengers, and how to leverage both to drive impact toward a goal.
  • Self-aware. You know how you are perceived, understand the impact of your actions, and take full responsibility. You know perception is reality.
  • Curious. You enjoy learning about new issues, relish the opportunity to challenge your own thinking, and prefer to ask a question rather than assume you know the answer.
  • Discrete. You maintain strict confidentiality.


What’s Attractive to the Right Communications Director Candidate?

  • This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a difference on an issue that matters deeply to every American. The stakes could not be higher. It’s long past time to fix the American justice system. The bloated and ineffective system costs over $80 billion per year, and brings neither safety nor justice to our communities.
  • The Coalition is a unique opportunity, where organizations from all vantage points come together to respectfully address social issues in this country. It is a model for how our government could succeed.
  • This high profile work places you at the very forefront of justice reform, working with the most prominent and respected voices in the field. The impact of your success will be transformative – touching the lives of millions of people, impacting the safety of every citizen, and affecting the well-being of every community.


To Apply for the Communications Director position with CPS/USJAN:

You can apply online, or simply email your resume to Aileen Hedden at with “CPS/USJAN – Communications Director/2017-2197 SA” as the subject of the email.


Staffing Advisors is committed to helping our clients create a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. Some positions may require pre-employment screening potentially including: a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.


All employment decisions at the Coalition are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union, or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, conviction or arrest record, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, personal appearance, matriculation, political affiliation, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.

We welcome candidates from backgrounds including (but not limited to): Director of Communications, Managing Director for Communications

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