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Director of Communications

Washington DC

American Humane seeks an ambitious, experienced Director of Communications to work in collaboration with the Chief Marketing Officer to lead the development of American Humane’s communications plan and strategy.  The person in this position will be responsible for growing and managing a high-performing team to promote, enhance, expand and protect the brand and reputation of the organization as well as create awareness and revenue generating opportunities.  This position is based at American Humane’s national headquarters in Washington, DC and reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer.

Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals. Our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and humans. We are first to serve, wherever animals are in need of rescue, shelter, protection or security. Through our innovative leadership initiatives – from our “No Animals Were Harmed®” program in Hollywood to broad-based farm and conservation animal welfare certifications, to rapid response rescue and care across the country – American Humane sets the gold standard as the most visionary and effective animal welfare organization in the nation.

Position summary:  

The Director of Communications works as a collaborative business partner with the Chief Marketing Officer and executive leadership within the organization to design and implement strategic and tactical marketing and communications initiatives nationally and globally.  The Director manages the communications function and oversees the work of the internal communications team as well as outside consultants and vendors.


  • In collaboration with the CMO and executive leadership develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to enhance AH’s brand identity, broaden awareness of its programs and priorities, and increase visibility with key stakeholder audiences that will allow leadership to cultivate meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences.
  • Identify and monitor emerging issues and potential challenges to the organization; keeping leadership informed of any sensitive issues and working with leadership and staff to develop solutions and respond swiftly and appropriately.
  • Educate leadership and staff in recognizing both internal and external communication opportunities and work to develop strategies to capitalize on them.
  • Oversee all of the organization’s communications- both print and electronic- including the annual report, all program collateral, AH’s website, news media and social media.
  • Manage day-to-day aspects of the communications function- including budgeting, planning, staff development and performance, and vendor relationships and work.
  • Serve lead point of contact on media interactions.
  • Exercise sound judgement in prioritizing media opportunities; prepare talking points, speeches, presentations and other supporting material as needed.
  • Proactively cultivate and manage press relationships.

Essential experience, knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications or related discipline required, advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum 7 years of progressively responsible experience leading communications efforts in organizations of similar size and complexity to American Humane.
  • Familiarity and understanding of the nonprofit sector strongly preferred.
  • Experience managing a team of communication/marketing professionals, as well as cost effective management of outside communication resources.
  • Willingness to be “hands-on” and not dependent upon a large staff.
  • Excellent communication skills- both written and verbal, with the ability to represent the organization across a broad range of programmatic/priority areas as needed.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills with ability to remain flexible and shift priorities as needed.
  • Takes a collaborative and proactive approach in addressing needs of the organization
  • Demonstrates high levels of integrity, sound judgement and discretion.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook; must be comfortable learning and using new technology.

Physical demands and work environment: 

  • Position is based at American Humane’s National Headquarters in Washington, DC – no exceptions will be made
  • Position operates in a standard office environment and must be o.k. with occasional animals in the office
  • Travel required; up to 25%
  • Long hours are likely and will include some evening and weekend work

Posted August 6, 2018

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