Communications Manager

Brookings Institution
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jul 12

Position description

Reporting directly to the Director of Communications of the Global Economy and Development Program of Brookings, and in coordination with the Central Brookings Communication Office, the Communications Manager will be responsible for developing and implementing a communications strategy for the Center for Universal Education (CUE).  

The Global Economy and Development program at Brookings aims to shape the policy debate on how to improve global economic cooperation and fight global poverty and sources of social stress. The Center for Universal Education, founded in 2002 as part of the Global Economy and Development program, is one of the leading policy centers focused on universal quality education, particularly in the developing world.

Responsibilities of the Communications Manager will include adopting innovative approaches to communications and leveraging traditional and new media opportunities. In addition to playing a pivotal role in the overall CUE communications strategy, the Communications Manager will take the lead on all CUE communications and events activities and manage the CUE’s Education Plus Development blog as well as CUE’s monthly e-newsletter.


Communications Strategy (35%)

  • With oversight from Global’s Director of Communications, develops and deploys communications strategies that draw attention to the work of CUE and its scholars, including through creative packaging of CUE content in ways that will amplify the findings of technical working papers, policy briefs, curated education databases, and other scholar outputs. This work includes: developing a strategy and detailed timetable, crafting messages, identifying target audiences, and preparing material for internal and external dissemination.
  • Forms relationships with public and private sector stakeholders in the education and international development sectors as well as with journalists. Reaches out regularly to CUE target audiences via newspapers, broadcast and online outlets, Facebook, Twitter and other social channels with the aim of generating maximum impact from CUE’s scholarly outputs.
  • Works with Global’s Director of Communications and the CUE Director to undertake stakeholder mapping to inform targeted outreach and engagement strategies, whether through report and book marketing, events, media calls, or other outreach methods. As part of that, works consistently to update CUE media and other stakeholder lists.
  • Advocates for CUE within the Brookings Institution, ensuring that the work of scholars in the program surfaces prominently on the Brookings homepage, via the popular daily Brookings Brief, and through multimedia channels, including the Brookings Cafeteria Podcast. Does this in coordination with Global’s Director of Communications and by developing close working relationships with the Central Communications team at Brookings (including the creative, digital, and strategic communications staff working across the institution).
  • Conceives of and coordinates production of communication products to accompany research outputs, including videos, podcasts, infographics, brochures, and other assets.
  • Tracks and evaluates communication and outreach efforts, and advises scholars on how to maximize impact through media and public engagement.
  • In coordination with Global’s Communications Director, manages scholars’ media bookings and interviews. Routes incoming press calls as needed.
  • Tracks relevant media to keep abreast of story trends and help identify coverage opportunities.
  • Responsible for publicizing CUE events, including attracting attendees and media, and deploying new media tools to drive awareness and capture news made during hosted events.
  • Arranges for media and presentation training for CUE scholars; also provides just-in-time training on the use of Twitter and other social media.
  • Promotes current and former Echidna Global Scholars and their work. (The Echidna alumni are a diverse group of scholars working in the education space whose voices and insights represent the best of CUE.

Event planning and Management (35%) 

  • Starting at the concept stage, works with scholars, CUE and communications colleagues in the Global team and in Central, to map out strategies for deriving maximum impact from public events. Recommends possible moderators and outside speakers.
  • Works as part of a wider team on the communications aspects of CUE’s three annual flagship events:  The spring Research and Policy Symposium; events on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September; and the Girls’ Education Research and Policy Symposium.
  • Coordinates CUE public event notices, invitation lists, partnership approvals, and event flow.
  • In coordination with the CUE Center Coordinator, liaises with VIP public event participants and provides assistance as needed. 
  • Together with CUE’s Center Coordinator, manages site arrangements as needed and in relation to communications needs, including audio-visual needs, remote-participant support, working with Brookings Central Communications as necessary. 
  • Manages the preparation of and distribution of event materials, and post-event communications evaluations.
  • Works with scholars to prepare for public events, assists in the production of power points, videos, and animations. 
  • Arranges media interviews, podcast recordings, and associated publicity efforts linked to public events.

Publications and Editing (30%)

CUE in-house editor and Publication Production Manager:

  • Coordinates the scheduling, editing, review, publishing, and distribution of research outputs, including working papers, policy briefs, reports, op-eds, blogs, and executive summaries. Coordinates publication process between CUE, Global, Brookings Press, and external contractors.
  • Edits short research reports (of 30 pages or less) and contracts external editors for larger editing jobs, and oversees quality of the work. 
  • Produces a monthly CUE newsletter in coordination with Global’s Digital Manager and the Central Communications web team.
  • Brainstorms with scholars on timely content (from short policy briefs to blogs) relevant to current news headlines and ongoing policy debates.
  • On occasion, drafts content for the Brookings website, including: blog posts summarizing new research; event summaries; landing page text to accompany new research reports or initiatives.
  • Works with external graphic designers to produce publications, including the Global working paper series, Global Views policy brief series, and other Global/CUE products.

Managing Editor of Education Plus Development blog: 

  • Primary blog publisher for the Education Plus Development (E+D) blog, including photos, graphic, and title/summary content.
  • Manages and updates the E+D editorial schedule and pitches and develops new ideas for blog content.
  • Enlists outside experts to serve as E+D contributors.
  • Reviews and edits all blog posts before publishing.
  • Creates and edits data visualization and graphics components of blog posts, in conjunction with research staff and Global’s Digital Manager.
  • Monitors education and development news to keep blog content relevant.
  • Co-authors blog posts with CUE scholars and other external authors, and authors content updates, summaries, and reviews.
  • Maintains proficiency in HTML, SEO practices, online newsletter creation and other online communications applications and standards (e.g., participates in training sessions, learns new software applications to further develop skills) in order to assist the team and serve as backup to Global’s Digital Media Manager.


Education/Experience Requirements: 

Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Education, Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or a related field required. Minimum three years’ relevant communications or online experience preferred. Familiarity with research-oriented work environments and previous public relations and/or Web site maintenance experience preferred. Experience working with members of the media also desired. Capitol Hill, think tank or public relations agency experience highly desired. Must be eligible to work for any employer in the U.S

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Candidate must be able to work well with scholars, outside stakeholders in the education sector, as well as with influencers in international development when implementing strategic communications plans. Adept at outreach to technical as well as media audiences, with a flair for connecting the dots and networking. Extensive media relations and event planning experience required. Strong oral and written communications skills are essential.  Strong understanding of and experience with the web, including familiarity with web content management systems and ability to problem solve and do relevant research and web analysis.  Proficient in database programs, HTML, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and basic Photoshop.  Ability to learn other new technology applications for communications and design. Strong organization, high initiative, strong interpersonal skills, discretion, and mature judgment.  Able to work in a fast-paced environment.   Ability to leverage CUE communications tools to promote the center’s research and policy initiatives.  High degree of self-motivation and good work ethic with a proven ability to work under pressure with minimal supervision and as part of a team. Creative and positive-thinker and learner. Knowledge of and interest in education and international development preferred.

Application instructions

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