Director of Communications (New York, New York)

Organization Overview

Founded in 1999, PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.  Equity means just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and achieve their full potential.  Our primary goal is to impact the lives of the 100 million people living in or near poverty in the United States.

Position Summary

Communications is essential to advancing equity and achieving PolicyLink goals, and for those reasons, the Communications office was established with the organization's founding in 1999. The newly created Communications Director position reports to the Vice President for Communications, and is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to drive communications for the organization's future, to be at the forefront of demonstrating how effective communications strategy can catalyze equity results.  In addition to developing and implementing strategic communications across all platforms, the Communications Director will provide leadership, guidance, and direction to a staff of eight to 10 communications professionals whose skills include strategic communications, editorial and print production, social media, media relations, and digital communications. 

Collectively the team will position and support senior leaders throughout PolicyLink offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, to advance policy campaigns using all communications platforms.

In addition, this individual will oversee the development and implementation of strategies designed to attract ever-growing numbers of funders, advocates, and interested others to push and support policies that will bring opportunities to some of the many distressed communities in the nation.  By focusing on these communities and successfully helping them to advance, PolicyLink believes the entire nation is poised to succeed.

Key Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with senior leaders on the creation of a comprehensive internal and external communications plan that will enable PolicyLink to maximize our social impact through thought-leadership and key initiatives.
  • Lead and mentor our team of dedicated communications professionals to help them achieve success in their roles; work with individual team members to support their professional development goals; be an advocate for the communications team, and advocate for cutting-edge resources.
  • Be a communications "visionary," consistently bringing an understanding of communications trends, best practices and technologies to bear on PolicyLink work and how these might be best utilized given our organizational goals and resources.
  • Communicate complex and powerful ideas to a diversity of audiences, engaging internal and external stakeholders in ways that foster a sense of community.
  • Act as a strategic communications counsel, partnering with senior leaders to build internal and external content, such as fact sheets, position papers, marketing materials, press releases, and digital resources for dissemination across various PolicyLink communications platforms, with a keen eye for specific PolicyLink audiences and constituents.
  • Oversee the development of consistent messaging across the organization to promote the PolicyLink mission, vision, and values.
  • Enhance communications standards and systems including branding and style guides, social media content policies, and inter-departmental workflows.
  • Train cross-functional teams around communications best practices and systems.


  • Ten years' experience in external affairs, communications, and/or marketing with progressive leadership responsibility and a track record of creating innovative communications plans and strategies that employ measurable tools and tactics; experience working with national progressive policy/advocacy organizations is especially valued.  
  • Excellent project and team management skills, alongside a profound enjoyment for leading and mentoring individuals in their professional development.
  • Excellent analytical, written, and verbal communication and presentation skills, with proven success tailoring messages to a variety of audiences, particularly in translating complex policy and advocacy work to a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Keen understanding of promoting thought-leadership to strengthen an organization's brand and support differentiation in a competitive market.
  • Ability to develop and enhance strong communications standards, workflows, and branding guidelines while disseminating content across multiple mediums, including social media, newsletters, and more.
  • An innovative and opportunistic approach to identifying new opportunities to advance the mission of an organization through strategies that position it to be a thought leader, develop new partnerships, and elevate organizational visibility.
  • Independent thinking with openness and excitement for new ideas; passion for collegial team environment and working with multiple colleagues on different projects at the same time.
  • Intellectual curiosity coupled with a sense of humor.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in a changing, fast-paced, high-performing world-class organization.
  • Some national travel in support of collaborative work efforts.
  • Bachelor's degree required; Master's degree, or similar advanced degree preferred.

To Apply

Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your leadership capabilities, skills, and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Milly Hawk Daniel, Vice President for Communications at

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

PolicyLink offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills. PolicyLink is an equal opportunity employer.

Program Associate, Equitable Economy/National Equity Atlas (Oakland, CA)

100% FTE
Salary commensurate with experience

This professional-level position, available immediately, is an exciting opportunity to join the staff at PolicyLink. PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. Please visit our website at:

Position Overview

PolicyLink is working to advance policies and strategies to build an equitable economy — one in which everyone can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. In 2010, we formed a formal research partnership with the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at the University of Southern California to provide equity advocates, practitioners, and policymakers with clear, convincing data and cutting-edge analyses to make the case that equity is both a moral imperative and the key to economic prosperity in their own communities and nationwide. In October 2014, we released the National Equity Atlas, a unique online resource to track, measure, and make the case for equity. The Atlas democratizes data, providing those working to build stronger and more inclusive local economies with essential information on demographic change, racial inclusion, and the economic benefits of equity through a user-friendly interface. Tens of thousands of people are now using this tool and our team is working to continue to evolve this living resource to make it an even more useful and powerful tool. In addition to maintaining this tool, the team produces high-impact research on racial economic equity and works in partnership with advocacy networks and local community coalitions and collaborations to develop relevant analyses and data tools to drive policy campaigns and community action for racial economic inclusion.

PolicyLink is seeking a Program Associate to join our team and partnership. The ideal candidate is passionate about producing data and research that is relevant and actionable for those working on the frontlines to advance racial economic equity. He or she is skilled at analyzing data, producing compelling data displays and maps, and writing data analyses in an engaging and accessible way — and is looking for an opportunity to further grow skills and leadership by joining our dynamic team.

Position Responsibilities

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research and contribute writing to research briefs, analyses, and articles, including comparative analyses and equity profiles/research reports focused on particular regions/communities.
  • Develop creative solutions to communicate complex data and research findings, including through data visualizations (graphs, charts, and maps), presentations, and websites.
  • Participate in the development of new research and analyses and the selection of new indicators to incorporate into the Atlas.
  • Participate in developing and implementing outreach and dissemination strategies, including webinars.
  • Conduct trainings and presentations on the National Equity Atlas.
  • Stay current with pertinent literature, developments, and data visualizations around issues of demographic change, inequality, mobility, and equitable growth.
  • Occasionally conduct short-term data and mapping analyses for other teams at PolicyLink.
  • The position may involve travel.


  • Master's degree in urban planning, economics, public policy, or related social science (e.g., political science, sociology).
  • Two years of relevant work experience conducting research to support policy development, advocacy, or organizing.
  • Excellent writing and research skills.
  • Experience with data analysis and quantitative research, including statistical analysis and spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Ability to translate complex data and analyses for mainstream audiences, including facility with using Excel for data analysis and the generation of graphs and charts.
  • Self-starter with good time management skills and ability to effectively work on multiple projects.
  • Experience working with low-income communities of color and familiarity with public policy and the legislative process are desirable.

How to Apply

Email Résumé and Cover Letter to: (include subject line: "[Your Name] (Program Associate-Equitable Economy/National Equity Atlas)

OR fax to (510) 663-4323

OR mail to:

PolicyLink –Search Committee (Program Associate-Equitable Economy/National Equity Atlas)
1438 Webster Street, Suite 30
Oakland, CA 94612

Position open until filled.

Please note: No phone calls please. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Excellent benefits including paid vacation, health, vision and dental insurance, and 401(k) retirement plan.

PolicyLink is committed to maintaining a diverse, multicultural working environment.