Vice President for Communications (Oakland, CA)

100% FTE
Salary commensurate with experience

This 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®. For more information, please visit our website at:

Position Overview

The Vice President for Communications provides strategic communications counsel at the highest levels of PolicyLink in addition to directing the work of the PolicyLink communications team. As a member of the PolicyLink executive team, the Vice President shares responsibility for decisions that have organization-wide impact and contributes to planning for the organization's present and future.

The Vice President for Communications has ultimate responsibility for the development and implementation of communications strategies to drive interest and understanding of PolicyLink's core issues and interests, raise the image and identity of PolicyLink, and lift up the work of its partners. The incumbent directs the work of approximately 7–10 staff as well as consultants and freelance writers, editors, online specialists, and designers to amplify issues of inequity and the solutions that support people of color and residents of low-income communities. PolicyLink communications strategies and tactics support the use of research and policy as a tool to advance economic and social equity. The Vice President for Communications reports to the CEO. 

The Vice President for Communications is responsible for guiding the creation of PolicyLink key messaging, identifying target audiences and ensuring the integration of PolicyLink media relations, online strategies, publishing, special events, and organizational relationships in support of the organization's goals. Specifically, the Vice President:

  • Serves as a key member of PolicyLink's leadership team and works with senior staff to integrate communications into the overall organizational strategy.
  • Sets and guides PolicyLink's overall communications strategy, narrative, and external positioning with the media.
  • Establishes an organizational vision for PolicyLink's communications operations, designs and implements a strategy for achieving it.
  • Directs and approves organizational messaging development and provides staff training in the delivery of those messages.
  • Oversees a team providing strategic communications support to PolicyLink project teams and organizational partners. Among other tasks, these team members, and ultimately the VP, are responsible for:  
    • Creating communications policies and procedures for the organization, supports compliance.
    • Guiding the editing and production of PolicyLink publications and ensures they reflect high editorial, design, and production standards. Guiding the strategic development and implementation of web-based content through the PolicyLink website.
    • Providing writing and editing support for reports, speeches, presentations, and other materials related to program and fund development.
    • Developing media strategies that engage top-tier media, securing high-profile opportunities for staff that engage priority audiences.
    • Directing plans for special events such as roundtables, convenings, and conferences.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Supervise and mentor approximately 7–10 communications and support staff, identifying staffing needs and overseeing the hiring process, determining professional development needs and opportunities.
  • Develop and monitor communications-related budget(s).
  • Build and maintain relationships with a wide range of top-tier media outlets (print, broadcast, and digital); oversee media relations team.
  • Establish success metrics and assess progress toward strategic goals.
  • Develop and maintain familiarity with concepts, practices, and issues related to economic and social equity.
  • Oversee communications technical assistance provided to PolicyLink partners.
  • Represent PolicyLink at special events hosted by partner organizations and others.
  • Partner, as needed, with senior staff, HR to support internal communications goals and execution.


  • Minimum 15 years' experience in communications, preferably in a nonprofit organization or agency that works with nonprofits.
  • Demonstrated capacity for developing and implementing sophisticated communications plans.
  • Experienced in crisis communications, managing reputational risk.
  • Strong existing relationships with top-tier media.
  • Proven fluency in traditional and digital media.
  • Proven leadership ability and experience managing and mentoring a team of five or more.
  • Exceptional judgment.
  • Experience in supervising a diverse and creative staff.
  • Experience managing remote staff.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Excellent oral communication skills.
  • Experience in print production, event planning.
  • Experience creating and managing budgets, outside vendors.
  • A proven track record of developing effective organizational messaging.

How to Apply 

Email Résumé and Cover Letter with salary requirement to: (include subject line: "[Your Name] (VP for Communications)

OR mail to:

PolicyLink –Search Committee (VP for Communications)
1438 Webster Street, Suite 303
Oakland, CA 94612

Position open until filled. 

Please note: Resumes submitted without salary requirement will not be accepted. 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.