Director of Strategic Communications

Domestic Washington, District Of Columbia


Who We Are

At IREX we strive for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world—where individuals reach their full potential, governments serve their people and communities thrive.

But around the globe, persistent poverty, repression, and injustice prevent too many people from achieving their full potential. To address these problems, we focus on people, not on vaccines, roads, or wells. We support individuals and institutions to create change in their own communities—and to create person-to-person bridges between nations.

IREX works with partners in more than 100 countries in four areas essential to progress: cultivating leaders, empowering youth, strengthening institutions, and increasing access to quality education and information.

Accountable for the development and oversight of IREX strategic communication initiatives. Identify and understand common threads of strategy to align and inform unit goals and objectives. Lead public relations actives, interact with the media, and serve as the IREX spokesperson when necessary and appropriate. 

The Strategic Communications Director spearheads efforts to increase awareness of IREX and its impact in the world among audiences identified as strategic to IREX. A critical leader in IREX’s Strategy and Development Team, s/he inspires, catalyzes, and supports campaigns to communicate to priority audiences the relevance of IREX’s mission and the solutions IREX advances to address barriers to just, prosperous, and inclusive societies.  Reporting to the Executive Vice President for Strategy and Development, s/he serves as IREX’s chief communications advisor. S/he advances IREX’s engagement with key stakeholders through targeted communications, branding, marketing, and relationship building. S/he proactively shapes IREX’s communications to address and respond to major trends and specific opportunities to advance the organizational mission. The Strategic Communications Director develops and continually updates a strategic communications plan for the organization, and both leads and participates in the execution of that plan. Because the focus of this position is on communications aimed at audiences that are key to IREX’s strategy and its priorities, not on day-to-day project-related communications, a strategic mindset and ability to use effectively tools and approaches to advance the objectives laid out in IREX’s strategic plan is essential. 

Carry out additional duties and tasks to meet the needs of the organization, team, or as assigned by supervisor. 

We are doers. Our decades of on-the-ground experience help us create greater impact, practical recommendations, and lasting partnerships.

Are you the next member of our team?

Your Background & Skills


  • Eight (8) plus years of demonstrated and progressive experience designing and executing communications that advance organizational strategies. 
  • Master’s degree or equivalent qualification required. 
  • Demonstrated experience marketing organizational capabilities and services and representing the organization to key external donors, partners, and stakeholders. 
  • Experience with fundraising and new business development is preferred. 
  • Experience with public-private partnerships and/or private sector partners is preferred.


  • Marketing/communications, public relations, and event management skills
  • Relationship building skills
  • Skills relevant to managing and deepening the relationships with priority audiences
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Management, mentorship, collaboration, and interpersonal skills
  • Organization and time-management skills
  • Outstanding writing skills for a variety of platforms and audiences

Your Daily Tasks

Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership 

  • Develop and implement an integrated, organization-wide strategic communications plan for communications products and audiences of strategic priority  
  • Proactively develop strategic communications products that convey key messages about IREX and its capabilities to strategic audiences to expand awareness of IREX’s impact and brand identity 
  • Coordinate, cultivate and enhance, in partnership with IREX leaders, productive relationships with targeted, high level external audiences and key influencers, including public officials, donors and the media  
  • Represent IREX in meetings with external stakeholders identified as strategic by IREX 
  • Under the leadership of the Executive Vice President for Strategy and Development provide advice selectively on strategic communications to IREX senior managers 
  • Identify opportunities for IREX leaders and experts to shape the international development agenda through strategic communications 
  • Identify and advise on opportunities for IREX leaders and experts to build awareness of and support for strategic initiatives  
  • Analyze the competitive landscape for strategic communications and ensure alignment with best practices 


  • Identify high level external audiences or stakeholders (media, public officials, donors, and key influencers), map out a strategy for reaching out to them, and effectively disseminate key messages between them and the IREX Executive Team 
  • Oversee the curating, design, production, and distribution of strategic content to support the IREX strategic plan and its strategic communications plan  
  • Oversee, or execute as needed, the organization of special events identified or anticipated in the strategic communications plan  
  • Monitor the development and use of the IREX brand; proactively recommend steps to raise brand awareness 
  • Monitor international development trends and identify strategic opportunities for IREX to contribute to shaping the international development priorities 
  • Serve as lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization and actively cultivate and manage press relationships to ensure coverage of issues of strategic importance to IREX, including through special events, public announcements, and other initiatives 
    • Oversee, or execute as needed, the development of the overarching strategy and architecture for digital communications, including IREX’s website, newsletters, social media, and other electronic communications 
    • Proactively develop and curate strategic content and increase audience engagement on IREX’s social media channels; initiate internal conversations about the development of strategic content 
    • Draft “thought leadership” products such as op-eds, articles, or essays for placement in external publications 
    • Proactively identify and prioritize opportunities to raise the visibility of IREX, IREX leaders, and IREX experts; prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, articles and other strategic communications materials as needed 
    • Manage the Strategic Communications Unit’s budget.
    • Promote a culture of personal initiative, high performance, and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality 
    • Mentor team and develop communications skills across the organizations using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis Manage relationships with any communications related vendors or consultants that support strategic communications
    • Manage a three-member dynamic communications team, augmenting it with available resources from other units of IREX as appropriate, intern or volunteer talent, to support the development and execution of the communications strategy 
    • Work in partnership with the New Business Development Unit, the Center for Applied Learning and Impact, and the Strategic Partnerships Unit in particular, to support new business efforts through communications and highlight IREX’s thought leadership 

IREX will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008.

Successful candidates are subject to background screenings

This position is eligible for Telework. 

This position is NOT eligible for Immigration Sponsorship