CASA/GAL - Chief Communications Officer

Chaloner

Washington, DC, USA

Full time

Nov 17

Location: Seattle, WA, Atlanta, GA or Washington, DC

National CASA/GAL Association fulfills society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified, compassionate adult will fight for and protect the best interests of a child who has experienced abuse or neglect. The mission of National CASA/GAL, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court‐appointed volunteer advocacy so that every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive. But today, only 45% of the children in the system have access to a CASA volunteer. The National CASA/GAL organization is committed to ensuring 100% of the children in the system have access to a CASA volunteer.  

Position Summary

The Chief Communications Officer will lead in constructing and implementing a corporate strategic communications program that includes public relations, internal communications, network engagement, thought leadership, crisis communications, and executive communications. The most pressing need ahead is to quickly engage and help inform the strategic planning process and gain command of the vision, strategies, and goals ahead to develop a clear and compelling case for the mission. This includes increasing awareness of the Court Appointed Special Advocate and Guardian ad Litem movement vision, strategies, mission, goals, and programs. The Chief Communications Officer provides leadership and guidance to advance the public facing goals of the Association but will also roll up their sleeves and implement tactically.

Partnering Relationships

This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer and collaborates with fellow Executive Leadership team members. 

The Chief Communications Officer provides leadership to the communications team, including the Strategic Communications Officer, Network Communications Officer, and the National Communications Officer. Other Communications team members include the Director Network Communications, Director Strategic Communications, Graphic Designer, and Social Media Strategist. The Chief Communications Officer will also collaborate with the CEO's Executive Communications Team, and the Marketing, Government Relations, and Resource Development teams to execute successful events and public outreach.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

The Chief Communications Officer is responsible for developing an integrated communications strategy that positions the National CASA/GAL Association as an innovator and thought leader in child welfare. The Officer is responsible for the overall success of the communication function’s execution of the strategic communications plans and change management efforts in meeting or exceeding annual goals with the responsibility for the following:

Communications Leadership

  • Identify organization challenges and emerging issues, work with the leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them
  • Serve as a spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization
  • Manage and mitigate organizational and reputational risk
  • Implement an integrated strategic communications plan to advance National CASA/GAL's future goals and vision both internally and externally
  • Build awareness of its programs and priorities; position itself as a thought leader in child welfare, and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Develop and implement National CASA/GAL advocacy communication strategies to influence policymakers and build grassroots advocacy support
  • Develop and implement National CASA/GAL’s public relations strategy that will allow shatterproof leadership to cultivate meaningful relationships with targeted, high level external audiences, including the traditional and nontraditional media, key influencers, government officials, and other audiences
  • Ensure the National CASA/GAL brand is known and trusted amongst top tier print, broadcast, and hybrid properties by actively engaging, cultivating, and managing key journalist relationships to ensure positive and strategic coverage on organizational news and initiatives
  • Create and manage a high performing team, providing supervision and support to direct reports and with the ability to pitch in and execute hands-on when necessary
  • Rally stakeholders (network, staff, donors, etc.) around the brand; ensure brand standards are maintained across all channels 

Strategic Communications/Public Relations

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan and ROI model to advance the organization's brand awareness and reputation; broaden understanding of its programs and priorities, and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences and digital properties
  • Create public relations strategy that will allow National CASA leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media and key influencers
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with leadership team and staff to recognize all communications opportunities and solutions, and execute appropriate strategies to support them. Manage crisis communications when and if necessary
  • Oversee development of all National CASA print communications, including the annual report, marketing collateral materials, and electronic communications including National CASA's website and new media; manage relationships with associated vendors
  • Serve as a spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting material as needed
  • Evaluate and enhance Search Engine Optimization to own key search terms and drive donors and supporters to the National CASA/GAL website
  • Create an impactful social media presence that empowers stakeholders to spread the brand and mission virally

Abilities

To be successful in this position, the employee must:

  • Demonstrate high intellect and superior written and verbal communications skills
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, sound judgment, and the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively internally and externally
  • Demonstrate ability to embrace and exemplify organizational competencies and values
  • Work well under pressure with deadlines and be skilled in prioritizing responsibilities
  • Demonstrate a commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, state and local program staff, and other supporters
  • Demonstrate a history of continuous improvement through professional development
  • Become a steward and ambassador for the CASA/GAL mission and brand

Experience and Professional Qualifications

  • At least 15 years of demonstrated success and senior level responsibility in corporate, agency, or nonprofit marketing/communications position
  • Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree highly desired
  • A track record of building, managing and mentoring high-performing collaborative teams (including staff, vendors and outside advisors) that produce timely, cost effective, high quality results
  • Record of success in creating and launching effective cause marketing partnerships, media partnerships and communications/thought leadership platforms
  • Comprehensive understanding and success in the effective use of traditional and new media
  • Strong leadership, analytical, and strategic planning skills, including evidence of ability to work across organizational boundaries and large, dispersed stakeholder groups to achieve results
  • Exceptional executive level experience and demonstrated excellence in communications including written and verbal; strong interpersonal skills. The candidate should have a clear, effective communications style, including experience guiding messaging for major organizations or movements
  • Demonstrated ability to operate in a fast-moving, highly diverse grassroots environment, while effectively prioritizing and leading a variety of activities
  • Highly collaborative style; positive attitude; commitment to continuous improvement and strong work ethic grounded in honesty and integrity.
  • Possess informed cultural sensitivities, intellectual curiosity, and a deep passion for the mission
  • Significant skilled use of communications, creative, and social technologies
  • Experience working with nonprofit organizations is a plus

Salary and Benefits

National CASA/GAL offers a competitive base salary plus benefits, generous paid leave, and work/life balance policies. This is a full-time exempt position.

Organizational Values

Adaptability ◦ Collaboration ◦ Integrity ◦ Respect ◦ Quality ◦ Service ◦ Stewardship

National CASA/GAL Association is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices in Washington D.C. and Atlanta, GA and is committed to an inclusive and welcoming workplace environment.

Application Process

Amy Segelin, Partner at Chaloner Associates is leading the search for the Chief Communications Officer. Chaloner is a national executive search firm. Please send a resume and writing samples to Amy Segelin (amy@chaloner.com) or apply online at www.chaloner.com.

NATIONAL COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE ASSOCIATION

www.nationalcasagal.org

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

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