Director of Communications

CEO thrives on diversity and highly encourages applications from people of color and people with convictions. CEO is an equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

The Opportunity

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) is seeking an accomplished Director of Communications with substantial communications expertise to lead CEO’s strategic communications, media engagement, and storytelling work. In this newly created role, the ideal candidate will have supported communications efforts at a national, mission-driven organization using high-quality written and visual storytelling. This role will have primary responsibility for refining CEO’s communications strategy, defining and advancing communications plans for different stakeholders, and leading the communication rollouts of local and national advocacy campaigns. The Director will lead a communications team that includes a manager, an associate, interns, and consultants. The Director will work closely with CEO’s senior directors and executive team as the in-house expert advising on communications-related issues.

This full-time position ideally will be based in New York City or California, with an option for the right candidate to be based in other cities with an ability to travel for meetings as necessary post-pandemic. The Director of Communications will serve as a strategic thought-partner reporting to the Chief External Affairs Officer.

More About CEO

CEO provides employment services to people with recent criminal convictions. Across the United States, over 7,500 people participate in CEO each year, transitioning to employment that supports themselves, their families, and their communities. What began as a demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice in the 1970s to address employment barriers facing the formerly incarcerated following release in New York City, has grown into the leading reentry employment organization in the country. Since 2009, CEO has gained support to expand its programs through government, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Federal Social Innovation Fund, Blue Meridian Partners, James Irvine Foundation, and Robin Hood Foundation.

Headquartered in New York City, CEO currently operates in 30 cities across ten states. CEO’s theory of change posits that if the employment needs of persons with criminal convictions are addressed at their most vulnerable point—when they are first released from incarceration or soon after conviction— they are less likely to become re-incarcerated and more likely to build a foundation for a stable, productive life for themselves and their families. As the organization has grown, CEO has worked to scale its impact through the adoption of evidence-informed practices, enhanced employer engagement, training and economic mobility programming for our participants, and state and federal policy and advocacy efforts that address collateral consequences. CEO has an annual operating budget over $70M for FY21.

Candidate Profile and Key Qualifications

The ideal candidate will exemplify the following competencies and characteristics:

  • Established communications expert with substantial relevant communications experience including the collaborative strategic development, accessible articulation, and successful implementation of nationwide communications plans with measurable results
  • Significant supervisory experience and dynamic team management skills; experience with and commitment to supporting the professional development of diverse team members
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills; must be an experienced writer and editor capable of generating and finalizing error-free written content in a timely manner
  • Highly collaborative style with experience developing and implementing communications strategies with multiple internal and external stakeholders
  • Nimble, resourceful, and responsive to the needs of colleagues up, down, and across CEO
  • Experience with data and deadline-driven, detail-oriented project management as well as managing and prioritizing individual and team workflows
  • Ability to transform knowledge, data, and experiences into powerful written, video, and audio messages while disseminating them to appropriate audiences through a variety of channels
  • Energy, maturity, confidence, and expertise to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • Desire to collaborate with the Executive Team and Chief External Affairs Officer to set short- and long-term communications goals
  • Dedication to a diverse, inclusive, and collegial workplace

Core Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Director of Communications include but are not limited to:

  • Develop and regularly refine CEO’s communications strategy, which should align with CEO’s values including racial equity, by assessing progress against clear goals and objectives targeted to discreet audiences
  • Craft compelling and impactful values-based messaging and campaigns that generate increased support of CEO while elevating the voices of persons with lived experience in the criminal legal system and CEO’s value proposition for the reentry employment
  • Refine CEO’s brand, including the development of a style guide, to support a consistent and high-quality approach to CEO’s written and visual products that are based on key messages and organizational strategic priorities
  • Lead the generation of online content and messaging calendars
  • Write and edit original content, which may include monographs, reports, fact sheets, opinion pieces, blog posts, and internal communications, in collaboration with CEO’s senior team
  • Recruit, retain, and effectively manage a diverse team of communications professionals; provide coaching, guidance, and professional development opportunities for team members
  • Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including but not limited to newsletters, brochures, and website content
  • Track and measure CEO’s level of earned media and digital engagement with key audiences
  • Work collaboratively with CEO policy, executive, fund development, and program teams to develop and coordinate external communications and strategy development
  • Generate and manage CEO’s media contacts
  • Develop and regularly update a crisis communications plan for CEO

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for the position is between $96,000 and $125,000 and is commensurate with demonstrated experience, abilities, and geographic location. CEO also offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage, paid parental leave, participation in a retirement plan, sick and vacation leave, paid holidays and more. CEO encourages a workplace that promotes continual learning and teamwork, offering lunch and learns, team outings, holiday gatherings and more.

To Apply

This search is being conducted by Challenges and Solutions, LLC. Interested candidates should email (including “CEO Communications” in the subject) a cover letter and resume, in confidence, to

Mo Coffey at mo@challengesandsolutions.com