Organization: Global Alliance for the Future of Food
Fiscal sponsor: Meridian Institute
Position: Director of Communications
Status: Exempt (FTE negotiable; consultants considered)
Location: All our positions are fully remote. The team is currently between PST and CET time zones; the successful candidate will need to work within those time zones.
** Please note, applications for this vacancy are now closed **
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is looking for an energetic, entrepreneurial Director of Communications to help shape the global conversation about food systems transformation and to direct communications campaigns on a range of related issues, including the climate-food nexus, aquatic foods, agroecology, food justice, food sovereignty and food security, and more. This role is an opportunity to be part of a fast-paced, global organization to help shift the conversation about food systems transformation and uplift the ways philanthropy and its partners can drive change.
The Director of Communications will manage external and member communications and leverage the strengths of the Global Alliance member organizations for impact. This person will bring a creative and collaborative work ethic to our small, nimble, and versatile team, working in close partnership with the organization’s membership, partners, and Executive Director. This is a remote, consultancy position, with the possibility of moving to a salaried position.
Who We Are
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA) is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together and with others for collective action on food systems transformation grounded in a vision of food systems that are renewable, resilient, equitable, healthy, diverse, inclusive, and interconnected. At the heart of our work are our members and global Secretariat team who collaborate with our Allied Initiatives, partners in civil society, funder affinity groups and intermediaries, governments and the private sector, and engage with global fora.
Our mission is to leverage our collective resources and networks to help shift food and agriculture systems toward greater sustainability, security, and equity. We believe in the urgency of transforming global food systems and in the power of working together and with others to effect positive change.
The Global Alliance works at the intersections of climate, public health, biodiversity, human and Indigenous rights, cultural diversity, and community well-being. We catalyze food system transformation through three core strategies:
- Convening: Bringing together philanthropic foundations, funders, investors, civil society organizations, businesses, and social movements to align efforts around food systems transformation.
- Forging Insights: Developing research and tools, based on diverse knowledge and evidence, to help us understand and assess interrelationships, risks, trade-offs, and synergies in food systems transformation.
- Inciting Action: Connecting global and local perspectives, knowledge, and understandings across geographies, we aim to collectively accelerate effective action on the ground recognizing that change must be sensitive to context.
After more than 10 years, we are even more convinced of the potential for bold philanthropic leadership, in partnership with allies around the world, for profound food systems change. Our team is passionate about our mission and we believe our philanthropic foundation members, along with other partners, provide a powerful force for our bold calls to action. For more information, please visit www.futureoffood.org.
The Global Alliance is a project of the Meridian Institute, our fiscal sponsor.
As the Director of Communications, you will be responsible for designing and implementing the Global Alliance’s internal and external communications strategy in close partnership with the Executive Director, the Secretariat, the Steering Committee, and external consultants. You’ll engage across stakeholders including Global Alliance members and our many partners around the world. You’ll create and support initiatives and strategies to promote transformational change in food systems and a shift in the philanthropic sector and be a lead strategist on all things communications across all platforms, collaborating with members, Secretariat, partners, and consultants to support the Global Alliance’s priorities.
Overall Communications Strategy:
- Develop and manage a communications strategy to influence target audiences and uplift food systems transformation, amplifying the impact of the Global Alliance’s work and our partners.
- Identify key audiences, goals, strategies, and tactics for major campaigns and initiatives, research, and reports, including for our work at the COPs and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to philanthropic partnerships such as with the FAO and Committee on World Food Security.
- Lead the development of key messages and oversee content creation, including talking points, op-eds, media pitches, visuals, and social media content.
- Partner with the program team to develop strategies for campaigns, initiatives, and activations, identifying outside support and consultant capacity as needed.
Media Relations and Thought Leadership:
- Partner with the organization’s Executive Director and leadership to develop an impactful earned media strategy and thought leadership program, including media outreach, speaking engagements, social media, newsletters, and strategies to engage key target audiences.
- Cultivate and manage media relationships and brand partnerships, pitching story ideas to journalists to increase the visibility and profile of the Global Alliance.
- Oversee the development of communications materials and campaigns, managing the timing and strategy for major media releases.
Brand and Issues Management:
- Steward brand strategy and positioning to ensure the organization is telling its story as powerfully and clearly as possible to respond to the urgency of the times.
- Advise on and provide judgment to avoid reputational damage, track potential issues, and respond thoughtfully to issues that may arise.
- Ensure outgoing content aligns with the Global Alliance’s goals and key messages and is consistent with the organization’s brand.
Alliance-Building and Member Engagement:
- Collaborate with the Secretariat and Global Alliance members to identify strategic engagement opportunities between members.
- Develop an annual work calendar to support communication and messaging alignment among Global Alliance members and partners.
Operations and Secretariat Support:
- Outsource, coordinate, oversee, and prioritize work with external vendors and consultants to ensure high-quality services are delivered on time and within budget.
- Maintain and update communications protocols and processes, conducting performance tracking for monitoring and evaluation efforts.
- Produce internal communications materials as needed.
- Create annual budgets and track monthly allocations and adjustments based on needs.
The Director of Communications will manage a small team, which includes the organization’s Digital Communications Coordinator, contract writers, and outside agency partners.
Who We’re Looking For
The Global Alliance is looking for someone who has experience and a record of success leading communications campaigns and initiatives. The right candidate will be nimble, thinking strategically across platforms—from media, social media, and content to convenings and partnerships.
The Director of Communications should be collaborative, excited to partner with a new Executive Director with ambitious communications goals, and able to both lead and do—setting strategy and executing work within a small team. Some qualifications we’re looking for include:
- 10+ years of experience in leading communications functions, preferably in social change, non-profit, international development, or philanthropic communications.
- Experience in a managerial role, leading teams and managing budgets, with a preference for those familiar with an entrepreneurial and remote work environment.
- Experience with an equity lens and multifaceted understanding of narrative change and media engagement, including working outside mainstream networks.
- Deep understanding of strategic communications, audience research, and message development.
- Excellent writing, editing, verbal, and analytical skills with the ability to craft compelling content and messaging.
- Demonstrated ability to measure the impact and success of communications strategies.
- Highly collaborative, able to build relationships both internally and externally.
- Strong project management skills with the ability to deliver communications products on time and within budget.
- A university graduate with a degree in a relevant field such as communications, public relations, or journalism. Relevant experience will be considered in lieu of education.
- Fluent in written and spoken English; bilingual or multilingual candidates are appreciated.
- All candidates should bring a passion for food systems transformation and climate justice.
Additional “nice to have” experience includes familiarity with food systems transformation and related issues such as the climate crisis, global development, and/or experience in philanthropy. Lived experience in the Global South and someone who understands the perspective of the Global South/Global Majority will be helpful to supporting communications on our strategies that connect the local to global around the world. In addition, experience working with a members-based organization would be helpful, particularly in the lead work on member communications for this role.
The Global Alliance membership and secretariat are located in different geographic regions. As such, the Director of Communications must be able to work independently and flexibly, collaborating with a diverse team across time zones that span PST to CEST. Commitment to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice is essential. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from all qualified individuals. We recognize that our work is made stronger and more impactful by the contributions of diverse groups from around the world. We welcome people from all backgrounds and do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national origin, creed, class, ancestry, or other grounds.
Please send a resume, cover letter, and two brief writing samples in PDF format on Workable. If you have questions or are having trouble applying through Workable, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Close date for applications: 1 October 2023. Earlier applicants may receive priority consideration, as we will review applications on a rolling basis. Ideally, the Communications Director will begin on or before mid-January 2024 and would hopefully be available to attend the GA’s Annual Members meeting in Brazil in late January.
Compensation: $125,000 USD FTE, commensurate with experience.
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