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Press Director, Criminal Justice Reform



Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, August 18, 2023


FWD.us is a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. For too long, our broken immigration and criminal justice systems have locked too many people out from the American dream. Founded by leaders in the technology and business communities, we seek to grow and galvanize political support to break through partisan gridlock and achieve meaningful reforms. Together, we can move America forward.

FWD.us is working to safely and significantly reduce the jail and prison population, to reduce the number of people with criminal convictions, and to support the millions of family members impacted by incarceration and the criminal justice system.

We are seeking a Press Director to work under the direction of the Vice President for Communications and the Criminal Justice Reform senior staff to develop and manage effective communications strategies in service of ambitious policy campaigns at the national, state and local levels. The ideal candidate is a self-starter; can manage multiple people and projects; likes working in a solutions-oriented, fast-paced campaign environment; welcomes operating in a bipartisan framework; and values working with those directly impacted by the criminal justice system and non-traditional allies to achieve public policy victories. Candidates directly impacted by the criminal justice system, including formerly incarcerated candidates, are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Press Director will report to the Vice President for Communications.


Under the direction of the Communications and Criminal Justice Reform senior staff, You will:

  • Lead the communications work for FWD.us’ criminal justice reform team including managing communications staff on the criminal justice reform team and managing communications plans across multiple legislative and electoral campaigns to advance criminal justice reforms
  • Maintain, cultivate and expand relationships with national and local journalists, publications, and thought leaders in criminal justice reform spaces to increase the visibility of FWD.us' leadership, experts, partners, events, and other initiatives.
  • Work with senior leadership to develop and implement a high impact communications strategy for storytelling, media, and messaging across the Criminal Justice vertical.
  • Draft and manage strategic written messaging documents and other campaign communication products to complement campaign goals including press releases, pitches, op-eds, and talking points
  • Track local and national conversations on crime, safety, and justice and identify the best methods to shape the conversation to defend reforms or build runways for additional reform
  • Manage communications contractors to ensure they are executing against short and long term campaign goals
  • Track legislation and evolving political dynamics
  • Plan communications events and logistics related to campaign goals
  • Work closely with coalition and research and policy staff as well as external partners to prioritize high-impact work


  • 7 or more years of communications experience with a background in working on policy campaigns and a preference for experience working on criminal justice reform
  • Deep understanding of earned media strategies and how to employ them to shape public conversations toward a campaign objective
  • Experience successfully building relationships and collaborating with reporters, editors, and newsrooms
  • Excellent writing skills and in-depth experience drafting clear and accessible press releases, talking points, op-eds, pitches, and other communications documents that distill complex policy arguments for mainstream audiences
  • A strong appreciation for and demonstrated understanding of how to shape communications products and strategies tailored for different audiences and political moments
  • Experience working in coalition with other organizations and political stakeholders including experience and ability to work with partners across the political and ideological spectrum
  • Excellent strategic planning skills with the capacity to execute the everyday necessities to move campaigns forward while keeping the messages and tactics aligned with long term goals
  • Exceptional organization and project management skills plus the ability to adapt to changing priorities or deadlines
  • An urgency to drive meaningful change in our nation’s criminal justice system is a must

This position requires being in the office on a hybrid schedule, working from the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and an option to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays. Travel 1-2 times a month expected.

Compensation and benefits: Starting salary commensurate with experience. We offer health, dental, and vision insurance benefits, employer paid life insurance, matching 401k, sick leave, holiday schedules, gym reimbursement, student loan payment reimbursement, family planning reimbursement, professional development, staff lunches, a family leave policy, and other support for our staff.

COVID-19 Considerations

FWD values the health and safety of our staff, their families, and our community. In support of these values, all FWD staff are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted. If selected for this job, incoming hires are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.

Equal Opportunity Employment/Diversity

We are an organization committed to making the world a better place for all people. Diversity is a source of our strength, and allows us to make better decisions, be more impactful, and excel at our jobs day to day. We see our internal commitment to diversity as reflective of how we view the world and the changes we want to see become reality.

This organization is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable federal, state, and local fair employment practices laws. The company strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees and applicants for employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including recruitment, hiring, placement, compensation, promotion, training, discipline and termination.

The organization understands that too often what are viewed as the traditional credentials are subjective criteria that exclude historically marginalized communities and act as barriers to hiring and recruiting the best candidates.

As part of FWD’s best hiring practices, we do not have educational requirements for any of our jobs. Many of our jobs do require specific interpersonal, skill-based, technical, policy or other requirements and applicants for those jobs will be evaluated based on their level of expertise, to include lived experience and work experience - which could have taken place at an educational institution or elsewhere.

FWD.us believes in fair chances and employment opportunities that benefit everyone. Ensuring that people who have had contact with the criminal justice system--including incarceration for serious offenses and substantial periods of time--have the opportunities upon their release to fully succeed and contribute to this country is central to our work and is a value to which we are absolutely committed to uphold in how we operate and who we hire. We do not conduct criminal background checks on applicants, unless required by state or federal law for specific roles.

The company makes reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities to allow such persons to perform the essential functions of their jobs, to the extent required by law. Employees or applicants who would like to request a reasonable accommodation should contact Management. The company will also, where appropriate, provide reasonable accommodations for an employee’s sincerely-held religious beliefs or practices.

Applicants directly impacted by the criminal justice or immigration systems, including formerly incarcerated individuals, are strongly encouraged to apply.