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Associate Director, Media Strategy

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

Marketing & Communications
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2023

Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.

Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.

Who you are:

As one of two Associate Directors, Media Strategy, you will conceptualize and oversee media strategy and execution for multiple initiatives and campaigns across the Institute. The Associate Director will also play a role in skill and career development as well as establishing processes and leading project management across the Media Strategy team. This position will also work directly with staff at all levels across the institute to ensure that media strategy team efforts are supporting institutional strategy and goals as well as those of specific initiatives. As an Associate Director, you will also hold bottom-line responsibility in overseeing the measurement of the media strategy team’s impact across your specific portfolio.

What you'll do:

Managerial responsibilities

  • Provide direct supervision of 1-4 media strategy staffers.
  • Supervision includes oversight of writing assignments, communications plans, and quarterly and annual goals, as well as career and skill development at the team and individual level.
  • Manage vendors and other consultants as needed.

Development and execution of communications strategy

  • Conceive, develop, and successfully execute a communications strategy to drive narrative and policy change at the national, regional, and/or local levels, in collaboration and in partnership with other Vera staffers.
  • Ongoing monitoring of the media landscape for opportunities and challenges based on national legislation, breaking news, and other trends.
  • Develop messaging to support initiatives’ work and Vera priorities, as needed.
  • Develop and execute a crisis communications plan for a variety of scenarios related to specific initiatives.
  • Ongoing pitching of Vera’s work and our experts on staff with all forms of earned media.
  • Providing media training, support and prep for interviews.

Collaborate with and partner with a range of internal stakeholders

  • Collaborate with communications, advocacy and partnerships, research, and program staff to ensure coherent messaging development and delivery.
  • Collaborate with Vera’s digital and editorial teams to ensure coordination of communication strategies and tight integration with the Institute’s overall messaging.

What qualifications are we looking for?

  • 8-10 years of work experience in communications, including at least 5 years of experience in nonprofit, government and/or media.
  • Preferred: Work experience that includes 2-3 years of direct supervisory experience of rising communications talent
  • Strong background in media relations and nonprofit communications strategy
  • We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace—specifically, we value diverse experiences regarding educational background and justice system contact.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Strong managerial skills
  • Strong strategy skills
  • Strong writing and research skills
  • Strong collaboration skills and experience working effectively in a large organization with multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to be flexible, adaptable, productive, and effective in a change management environment.
  • Experience working with policy coalitions and community-based partners.
  • Ability to consider multiple perspectives, think critically, provide an analysis, evaluate risk, and implement solutions to complex problems.
  • Influential communication skills, able to justify recommendations to diverse audiences in a compelling manner.
  • Highly proficient with Microsoft Office Suite
  • An uncompromising commitment to race equity.

Technical knowledge we need you prepared to use:

  • Microsoft Office Suite or similar software
  • Media monitoring services (i.e. Meltwater, TVeyes)


Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn, NY office. Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule that generally amounts to 10 days per month.

Compensation and Benefits:

The compensation range for this position is $ $109,500 – $110,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Associate Director, Media Strategy
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

In order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org