Communications Officer, Thought Leadership

Communications Officer, Thought Leadership

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Battle Creek, MI   |   December 13, 2021

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Upon establishing the foundation in 1930, breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg instructed future trustees and staff to “Use the money as you please so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.” To this day, the foundation envisions, and works toward, a nation that marshals its resource to assure that all children have an equitable and promising future – a nation in which all children thrive.

To advance this mission, the foundation implements an array of change-making tools – grantmaking, impact investing, communications, contracting, networking, and convenings and uses an innovative matrixed organizational design to prioritize investment decisions and maximize effectiveness toward achieving the desired ends and improvements for children and their families. A commitment to racial equity, community engagement and leadership development is woven into each endeavor as essential to the creation of a social context in which all children can thrive, particularly the most vulnerable. In recent years, the foundation has sharpened its focus on improving conditions for vulnerable children, concentrating on three key factors of success and their intersections: education and learning; food, health and well-being; and family economic security.

The overall work of the foundation is guided by the following values:

  • We believe in helping people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.
  • We believe all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives, in their organization, and in their communities. We respect individuals and value their collective interests, strengths and cultures.
  • We believe stewardship requires fidelity to the spirit and to the intent of the founder and the wide use of resources. We believe in being responsible, prudent, selfless and exercising good judgment.
  • We believe innovation of thought and action leads to enduring and positive change in both formal and informal systems.
  • We value integrity of purpose and action, and believe it is essential to all of our affairs.

This is a powerful time to be on the front lines of innovative philanthropy and we hope you’ll considering joining us!  For more information on the foundation, please visit www.wkkf.org.

The Opportunity

Communications Officers at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation are responsible for leading communication projects that support an assigned body of work; collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to design, plan and implement strategic communications campaigns and projects; managing communications; and identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities. The Communications Officer, Thought Leadership will conduct research and write primarily for the President and CEO, including speeches, talking points, op-eds, quotes, etc., while also lending expertise and support to the entire Executive Council to position foundation executives as thought leaders and skillful communicators through a proactive and compelling narrative strategy 

An Officer at the Foundation generally has the following responsibilities:

  • Execute bodies of work requiring deep functional expertise.
  • Cultivate, manage and monitor program/vendor/project portfolios.
  • Nurture strong, authentic relationships across the organization and with grantees/vendors.
  • Define, develop and implement projects.
  • Establish and maintain strategic relationships with key vendors and partners internally and externally.
  • Provide high-level technical expertise and assistance.
  • Identify, document and disseminate results, outcomes and learnings.
  • Analyze and solve problems.
  • Solicit and respond to stakeholder input.
  • Responsible for budget, vendor and contracts management.

The Communications Officer, Thought Leadership is specifically responsible for the following:

  • Develop a thought leadership strategy that defines narrative focus and advances the critical work of the foundation, identifying key audiences, key venues and key messages to tell our story and inspire action.
  • Steward the Office of the President and the Executive Council in the execution of this thought leadership strategy, providing editorial and content development support and ensuring a high, consistent level of editorial excellence and quality of communications.
  • Maintain a speakers bureau for foundation leadership, identifying opportunities at national, local and sector conferences and through earned media relations to showcase the thought leadership and vision of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Work with event organizers and outlet contacts to identify appropriate platforms and execute communications surrounding each opportunity. Develop a master editorial calendar of secured and pending speaking opportunities and other earned thought leadership placements and proactively identify support needs for success (i.e. scripted remarks, bylines, op-eds, speeches, bios, program copy, etc.).
  • Provide support to WKKF President and CEO and executive leadership team with advance preparations and onsite or virtual support during speaking engagements.
  • Understand WKKF strategic priorities across the organization, including current and new investments, grantmaking, mission related investments, policy priorities and resulting impacts.
  • Stay abreast of current events, policy and civic issues at the national level and in WKKF priority places, as well as in the philanthropic sector, to ensure that writing is authoritative and reflects up-to-the-minute developments.
  • Support the goals, objectives and priorities of the foundation by modeling and promoting effective communications workflow.
  • Create and implement communication strategies to advance the critical work of the foundation.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, journalism, English or other field relevant to assigned area is required; Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Minimum seven years’ related work experience creating and managing objective-focused communications content (for both internal/employee-focused and external audiences) for executive and organizational visibility and thought leadership platforms and related project management required. Preference for significant relevant work experience (10-12+ years) with strong networks and contacts.
  • Foundation or nonprofit experience preferred.
  • Ability to work effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Exceptional communication skills (written and verbal) with evidence of mastery in storytelling and writing (to include speech, feature, news, copy and web writing) and ability to use clear language to inspire action.
  • Demonstrated ability to write effectively for diverse audiences, including funders, grantees, business and community leaders, media, policymakers, influencers, employees and general public. Understanding of how to translate policy and advocacy agendas into compelling content that urges others to take action.
  • Extraordinary command of the English language. Well versed in AP style. Penchant for accuracy, details, and precision.
  • Strategic thinker with a bias toward execution.
  • Strong real-time analytic capabilities in all phases of communication work (related to audience analysis, understanding context, connecting relevant information, message development, assessing results, debriefing and adaptation).
  • Effective and collaborative interpersonal skills to work with staff at all levels of the organization and with a range of external stakeholders.
  • Strong independent problem-solving skills, including strategic curiosity, the ability to pose questions and the tenacity to find answers. Solid research and interview skills.
  • Strong, demonstrated interpersonal and relationship-building skills and strong service orientation, including social intelligence, the discipline to work independently and to flexibly step into team roles as needed – as leaders, partners or project managers.
  • Willingness to adapt and a deep desire to learn.
  • High level of creativity and flexibility.
  • Ability to multitask, manage many projects simultaneously in a fast-paced work environment and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate in multiple languages a plus.

In addition, strong candidates will embody the following:

  • Strong alignment with WKKF’s values and DNA
  • Intercultural competence
  • Openness/self-awareness
  • Ego-management
  • Systems thinker
  • Brings people together
  • Change competence
  • Collaborative
  • Conflict competence
  • Listens well
  • Talent architect / people developer
  • Empowers leadership
  • Trust builder
  • Shares accountability
  • Results-oriented
Compensation & Benefits

Salary to commensurate with education and experience, along with comprehensive benefits and a great work environment.

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy here.

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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and shall continue to adhere to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity to ensure that all applicants and employees are considered for hire, promotion, position status and other employment actions without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, handicap, genetic information or veteran status.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.