Director of Communications

Director of Communications


Flexible, USA   |   December 17, 2021

About JustLeadership USA

Founded in 2014, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) is dedicated to cutting the United States correctional population in half. On the guiding principle that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution but furthest from resources, power and opportunity, JLUSA seeks to elevate, educate, and empower directly impacted communities across the country to drive policy reform at the local, state, and national level.

JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) works to amplify the power of people who have been directly impacted by the criminal legal system to self-organize and dismantle oppressive systems in their communities to build a just U.S.  Led by directly impacted individuals, JLUSA offers leadership training focused on leadership and organizational management, community building, advocacy and policy skills and communication. JLUSA aims to overcome the absence of consistent leadership in the criminal legal system by connecting the formerly incarcerated to necessary training under structured leadership.

For more information on JustLeadership USA, please visit its website.

The Opportunity

JustLeadershipUSA is seeking a dynamic storyteller who can develop and implement communications strategies to advance our training, organizing and advocacy goals.  The ideal candidate for the Director of Communications position can demonstrate experience as a driven, entrepreneurial, strategic, passionate and collaborative communications leader. Working closely with the President and reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of Communications will be responsible for leading the organization’s strategic communications efforts and helping to elevate the powerful stories of the organization, its members, staff and its training programs and advocacy campaigns. This person will be a strategic thought partner to all program directors, shaping communications strategy to meet organizational goals with an emphasis on elevating the organization’s brand and national reputation as a bold, innovative leader in justice reform and racial and economic equality.

The ideal candidate is a creative leader who will be responsible for:

  • Day-to-day communication strategy : Devising and implementing strategies to effectively reach and grow the organization’s key audiences and advance organizational priorities via traditional and digital media, social media channels, organizational website, newsletters, etc.
  • Elevating the voices and leadership of our Leaders: Work with directly impacted Leaders to draft op-eds and other material that elevate their voices so they can participate in shaping the public narrative about the humanity of communities most impacted by oppressive systems and call for positive change.
  • Elevating the impact of JLUSA’s work to stakeholders: Work with the Leadership and Development departments to leverage the stories of JLUSA alumni leaders to effectively communicate the impact of JLUSA’s Leadership training programs at the local, state and national levels.
  • Media Strategy: Building and implementing earned media strategies to secure media coverage, including identifying opportunities, building and maintaining media lists, drafting and pitching materials, responding to requests, coaching and supporting staff and alumni for interviews, and evaluating results to ensure they effectively advance organizational priorities and position the organization as a national leader of justice reform and ending structural racism.
  • Thought Leadership Strategy: Guiding development of content to support the President’s office and other senior staff efforts to amplify thought leadership in a way that strengthens the organization’s ability to meet its goals.
  • Publication and Programmatic Rollouts: Leading the development and execution of rollout plans to help ensure advocacy campaigns and new publications and projects get to key audiences and advance larger organizational strategies.
  • Collateral Development: Creating new collateral to describe the organization’s work and share new developments in a way that is compelling and relevant to priority audiences.
  • Maintaining Focus on Big Picture Goals: Managing shifting directives as well as rapid response in a timely way, while maintaining focus on the organization’s long-term objectives and the big-picture communications plan.
  • Brand Awareness and Alignment: Positioning and advancing the organization as a leader in the space and maintaining the organizational brand and ensuring alignment in overall design, language and aesthetic in public-facing materials.Managing a team and consultants contributing to each of the tasks above;
  • Managing a team and consultants contributing to each of the tasks above;
  • Develop, oversee and manage the communications department budget;
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization as needed; and
  • Other relevant duties as assigned.
Candidate Profile

The Director of Communications will possess the following attributes, skills, qualifications, and competencies:

  • At least 8 years of relevant professional experience in advocacy or public interest communications, preferably with a non-profit or government agency, including at least 2 years successfully managing others;
  • Experience centering racial justice and racial equity to drive movements through strategic communications and narrative;
  • Dynamic and exceptional communication skills, including the ability to reflect nuanced issues in a meaningful way for a wide range of formats and audiences;
  • Excels in a fast-paced, collaborative, digitally oriented organization;
  • Comfort with change and ambiguity;
  • Either existing relationships with reporters who cover criminal legal reform and racial justice, or the ability to quickly assess the landscape, identify strategic reporters and build those relationships to secure strategic media placements;
  • Shares the organization’s commitment to amplifying the voices of formerly incarcerated and convicted leaders in politics, business and mainstream media;
  • Understanding of the issues relevant to the organization, including the legal system and the matrix of federal, state and municipal decision making that undergirds mass incarceration in the U.S.;
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills and collaborative approach, including the ability to ask hard questions to drive important decisions;
  • Strong ability to triage competing deadlines and complete tasks on time;
  • Ability to work independently and on multiple teams, and respond well to guidance and direction;
  • Strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills; and
  • A sense of humor.

The salary range for the Director of Communication position is $100,000 – $110,000.  This is a full-time exempt position.

  • Comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental and vision plans)
  • 401K plan with organization match
  • Flex spending accounts (offset transportation and medical costs)
  • Life insurance, pre-paid legal services and extended short-term disability insurance
  • Generous leave package (15 PTO days, 20 sick days, 11 holidays, paid time off during office closure at the end of the year)

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Amber Brown of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


JustLeadershipUSA 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, or current employment status. JustLeadershipUSA values diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system involvement. We depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. For more information about JustLeadershipUSA, visit our website at

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.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference—we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit