Vice President for Communications
Linked Learning Alliance
Classification: Full Time/Exempt
About Linked Learning and the Linked Learning Alliance
Linked Learning is a proven, systemic approach to education based on this simple idea: students work harder and dream bigger if their learning connects with them, and connects them to the world. Young people are introduced to career possibilities in sectors that drive their region’s economy, making education relevant to their passions and inspiring them to graduate from high school with the coursework and skills they need to thrive. By integrating rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services, Linked Learning prepares students for success in college, career, and life.
Rigorous independent evaluation conducted over multiple years indicates that Linked Learning makes a difference for young people—improving high school graduation rates, decreasing drop- out rates, and boosting the number of credits earned. These findings have spurred growth of the Linked Learning field, which in California now includes more than 100 participating school districts, collectively serving more than 300,000 students, and its expansion to 19 other states.
The Linked Learning Alliance serves the coalition of educators, employers, and community organizations dedicated to improving the education system and advancing equity and excellence through expanded access to Linked Learning. The Alliance provides a collective voice for this field, advocates for policies that support the Linked Learning approach, sets the quality standard for Linked Learning in practice, and brings diverse stakeholders together to improve outcomes for students.
The Alliance was established in May 2008 and incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) in July 2015. www.linkedlearning.org
The Vice President for Communications will be responsible for strategy and execution of all field and public communications. This position will elevate the Linked Learning and Alliance brands and design and lead implementation of all communications strategies—including message and content development; outreach campaigns for educators and employers; advocacy campaigns for policymakers; promotion of the analytics and certification platforms used by Linked Learning sites to improve student outcomes; digital strategy (website, social channels, blogs, etc.); and media relations strategy.
The Vice President will be based in the Bay Area and be a vital member of the Linked Learning Alliance’s executive management team. In collaboration with the President, Board of Directors, and colleagues, this position will help the Alliance activate the strategic vision developed through extensive stakeholder input in 2018. That vision is anchored in achieving equity and excellence for students across the U.S. through high-quality college and career preparation. It focuses on growth of the Linked Learning field as well as organizational sustainability via expanded applications of Linked Learning in communities and districts throughout the country, government policies that are supportive and aligned to this approach, and public and donor commitment to college and career preparation for all young people.
Executive Team: Roles and Responsibilities
The Vice President for Communications will work closely with the Alliance president and executive team colleagues to advance the key elements of the Linked Learning Alliance strategic plan. This individual will play a senior role in:
- Creating a healthy, sustainable, and thriving nonprofit organization as it completes a critical transition and moves beyond its start-up and implementation phases
- Setting annual implementation goals and milestones against an ambitious strategic vision
- Supporting fund development efforts—helping identify opportunities, conveying Linked Learning and Linked Learning Alliance value add to external partners, participating in funder relationship/cultivation, and assisting with grant proposal development
- Developing the annual budget for the Alliance
- Representing the Alliance at external functions and presenting at conferences and events; serving on or staffing relevant field panels and task forces
- Managing special projects and strategic initiatives as identified and needed
Strategic Communications Leadership: Roles and Responsibilities
The Vice President for Communications will drive the planning and implementation of Alliance communications strategies and investments, working collaboratively and synergistically with all Alliance functions to achieve measurable results. More specifically, this position is responsible for formulating, integrating, activating, measuring, and improving strategies in all areas described below.
Brand elevation and development: Building awareness and reputation for the Linked Learning brand, including deepening field affiliation with this brand; simultaneously developing the Alliance brand, including its branded products (e.g., Linked Learning Analytics, Linked Learning Certification); creating and/or overseeing creation of materials aligned to the brand.
Message development: Stewarding the Linked Learning narrative and effective messages in the context of strategic plan goals and target audiences and advancing corollary messaging for the Linked Learning Alliance that supports ongoing audience engagement.
Content development: Creating, or overseeing creation of, compelling content that strengthens the Linked Learning brand and advances Alliance goals and strategies, drawing on a full range of sources and modes, from storytelling that conveys Linked Learning’s benefit for individual students to video, materials, events, social media assets, and data visualizations highlighting aggregate outcomes and results of rigorous research studies.
Digital strategy and platform development: Elevating the value of and audience engagement with the Linked Learning website, e-newsletters, and related social media sites—including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and initiating a robust blog platform; building and managing subscriber lists for Alliance communications.
Audience outreach and campaigns: Advancing Alliance priorities through engagement of key target audiences including employers, educators (K–12 district as well as postsecondary), policymakers at the local, state, or national levels, and media.
Media relations and outreach: Identifying and pursuing earned media coverage of Linked Learning outcomes and stories of impact, including op-ed and story placements; maintaining relationships with reporters at select educational and general news outlets.
Field communications and capacity: Delivering ongoing content that informs and inspires the growing Linked Learning field, supports members’ expansion and practice of Linked Learning, and motivates and enables their affiliation with the Linked Learning brand; equipping and inspiring field members to be visible champions for Linked Learning—amplifying the Alliance communications effort and building collective identity through active communication of Linked Learning by school districts, employers, educators, and others in locales across the nation.
Products, publications, and tools: Marketing primary Alliance products that serve the field (including Linked Learning Analytics and Linked Learning Certification) to increase awareness and participation; developing and disseminating publications that inform understanding and application of Linked Learning (e.g., case studies, evaluation findings); creating fact sheets, presentation materials, social media content, and other toolkit elements that can enhance the local communications of field members.
Convention and events: Supporting the annual Linked Learning Convention and providing a range of communications supports for this multi-day event (on-site materials, plenary session messaging, backdrops, slides, etc.); marketing to attendees; supporting a range of convenings, webinars, and other events hosted by the Alliance.
- Bachelor’s degree (minimum, master’s degree preferred) in a communications or marketing discipline
- Minimum of eight years of strategic communications experience, ideally in an organization working to advance educational or economic justice; significant experience with advocacy, policy, media relations, and field-building preferred
- Strategic communications acumen—this position requires familiarity with and ability to lead an array of approaches and multi-platform communications (see section above) in a complex and dynamic landscape; most important is the ability to strategically assess opportunities and needs, and design solutions that combine messages and methods to achieve a desired communications outcome within available budgets
- Executive and leadership abilities, personal preference and skills for team-based approaches— this position must contribute to positive and productive collaboration at multiple levels, including full participation in the Alliance executive staff team, leadership of communications team/s (comprised of staff and consultants), and engagement with field groups and partnerships
- Comfort and confidence working in a fast-paced environment and at the forefront of a growing field—including ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks simultaneously, adapt to new inputs or opportunities/needs, and have equal comfort managing and participating hands-on in any/all communications endeavors
- Proven abilities and desire to supervise, coach, and develop staff
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
- Deep commitment to equity and inclusion
Linked Learning Alliance offers a highly competitive compensation and benefits package.
The position will be located in the immediate Bay Area.
If you would like to apply, please send your résumé and a cover letter to HR@linkedlearning.org. Indicate the position title in the subject line of the email for the fastest consideration. In your cover letter, please share how your experience, competencies, skills, and interests are a good match for this position.
The Linked Learning Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.
The Alliance is committed to equity, embraces diversity as an asset, and practices inclusivity. These values strengthen our culture, help us fulfill our mission, and contribute to a better world. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
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