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Deputy Director, Communications

The Challenge & Opportunity

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is DC’s state education agency. OSSE is staffed by a top-notch team of more than 1,900 individuals who are motivated each day to sustain, accelerate and deepen progress being made in DC education. Together, we support 90,000+ students, and an education network spanning 470+ early childhood facilities, 200+ schools, 60+ local education agencies (including DCPS and public charter schools) and community based organizations. Our vision is that DC will close the achievement gap and ensure people of all ages and backgrounds are prepared to succeed in school and in life.

We are looking for a clear and compelling verbal and written communicator who loves process management, building relationships and solving problems. The Deputy Director, Communications manages a team of three communications specialists and is responsible for managing hallmark community engagement projects to help us achieve our vision.

The Deputy Director, Communications supports the Communications Director within the Office of the Chief of Staff. The ideal candidate is a self-starter and planner who naturally thinks three steps ahead and anticipates potential twists and turns along the way. S/he combines project management and communication strategies to design and implement short- and long-term outreach initiatives. The Deputy Director, Communication is a skilled writer and facilitator who engages with key internal and external stakeholders to move work forward to meet the agency’s ambitious five-year goals. The ideal candidate will have impeccable judgment, an eye for copy editing and design and a passion for listening to others to get things done and improve our work.

What you will do

The specific functions of the job include:

  • Project & People Management
  • Develop project plans and lead, coordinate and participate in different phases of project implementation ensuring that decisions are made, no balls are dropped, the right people are at the table and that expected outcomes are met within defined timeframes
  • Oversee a team of three specialists and their portfolios in three functional areas: digital, graphics, language access
  • Internal Communications & Culture
  • Manage our internal communications review process, including developing tools and resources and providing professional development to staff
  • Write, edit and copyedit communications for a range of audiences
  • Work with program teams to understand the work of the agency and ensure that programmatic outcomes and policies are communicated effectively to key stakeholders
  • Identify and coordinate opportunities for OSSE staff to engage with each other and the larger community, including quarterly All Hands meetings, annual staff survey and special events like Pride at OSSE, Teacher Appreciation Week and Bring Your Child to Work Day
  • Family & Community Engagement
  • Oversee communication and engagement on major campaigns targeting families and communities, including DC School Report Card launch, access to information on quality early childhood education options and access to information for families of students with disabilities
  • Create and compile tools to support staff agency wide in engagement efforts

What you bring to OSSE

  • A proven track record of consensus building and managing projects laterally with and without direct management authority to achieve on-the-ground results
  • Strong verbal and written communication and listening skills and a positive attitude marked by humility and humor
  • Strong copy-editing skills
  • Eagerness to be creative, innovative and proactive in finding a solution to any challenge
  • A love for details, along with the skill to know when to let details go in favor of the bigger picture
  • Passion for educational equity and a commitment to believing all students can learn and achieve at high levels
  • Minimum 5 years work experience, including community engagement, communications, project management, education policy or similar experience
  • Expertise with PowerPoint; experience with Drupal, graphic design and/or social media platforms are a bonus
  • Previous experience managing staff preferred, but not required

The Deputy Director, Communications will report to the Director of Communications.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected].