The Communications Team

The MacArthur Communications team builds thoughtful and creative communications strategies to advance the work of the Foundation and its grantees in bringing about social change.

We collaborate closely with program teams and other colleagues across the Foundation to create and implement proactive communications plans that enhance the impact of MacArthur’s grantmaking and its grantees. We are responsible for the Foundation's strategic efforts to communicate with the press, public, and policymakers: leading media relations; creating Web and social media content; producing grantee stories; and planning public events. We also provide communications support and advice to MacArthur’s leadership, staff, and grantees.

Our team includes the Managing Director; four Communications Officers, who lead communications for a portfolio of programs; three Associates, one each focused on Web, social media, and writing/research projects; an Administrator; and outside consultants/firms as needed.

Key Responsibilities

Strategy Development and Implementation

  • The primary responsibility is to design and execute comprehensive communications strategies to advance the work of the Foundation and its grantees in select fields;
  • Drive and lead communications for a portfolio of MacArthur programs;
  • Empower and enable program staff to act as spokespeople for their programmatic areas in order to broaden and democratize the voice of the Foundation; and
  • Work closely with program directors and staff, communications colleagues, grantees, and other stakeholders to develop and carry out programmatic communications strategies.

Messaging and Materials

  • Craft consistent, accessible, up-to-date program messaging and devise and implement tactics to connect that messaging to key audiences, and
  • Write press releases, web and social media content, op-eds, talking points, briefings, and program updates for the Foundation’s staff, Board, President, media, the public, and other audiences.

Media, Events, and External Resources Management

  • Build relationships with, pitch stories to, and respond to relevant media;
  • Plan and execute public events that further strategic communications objectives;
  • Represent the Foundation and its perspective to outside audiences, including grantees and the public; and
  • Manage and partner with external communications firms, consultants, and other vendors engaged in support of the Foundation and grantees.

Communications Officers represent the team as good citizens of the Foundation and uphold our team values:

  • Excellence in all we do;
  • Engagement through continuous and shared learning and an openness to new ideas and new approaches;
  • Collaboration in working together and with other Foundation colleagues;
  • Integrity in earning and demonstrating trust and respect toward one another, a willingness to step up and take the lead when the team needs it and helping each other out, and follow through on our commitments to each other; and
  • Justice in embracing the principles of MacArthur’s Just Imperative.

Important Personal Attributes for Success

  • Effective, clear, concise communication style; active listener;
  • Superb interpersonal dexterity and self-awareness;
  • Demonstrated flexibility and adaptability;
  • Effective at prioritizing multiple, competing demands and a busy meeting schedule;
  • Collegial, positive attitude and a team orientation; and
  • Respectful of others’ time and work needs; proactively keeps others informed; treats colleagues with respect and courtesy.

Other Key Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree;
  • At least seven years of full-time communications work experience on issue or cause-related work, in or for mission-driven organizations, in roles such as public relations, media relations, public affairs, campaign or policy communications;
  • An understanding of social change gained from direct experience in a nonprofit, NGO, social enterprise, university, government, or a communications agency is an asset;
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and translate complex subject matter; and
  • A track record of success developing and executing comprehensive strategic communications programs in a highly complex, multi-layered, intellectually rigorous work environment.