Director of Communications

The Director of Communications (Director) reports to the President and is responsible for designing and implementing RI’s strategic communications plan. This is a unique opportunity to work with a talented and passionate team on an issue of international and historical significance. The Director will work across the organization to further RI’s advocacy and fundraising goals, increase RI’s visibility, amplify RI’s impact, and promote RI’s brand.

This position is based in Washington, DC and will lead a two-person communications team.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Communications Strategy

  • Design and implement a strategic communications plan for RI that enhances RI’s visibility, protects and promotes RI’s brand, and increases financial support for its work

  • Identify priorities and develop strategies and messages for RI field mission findings that reach target media, policy audiences, and donors

  • Ensure all RI materials (including, but not limited to field reports, videos, online newsletters, fundraising appeals, invitations, etc.) accurately reflect the organization’s messaging and brand

  • Manage the strategic direction and content of RI’s website

  • Enhance the organization’s profile in mainstream and online media, increasing RI’s online audience and strengthening its online fundraising program

Team Management and Leadership

  • Manage a talented and passionate communications team

  • Develop and manage the communications team budget

  • Provide support and training activities to staff on media relations, messaging and communications best practices; prep staff for media interviews, and help draft and prep staff presentations to donors

  • Oversee the work of external communications vendors, including web designers, videographers, photographers, PR firms, graphic designers, printers, and others

  • Manage crisis communications

  • Develop communications evaluation plans and consistently measure and strengthen results

  • Assist with fundraising proposals related to communications activities and provide donors with information on communications activities

Media Relations

  • Develop and maintain relationships with journalists at top-tier media outlets and occasionally serve as spokesperson for the organization to the media

  • Draft op-eds, quotes, speeches, talking points, and calls to action for RI’s president, board members, and other high-profile speakers for media, public education fora, and fundraising events


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, political science or international relations, or related field. Master’s degree preferred

  • Twelve years or more experience in communications at a non-profit organization, and/or as a former journalist (ideally with management experience)

  • Preexisting relationships with editors, producers, and foreign correspondents strongly desired

  • Foreign language skills a plus. Experience with U.S. government or UN an asset

  • Outstanding writing, editing, proofreading, and storytelling skills

  • Understanding of the interactions between mainstream media and strong knowledge of best practices in online outreach and engagement

  • Highly developed organizational skills, time management, attention to detail, initiative, and self-motivation

  • Experience in managing a team and working collaboratively with colleagues

  • Ability to adapt quickly to changes in a fast-paced work environment

  • Flexibility, innovative thinking, and a sense of humor

How to Apply

Refugees International has retained the executive search firm LeaderFit to lead this search. Please direct inquiries to Annie Linehan Czerwinski at Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume here.