Communications & Research Director

Unlock Aid, a diverse and growing coalition of innovators rewriting the rules of global development to center equity, shift power and meaningfully improve the health and wellbeing of people and the planet, seeks a full-time Communications and Research Director, based in Washington, DC.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power has outlined a bold vision for the future of global development, one focused on driving “Progress, Not Programs” and diversifying who the agency works with, including the direction of more funding to local organizations in the countries that USAID supports. We at Unlock Aid couldn’t agree more: with existential problems like climate change, global health threats, food and water crises, we need public institutions like USAID to meet this moment. But the window of time to enact big changes is rapidly closing. We need to act now. 

That’s where you come in. Together with our incredible coalition partners, Unlock Aid is driving an aggressive agenda to hold USAID to its commitments, as well as working with Congress to give the agency the flexibility, budget and mandate to deliver greater impact. Reporting to Unlock Aid’s Executive Director, the Communications and Research Director will connect our members’ visions for the future with the communications needed to turn plans into policy at the agency and legislative and executive levels.

Salary range: $90,000 – $120,000, commensurate with experience. Unlock Aid provides competitive benefits, including retirement plan contributions, health and dental insurance, and paid leave.

Who we are:

Unlock Aid is a coalition of innovative, next-generation leaders and pace-setters committed to changing the rules of how the global development system operates. We are dedicated to using all the strategies, technology and talent available to serve the public interest, build thriving societies and protect the most vulnerable. We are transforming how global development works and who it works for, centering 21st-century models of innovation, transparency and accountability. 

What we do:

  • Unlock Aid is building a coalition of the world’s leading innovators, organizations and companies committed to improving our world’s current, collective effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • We reimagine systems of global investment that break free of the status quo, that reward results not invoices, and promote high-impact technologies and strategies that have enormous potential to address inequities and improve outcomes for millions around the world.
  • We rewrite the rules of global development to lift radical innovation and local wisdom that reanimates the sector for the better, spreads the resources to do good to new voices and ideas, and builds a healthier, safer, resilient and more prosperous planet for us all.
  • We are writing a policy playbook of success that can be replicated at other organizations.
  • We channel the power of committed individuals and innovative organizations from around the world to maximize the value of public resources, driving reforms of institutions with global reach to identify and scale solutions for the world’s most challenging problems.

Who you are:

  • You are a problem solver. You handle challenges with grace and calm. You’re comfortable with improvisation and will do what it takes to solve any setback.
  • You have a start-up mindset. You’re comfortable with ambiguity and an ever-evolving work environment, where priorities shift and adapt in both anticipated and unexpected ways. You’re entrepreneurial, collaborative, and creative; you’re organized and an organizer; your instinct is to be hands-on. You are a self-starter who is committed to our North Star: Ensuring that our world’s current, collective effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals operate with the urgency, flexibility and innovation needed to succeed.
  • You are intellectually curious. You have a strong, informed point of view on global development and potential of government agencies but you aren’t fixed in your thinking. You are not constrained by what is and prefer to instead imagine what can be. Global experience and mindset is a plus.
  • You have exceptional oral and written communication skills. You’re very responsive and understand the importance of clarity and tone, and are sensitive to audience and context.  
  • You are committed to our values of inclusion, radical transparency, and the delivery of results. You understand dynamics and sensitivities of social movements, political economy, and power relations – lived and historical, individual and systemic.
  • You are a bridge builder with a strong network of peers and colleagues and demonstrated experience designing and executing policy campaigns.
  • You have at least 5-7 years of communications experience with a strong preference for experience working on one or more political and/or grassroots advocacy campaigns,
  • You have a great sense of humor. For the sake of sanity, times like these demand a lot of laughter.

What you’ll do:

  • Contribute to and execute our communications strategy, with a focus on changing the rules of global development, building our coalition, and shaping market forces.
  • Maintain existing relationships and build new ones with journalists, writers, and other influencers. 
  • Be a strategist, a partner, a trusted co-conspirator to the organizations and movements in our network. Author or co-author opinion pieces, white papers, and other policy documents.
  • Help us manage our brand, with a particular focus on building our brand and messaging on Twitter, LinkedIn, and our website.
  • Stay abreast of developments on Capitol Hill, innovation, and global development.
  • Oversee research initiatives, including to build an online transparency portal, profile the work of our coalition innovators, and document what works around the world to promote results, innovation, and transparency in global development.
  • Support advocacy events, including Capitol Hill fly-ins, convenings, and other activities.

Where: Unlock Aid is based in Washington, DC. For this position, proximity to DC is strongly preferred.

When: Application deadline: August 19, 2022

Please complete this form to apply: