Institute for Women's Policy Research

Vice President, Communications & External Affairs

Washington, DC - Full Time


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is the nation’s preeminent think tank committed to achieving economic equity for women and eliminating structural and institutional barriers to women’s full participation in the workforce and society. 

IWPR’s mission is to build knowledge and evidence to support policies that help grow women’s economic power and influence in society, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic security and well-being of girls, women, and families. We generate the ideas that build power and economic equity for all women. 


The Vice President, Communications and External Affairs is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and reports directly to the President/CEO. The Vice President, External Affairs will develop, lead and execute on strategic initiatives to advance IWPR’s thought leadership and position the organization as a leading voice on the economy and the economic security and well-being of women and families. They will also manage our narrative change and culture work, set and guide the strategy for all communications, website, and public relations messages and collateral to consistently articulate the mission, vision, and values of IWPR to external audiences and stakeholders.  

Additionally, the Vice President of External Affairs will build and manage relationships with the media and other key entities, work to maintain brand and messaging consistency, and the advancement of brand awareness and visibility efforts with relevant constituents. They will plan and execute high-level external events to drive broader awareness and visibility on IWPR core issues and strategic initiatives. They should also have national media experience. 

The ideal candidate is a proactive, creative, impact driven, collaborative leader with experience building and managing a dynamic team of communications and external affairs professionals. They will have experience developing and implementing a diverse range of media strategies, including digital, print, social and other new media strategies such as podcasts.  

This is an on-site position based in Washington, DC. This position is full-time and exempt.  

Duties and Responsibilities:  

Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

  • Committed to the mission, vision and direction of IWPR.
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan and vision for communications and external affairs at IWPR.
  • Formulate short and long-term communications and external affairs goals for IWPR in support of the organization’s mission and institutional strategic plan.
  • Set communications goals and develop metrics to grow influence and impact
  • Build and lead a dynamic communications and external affairs and oversee the preparation and implementation by direct reports of work plans, timelines and actions to meet communications and external impact goals.
  • As part of the Senior Leadership Team, help develop organizational priorities and direction and provide strategic guidance on external impact and influence; and
  • Represent IWPR at high-level meetings and events.

Communications Operations

  • Write high-level communications publications, opinion editorials, and press releases.
  • Oversee all print and online communications such as event programs, promotional materials, and annual reports.
  • Develop and oversee the organization’s social media strategy and activity including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other online platforms, both organic and paid promotion.
  • Pitch timely stories, Opinion editorials, and IWPR research to media outlets.
  • Maintain brand and messaging consistency, and advancement of brand awareness and visibility efforts in the field and across platforms and various mediums.
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, press releases, speeches, advisories, presentations, and other supporting material as needed.
  • Attract, engage, and maintain relationships with the media and other key stakeholders.
  • Manage strategies that draw attention to IWPR’s work including crafting messages, identifying target audiences, and preparing material for internal and external distribution.
  • Manage copy/content and monitor metrics for materials including email blasts, e-news articles, web content, invitation letters, and event recaps.
  • Work with consultants and help direct production of high-quality videos and graphics.
  • Supervise communications staff and consultants and serve as a key member of IWPR’s Executive Leadership team.
  • Train IWPR researchers and staff on best practices in communications and messaging.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

External Affairs

  • Grow IWPR’s profile and expand individual engagement with the organization by sharply defining IWPR’s national brand, broadening its visibility, and attracting significant support and resources to advance its strategic goals.
  • Develop and executive external events to elevate IWPR’s brand and mission.
  • Provide oversight for collateral production, digital campaigns, and media relations.
  • Work to ensure effective coordination across departments in order to execute on engagement initiatives and campaigns.
  • Ability to raise awareness of the organization and its mission through outreach efforts and regular event and donor engagement strategies; and
  • Oversee the annual report and other donor materials production.

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, Master’s Preferred or equivalent experience/expertise in one of the following fields: English language, journalism, public relations, public policy, communications, or related field.
  • 12+ years’ experience in communications, strategic media relations or public relations, including at leadership/executive level.
  • Excellent persuasive writing, editing and verbal communications skills, including presentation skills
  • Strong portfolio of pitching media and placing stories
  • Experience building a strategic communications plan that targets multiple stakeholder audiences and leverages traditional, digital, and social media platforms
  • Strong existing media networks and relationships
  • Proven track record of effectively interacting with diverse stakeholders including executives, researchers, public officials, and Board of Directors.
  • Superior problem-solving, managerial and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work strategically and collaboratively across the organization.
  • Effective, versatile, and action oriented.
  • Ability to work well under pressure with tight deadlines and multiple priorities
  • National communications experience a plus



$140,000 to $175,000 and will be commensurate with experience. IWPR provides competitive salaries and a generous benefits package.  

How To Apply

Please submit a resume, writing sample, and thoughtful, relevant cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply. IWPR is an equal opportunity employer. We consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

Vaccine Policy: IWPR has made the safety of our staff and our surrounding community a top priority. As part of that commitment, IWPR recently implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. This policy states that all IWPR employees, interns, fellows, (i.e.- IWPR staff) are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to receive a booster shot. IWPR will require selected candidates to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 and having received a booster shot prior to extending a job offer. If a candidate has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a Covid-19 vaccination, a medical exemption form should be requested from Human Resources.



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