Council of State Governments
  • 26-Jun-2018 to 25-Jul-2018 (EST)
  • Justice Center
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that provides practical, nonpartisan, research-driven strategies and tools to increase public safety and strengthen communities. In general, the CSG Justice Center works closely with government executives, legislative leaders, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates, and others to develop consensus on various criminal justice issues and to translate this consensus into comprehensive reports, policy briefs, state and federal legislation, model policies, and innovative programs. The CSG Justice Center develops written and web-based materials, conducts complex data analysis, and provides on-the-ground technical assistance to policymakers and practitioners from multiple systems (corrections, behavioral health, law enforcement, etc.) in states and local jurisdictions.


The Director of Communications will lead the CSG Justice Center's efforts to use content, media, and general branding to accomplish its goals. Reporting to and working closely with the CSG Justice Center Director he/she will oversee three primary areas: editorial, media relations, and online services. He/She will help to strengthen the CSG Justice Center's profile as a trusted source of information and influential leader in the criminal justice field.


  • Exhibit a comprehensive knowledge of the CSG Justice Center, its mission and goals, culture, values, key stakeholders, and projects and initiatives; 
  • Maintain strong working relationships with the Director, Deputy Director, division directors, and other members of the organization, ensuring that they are both engaged and supported in the overall communications effort; integrate communications thinking into key CSG Justice Center decisions; 
  • Execute the organization's communications strategy. Working in partnership with the senior staff, define clear communications objectives and resource requirements for each project; ensure that all project communications mesh with the CSG Justice Center's overall communication plan and products; 
  • Provide the CSG Justice Center with high-level strategic communications counsel and planning to help achieve project objectives; ensure that the projects can take full advantage of all communications resources; 
  • Motivate, manage, and empower the communications staff; engage and supervise contractors; ensure the organization's ongoing communications capacity;
  • Coordinate communications staff workflow to assist divisions to accomplish the objectives articulated in their annual work plans; 
  • Oversee budgeting activities, contracting, staffing, and equipment needs for the communications division; 
  • Oversee the ongoing training, evaluation, and professional development of all communications staff, ensuring core competency in all critical communications functions, and productive contribution to the overall communications strategy. Create opportunities for "knowledge transfer" to all staff, helping to increase communications capacity and awareness across the entire organization; 
  • Oversee event planning, including logistics, creation of event materials, and coordination with policy staff;
  • Manage relationship with the Communications Department of CSG headquarters; highlight the work of the CSG Justice Center within the context of CSG, ensuring maximum coordination and mutual leveraging of the CSG Justice Center's and CSG's communications goals; and
  • Demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion within the CSG Justice Center.


The Director will also have ongoing responsibilities that include:

Editorial Management

  • Oversee the management of the CSG Justice Center's editorial development, writing, and editing process;
  • Ensure that all the CSG Justice Center's content and external communications send a consistent message about the organization's goals and work, and are of a consistently high quality;
  • Offer creative input and vision about what sort of materials or publications will best communicate the desired message to the desired audience; 
  • Maintain a publications calendar and project management and production process; 
  • Supervise the development of materials that promote the activities of the CSG Justice Center, such as content to support fundraising, the annual board meeting report, or an agency brochure; 
  • Supervise communication planning and materials development for special projects and events; 
  • Provide broad oversight to all staff, consultants, and contractors working on any CSG Justice Center content; and
  • Encourage cooperation and cross-fertilization between divisions within the CSG Justice Center.

Media Relations

  • Maintain a robust and proactive traditional and social media strategy to engage a variety of constituencies;
  • Refine and target messages to diverse audiences (elected officials, staffers, judges, academics, etc.); and
  • Ensure that appropriate staff receive media training.

Online Services

  • Develop and execute a strategy to improve the website user experience; develop and execute a strategy to enhance specific web-based brands and assets (e.g., the National Reentry Resource Center, the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction, and the Clean Slate Clearinghouse);
  • Maintain clear and uniform standards for online content management;
  • Manage institutional branding issues, including the use and placement of logos and other institutional images (both CSG Justice Center's and external images); and 
  • Ensure the proactive integration of the web into the CSG Justice Center's communications strategies, including webinars, social media, and other online learning tools.


  • A minimum of 8-10 years of professional experience creating overall communications strategies; senior-level management experience, and the proven ability to lead a communications department;
  • A minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field; 
  • Experience in a fast-paced, policy-oriented environment, or in a political, advocacy, or issue-driven communications environment is strongly preferred, particularly if that experience is related to criminal justice issues; 
  • Success in positioning concepts and ideas as well as products; familiarity with communications theories and strategies as they relate to change is a plus; 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with and gain the respect and support of highly-accomplished leadership and staff; experience developing plans that benefit an entire organization; 
  • Experience in managing all aspects of the production of print and web-based content and excellent project management skills; 
  • Excellent editorial judgment, writing, and editing skills; 
  • Experience working with media; excellent news judgment and experience proactively pitching timely stories and op-eds; a reputation for understanding and working creatively with the media; 
  • Knowledge of current communication technology and media, including web-based communications and social networking considered a plus; 
  • Experience creating, building, or repositioning an organization's image/identity/brand;
  • Skilled in crafting materials and messages and in preparing others in making presentations to a variety of audiences; and
  • An understanding of crisis communications.


Interested applicants must complete the online application and include resume, cover letter, writing sample and 3 professional references.

CSG is an Equal Opportunity Employer (Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disabled)

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