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The Leap – Communications Director

(Full-Time / Flexible U.S. Location) | Posted August 2020

The Leap

The Leap (https://theleap.org/) advances a radically hopeful vision for addressing climate change by transitioning to a more just world, while building movement power and popular support to transform that vision into a lived reality.

The Leap was founded by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis in 2016 to advance the principles of The Leap Manifesto, a predecessor to today’s Green New Deal.  While most of our staff and programming are historically rooted in Canada, since 2018 we’ve been pushing for the development and implementation of a Green New Deal in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. 

About the Job

The Communications Director leads the development of The Leap’s communications strategy and its execution across all digital and traditional media platforms. This role reports to The Leap’s Executive Director and is a key senior member of our nine-person team spread across Canada and the US. The successful candidate will combine extensive experience in digital communications, campaigning and traditional media with a passion for climate justice, and the ways in which culture and storytelling can support revolutionary outcomes.  

Communications are at the core of the work we do to make so-called “radical” ideas irresistible and mainstream, amplify the demands of movement allies, bring new people into activism, and help win bold campaigns in collaboration with our partners.  As Communications Director, you’ll have the chance to work with and build on The Leap’s:

  • active, international email list
  • growing social media presence (27K followers on Facebook, 15K Twitter, 6.5K Instagram)
  • track record of high-profile videos that help us envision an alternate future and connect the dots between climate and other issues (e.g.- A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – ~12M views across platforms)
  • vibrant and popular podcast, Change Everything; co-hosted by The Leap’s Maya Menezes and Avi Lewis
  • history of well-attended webinars with great guests
  • background of working with artists and musicians to support major projects from The Leap Manifesto (2015) to our Green New Deal for All cross-country tour (2019)
  • access to high-profile collaborators through our staff and Board’s international networks, including that of our co-founder and Board Chair, Naomi Klein
  • success in earned media around major projects, from news coverage to op-eds
  • committed, multi-talented team of writers, researchers, public speakers, storytellers, journalists and filmmakers across every department at The Leap

This hire will be The Leap’s first Communications Director, and the candidate will have a chance to help shape and define the role in collaboration with our team. 

This role includes:

Communications & Campaign Strategy

  • Develop The Leap’s communications strategy and set key metrics for its success
  • Oversee the strategy’s implementation across all platforms, including email, social, digital campaign tools, and traditional media
  • Work closely with the programming team to create integrated strategies for successful campaigns
  • Track engagement across various platforms and make data-driven adjustments as necessary

Content & Materials

  • Oversee the creation of digital, video, audio, social, and print content in support of our communications, programming and development work
  • Develop The Leap’s brand and voice and ensure it is communicated consistently across platforms 
  • Ensure work is produced to the highest standards

Team Management

  • Manage the Communications Manager (and additional future communications staff) and support colleagues’ growth 
  • Work closely with colleagues across departments, and participate in organizational governance as a member of the Management Team 
  • Manage and oversee contractors as necessary

Media & Public Relations

  • Manage media relations and develop contacts with media members, key stakeholders, and community leaders
  • Develop key messages, talking points, and press releases to support Leap team members’ media appearances
  • Represent The Leap in media appearances, conferences, and webinars

Budgeting & Planning

  • Develop The Leap’s communications budget 
  • Lead quarterly planning processes for the communications team

Special / Rapid-response Projects

  • Work with members of The Leap and outside collaborators to produce special projects (like the upcoming sequel to A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
  • Lead rapid-response communications for breaking stories or developments relevant to our work

What we’re looking for in a candidate

The ideal candidate is a gifted creative storyteller, an experienced campaigner, and a passionate leader who combines systemic thinking with detailed execution. We encourage applications from qualified candidates who have lived experience as a member of historically underrepresented communities, including, Black, Indigenous, and/or disabled communities, given The Leap’s current lack of team members with these experiences.

Desired qualifications: 

These are ideal, but not all required – if you don’t have direct experience in any of these areas, feel free to let us know how other experiences have equipped you to succeed in those parts of the role

Skills & experience

  • 8+ years of digital, communications, and management experience
  • Ability to communicate complex issues clearly and concisely
  • Knowledge of digital campaigning technologies and best practices
  • Expertise crafting and executing creative multi-platform campaign arcs
  • Solid experience and understanding of media relations
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and projects at one time under pressure
  • Adaptable to a changing schedule, and ability to think on your feet
  • Proficiency in multiple languages is an asset

Characteristics & attributes

  • A passion for The Leap’s mission and work in the world
  • Working knowledge of climate, racial and/or economic justice issues and players in Canada and the U.S.
  • Possession of strong organizational, interpersonal and communication skills
  • Experience working with a remote team
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-moving, agile organization

Why work for The Leap? 

  • A small, collaborative team based in Canada and the U.S.
  • Four-day work week.
  • 3.5 weeks of vacation in Year 1 + holiday office closure.
  • Competitive benefits & retirement matching.
  • One-time $500 technology stipend, monthly phone & internet stipends
  • Opportunities for professional development.
  • Ability to work remotely.
  • Commitment to collaboration, innovation and a culture of care within the team.

Our team combines decades of experience in media-making, research, programming, organizational development, and grassroots activism, along with far-reaching relationships in all of those sectors. We all participate in developing and implementing our organizational strategy, and advancing the caring and collaborative culture we want to see in the world as we work towards our shared goals.  Learn more about the team: https://theleap.org/our-team/

Application Information

Position Type: Full time / Permanent 

Application Deadline: Rolling and open until filled.  Final deadline September 21st at 10 AM EST

Compensation: $75-$80,000 USD

Location: Remote within the United States, in any time zone from UTC -7 to UTC +1 (check yours here). Access to a computer with camera, phone and reliable internet are a must.

To apply, please send the following to Jon, Director of Operations & Finance, at hr@theleap.org:
(Jon is also available to answer questions about the position and/or hiring process)

Together with your resume and 2-3 examples of your work, please forward a 1-page cover letter (250 words maximum) that includes your responses to the following questions: 

  1. How do you relate to The Leap’s mission (found on our website)?
  2. What interests you most about this position?
  3. How would your skills and experiences (personal and professional) translate into success in this position? 
  4. How did you hear about this position? (optional – will help us evaluate our outreach efforts)

**Please include “Communications Director” in the email subject.

**Please include all your application materials in a single document, and save this document with the file name “[firstname]_[lastname]_application”.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Leap is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, reproductive health decisions, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, political views or activity, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law.

We believe our work is stronger when it benefits from the experience, knowledge and wisdom of people who have faced systemic barriers, and encourage applications from candidates with any of the lived experiences mentioned above

We thank you for your interest in working with The Leap, and appreciate the effort required to apply for this position. All candidates will be contacted by September 28, whether they are selected for an interview or not.