Director of Communications and External Relations
Location: This position is located in the immediate office of the U.S. Interagency Council On Homelessness (USICH) in Washington, DC.
Start Date/Duration: Immediate; Open until filled.
Salary: USICH positions are not GS-graded. For comparison purposes only, the responsibility level, duties and salary range are similar to a GS-1035-13/14. Position is in the Excepted Service; Schedule A appointment.
Key Roles for this Position:
The incumbent serves as a public affairs specialist responsible for planning and implementing communications and media information programs regarding the work of the USICH and its initiatives. Additionally, the incumbent has principal responsibility for developing, managing and implementing the agency’s legislative priorities and processes, as well as management of relationships, initiatives and work related to federal and national partners. This position reports to the Deputy Director.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
• Develops and manages an agency-wide, comprehensive communications plan with associated goals and strategies.
• Provides assistance and consultation to senior officials with program areas and maintain liaison with other interagency initiatives of the Council for the purpose of developing long-term strategic plans for public communications and media outreach. Analyzes and evaluates communication strategies to advise on the information that should be made public.
• Develops and manages the Council website, including but not limited to the technology and content, for it to serve as a trusted and comprehensive portal to federal, state, local and other stakeholders in efforts to achieve the mission, goals and strategies of USICH.
• Develops and manages social media activities to support the work of the Council.
• Works with policy and regional staff to communicate resources, best practices, innovations, and other timely information to further the mission of the Council. Information is distributed through a variety of media some of which include: publication of a regular electronic newsletter, news alerts, webinars, conference calls, policy papers and blogs.
• Using content developed by others, creates and refines top-line messaging. Reviews external communications to ensure common messaging. Develops branding, manages policies and procedures to ensure USICH brand integrity.
• Manages USICH-sponsored and USICH participation in high-profile public events.
• Serves as a central point for receipt of press inquiries. Develops and provides requested background information. Must have working knowledge of major print and electronic media markets. Arranges and participates in telephone and personal media interviews between senior program officials and news media representatives.
• Responds to information requests from the news media and specialized general constituencies on the USICH’s initiatives in written and oral form.
• Develops and disseminates information concerning the activities of the USICH through newspapers, radios, television or other information media. Coordinates with the other staff to assure effective communications, including provide assistance with editing assistance, as requested.
• Writes, edits, and contributes content to a variety of communications.
• Manages the coordination of all congressional relations and communications of the agency and council member agencies and other stakeholders, as they relate to the work of the agency.
• Participates fully in developing and coordinating the agency's policy positions on legislative matters.
• Monitors and reports on legislative activity of interest to the agency, develop legislative options in furtherance of the agency's goals and mission, and oversees a proactive congressional affairs program consistent with the agency's mission, responsibilities, strategies, and policies.
• Provides guidance and counsel to the ED, DD and other senior staff and stakeholders on all congressional matters.
• Concurs on all responses and correspondence related to Congress.
• Identifies, cultivates and maintains relationships with key legislative offices, key stakeholders and organizations critical to the achievement of the organization’s legislative agenda.
• Represents USICH at congressional events, and other conferences and meetings to support its legislative agenda.
• Keeps USICH and its stakeholders informed on relevant budgetary, legislative, and policy developments related to the work and mission of the Council.
• When appropriate, makes unaccompanied visits to congressional and ExecutiveBranch offices to support work.
• Ensures that both communications and congressional work messaging and work is synchronized and the both collectively support the overall mission, goals, strategies and initiatives of USICH.
• Assists in the preparation of congressional testimony and other documents for legislative/congressional purposes.
• Coordinates and prepares briefings for members of Congress and professional staff members and associated materials for participating USICH staff.
• Establishes and maintains effective, coordinated, and supportive relationships with national partner organizations. Strategizes methods in which to facilitate coordination of activities in delivery of services and programs and initiatives to prevent and end homelessness.
• Other duties as assigned.
Factor Level Descriptions & Qualifications:
Knowledge of the broad objectives of a national public affairs program. Skill in working with the media and working knowledge of the newspapers, wire service, radio and television procedures is required. Possesses excellent writing and editing skills, and skill in analyzing controversial and/or complex information and developing written material designed to reach a variety of constituencies.
Comprehensive knowledge of the operations of Congress. Excellent legislative analysis skills.
Strong, comprehensive understanding of congressional processes, both appropriations and authorizing, and understanding of administrative processes, including the federal budget process.
Assignments typically involve complex USICH initiatives and require broad knowledge of housing and urban development problems and domestic policy issues. Ensures that high visibility and controversial issues are presented in an accurate and easily understood manner.
The incumbent receives assignments through program discussions, conferences or written directives. He/She is expected to outline the objectives of the assignment, resources needed, and plans to assume proper coordination with other organizations. The incumbent is expected to use his/her initiative in proposing and developing projects. The incumbent’s work is reviewed frequently for progress, quality and results achieved. He/She is expected to use professional judgment in carrying out assigned duties and responsibilities.
Guidelines include policy statements and precedents that do not specifically apply to ongoing work situations. The employee modifies the approach as necessary in communicating the USICH’s information and advises program managers of public reaction to sensitive issues.
The work involves the development of the communication plan for conveying USICH information to the public through various media. This includes identifying the audience and securing the assistances of media representatives.
Assignments include planning, designing, executing and evaluating a public affairs program involving the development of written materials conveying complex information about the Council.
The work requires gathering information from USICH officials and developing the strategy to effectively communicate, support and/or further USICH objectives.
The purpose of the work is to convey the USICH’s initiatives and policies to various affected constituencies, to advise program management for public reaction and impact, and to ensure congressional relations is managed in efforts to support and/or further the work of the Agency.
The incumbent reports directly to the Deputy Director, who provides guidance in terms of Council’s goals and objectives. The incumbent is expected to exercise professional judgment in carrying out assigned duties and responsibilities. The incumbent is expected to use originality and creativity in formulating and carrying out work plans.
Personal contacts include other staff, State, Federal and Local Government officials, Members of Congress and staff, national organizations, media representatives, other stakeholders, etc.
The work requires a minimum of physical exertion.
Must have high level of experience with and knowledge of both existing and emerging technology used in communications; Must be Internet savvy; Should be knowledgeable of web site design/ maintenance. Must be fully PC literate using Microsoft suite of standard products to include Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Advanced degree preferred; college degree minimum. 5 or more years of related work and experience.
How to Apply:
Please email a cover letter which includes your availability, your resume and salary history to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Position duty station is Washington, DC
USICH is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
You must be a U.S. citizen to be considered for this position.
This position requires a background check; must be able to successfully pass and maintain clearance.
All Federal employees are required by PL 104-134 to have Federal payments made by Direct Deposit.
Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will be required to certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do under the Selective Service Law.
This is a federal government, excepted service (Schedule A) position, open to all candidates with or without prior federal government experience.
Position includes a 1 year probationary period in which incumbent can be terminated without case.
Relocation expenses are not authorized.
Full-time position with federal government benefits.
The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees including health benefits, life insurance, annual and sick leave, flexible spending accounts, long term care insurance, retirement and thrift savings plan, and family friendly flexibilities. To find out more click here http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/benefits.asp .
This position is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.
This position is not in a bargaining unit.