Director of Communications

  • Location: Washington , District Of Columbia
  • Type: Direct Hire
  • Job #50
  • Salary: $127,030 - $177,839

The District of Columbia is seeking an innovative, strategic, and detail-oriented thinker to serve as the next Director of Communications in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is focused on sustaining, accelerating, and deepening the progress being made for the District’s 90,000+ students. As the state education agency, OSSE serves as the District’s liaison to the US Department of Education and works closely with the District’s 470+ early childhood facilities, 250+ schools, 60+ local education agencies (including DCPS and charter organizations), and community-based organizations.

Over the years, OSSE has dramatically improved systems and supports to help close the achievement gap and ensure people of all ages and backgrounds are prepared to succeed in school and in life. DC remains the fastest improving state and urban school system in the country on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), a mission-driven, complex, and dynamic organization in the District of Columbia is seeking a Director of Communications. This critical role reports to the Chief of Staff and serves on the agency’s leadership team.

The Director of Communications catalyzes the agency’s impact by ensuring effective communications strategy, and execution, to best serve local education agencies, community-based organizations, families and students of the District of Columbia. They are charged with ensuring that internal and external stakeholders are clear on the agency’s role, its direction and priorities, policy decisions and the rationale behind them, as well as OSSE’s impact and outcomes for the communities that the Office serves.

The Director of Communications oversees a team of five talented specialists, who provide a range of communications support including managing OSSE’s internal communications review process, developing communications materials and marketing collateral, implementing organizational culture initiatives, ensuring access to services for community members of all language backgrounds, and event support.

Serving as an internal strategic consultant and partner, the Director of Communications advises the Superintendent, Chief of Staff, division leaders and other staff on communications strategies and execution methods based on internal and external communication processes, needs and best practices.

This role also involves coordination and collaboration with other communications leaders in DC Government including the Mayor’s Office and DC Public Schools.

The ideal candidate is an innovative, strategic, and detail-oriented thinker who can expertly manage high-priority projects under pressure. The ideal candidate also must possess impeccable discretion and professional judgement.

Core Functions
Across three categories, the Director of Communications assumes the following responsibilities:

Strategic Communications

  • Develop and oversee the execution of a proactive, creative, and comprehensive communications strategy incorporating press, marketing, and digital media for the agency, in conjunction with key stakeholders such as OSSE’s leadership team and the Mayor’s communications team.
  • Provide direction to the communications team and divisions to ensure all external communications maintain OSSE brand and messaging with a focus on quality and integrity.
  • Advise program teams to understand the work of the agency and ensure programmatic outcomes and policies are communicated effectively to key stakeholders.
  • Ensure effective structures and channels for communicating with key audiences and stakeholders.
  • Ensure the Superintendent can communicate a clear mission and vision and make strong progress towards its realization by providing agency-wide leadership.


  • Serve on the agency’s leadership team and provide communications consultation and expertise for all components and phases of agency work.
  • Manage a team of specialists and ensure their effective execution of communications plans and projects.
  • Through established and emerging communications channels, build a strong culture for the agency that is aligned with the agency’s core values.

Media and Public Relations

  • Lead media and public relations efforts, including developing a strong working relationship with the press, providing strategic advice and guidance for OSSE executives, preparing key OSSE representatives for media and public interactions, and ensuring timely and effective responses to media inquiries.
  • Ensure OSSE’s public events and Superintendent’s public appearances align with agency’s standards and achieves strategic objectives.
  • Proactively pitch ideas for content creation, public events, and media opportunities to highlight Mayoral initiatives.
  • Oversee development of public remarks for OSSE leadership, including key talking points and responses in anticipation of media questioning and inquiries.
  • Stay abreast of the news and relevant issues being reported in the press and identify opportunities for proactive outreach and messaging.
  • Lead clear and timely crisis communications, both internally and externally, in partnership with the Chief of Staff and Superintendent.

The qualified applicant will have a bachelor’s degree communications, journalism, marketing, public relations, or related field from an accredited institution of higher education and a minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in communications.

In addition to embodying OSSE’s core values, the qualified applicant will also have the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent problem-solving, planning, and strategic thinking skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail with an ability to manage priorities under tight deadlines
  • Knowledge of and/or established relationships in DC Government and regional media preferred
  • Extensive experience building/maintaining constructive working relationships with diverse stakeholders, including peers, staff and external stakeholders

OSSE is partnering with PoliHire to identify its next Director of Communications. If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit your application below.

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Date Posted

2024-03-29 21:18:24


Washington , District Of Columbia