Chief Communications Officer

Vote Run Lead

About the organization

Vote Run Lead  / Vote Run Lead Action (VRL/A) are national, nonpartisan sister organizations that unleash the political power of women as voters, candidates and leaders to create and sustain an equitable democracy. We envision a country with women as the majority of office holders at every level of government, forging the democracy we deserve.

Vote Run Lead is rooted in a solid foundation of unwavering values that guide our work and shape our organization,  training anti-racist, feminist leaders who support democracy reform and representative government. We use training, technology, data and community to create large-scale impact on women’s representation, to fuel women’s ambition for political leadership and to close the knowledge gap around civic engagement.

Launched in 2014, VRL/A was founded with the central tenet that at every level of government, more women’s representation means greater impact and efficiency. Leveraging our award-winning Run As You Are curriculum, VRL/A trains women to run for office and win. To date, VRL/A has reached over 55,000 women — nearly 60% of whom are women of color and 20% of whom are from rural America. Alumni are proudly serving across city councils, county boards, statehouses, supreme courts and in Congress.

Today, the VRL/A staff has grown sixfold since its founding. With a deepened commitment to transforming the leadership of our public offices, VRL/A has implemented and is primarily focused on the RUN/51 Program, a moonshot goal of at least 51% women in state legislatures (reflecting the fact that our population is a majority women).


About the role

This is an ideal opportunity for a dynamic, mission-focused marketing, data and communications leader who is excited by the idea of amplifying the meaningful work VRL/A does with increased visibility, engagement and impact.

Reporting directly to the Founder & CEO, the Chief Communications Officer (CCO) will lead and develop communications, data and marketing  strategies in alignment with the organizations’ overall strategic plan.

The CCO will serve as a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT),  and lead the Communications and Data departments. They will collaborate closely with consultants and leaders across the organizations, including the Political, Operations and Development  teams to align key strategic imperatives and facilitate messaging and communications efforts internally and externally. The CCO will be responsible for elevating  VRL/A’s voice and brand while expanding the organizations’ reach and constituent base.

The CCO will be responsible for the development, integration and implementation of a broad range of external communications activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership. As a leading ambassador for VRL/A, the CCO will also be responsible for building and nurturing media relationships and driving broad awareness and support across the ecosystem of alumni and community members, partners and donors.

The CCO will oversee VRL/A’s branding, marketing and communications products and services, including: digital newsletters, printed collateral, public relations and media (including earned/organic, paid and social channels), website content and all digital representation.

Opportunities for Impact

Organizational and Team Leadership

Serve as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, supporting the development and execution of organization-wide work
Serve as a model and culture carrier, not only employing an anti-racism approach and equity lens to all communication activities, but also embodying and implementing our core competencies and values and fostering an inclusive environment for all who work within and alongside VRL/A
Intentionally contribute to the organization’s commitment to anti-racism and equity by acting as a thought partner to help further develop the organization’s racial and cultural competencies
Promote a team-oriented culture of high performance, accountability and continuous improvement
Mentor and lead Department  members and Fellows, including direct supervision of staff, contributors and consultants

Communications and Brand Strategy

Develop, implement and execute the strategic communications plan for VRL/A, in coordination with the CEO and Communications and Data teams
Create new ways to demonstrate VRL/A’s value
Develop key messaging that positions the organizations as leaders and experts in the field while expanding the organization’s reach and heightening VRL/A’s profile in a time of significant growth
Provide thought leadership on distinguishing VRL and VRLA’s related but distinct public voices
Create and enhance the direction and tone of the organizations’ communications and digital content
Establish goals, metrics and reports to define and measure success; optimize all activity; set KPIs and benchmarks to measure success
Develop and oversee a strategy for improved online user experience, including maximizing constituent engagement across all of VRL/A’s social media channels
Align and coordinate efforts with Head of Development Operations and Narrative to ensure consistent tone and messaging across departments for all campaigns, donor engagements and fundraising activities
Create and identify internal and external communications opportunities, and design and execute compelling strategies to ensure the organization’s target audience is connected to and engaged in VRL/A’s work
Approve communications and marketing campaigns
Plan, direct and coordinate communications and marketing budget

Communications, Marketing and Branding Implementation

Serve as a public-facing  spokesperson and employ an anti-racism approach and equity lens to all communications activities
Ensure cross-channel integration for a unified and consistent brand message; monitor and analyze brand mentions, sentiment and reputation across various channels
Manage execution of social media strategy, including content development, community management, organic engagement, paid advertising ROI, A/B and multivariate testing; maximize constituent engagement on all social media channels
Leverage search engine optimization and search engine marketing as it relates to content and digital strategy
Manage digital aspects of the editorial calendar; ensure that all deadline requirements are met

Data Initiatives, Strategy and Implementation

Develop and implement data-driven marketing and communication strategies:
Lead market and audience research initiatives to gather and analyze data on industry trends, competitor activities, audience behavior and preferences
Implement and leverage marketing technology tools for data collection, analysis and automation
Oversee all digital marketing analytics (including website metrics and social media engagement), track and measure the ROI and performance of marketing initiatives, and optimize campaigns for effectiveness
Leverage progressive political data technology tools, especially Action Network, to identify trends and opportunities for thought leadership
Lead initiatives that use evidence-based storytelling to drive conversation and innovation among our partners and audiences, including data visualization and data storytelling projects
Stay updated on data privacy regulations and ensure compliance in marketing practices
VRL/A roles are open to candidates across all U.S. states. Currently, all positions are remote. Some travel is required, with all travel expenses covered by the organization.

This is a full-time executive position with a salary range of $185,000–$215,000. VRL/A offers an excellent benefits plan, including health insurance,  home-office stipend, paid travel expenses, retirement savings plan, flex-time work arrangements, and generous paid time off policies (including your birthday, year-round “summer Fridays,” and restorative summer and winter breaks).

Experience & Personal and Professional Attributes
The VRL/A  team is looking for a driven, mission-focused executive who thrives in fast-paced environments, with extensive experience working in politics at both strategic and tactical levels, and along the continuum of grassroots, statewide and national scale efforts. The ability to work toward a big-picture vision while working collaboratively and effectively across all levels of the organization is critical. VRL/A is interested in hard working leaders with proven track records of delivering and measuring impactful results. Women of color and multilingual candidates especially are encouraged to apply.

Research shows that members of underrepresented groups and marginalized identities may not apply to a role unless they meet 100% of the listed qualifications. We recognize that no one is likely to meet all the listed requirements and encourage you to apply if you have most of the following attributes:

Experience: 10+ years experience in marketing and/or communications, with at least 5 years’ experience in an executive-level communications role — ideally leading communications work in social justice or public interest sectors, specifically civic engagement or political space. Experience leading communications strategies for connected 501(c3) and 501(c4) organizations preferred. (Prior work experience connected to state legislatures is a huge plus!)
Strategy: Demonstrated experience in leading and managing comprehensive strategic communications, media relations and/or marketing programs with experience leveraging the communications function to promote an organization’s mission and goals  with the widest set of stakeholders possible. Ability to position communications discussions at strategic and tactical levels.
Collaborative and Effective: High energy, maturity and leadership skills with the ability to work toward a big-picture vision while working collaboratively and effectively across a wide variety of stakeholders and constituent groups, including program participants, staff, board members, volunteers, donors, alumni, consultants and other supporters and partner organizations.
Technology Expert: History of creative and thoughtful integration of technology to advance communications goals. Adept at spotting tools and trends. Strong technology background, including expertise with content management systems, messaging and collaboration platforms, mobile, Google technology and analytics, integrating generative AI, and knowledge of industry innovations.
Digital Marketing: Experience implementing SEO best practices, evaluation of digital marketing trends and message testing.
Brand Management: Demonstrated success in establishing a brand or brands as a sought-after authority. Experience within the political arena is preferred.
Values-Aligned: Thought partner with the leadership team, centering feminism, anti-racism and a pro-democracy lens in all strategies.
Executive Judgment: Responsive leadership includes authority and accountability. Strong executive judgment: can perceive, synthesize and take action.
Communication Skills: Strong interpersonal skills and exceptional communication and presentation skills, both verbal and written. Able to inform, influence, convince and persuade. Experience writing and editing copy specifically for digital audiences.
People Management: Excellent team and people management skills, with the ability to coach and manage a diverse, cross-functional yet mission-aligned team with inclusivity and equity at the center of management approach. Direct management experience in building authentic relationships across teams.
Innovator and Implementer: A strong track record as an innovator and implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently.
Entrepreneurial: Thrives working in a fast-paced environment with the capacity to juggle competing priorities, interests and cocurrent deadlines.
Passion: Desire to drive transformational change and create impact around women’s leadership and representation in elected public offices
Values Alignment: Adheres to VRL/A’s core competencies of communication, teamwork, planning & organizing, accountability, community member orientation, creativity, technical awareness and a commitment to continuous learning. (See below for more details.)

To Apply
Priority Application deadline is February 29, 2024. Please submit a resume and answer the application questions in lieu of a cover letter.

VRL/A is an equal opportunity employer. VRL/A prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, genetic characteristics, disability, status as a special disabled veteran or veteran, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual identity or any other basis prohibited by law. As an organization committed to building a reflective democracy, we strongly encourage women of color and multilingual candidates to apply.

This search is being led by NRG Consulting Group. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

VRL/A Core Competencies
Core competencies are the skills, attributes and behaviors which are considered critical for all staff to be successful at VRL/A, regardless of their function or level.

Speaks and writes clearly and effectively

Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately

Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication

Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience

Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed

Uses digital communication tools and techniques with proficiency

Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals

Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others

Places team agenda before personal agenda

Builds consensus for task purpose and direction with team members

Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position

Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings

Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies

Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required

Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work

Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning

Monitors and adjusts plans and s as necessary

Uses time efficiently

Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments

Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards

Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules

Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments

Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “Community Members” and seeks to see things from members’ point of view

Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with members by gaining earning their trust and respect

Identifies members’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions

Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the members’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems

Keeps members informed of progress or setbacks in projects

Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to members

Actively seeks to improve programs or services

Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs

Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas

Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”

Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things

Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches

Keeps abreast of political climate, dynamics, research and trends

Keeps abreast of available electoral campaign tools and technology

Keeps abreast of gender dynamics, research and trends

Understands applicability and limitations of technical awareness

Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks

Shows willingness to learn new technology

Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession

Actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally

Contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates

Shows willingness to learn from others

Seeks feedback to learn and improve