The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.

Director of Communications
Job Announcement and Description

Are you a communications expert looking to be part of a mission-driven organization? Do you want to use your leadership experience to implement a truly strategic approach to change in the world? Are you inspired to learn more—and educate others—about global challenges that require global action? Do you want to join a team devoted to increased peace and security around the world? Do you want to focus your communication skills on real-world change?

Position Overview
The Stanley Foundation seeks a dynamic, creative, and self-motivated director for its communication efforts. The director, reporting to the president and serving as part of the foundation’s leadership team, will be responsible for the collaborative development and implementation of an organizational strategic communications plan, the development and implementation of a broad range of communication products and activities, and leadership of the foundation’s Communications Department. 

Key responsibilities include:

  1. Participation in strategic conversations at a variety of levels, representing communications considerations.
  2. Management of all internal processes around organizational brand, image, and media positioning, which includes promotion of foundation work and materials through all appropriate media.
  3. Development of communications plans that advance the foundation’s policy advocacy goals.
  4. Management of, and participation in, the team that produce the foundation’s publications and online presence.
  5. Development of new communications tools and products as needed.
  6. Ongoing assessment of the impact and value-add of each aspect of the foundation’s external communications.

About the Stanley Foundation
The Stanley Foundation advances multilateral action to create fair, just, and lasting solutions to critical issues of peace and security. The foundation’s work is built on a belief that greater international cooperation will improve global governance and enhance global citizenship. The organization values its Midwestern roots and family heritage as well as its role as a nonpartisan, private operating foundation. The Stanley Foundation does not make grants but rather carries out its own programming.

Foundation policy programming relies heavily on policy dialogues involving US and foreign government officials, influential scholars, journalists, and nongovernmental experts. The foundation’s work also includes policy analysis and a wide variety of communication and advocacy activities to develop and build support for specific policy initiatives. Much of our programming activity is done collaboratively. More about the foundation and our work can be found at

Full Job Description
The director of communications should have a background in a field that encompasses familiarity with the details of production and the key elements of communications strategy, organizational brand, and messaging. In seeking to present the foundation as a strategic, catalytic, collaborative, and impact-driven operating foundation advocating for specific real-world outcomes, the director of communications is responsible for maintaining positive relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including program partners, media, vendors, and other outsourced agents. Managing the communications team demands experience in wise guidance of a group of professionals, healthy attitudes toward delegation and team building, and a positive, collaborative approach to working across the foundation’s teams.

Key Responsibilities
Communications as Part of the Foundation’s Strategic Positioning
In pursuit of its vision and mission, the Stanley Foundation is, and wants to be increasingly known among its stakeholders as, an organization that:

  • Advocates for specific real-world policy changes/solutions/outcomes.
  • Consistently applies strategic thought and planning to the pursuit of its policy goals.
  • Collaborates in innovative and mutually beneficial ways with a variety of actors.
  • Catalyzes action by connecting stakeholders, expertise, and analysis in a variety of intentional ways.
  • Continuously assesses its impact and applies active learning to its work.
  • Embraces its role as an active, nimble, nonpartisan operating foundation.

In short, the Stanley Foundation is a strategic, catalytic, collaborative, and impact-driven operating foundation that advocates for specific real-world outcomes.

The director of communications infuses this perception of the foundation throughout all expressions of foundation work.

Brand, Image, and Positioning
The director of communications steers all vehicles that express the foundation’s brand. This may involve working with external consultants on specific projects, collaborating with outside partner organizations, and ascertaining that the foundation’s voice sets the desired tone and profile among all the foundation’s stakeholders. This includes high-level questions of brand and image as well as other elements of material production, consistency of format, message, and tone.

Advancing the Foundation’s Advocacy Goals
As an organization committed to specific real-world policy advocacy goals, the Stanley Foundation relies on effective communication to educate, persuade, and mobilize a variety of audiences. The director of communications, in collaboration with all relevant internal stakeholders, leads the development of communications plans in each of our policy issue areas.

Management of the Communications Team
The Stanley Foundation produces a variety of materials that determine part of its ongoing presence in its fields of activity. These include the triannual magazine Courier, the bimonthly e-newsletter the latest, and a variety of print and online products and content, including social media. The communications team, which also provides support to the policy programming team and others in the foundation, is responsible for the production of relevant, well-designed, intelligent, and readable materials that create positive associations for the foundation. The director of communications will serve as editor and team leader for Courier, the latest, and other products as needed. With a goal of promoting deeper understanding and discourse, these publications ultimately are meant to extend the foundation’s reach and contribute to the achievement of its mission.

Ongoing Communications Assessment
Separate from ongoing program evaluation activities, the director of communications is responsible for assessing that foundation communications plans and products are achieving their intended goals, are cost effective, and are staying relevant to today’s world of communications, including social media and other digital media. These assessments play a role in constant refinement of the foundation’s communications tools.

The ideal candidate will be broadly trained in communications, marketing, public relations, and/or journalism, with an advanced degree or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline. In addition, a strong candidate should possess:

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing comprehensive communications strategies, as well as managing brand and image, in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Previous experience (five-plus years) managing a team of professionals with the ability to gain confidence and engender respect from staff.
  • Project- or process-management experience, including proven capacity to set realistic goals and meet project-related deadlines and schedules.
  • A track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • A track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently.
  • Dynamic networking and relationship-building skills, with the flexibility and finesse to “manage by influence.”
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Strong writing, copywriting, and editing skills.
  • The ability to:
    • Serve as a integrating force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
    • Connect larger ideas with the practical realities of their accomplishment.
    • Understand and react to fast-changing media platforms.
    • Manage contractors and vendors effectively.
    • Maintain poise under pressure.

Additional desirable traits include:

  • Design experience.
  • Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Web or online application-development skills.
  • Foreign language abilities.
  • International travel/living experience.

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. The Stanley Foundation offers competitive salaries and a full benefits package.

This position is based at the foundation headquarters, located in Muscatine, Iowa. Iowa’s quality of life is ranked No. 1 in the nation by US News & World Report. Muscatine is a community of 23,000 people on the Mississippi River. The area offers affordable housing and a variety of recreational opportunities. Iowa City, Iowa (population 70,000)—home of the University of Iowa and the nationally recognized University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics—is a 45-minute drive from Muscatine. The Quad Cities area—comprising Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, with a combined population of over 350,000—is just a 40-to-50-minute drive from Muscatine. While on-site work in Muscatine is mandatory, the Stanley Foundation has options for some remote work and flexible work hours.

Application Directions
Please e-mail a letter of interest, resume, and references to the attention of:

Debra Hughes
Human Resources Generalist
The Stanley Foundation
209 Iowa Avenue
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone: 563-264-6888

Deadline for application: This position will remain open until filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other characteristic protected by law.


Courier Courier
The Spring 2018 issue of Courier highlights the issues facing Cambodian fishermen as their lakes are affected by climate change. It includes a tribute to Dick and Mary Jo Stanley, a look at UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ attempts at UN reform, and a peek at our Iowa Student Global Leadership conference.

The issue also focuses on how artificial intelligence is being integrated into military systems around the world, how sustainable farming practices can impact carbon emissions, and the cyber vulnerabilities of the world’s most dangerous weapons. Spring 2018 PDF. (1,151K) Subscribe for FREE.

the latest the latest
Our bimonthly newsletter is filled with resources to keep you up to date with our work at the Stanley Foundation. Each edition includes news about recent publications and stories as well as features our people and partners.

You will also find many extras, from upcoming events to multimedia resources. 

Sign up for the latest to stay engaged on key global issues.

Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences Stanley Foundation Annual Conferences
The Stanley Foundation holds two annual conferences, UN Issues and the Strategy for Peace Conference. These bring together experts from the public and private sectors to meet in a distraction-free setting and candidly exchange ideas on pressing foreign policy challenges.

Divided into roundtable talks, the cutting-edge discussions are intended to inspire group consensus and shared recommendations to push forward the debate on the foundation’s key policy areas.

The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP23 The Stanley Foundation: Part of COP23
As a part of our efforts to limit global warming to 1.5° C, the foundation put forward policy ideas to achieve a global turning point in emissions by 2020, built upon efforts to catalyze global climate action by countries and sub- and non-state actors, and worked with journalists to strengthen coverage of the UN climate negotiations.

A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia A Climate for Conflict: Stories from Somalia
The Ground Truth Project, New America, and the Stanley Foundation are hosting a Screening of “A Climate for Conflict” and discussion with the creators followed by a panel discussion on Climate Security and Societal Resilience on May 30, 2017.

Somalia today is at a crossroads between a deepening crisis and a path to stability. Photographer and filmmaker Nichole Sobecki and writer Laura Heaton spent 18 months documenting personal stories of Somalia, creating a film, photography, and reporting that vividly illustrate the human consequences and security risks of a changing climate. Read more.

Follow the conversation online with #AClimateforConflict.

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The Stanley Foundation publishes policy briefs, analytical articles, and reports on a number of international issues. To reduce our carbon footprint and cut waste, we almost exclusively, use electronic distribution for our publications. Sign up to receive our resources via e-mail.

Watch and Learn Watch and Learn
Stanley Foundation events, talks, video reports, and segments from our Now Showing event-in-a-box series can now be viewed on YouTube. To receive regular updates on our video posts, please subscribe today.