Job Description: Communications Director

Position Title:Communications Director
Reports To:Deputy Director
Position Classification:Exempt
Supervises:Junior writer


The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) is a multimillion dollar grantmaking collaboration between a diversity of donors and the global disability rights community that resources organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) to advocate for equal rights and full participation in society. We currently work across Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean. The Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) is DRF’s sister organization, supporting advocacy for legislative change. The Funds – which are based on a participatory grantmaking model – annually make 150-200 grants, mainly ranging from USD $5,000-$50,000 each, to OPDs to advance the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Global Disability Summit 2018 (GDS18) commitments.


DRF/DRAF are in a time of significant growth and evolution. The current pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of ensuring that government actions globally are inclusive of persons with disabilities. There is increased donor interest in disability inclusion as well as in participatory grantmaking, both of which have been core pillars of DRF/DRAF’s approach and are demonstrated areas of strength. There is an active search for the organizations’ next Executive Director as the founder transitions out of position at the end of 2021. This is an important moment to reinforce the DRF/DRAF brand and position the organizations to communicate with new audiences and significantly increase visibility.

In this definitional moment, this is the organizations’ first hire of a director focused on communications. The Communications Director will build out the DRF/DRAF communications strategy, policies, tools, and –  over time – team.  This is a position that requires someone who is both a big picture thinker and a doer, who has significant expertise ranging from strategy to crisis communications to digital media tools, and who brings a broad network of media and public relations contacts that can be expanded upon to raise awareness of DRF/DRAF.

The Communications Director will report to the Deputy Director. The role entails experience with nonprofit communications policies, strategy, and implementation; human rights communications; and excellent relationship management. The Communications Director will promote the use of disability rights and inclusive language throughout DRF/DRAF and in the broader nonprofit and philanthropic communities. The Communications Director will also work closely with the Development team to enable the growth of new partnerships and the engagement of new funders.


  • Significantly expand DRF/DRAF’s visibility by developing current and new public relations and media relationships and contacts.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate DRF/DRAF’s annual communications and public relations plan across the organizations’ discreet audiences that details the strategy, tactics, messages, channels, outcomes, and measurements to achieve organizational success.
  • Working closely with the Executive and Deputy Directors, develop and implement a public relations strategy to increase brand awareness to communities around the world through various events, engagements, interview opportunities, and op-eds and public facing opportunities.
  • Lead the generation of content that engages various audience segments.
  • Build and maintain relationships with external communications consultants, including strategists, designers, translators, captioners, video editors, photographers, and copy editors.
  • Serve as a member of the Strategic Management Team. With Strategic Management Team input, decide to whom, where, and when to disseminate.
  • Collaborating closely with the Development team, raise visibility of DRF/DRAF among foundation, bilateral, corporate, and individual donors, including by leading the development of DRF/DRAF’s annual report.
  • Brainstorm, pitch, and secure proactive media opportunities, op-ed placements, influencer meetings, and events through traditional and digital channels.
  • Develop templates and protocols for press releases, rapid response/ crisis communications, and other digital media.
  • Ensure accessible communications in everything the organizations do.
  • Lead on the use and promotion of disability rights language across the organization and in the broader philanthropic community.
  • Lead the development of communications guides and guidance, including a revised style guide and social media guide.
  • Develop, refine, and manage DRF/DRAF communications and other policies and protocols (e.g., data and social media).
  • Manage social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), encouraging active participation across platforms, including through oversight of individual country pages. Ensure Program Team is trained to monitor country pages on a day-to-day basis.
  • Lead the development of an annual social media content calendar that includes promotion of internal milestones (e.g., grantmaking rounds), promotion of DRF/DRAF work, external events (e.g., UN days), holidays, etc.
  • Manage an overhaul of the DRF and the DRAF websites with external consultants to ensure clarity of brand and consistency; calendar a process for ongoing updates to the websites.
  • Lead the generation of collateral for conferences, meetings, and events in collaboration with external communications consultants and the Executive, Development, and Program Directors and/or other staff, as relevant.
  • Maintain accessible DRF/DRAF photo library.
  • Ensure accessibility of all communications vehicles with the Inclusion and Accessibility Development Manager and external consultants, as warranted.
  • Track and measure engagement across communications channels over time, and utilize data to change course as needed.
  • Lead recruitment for and supervise junior  writer (to be hired) on the drafting of Regional/Country Context Documents (based on data and analysis provided by Program Officers), revised for each grantmaking round and presented to the Grantmaking Committee to inform DRF/DRAF grantmaking, among other documents.
  • With Deputy Director and Talent and Culture Manager, consider how and when to grow the Comms Team.
  • Other duties, as assigned


The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership and people management skills as well as a keen understanding of best practices in communications and have a proven ability to meet objectives with a record of accomplishment. The candidate will be a professional of the highest integrity and will seek to bring out the best in the members of the team and everyone involved in communications activities. The successful candidate will possess extraordinary communication skills and be an achievement-oriented professional who also has a collegial, team-building style and a track record of motivating staff to keep them engaged, energized, and focused on results. The Communications Director will create a professional work environment that rewards individual and collective success while building confidence in the individual team members.

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 5-7 years’ experience developing and implementing communications strategies that have had a focus on human rights and international development audiences.
  • Demonstrated media presence and network.
  • An experienced writer who is able to translate complex ideas and data into compelling communications materials about the challenges and opportunities in addressing global human rights (with preference for disability rights).
  • Expertise in shaping and managing brands through a range of digital media including websites, social media, and newsletters.
  • Range of comms experience from day-to-day tweets to Op-Ed development, as well as crisis communications.
  • Senior management experience. Commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, Board members, volunteers, donors, program participants, and other supporters.
  • Ability to think strategically and build relationships with a range of international partners and audiences.
  • Strong planning and project management skills.
  • A superb colleague with outstanding verbal and written communications skills and a professional demeanor.
  • Maturity and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both strategic and tactical levels.
  • An independent, confident self-starter who is also skilled at working in a collaborative and inclusive environment; a willingness to learn and challenge personal paradigms; good listening ability.
  • Detail-oriented while simultaneously able to understand and promote a global view of the disability rights field and DRF/DRAF.
  • Capacity to work on multiple tasks and projects simultaneously, while still meeting the priorities of the position.
  • Ability to be nimble and pivot in response to opportunities.
  • Commitment to the human rights of persons with disabilities and the organizational mission, and demonstrated understanding of marginalized and intersectional identities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with diverse populations and across countries working in an e-office environment.
  • Knowledge of best practices in the field of international development and human rights advocacy.
  • Knowledge of the field of international disability rights and, specifically, the CRPD. Experience in working with organizations of persons with disabilities.
  • Knowledge of international development and, specifically, the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Experience working on remote teams is a plus.
  • Experience in philanthropy and with philanthropic communications.


  • Preference will be given to an individual based in the U.S., in particular Boston, the Northeast, or D.C.
  • If not Boston-based, the candidate must have the ability to work independently from a home location. Travel will be required to DRF/DRAF’s Boston office on an as-needed basis. International and other domestic travel may also be required, as safe and possible.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position; salary will be commensurate with experience. DRF offers an excellent benefits package including employer paid medical, dental, and vision insurance for employees. 


The Disability Rights Fund is an equal opportunity employer. We seek to build a diverse team. Applicants shall not be discriminated against on any basis. Individuals from historically marginalized identities including Black, Indigenous, and people of color and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Please contact for reasonable accommodations requests.

Please email a cover letter and resume to:

Roger Falcón, Deputy Director (please, no phone calls)


Applications are due by November 15, 2021 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

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