Director of Communications

Job Summary:

The Director of Communications leads the Communications Unit in building the visibility and reputation of the organization. The Director is responsible for designing and implementing CRS’ strategic communications outreach in electronic and print media, social media, as well as executive and expert communications. The key objective for the Director of Communications is to use communication strategies and techniques to increase the visibility of CRS in the media, as well as among institutional donors, policy makers, and to continue to position CRS as a leader in the humanitarian aid sector.

Job Responsibilities:

  1. Develop a strategic PR & communications plan that increases CRS’ visibility and positions the agency as a go-to organization for the media, in all its forms.
  2. Oversee the development of a comprehensive social media plan that will leverage social networking tools and techniques to strengthen CRS brand and awareness.
  3. Develop and execute communications strategies to reach new audiences and expand existing audiences.
  4. Closely monitor media in order to build, maintain and defend the reputation of the agency.
  5. Lead and manage team of communications professionals to effectively implement Communications Unit strategies and plans
  6. Establish, develop and maintain contacts with the national, regional and Catholic news media as well as key secular media to convey and support CRS views on issues of significance
  7. Identify opportunities for advancing CRS’ mission through the media with op-eds, letters to the editor, blogging, ‘tweeting’, and other social networking opportunities. The ideal candidate will be adept at using social media.
  8. Oversee development of communications materials including press releases, media advisories, talking points, key messages, speeches and testimonies.
  9. Oversee outreach to Hispanic media, both Catholic and secular.
  10. Ensure all media materials are in concert with agency positions and policy.
  11. Oversee development and tracking of metrics and success criteria for communications programs and activities.
  12. Work closely with the web and publication teams to maximize awareness about CRS programs and beneficiaries.
  13. Help build the CRS brand by ensuring consistent use of messages across the agency.
  14. Establish unit priorities, prepare and monitor the unit budget, and supervise members of the Communications team including performance management and professional development opportunities.
  15. Oversee CRS’ annual journalism fellowship; travel with winning journalists to CRS country programs.
  16. Provide media training for Executive Leadership Team and other media interview subjects.
  17. Act as spokesperson for the agency.

Agency-Wide Competencies:

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Leadership Competencies:

  • Shapes strategic direction
  • Thinks and acts from a “Whole-Agency” view
  • Empowers Staff to excel
  • Inspires trust and commitment

Supervisory Responsibilities:

The Director leads a team of 12 staff, including: Senior Writer; Senior Communications Manager; Communications Officer for Visual and Digital Media; four headquarters-based Communications Officers; four overseas-based Regional Information Officers; Communications Coordinator; and an Administrative Assistant.

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: Executive Office, Web Unit, Graphic Services, Advertising, Market Research, Video Production, Charitable Giving, Overseas Support Department, U.S. Operations

External: News Media, CRS donors, USCCB, Foundations and other Institutional Donors.

Personal Skills:

  1. Strong interpersonal skills, excellent oral and written communication skills
  2. Proven ability to lead and manage large teams
  3. Proven ability to manage during times of stress and crisis
  4. Ability to advise executives and senior management on media trends and strategy
  5. Strong representational skills
  6. Must be a team player with enthusiasm, self motivation and positive attitude
  7. Ability to multi-task while meeting deadlines
  8. Strong research, planning, organizational, and analytical skills
  9. Comfortable participating in and contributing to team synergy


  1. Master’s in communications/public relations (or equivalent work experience) preferred
  2. Minimum 10-15 years relevant professional work experience in communications, media relations, and/or public relations, preferably with organizations with an international focus
  3. Minimum 7 years of supervisory experience
  4. Extensive familiarity with international news outlets and their traditional and new media needs
  5. Extensive global media contacts in print, broadcast and web news
  6. Prior experience working with Catholic organizations and/or strong familiarity with Church teachings
  7. Practicing Catholic preferred
  8. Strong knowledge of digital communications strategies and tactics, latest web technologies, tools and best practices
  9. Prior non-profit or philanthropic experience a plus

Foreign Language: Fluency in oral and written Spanish a plus

Major Responsibilities of Position: Administration and Supervision

NOTE: All interested applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S. at the time of application.


To apply, please visit our website at:

Baltimore, Maryland
Catholic Relief Services

228 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201, United States