Vice President, Strategic Advocacy and Communications
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Who We Are
Co-Impact is a global philanthropic collaborative that supports locally-rooted coalitions in the Global South to transform underlying systems and achieve impact at scale, with a core focus on advancing gender equality and women’s leadership. We bring together funders from around the world to invest in initiatives that are working to improve education, health, and economic opportunity for millions of women, men, girls and boys, addressing underlying conditions that perpetuate social inequities so that systems better serve everyone. Building on our experience to date, as well as that of civil society, government, market actors, and philanthropic partners, we are now developing a second fund focused on advancing gender-equitable systems change at scale and women’s leadership globally. For more information, please visit www.co-impact.org and take a look at our Handbook.
Co-Impact currently operates as a fiscally-sponsored project of the New Venture Fund (NVF). Over the next year, Co-Impact will be expanding to build a second fund focused on gender equality and women’s leadership and changing our operating structure so that we spin out from NVF and build an independent institution.
Co-Impact is currently based in London, New York, and Zurich, and is seeking to establish a presence in Nairobi as well as in India (city TBD).
Where You Fit
Co-Impact seeks an experienced professional to lead on all aspects of Co-Impact’s strategic advocacy and communications during an exciting new phase of our work. Reporting to the CEO, the VP Strategic Advocacy and Communications will be a member of Co-Impact’s leadership team and be responsible for setting the overall advocacy and communications strategy for the organization, which is focused on supporting systemic change in the areas of health, education, and economic opportunity, with a focus on advancing gender equality and women’s leadership.
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to build a small team with the right combination of skills and experience to support the communications function of the organization.
To be successful in this role, these are the things that will matter most:
- Gender expertise – deep understanding of gender issues, particularly with an intersectional lens, and in influencing policy with specific expertise in Global South settings.
- Strategic thinking – ability to lead and oversee a data-driven and inspiring communications content and an external engagement strategy around funding systems change at scale, and particularly in terms of advancing gender equality and women’s leadership.
- Relationship-building – bringing, building, and maintaining networks and working relationships with partners and stakeholders in global development, philanthropy and with media, on behalf of the organization.
- Influencing – excellence in using communications as part of an outreach and advocacy strategy where impact is achieved through influencing behavior change among key audiences and networks.
- Experienced senior manager – track record of developing and managing diverse and high-performing teams.
With support from your team, core responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
Strategy and planning:
- Develop and lead a comprehensive advocacy and communications strategy for the organization (branding, media relations, digital, events), providing strategic direction, oversight, coordination, and priority setting.
- Oversee strategic planning of advocacy efforts around key themes (gender equality and women’s leadership, funding for systems change, program partner centered philanthropy, centering on Global South leaders and organizations) and key moments (announcements, launches, events).
- Plan and manage an advocacy calendar with key moments and events
- Oversee speaking engagements for the Co-Impact team.
- Support the organization to ensure a feminist, racial justice intersectional approach across internal and external communications.
- Develop and implement an internal communications strategy for a growing organization.
Relationship-building and advocacy:
- Identify key advocacy networks, coalitions, actors, and opportunities to advance Co-Impact’s objectives.
- Help Co-Impact frame its engagement in a manner that gains resonance and influences public ideas.
- Build relationships with relevant individuals, networks, institutions, and movements in the gender space to promote a broad advocacy agenda.
- Establish and maintain relationships with senior staff at relevant media outlets and global events convenors (gender equality, philanthropy, international development), securing coverage at key moments.
- Represent the organization at select events and serve as one of several spokespeople for the organization, when needed.
- Oversee content production, including web content, materials for existing and prospective donors, photographic and video assets.
- Work with relevant team members to provide talking points/briefs for senior members of the team.
- Work closely with the Philanthropy team to plan and execute high-level events.
Management and Administrative:
- Hire and manage a communications team.
- Engage and manage external consultants/communications firms as needed.
- Manage communications budget.
Qualifications and Experience
- At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field, with experience in global/national advocacy efforts, coalition management, and policy analysis.
- Proven track record of coordinating multi-faceted and complex projects related to policy change, including ability to anticipate issues, develop pro-active solutions, and bring in the right stakeholders to support success
- Deep knowledge of the gender and global development sectors, with experience in advocating on the themes of gender equality and/or women’s leadership.
- Understanding of the tools and practices needed to influence policy in middle- and low-income countries, and experience working with in-country organizations to use these tools in effective policy change campaigns
- Experience developing and maintaining networks, building alliances, collaborating across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.
- Thorough understanding of strategic leadership and the role of communications within the wider organization.
- Ability to lead and engage in planning processes, budgeting, and priority-setting.
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills, demonstrating judgment, trust, and open communication, with an ability to develop collaborative and harmonious relationships internally and externally.
- At least 5 years of experience managing a team and mentoring staff to deliver strong results within a positive work culture.
- Strong commitment to cultural, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic justice.
- Strong English-language writing and public speaking skills.
- Fluency in a second language.
- Significant experience living/working in the Global South.
- A master’s degree in a relevant area.
- Ability to work with diverse teams across time zones in a fast-paced environment.
- Willingness to travel (under normal circumstances).
- Experience of in-house media training a plus.
Co-Impact is excited about the development of our Advocacy and Communications division at the organization. We recognize that this role is wide in scope and that applicants might have deep experience in some but not necessarily all areas outlined in the role requirements.
Our vision is that this person will build out (and have experience in building out) a lean communications function for the organization and will, in time, hire the additional support they require to be able to deliver the full scope of this role. We are keen to hear in the cover letters what this might look like and previous experience applicants have had in doing this successfully.
This position is full time. Competitive annual salary plus generous benefits package including significant allowance for paid time off.
We encourage you to apply early. We will begin reviewing applications on January 15, 2021, and the position will be closed once we have established a robust shortlist. Please apply online here by submitting a resume together with a one-page cover letter. In your cover letter, please confirm that you are authorized to live and work in Kenya.
Because we are a small team, we regret that we can only respond to applicants selected for an interview.
New Venture Fund Careers
Co-Impact is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. The New Venture Fund is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. The New Venture Fund's work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.
Co-Impact team members hired in the U.S. are employed directly by NVF. Team members hired elsewhere are employed through a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) engaged by NVF. Hiring arrangements are subject to change, as Co-Impact spins out to become a separate entity in 2021. Co-Impact will work with relevant experts and the team member to ensure the transition has minimal impact on the initially agreed employment terms.