Center for Reproductive Rights
  • 02-Nov-2017 to 01-Mar-2018 (EST)
  • Communications
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full Time

Job Title:  Director of Media Relations

Department:  Communications

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women's reproductive health, self-determination, and dignity.  Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.  Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and Washington, DC and a staff of more than 170 diverse professionals.  Its annual operating budget is approximately $23 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory; the Center is now poised for a new phase of significant expansion through its next Strategic Plan.

The Center's game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional, comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage.  It has brought groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies, led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights, and has built the legal capacity of women's rights advocates in more than 55 countries.

To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

Reporting to the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMCO) and working closely with the President and CEO, program directors, and other key staff, the Director of Media Relations plays an indispensable role in ensuring the continued presence of the Center for Reproductive Rights in high-profile media, shaping the organization's messaging, and influencing public discourse on the issues we confront.

The Director of Media Relations bears primary responsibility for developing and executing innovative and effective strategies for engaging journalists at the international, national, regional, and local levels in the Center's work and initiatives, and for working with the Senior Director of Communications and other key staff to ensure tight integration of the Center's messaging and press strategies with public outreach via digital/social media and publications.

With the support of the Director of Media Relations' three direct reports'the U.S. Press Officer, Senior Global Press Officer, and Communications Associate's/he also oversees the execution of the placement of articles, interviews in key media outlets; supervises the writing and placement of op-eds; develops supporting materials for all media campaigns; and training and preparation of Center representatives for media appearances.

The Director of Media Relations plays a vital strategic role in the Communications Department, continually surveying the media landscape for upcoming opportunities and challenges'and working with colleagues within the department and among the Center's program staff for coordinating strategies for responding to them, often on very tight timelines.

The Director will also serve as a key member of the Center's management team, responsible for the day to day operations of their program as well as contributing to the Center's strategy.  He/she will embody the values of transparency, collaboration, and open communication to foster and inspire a positive team environment within and across departments. This individual must have demonstrated prior experience coaching, mentoring, and developing team members to drive performance in support of the Center's mission. The individual must be adaptable with the ability to judge multiple competing priorities, switching between strategic and tactical approaches. This is an ideal position for a change agent looking to make a valuable contribution. 

This position will be based in New York City. 



The Director of Media Relations' primary job responsibilities include, but not limited to:

Strategy and Message Development

  • Working closely with the CMCO, the Senior Director of Communications, Public Opinion Researcher, and Director of Communications Projects, develop both short- and long-term strategies for advancing key messages about the Center's work and issues, and for raising the profile of the organization, its President/CEO, and other key staff.
  • Develop messaging for media outreach on key issues, and ensure alignment across the Center's media relations and other public outreach teams.
  • Support the development and successful execution of program strategies related to the Center's press operations.

Media Relations

  • Cultivate, maintain, and expand relationships with key journalists, bloggers, and other influential media figures who regularly cover reproductive rights issues in the international press and in regional, national, and local outlets where the Center is active.
  • Develop and execute carefully targeted and innovative strategies for securing coverage of the Center's work and messaging.
  • Oversee the development and distribution of all Center press releases and supplementary materials (including fact sheets, background briefings, and talking points memos), providing journalists and Center staff with concise, compelling summaries of the Center's initiatives and messages.
  • Monitor trends and developments in media and culture related to reproductive rights issues; produce regular briefings to identify opportunities and guide strategy for positioning the Center as a leading public authority in the field.
  • Ensure Center spokespeople are prepared for media and public appearances via formal media training and informal prep sessions.
  • Oversee the continued maintenance of the Center's media contacts database.
  • Oversee daily monitoring of relevant news and compilation of daily media reports distributed to staff, highlighting coverage of the Center and important trends.
  • Assist in the development and maintenance of systems for tracking the initiatives and messaging of opposition organizations and individuals, and the impact of harmful anti-reproductive rights laws and policy in the lives of the women subject to them.
  • Communicate and collaborate other departments to ensure strategies are closely aligned across the organization.
  • Work with partner organizations and reproductive health care providers on joint messaging as appropriate.

Team Management

  • Mentor and manage a team of six people with three direct reports'the International Press Officer, U.S. Press Officer, and Communications Associate to coordinate support for the department's media operations.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality; and,
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities and conduct annual performance appraisals.

Budgeting and Departmental Planning

  • Develop and maintain the department's budget for media-related expenses, and assist the CMCO in annual departmental planning and budgeting.


  • Seven to 10 years of experience in progressive media, journalism, or public relations, including significant experience supervising and managing media relations personnel.
  • An impressive portfolio demonstrating innovation and consistently high-quality results.
  • Excellent skills in written and verbal communications, and message development.
  • Broad awareness and deep understanding of current and developing ideas and techniques for communicating effectively in a continually and rapidly evolving media landscape.
  • Strong intuition and instincts for translating trends and research findings into concrete communications opportunities'and an ability to move quickly and decisively to take advantage of them.
  • Experience managing a large team required
  • Exceptionally strong organizational skills and a proven ability to concurrently manage a large number and wide variety of projects with strict deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal, leadership, problem-solving, and mentoring skills, and a calm, diplomatic demeanor'even in times of intense pressure.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced environment with a wide variety of strong personalities; sense of humor;
  • Knowledge of U.S. and global reproductive rights issues'as well as legal and human rights systems'a plus.
  • Ability to travel within and outside the U.S. as needed.
  • Deep dedication to the Center's mission, values, and strategic objectives.
  • Bachelor's degree required. Advanced degree in communications, media relations, journalism, or a related field preferred.

Critical Position Qualities:

  • Strategic Thinker: The ability to apply big picture and long-term thinking to problem-solving and decision-making;
  • Decisiveness: Consistently makes sound decisions in a timely manner supportive of the Center's mission, core values, and strategic objectives;  
  • Accountability: Holds themselves and others accountable;  
  • Transparency: Consistently applies openness and honesty in communicating decisions and plans to team members;  
  • Commitment to Learning: Promotes a culture of learning by modeling inquisitiveness and an openness to viewing mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve;  
  • Passion for Coaching and Mentoring Staff: Creates opportunities for learning with a focus on harnessing skills for the future development of team members; 
  • Collaborative: Willingness to invite and listen to different views and opinions across all levels of the institution;  
  • Adaptive/Flexibility: Ability to adapt to and work effectively within a variety of situations and with various individuals and groups. Understanding and appreciating different and opposing perspectives, adapting one's approach as the requirements of a situation change. "Out of the box" thinking is a plus. 

Compensation: The Center offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits program.

How to Apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to

Deadline for applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.'s degree required; s we continue to grow as an organization,r position?r game up for comms and expand comms--i.

Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Apply Now

  • * Fields Are Required

    What is your full name?

    How can we contact you?

    By clicking the button above, I agree to ApplicantPro's Applicant Information Use Policy.

  • Sign Up For Job Alerts!

  • Share this Page
  • Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email
Logo About Us Our Work Our Issues Our Regions Media Center Resources Donate