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Vice President, Communications and Thought Leadership

About YPFP: 

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) is committed to fostering the next generation of foreign policy leaders by providing its members with the knowledge, skills, exposure, and relationships they will need to tackle critical global challenges over the course of their careers. YPFP is a dynamic, global, nonpartisan, non-profit organization with 10,000+ selected members around the world who work in all fields of international affairs. It was established in 2004, and is headquartered in Washington, DC, with branches in Brussels, London, and New York. YPFP is supported by around 150 volunteer staff members worldwide, for whom the leadership and management of a global NGO supplements their daytime career or graduate studies. 

About the Communications and Thought Leadership Department:

The Communications & Thought Leadership Department is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy for branding, messaging, member engagement, and media outreach for YPFP. The department achieves these objectives through the production of visual materials, social media, the YPFP website, and maintaining and leveraging YPFP’s database of external contacts. The department also houses YPFP’s thought leadership divisions, which include our robust research fellowship program and our foreign policy magazine, Charged Affairs.

Position Description:

The Vice President (VP) of Communications and Thought Leadership (CTL) leads the department and alongside their Managing Director (second-in-command), serves on the Senior Staff of YPFP. The VP oversees and is ultimately accountable for the work of the entire department and its five divisions, and he or she provides it with a strategic vision for sustainable growth, innovation and ever-increasing efficiency. The VP makes top-level staffing decisions within the department, and may delegate staffing decisions inside the divisions to their Directors. The VP works closely with the MD, acting as CEO whereas the MD fulfils a role more comparable to a COO.

The CTL department is the largest in YPFP, and the VP will regularly check in with the directors of the five divisions, as well as other staff. The VP will regularly delegate tasks and initiatives to the MD for execution, and will assist with and facilitate the work of all divisions, helping to keep them energized, productive, advocating on their behalf outside of the department and helping to connect them to new resources. The VP also regularly communicates with third parties on behalf of the department and YPFP, and works closely with Executive and global staff of the organization.

This position requires approximately 20 hours per week, and successful candidates will be able to make at least a one-year commitment to the role. In 2016, it is envisioned that this person will supervise a team of around 65-85 staff.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • The VP will need to develop strong professional relationships and close communication with the heads of the department’s five divisions, as well as the other members of senior staff and global branches.
  • The VP and MD work with each division to help them set their strategic objectives, monitor their progress and facilitate their success.
  • The VP and MD are responsible for top staffing decisions within their department.
  • The VP speaks for the department and represents it inside of YPFP and externally. The VP and MD both sit on the Senior Staff of YPFP.
  • In addition to day-to-day operations like meetings and correspondence, the VP is primarily responsible for strategy, vision, growth, innovation and accountability.

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Professional or extracurricular background of leadership and management
  • Experience managing large and diverse teams
  • Some combination of experience with communications, marketing, PR, social media, academic programs and/or publishing. It is not necessary to have experience with all of the above, but successful candidates will have experience with at least three or more of these fields.
  • Professional or academic interest in foreign affairs
  • Superb interpersonal communications skills, with particular emphasis on the ability to motivate unpaid staffers while holding them to a high standard, as well as diplomatically communicating with staff across the organization and its leadership.
  • An unflappable ability to work under pressure, prioritize and multitask, balancing this position with one’s professional and personal life. The VP will need to know what all five divisions are working on at any given point, will help them set goals and support and monitor their progress.
  • Ability to see the big picture, engage stakeholders and build consensus around a vision and strategy, and ability to be decisive and execution-oriented.

Eligibility and Selection:

Please note that candidates must be dues paying members of YPFP and located in the greater Washington D.C. region. You are not required to be a YPFP member to apply, but must confirm membership to be accepted to the position.

Application Process:

To begin the application process please send a cover letter and your resume to recruiting@ypfp.org, with the heading VP CTL Application.