Public Relations Director

Closing date:

Freedom House is founded on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms (such as freedoms of expression, association, and belief, as well as respect for the rights of women, minorities and historically marginalized groups) are guaranteed. We speak out against the main threats to democracy and empower citizens to exercise their fundamental rights through a unique combination of analysis, advocacy, and direct support to frontline defenders of freedom, especially those working in closed authoritarian societies. Established 80 years ago to respond to the threats posed by fascism, we know there is no more powerful force for the development of human society than democracy. As the world experiences the 15th year of consecutive democratic decline, our work—and our people carrying it out around the world—have never mattered more.


The Public Relations (PR) Director will work across the organization to advance Freedom House’s mission and help tell the story of Freedom House’s work and impact. The PR Director will develop and implement communication plans that will build relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including members of the media, external partners, donors, and Freedom House employees. The Director will manage message development and coordination, and media outreach around Freedom House events, reports, and advocacy efforts, as well as coordinate internal communication. The Director will work across the organization, coordinating closely with programs, advocacy, and research leaders and staff. This person will also manage communication team members, including the Press & Executive Communications Specialist, and will be directly involved in recruiting and managing others as we grow.


The Public Relations Director will contribute to the strategic direction and mission of Freedom House in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Working with the Vice President of Communications to develop communication plans, strategies, and tactics that produce a maximum impact toward advancing Freedom House’s mission;
  • Managing both proactive media outreach and reactive media inquiries, building relationships with journalists and media outlets; serves as primary contact for journalists;
  • Preparing executives and staff for media interviews and public-speaking engagements, providing feedback and counsel, and facilitating follow-up as necessary;
  • Helping to keep executives informed of breaking news and coordinate with directors on appropriate responses, including strategic responses to current and potential human-rights crises;
  • Fielding incoming speaker requests to identify opportunities for a range of Freedom House experts;
  • Planning and hosting press briefings around major Freedom House events, such as report launches;
  • Collaborating with internal staff, including development, programmatic, and research teams to ensure message consistency across the organization;
  • Producing talking points, message maps, news releases and advisories, media kits, fact sheets, emails, and other public relations materials as needed, occasionally including Web and video resources;
  • Serving as primary point of contact for external partners when planning joint events and initiatives;
  • Managing vendors to develop and implement communication products across a variety of media channels;
  • Leading collaborative development and implementation of internal communications plans toward keeping Freedom House employees informed and engaged;
  • Using media monitoring and analysis tools, such as Cision and Critical Mention, to track results of earned media outreach and prepare reports and presentations that help inform our strategy and tactics;
  • Ensuring consistently high quality of Freedom House content;
  • Planning and managing communications for current and potential crises.
  • Providing guidance and regular media trainings for Freedom House staff across the organization;
  • Supervising earned media team members; responsible for staff development and performance management; and
  • Other related duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree in communications, humanities, journalism, international relations, political science or related field or equivalent work experience.

  • Approximately 10 years of relevant communications, preferably in agency, nonprofit, and/or public policy settings;
  • Significant experience as a senior communicator with progressive increases in responsibility for developing communication strategies, executing campaigns, and managing a team to foster an inclusive, collaborative environment;
  • Demonstrable expertise in placing media stories and opinion pieces and handling difficult situations with the media;
  • Intimate knowledge of the principles of strategic communications, including audience and message segmentation, editorial and content planning, and robust measurement and analytics;
  • Knowledge of democracy, human rights, and/or civic engagement issues is highly desirable.

Skills and Competencies:**

  • Superb writing and editing skills. Strong analytic capacity, ability to master new subject matter quickly and articulate complex concepts clearly and effectively;
  • Familiarity with and commitment to applying an inclusive language lens so that communications convey respect to people of all backgrounds, experiences, and identities;
  • Seasoned judgment. Ability to creatively solve problems, justify recommendations, and be responsive to colleagues and partners;
  • Excellent organizational and managerial skills with a focus on achieving measurable and ambitious goals;
  • Ability to generate new opportunities for Freedom House experts to build relationships with national reporters and broadcast producers and creatively, proactively find new ways to insert the organization into media narratives;
  • Demonstrated ability to meet tight deadlines and advance complex projects with a high degree of independence and autonomy;
  • Strong diplomatic and interpersonal skills, demonstrating both a collaborative spirit and the ability to think critically and make decisions;
  • Ability to thrive in a creative, fast-paced, and highly-professional environment that emphasizes excellence, collegiality, and teamwork;
  • Acute political awareness and commitment to a bi/nonpartisan approach to democracy support;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace or your community;
  • Ability to travel as needed, including potential international travel (travel 5%).


Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume and a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position.

  • Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
  • Freedom House provides a strong benefits package, including a 403(b)-retirement account, commuter benefits, flexible hours, floating holidays, high employer contributions to medical, dental, and vision premiums, basic and voluntary life and AD&D insurance, short- and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and more.
  • Salaries are commensurate with experience and based on pay grades that prioritize equity across the organization. This range for this position starts at $115,000 and may extend to $150,000.
  • Staff members are currently working remotely or partially remotely due to Covid-19, and Freedom House is continuing to evaluate when and under what circumstances staff will return to the office. This position will start completely or partially remote and may require mandatory relocation to Washington DC once circumstances allow (no earlier than July 1, 2022).
  • Candidates must possess long-term authorization to work in the United States. Freedom House will not sponsor work visas.

Disclaimer: This job description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job. It is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks, and duties. The responsibilities, tasks, and duties of the jobholder may differ from those outlined in the job description and other duties, as assigned, may be part of the job. Freedom House may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

How to apply

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