The Africa Center for Strategic Studies is an academic institution within the U.S. Department of Defense, established in 1999, and funded by Congress for the study of security issues in Africa. The Africa Center serves as a forum for bilateral and multilateral research, communication, and exchange of ideas involving military and civilian participants. The Africa Center does this by expanding its understanding of African security issues, providing a trusted platform for dialogue, building enduring partnerships, and catalyzing strategic solutions. The overarching goal is to support processes that foster security for all Africans championed by effective institutions accountable to their citizens. Africa Center programs revolve around the generation and dissemination of knowledge through its research, academic programs, and community engagement. Publications, infographics, social media platforms, media engagements, public outreach events, and seminars are among the strategic communication vehicles the Center uses to deepen understanding and stimulate exchanges with its diverse audiences on addressing Africa’s security challenges.
The Strategic Communications Manager serves as a focal point for bringing together the Africa Center’s analytic insights with the multiple strategic communications platforms that reach the Center’s diverse audiences. The Strategic Communications Manager is the Center’s lead expert on strategic communications issues, amplifying the Center’s messaging on African security issues while closely tracking Africa’s rapidly evolving information and communications environment. S/he provides vision and expertise on how the Center can maximize its reach to external audiences spanning African and U.S. policymakers, security professionals, academics, media, and civil society actors. Working with a small team, the Strategic Communications Manager is responsible for implementing the Africa Center’s strategic communication plan in a period of dynamic change within Africa.
The Strategic Communications Manager will provide strategic and day-to-day direction to the Africa Center’s strategic communications efforts based on best practices of how public policy think tanks can inform, educate, and promote reform among target audiences. S/he will have familiarity with Africa and the unique and evolving way African audiences access and use information. S/he will evaluate and assess the efficacy of the Center’s strategic communications efforts and recommend modifications for improvement as required. S/he will also have a strong familiarity with how to effectively engage key media actors covering Africa security issues. S/he will maintain an up-to-date database of journalists, media outlets, and social media platforms that report on African issues so as to enhance the accessibility of relevant Africa Center products and messages. 35%
The Strategic Communications Manager brings an understanding of and passion for African security issues that will guide product development efforts, primarily short analytic articles and infographics. This expertise can be drawn from a combination of academic and practical experience working on Africa security, governance, or development issues. The Strategic Communications Manager requires outstanding writing skills that can craft thoughtful narratives that are accessible to policy, practitioners, and general audiences. 35%
The Strategic Communications Manager will supervise a small strategic communications team to advance the Africa Center’s mission. Duties include assessing performance objectives and evaluating work performance; developing and implementing methods for improving efficiencies; deepening a culture of excellence, and creating a strong team with high morale. The Strategic Communications Manager will bring expertise on website management, graphics design, video recording, and interviewing best practices to lead these efforts. 30%
Performs other duties as assigned.
Conditions of Employment
– Must be a U.S. Citizen
– Must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance
– 12 years of professional experience
– Advanced degree in public policy, international relations, political science, journalism, communications or related discipline
– Demonstrated familiarity with African security issues
– Demonstrated outstanding writing skills authoring policy-oriented journal or newspaper articles
– Previous experience working with media, policymakers, and senior foreign officials
– Experience and familiarity with information and communications technology trends in Africa
– Previous experience living or working in Africa
– Previous experience working in a think tank or academic center generating externally facing content
– Previous experience creating visual or graphic design content
– Experience with institutional brand management for a public agency or think tank
– Experience assessing social media and website metrics
– Expertise with content management system software such as WordPress
– Desktop publishing, graphic design, and photography expertise
– Language proficiency in French, Portuguese, or Arabic
This is a Title 10 Excepted Service Appointment. The appointment is not to exceed 3 years with the possibility for an extension.