Director of Communications and External Affairs

Director of Communications and External Affairs

Reports to: CDO

About Oakland Promise

The mission of Oakland Promise (OP) is to engage the Oakland community to advance equity and economic mobility through cradle-to-career educational opportunities. Founded in 2016, Oakland Promise is a citywide movement with over 50 implementation partners working towards our common vision. Oakland Promise supports children and families from birth through college and career to ensure that postsecondary success is a reality for all Oaklanders. Oakland Promise includes four programs: Brilliant Baby, Kindergarten to College (K2C), Future Centers, and College Scholarships and Completion, that provide a cradle to career continuum of college-focused supports for students. Our goal is to dramatically increase the number of college graduates from Oakland and ensure that all students hold a college-bound identity. We seek a hardworking, highly detail oriented individual to join our community in undertaking this important work.

Job Purpose

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of Communications and External Affairs will be a key member of a growing and dynamic development team which raises $14M+ annually to serve Oakland families. This position will have the unique opportunity to leverage their communications skills to engage the community and uplift OP’s impact. This position will work closely with the Executive and Program teams to expand and deepen our organization’s reach.

Duties & Responsibilities

Develop and Implement Communications Plan & Strategy:

  • Develop comprehensive and holistic communications plan based on a strong understanding of program outcomes and strategies, as well as input from key stakeholders and partners  
  • Analyze and develop cohesive messaging customized for stakeholder groups 
  • Work across the organization to find and tell stories to highlight our impact
  • Develop communications plans for OP’s various campaigns and events
  • Support with internal communications from the Executive Team 
  • With the Communications Manager, oversee the integrity of the OP brand 
  • Strategic oversight of the website, social media, all external-facing collateral

Public Relations & Press:

  • Develop & implement a comprehensive public relations plan 
  • Develop talking points for the organization and share with staff and key stakeholders 
  • Create and maintain relationships with media 
  • Draft press releases for key events and news outlets

External Engagement & Community Outreach:

  • Collaborate with program staff on org-wide newsletters 
  • Collaborate with key community partners to build awareness about Oakland Promise across all program areas
  • Build relationships with core city and community members to further OP’s reach
  • Increase number of Oakland Promise Champions across Oakland, especially in the communities we serve
  • Collaborate with program staff on client/participant outreach efforts
  • Plan and execute events such as the Annual Community Briefing
  • Develop strategies to expand OP’s brand and reach (e.g., billboards, ads, tv segments, etc)
  • Proactively identify opportunities for OP to increase our visibility on local and national level (conferences we should be at, panels we should speak on, etc)

Policy & Advocacy:

  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of current discourse (local/state/national), policy debates, and political trends among policymakers and field partners on issues that affect our work, and identify strategic opportunities for OP to engage and advance our agenda
  • Cultivate and maintain effective relationships with policymakers, their staff, and other civic leaders

Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:

  • This role is an in-person/hybrid role and candidates need to be Bay Area residents
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • 5-10 years of related job experience, with demonstrated progression of responsibilities
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple competing deadlines 
  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Deep commitment to and passion for the vision of the Oakland Promise
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Proficient with Google Suite tools
  • Strong self-motivation and ability to operate effectively with limited direct management
  • Demonstrated ability to learn quickly and adapt to new situations
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with diverse groups

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with graphic design and video editing 
  • Proficient with Salesforce Databases
  • Experience in the fields of education, PR, marketing, communications, and/or policy
  • Knowledge of and connections to Oakland communities and civic leaders


  • This is a full-time exempt position. 
  • Salary for this role is $105,000 to $ 125,000 based on skill sets and experience.

What you can expect from us:

  • Oakland Promise offers a competitive benefits package, which includes dental / health/ vision, paid vacations and sick days and a 401k match up to 3%.
  • Oakland Promise currently has a hybrid work policy.
  • The ability to learn and grow within a supportive team environment.
  • An opportunity to network and interact with leaders in the community. 
  • Some evening and weekend hours may be required.

Application Process:

We are looking for candidates with availability to start immediately and encourage you to apply if you are interested in and qualified for the position. The deadline to submit your application is January 27th, 2023.

To apply: Send a single PDF (NOT a Microsoft Word document) of a resume and thoughtful cover letter to [email protected] with “OP Director of Communications and External Affairs – [Your Name]” in the subject line. Please use your last name and first initial (ex: Doe_J) as the filename of your PDF containing your resume and cover letter.

Failure to follow these instructions may delay the review of your application. Applications will be reviewed immediately and candidates with the best fit will be contacted for interviews. Unfortunately, the volume of applications will prevent us from responding to all applications received.

Oakland Promise is a place-based organization located in Oakland, California. Oakland Promise requires that employees work in person at various engagements. Currently, Oakland Promise staff are working in a hybrid model, with some work being done remotely and some work being done in the office or at specific locations in or around Oakland. It is a requirement that all staff reside within commuting distance to the main office, located at 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza #430, Oakland, CA 94612. Please note that at any time, a full in-person work plan may be required, and it is of utmost importance that all staff are able to meet this requirement.

Oakland Promise is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Oakland Promise is committed to  providing a work environment free of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and  disrespectful or other unprofessional conduct based on sex (including pregnancy,  childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions), sex stereotype, race, religion  (including religious dress and grooming practices), color, gender (including gender  identity, gender expression, and transgender), national origin (including language use  restrictions and possession of a driver’s license issued under Vehicle Code section 12801.9), ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic  information, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual  orientation, military, and veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state  or local law or ordinance or regulation. It also prohibits discrimination, harassment, disrespectful or unprofessional conduct based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.  We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

Application Process:

Make a huge difference in the Oakland community! Join our team! Send applications to [email protected]