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Director Communications / Media

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The Transportation Research Board (TRB) provides innovative, research-based solutions to improve transportation. TRB manages transportation research by producing publications and online resources. It convenes experts that help to develop solutions to problems and issues facing transportation professionals. TRB also provides advice through its policy studies that tackle complex and often controversial issues of national significance. TRB’s annual meeting is the signature event for over 13,000 transportation leaders from around the world. TRB produces significant studies to advise government and industry leaders, including the recently published Critical Issues in Transportation and the 2018 publication Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System. TRB is a program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a non-profit organization that provides independent, objective, and interdisciplinary solutions.


The Transportation Research Board is hiring a Director of Communications. This strategic leader is the senior communications advisor to TRB leadership and manages all communications activities for TRB. The Director of Communications will lead a team responsible for creating, designing and implementing strategic communications programs and products across a range of media including digital and social, print, video, email, webinars, newsletters and other collateral materials. Responsibilities also include establishing, tracking and applying insights from audience research and communications effectiveness metrics.


Strategic Communications:

Develop and execute a TRB communications strategy based on direction from senior leadership, TRB’s Strategic Plan, and TRB’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan. Lead and execute the planning, development, and coordination of internal and external communications programs, projects, events, and other types of outreach. Oversee all strategic messaging, trade media relations, internal communications, crisis communications, web content, and social media while providing consistency, quality control and branding guidance. Develop metrics to measure, track, evaluate and report the success of communications initiatives. Identify target audiences for program and project communications. Identify communications channels and appropriate messaging for those audiences and measures of success in reaching those audiences. Develop and produce TRB presentation and promotional collateral materials and campaigns, including division websites, newsletters, and brochures. Coordinate communication and distribution planning and activities for projects within TRB. Provide training and strategic advice to TRB staff on communications and messaging. Ensure that TRB communications programs help build the reputation of the National Academies by complementing and supporting the communications strategies, policies and programs of the National Academies Review and approve cost projections and estimates of communications and media programs and events.

TRB-Specific Communications Activities:

Oversee TRB communications professionals, providing strategic leadership, professional growth opportunities, and coordinated integrated communications plans. Develop performance plans and evaluate the performance of the communications staff. Develop content for, produce and distribute the weekly TRB Transportation Research E-Newsletter. Manage email programs related to the E-newsletter, including lists, content and metrics. Manages TRB’s Webinar Program. Identifies topics and potential speakers with input from program staff and volunteers. Develops and prepares webinar marketing materials. Responsible for granting and tracking professional development hours for the webinar program. Serve as a communications liaison to Cooperative Research Program Dissemination Panels. Responsible for producing the minutes of the TRB Executive Committee, attend all meetings and produce meeting minutes. Initiate projects that contribute to a greater public awareness of the importance of transportation and the value of research to transportation innovation and progress.


Respond to journalist queries. Maintain databases of media and expert contacts. Track TRB media profile. Coordinate with the Office of News and Public Information on media strategies and coverage for major report releases and the TRB Annual Meeting, as well as opportunities to get media coverage of TRB input on transportation issues.


Lead, mentor and supervise assigned staff. Forms effective teams and cultivates a work environment that fosters teamwork. Secure consultant services within the rules of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and manage consultants to be on time and within budget delivery of desired products.



Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

* Strong capabilities to plan, organize, and execute communications strategies.
* Ability to solve intellectual problems of substantial variety and complexity using originality and ingenuity.
* Ability to operate using substantial latitude for independent judgment and action.
* Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness.
* Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams within TRB and the broader National Academies.
* Excellent written and oral skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.
* Expertise in current communications methods and trends, data analysis of audiences and communications efforts.
* Experience in the use of electronic resources and software systems pertinent to e-mail-related newsletters and web-based conference systems.
* Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Master’s degree in Communications or related field, or equivalent knowledge.

Minimum Experience: Eight years of related professional experience. Three years of supervisory experience.

Physical Capabilities: Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time.

Required Licenses, Certification or Registration: None.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Controls: Reports to the TRB Associate Executive Director. General direction is provided. Will supervise communications professional staff.

Work Environment: Office environment with occasional travel between National Academies’ facilities and to off-site locations.


Washington, DC

Pay Band 4 - $90,000 to $150,000
Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences