Strategy Team Council Careers
  • » Communications Manager

Communications Manager

Location: We currently work remotely. After it is safe to return to the office, California Competes will continue to be headquartered in the SF East Bay with a flexible remote work policy. This role can be based remotely in Sacramento or can be based out of our Bay Area headquarters. Either way, we have a strong preference for the role to join the staff in the Bay Area office 1-2 days a week and be available for some in-person activities in Sacramento (e.g. being able to attend a hearing at the Capitol).


California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy aims to solve the state’s thorny social and economic problems by conducting rigorous higher education and workforce policy research. Through our research, we guide decision makers in developing and implementing policies that bolster equity so every Californian can engage, contribute, and succeed. We envision a California where our state and regional economies and communities thrive, fueled by equitable and racially just postsecondary and workforce outcomes. California Competes benefits from the expertise of our highly respected, bipartisan Leadership Council, which comprises current and former public officials, business executives, and community leaders from across the state. Our diverse staff brings decades of experience in higher education and public policy. We work statewide and travel across the country to research and advocate for a higher education system that provides opportunities for all Californians. With an organizational budget of approximately $1M annually, California Competes is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Partners. For more information, please visit


Reporting to the Director of Operations, the Communications Manager is responsible for developing and implementing California Competes’ communication and outreach activities to advance the organization’s strategic objectives and policy priorities. Major responsibilities include:

Strategic Communications

  • Lead strategy to publicize research products and increase visibility in front of key audiences
  • Serve as a spokesperson and provide support for staff representing for the organization
  • Maintain the organization’s digital presence, including the website and social media, and ensure the consistent translation of the organization’s brand identity
  • Think creatively about visual communications, leveraging visual communications to enhance target audience understanding of complex research and policy issues


  • Write content that clearly communicates the organization’s work and voice, translating complex research and policy issues to be accessible and actionable. Content includes opinion pieces, presentations, events (in-person and virtual), reports, grant proposals, messaging, talking points, blog posts, social media copy, and print media copy
  • Provide quality control through all stages of the production process, including providing feedback to and communications with graphic, web design, and copy editing contractors

Media Relations

  • Cultivate relationships with the traditional, trade, and digital press and respond to requests from media
  • Market California Competes resources to media
  • Pitch and place stories on California Competes priorities

Executive Communications

  • Ensure visibility for the Executive Director, as well as other staff
  • Manage executive communications to volunteer leadership council and other key stakeholder groups
  • Prepare materials for the Executive Director, including speeches, talking points, briefing documents


The ideal candidate is a detail-oriented self-starter with the ability to handle several activities simultaneously. The successful candidate will be a talented and versatile writer and communicator who demonstrates curiosity by asking questions and taking initiative around communications responsibilities. This candidate will feel comfortable working in an organization with extremely high standards that centers equity, is fast-paced, and often has rapid-response requests.

  • Bachelor’s degree, plus at least 5 years of relevant work experience required. Master’s degree in a relevant field preferred
  • Recognizes ways that race and ethnicity, gender, and other identities intersect in
    postsecondary access and success
  • Understands the historical context for racial inequity and its present-day implications, and is driven to make creative and concrete changes through advancing systemic change through strategic communications
  • Deeply believes that racial equity and social justice are important and is comfortable communicating about race and ethnicity, gender, and other identities in plain (non-euphemistic) and specific terms
  • Able to hear, reflect, and act on feedback regarding identity and equity with the aim to learn
  • Creative, intellectually-curious self-starter with a strong work ethic, high standards, integrity, and a commitment to excellence
  • Outstanding writer with demonstrable experience writing original content
  • Strong organizational and coordination skills
  • Working knowledge of public policy in California, especially related to higher education, equity, and the economy, preferred
  • A team player with a diplomatic, professional manner, and a sense of humor
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and social media platforms (Twitter,
    LinkedIn, Facebook), MailChimp, and content management systems (CMS, like Craft)


  • Salary commensurate with experience
  • Medical, dental and vision benefits; voluntary 403(b) plan
  • Exempt full-time position

Application Process

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Kris Wade,, with “Communications Manager” in the subject line. Priority review date for applications is 6/21/2021, but we will continue to accept applications until the position is filled.

Apply Now