Communications Director

Prevention Institute (PI) is a national nonprofit with offices in Oakland, Los Angeles, Houston, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to build prevention and health equity into key policies and actions at the federal, state, local, and organizational level to ensure that the places where all people live, work, play and learn foster health, safety and wellbeing. Since 1997, we have partnered with communities, local government entities, foundations, multiple sectors, and public health agencies to bring cutting-edge research, practice, strategy, and analysis to the pressing health and safety concerns of the day. We have applied our approach to healthy eating and active living, land use, health systems transformation, safety, community trauma, mental wellbeing and substance misuse, and pandemic recovery, among other issues.

Prevention is a systematic process that promotes health, safety, and wellbeing and reduces the frequency and/or severity of illness and injury. Our prevention approach emphasizes:

  • Transforming community environments to prevent problems from occurring before the onset of symptoms or risk of injury;

  • Elevating equity and racial justice in health, safety, and wellbeing outcomes; and

  • Prioritizing communities that are most vulnerable to harm and communities that are experiencing the greatest harm.

For more information about how we create healthier, more equitable communities through prevention, see

About this position:

We are looking for a highly collaborative and creative Communications Director to co-create and implement the next phase of Prevention Institute’s communications strategy, including through:

  • Transformative, values-based communications approaches and narrative change efforts that build momentum for health, safety, and wellbeing; equity and racial justice; community change; and upstream prevention

  • Further strengthening our organizational capacity to frame and embed racial justice as a core approach for achieving health equity through all forms of communication—building on the findings and recommendations of an external communications audit and applying PI’s racial justice roadmap

  • Partnering and building shared capacity across the organization to advance our communication goals and overall impact, in alignment with our commitment to health equity and racial justice

Communications at PI is an organization-wide endeavor and responsibility. Just as communications strategies and practices inform our project work, we see an equally important role in applying project learnings and innovations to strengthen our communications approaches. The Communications Director works in close partnership across the organization, and in particular with the Core Leadership Team, Policy & Advocacy Director, and project leads to develop effective communications strategies.

Communications Director responsibilities:

Collaborate across the organization to advance three communications goals:

  1. Sharing the why, what and how: Get our project work out widely and increase uptake associated with that in alignment with our core strategies

  2. Voice and influence: Ensure we are recognized as a respected voice for upstream, community prevention centered in health equity and racial justice and related issues and move perspectives, policies and investments aligned with our goals.

  3. Transformational change: Build momentum for health, safety and wellbeing; equity and racial justice; community change; and upstream prevention through narrative change work and/or other transformational communications strategies.

Build on PI's strong foundation to further shape and continuously refine communications strategy:

  • Build on communications planning to date to further shape communication strategy and priorities to achieve communications goals, initially with senior leadership, and steward the organization evermore to transformational communications approaches,
  • Develop and implement a strategic communications plan to achieve our long-term narrative shifting and programmatic goals, while increasing PI’s visibility.
  • Partner with senior leadership and program staff to develop and adopt language and framing that aligns with our goals and moves the field (e.g. funders, policymakers, government institutions) in that direction.
  • Develop evaluation strategies and track metrics to support continuous improvement for the organization as a whole and across portfolios and projects.
  • Enhance/expandcommunicationmodalities.

Provide oversight for and implement communications functions

Supervise the maintenance and enhancement of PI’s website, provide guidance and oversight on PI’s social media strategy, provide quarterly communications analytics, and actively enhance/expand newer media activities like podcasting, video, and interactive infographics. Lead and manage PI’s e-blast system to reach appropriate constituencies most effectively with the right information at the right time. Ensure that PI’s visual brand is strong, appropriate and consistent across the organization. Implement protocols and guidance on communications approaches and language that advance our mission, align with our racial justice roadmap and are applied consistently across the organization.

Grow and lead a small communications team and build out the function within the organization

Identify appropriate roles and capacities in alignment with the communications strategy; articulate communications roles for project staff/teams; and lead a hiring/onboarding process for a communications team. Supervise and manage team members. Identify appropriate functions for outsourcing. Provide strategic consultation to outside partners on how to frame and develop messages that make the case for prevention and equity.

Strengthen organization-wide communication capacity and coordinate communications functions across the organization

Work with senior leadership to co-advance a communications strategy and approach; serve on PI’s Leadership Team; collaborate with PI’s Health Equity team in advancing our racial justice roadmap and to transform our vision into effective messages that resonate with a variety of audiences; coordinate with/support our fundraising and development activities and staff; and partner with project staff and teams in support of effective communications that reflect work and priorities across the organization. Serve as a resource for program staff on communications tasks and strategy and engage project staff in external communications as appropriate; create and maintain systems to enable program staff to share relevant information with communications staff and one another, including updates on topical work and the best ways to describe the work; and help build a storytelling culture throughout the organization that embraces new ways to tell the PI story.

Produce and disseminate stellar communications products consistent with our vision, mission, goals and strategies

Oversee production and dissemination of publications, tools, and frameworks through professional newsletters, journals, blogs and related resources, as well as identifying new dissemination outlets; work with program staff to develop and edit materials for PI’s focus areas, including reports, success profiles, executive summaries, and abstracts; expand modalities for high-impact communications; and create high-impact, multi-channel communications campaigns that educate our audiences and shift narratives.

Expand PI visibility and impact

Cultivate and maintain (or oversee the systems for) relationships with national, statewide, and local press through traditional, new, and ethnic media, including identifying media opportunities for Prevention Institute staff, and preparing staff for interviews and pitching stories and providing background information to print, radio, television, and digital reporters and editors. Craft and edit persuasive and compelling e-alerts, op-eds, blog posts, talking points, web content, press releases, and letters to the editor on a variety of prevention-related public health issues. Write and develop content on behalf of staff and core external partners, including through op-eds, articles, blogs, podcasts, videos and other modalities.


Due to physical distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, this position will begin remotely. We are looking for candidates who can navigate the challenges of remote onboarding. At this time, we are particularly interested in candidates who can assume a position in our Oakland office when we resume in-office work.

Required Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 8-10 year’s relevant experience, including in an organization or network focused on public health, social justice, racial justice, and/or community change

  • Excellent communications skills and knowledge of effective communication methods, modalities, and tactics; skilled in racial justice communications

  • Ability to shape and implement a transformational communications strategy consistent with the goals associated with this position

  • Collaborative and team-oriented

  • Excellent program management skills, including supervisory experience and skills

  • Strong ability to build communications capacity among staff/teams through coaching and instruction/guidance

Desired Qualifications

  • Non-profit communications experience

  • A continuous learner; desire to learn and grow, consistently seeking new opportunities and

    integrating feedback to improve work quality

  • Flexibility; ability to work on multiple tasks with appropriate guidance and supervision

  • Basic HTML

  • Ability to oversee and support design and layout, both conceptually and technically

  • Experience in using communications as a tool for advocacy and policy change

Prevention Institute has a strong commitment to building a staff that is rich with cultural, social and experiential diversity. Candidates who want to join us on this journey and can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths and experiences in this area.

Salary and Benefits:

This is a full-time position with a salary range of $100,000 to $135,000 per year. The appropriate salary level is determined by a review of relevant experience and qualifications and how they compare to stages within the range, as well as others in the cohort. Compensation includes a generous benefits package, including healthcare and dental insurance, paid time off, a wellness benefit, and retirement plan, among others.

To apply:

Please email all required information to; please include “Communications Director” in the subject line of your email. The requirements for a complete application are a resume and a cover letter that includes why you’d like to work at Prevention Institute and why now and how this position fits with your goals and ambitions. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be considered as they are submitted; the position remains open until filled.

No phone calls, please.