Director of Strategic Communications

5 days left

Washington D.C.
$137,849.00 - $166,500.00
Oct 24, 2019
Nov 23, 2019
Focus Areas
Position Type
Full Time

Director of Strategic Communications at the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Full Time Excepted Service (This is an Administratively Determined position under the authority of 20 U.S.C. Section 9105(b). Competitive Civil Service is not acquired under this appointment.)

AD-0301-00 (Equivalent to the GS-0301-15)

The Office of Communication (OC) is currently seeking interested applicants for the position of Director of Strategic Communications. This position is located in the Office of Communications (OC) within the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Reporting directly to the Agency’s Director, the Director of Strategic Communications is responsible for defining the IMLS brand and cultivating external relationships through increasing constituent interactions with Agency communications; for conveying the Agency’s products, services, programs, and policies; for working with staff to develop and instill a core set of organizational communications values to which all staff can ascribe; and for planning and implementing special agency-wide strategic initiatives. The incumbent oversees the strategic engagement of external and internal stakeholders, Congress, the Administration, government officials, the media, the general public, professional groups, and current and prospective collaborators.



This position is open to all qualified candidates.

Please read all instructions to ensure that you are applying correctly.

The individual selected may be subject to a background security investigation.



The OC Director will lead and provide integrated management of comprehensive, strategic communications and knowledge management functions for the organization. S/he contributes to the Agency’s efforts that will increase knowledge and understanding about the current and emerging roles of libraries and museums in American society and the contributions of IMLS to the museum and library sectors as well as to both professional and public communities across the nation.

These responsibilities encompass the overall communications strategy, execution, and analysis including messaging, branding, web content, public and media relations, social media, collateral, support materials, and analytics. The incumbent will manage institutional brand identity across all communication channels to present the organization to an expanded and engaged audience. This brand identity will position the Agency’s distinctive work in empowering museums and libraries to provide lifelong learning opportunities and essential information resources to communities nationwide.

The incumbent will be a seasoned, skilled storyteller with the ability to craft and convey content that engages and motivates audiences around the Agency’s identity, mission, programming, and impact, and who will lead the organization in shaping a clear and consistent narrative. The OC Director will position the Agency as a source of reliable data and information by ensuring that programmatic evaluations, grantee results, and research findings are accessible to a broad set of key audiences. S/he evaluates information, assesses options, creates project plans, tracks progress to results, and utilizes relevant metrics to demonstrate outcomes.

Strategic Leadership: Translates organizational objectives into coalition-building strategies that create relationships with diverse groups of people across a variety of disciplines and interests. Acts as an innovative and solutions-oriented problem-solver, leading strategic conversations to help rethink and reimagine the way the Agency communicates with various audiences, members, and stakeholders. Forward-thinking and results-driven, refines and adjusts communications strategies based on analysis of data and trends to stay on target with yearly objectives. Works closely with Director and Leadership Team to anticipate and manage important media-related and messaging issues.

Brand Management: Manages the IMLS brand and other communications assets. Maximizes use of communications channels (such as the website, marketing collateral, social media, conference participation, special events, and speaking engagements) to raise the profile of IMLS and to draw attention to the Agency’s goals, strategies, and results. Ensures that visual style guides consistently reinforce the Agency’s distinctiveness and recognition. Manages Crisis Communications Plan. Provides talking points, key messages, and presentation templates to staff that help elevate the IMLS brand.

Communications Lifecycle: Provides thought leadership across the Agency on strategic and tactical communications, drawing upon data and metrics to demonstrate increased awareness, engagement, and influence. Develops an annual strategic communications plan that supports the Agency’s mission and long-term strategic goals. Stays ahead of communications trends, including in the museum, library, philanthropic, and public sectors, in order to identify new and unique opportunities to serve the Agency’s mission. Understands how to reach and engage smaller and more dispersed communities with different interests, limited media outlets, and decentralized communications networks.

Content Management: Oversees the writing, editing, preparation, production, and dissemination of relevant content to convey the benefits of Agency activities and noteworthy projects. Ensures review of all content for consistency and quality of style, and develops and implements publications standards. Presents complex information, data, or knowledge in easily understandable formats such as infographics or storyboards. Oversees the use of electronic communication tools including email distribution lists, discussion groups, webinars, survey tools, and email marketing. Manages and curates content for website and social media to enhance content relevance and distribution to key networks, influencers, and stakeholders.

Media Relations: Serves as a key spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact both the IMLS mission and the museum/library sectors. Develops strategic media outreach opportunities for the Agency to become a valued and respected voice on relevant topics. Oversees cultivation and management of news media interactions and media contacts including, but not limited to, preparation of news releases, op/eds and letters to editor, fielding media inquiries, managing media distribution lists, and engagement through social media.

Integrated Campaigns: Develops and implements communications campaigns that leverage the Agency’s strategies (such as capacity building, national leadership, rural and tribal, and digital stewardship) to achieve Agency goals. Uses all relevant communications channels across traditional and new media, weaving together appropriate first-person narratives, community case studies, and grantee activities. Ensures that communications are logically connected, have consistent messaging, and are synergistic across media relations, new/social media, traditional media, presentations, etc.

Knowledge Management: Acts as steward for the Agency’s information, findings, and stories and ensures that learnings are shared with the museum and library sectors, networks, and stakeholders. Leverages various sources of knowledge assets such as internally generated evaluation and data studies, staff presentations, grantees’ projects’ findings, and testimonials from communities and partners. Responsible for internal record-keeping activities to meet compliance with Agency requirements. Organizes and makes accessible information, artifacts, photographs, etc. that capture the Agency’s external-facing activities. Tracks and analyzes interest in, re-use of, and re-sharing of Agency learnings and information.

Departmental Management: Manages budgets and bidding processes for publications and other services. Utilizes project management techniques to ensure Agency products are defined and delivered on time, within budget, and to agreed-upon scope. Builds, coaches, supervises, and evaluates the communications staff towards increasing team capacity, encouraging professional growth, and improving effectiveness in order to provide a proactive, customer-focused resource for the Agency and its constituents. Supervises a team of 3-4 individuals and/or contractors.

Collaborative Leadership: Acts as a proactive relationship builder, with the ability to lead through influence. As a member of the Leadership Team, understands how to partner with others to shape and integrate communications into an organization’s overall strategy. Effectively leads a function in a complex organization with multiple layers of stakeholders, including directors and their teams. Builds collaborative relationships and effectively shares information to create consistency and fidelity across messaging while also allowing flexibility to meet each program and department’s unique needs.



All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. Qualifying experience may be obtained in the private or public sectors. Qualifying education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university recognized by the Department of Education. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review in our office, in other Federal agency personnel offices, and on OPM's web site at

Knowledge Required by the position:

Expert level work and relevant experience in communications within an agency, corporation, foundation, or nonprofit organization.

Demonstrated experience with organizations that conduct substantial and effective work in community impact investing, competitive grant-making, capacity building, programmatic evaluation, and social science research or evaluation.

Expert in managing complex plans, projects, budgets, and deadlines that require coordination across multiple stakeholders and mitigating risks.

Demonstrated expert abilities to consistently present high-quality, relevant, and compelling content (such as press releases, blog posts, website features, scripts, op-eds, technical summaries, videos, podcasts, social media, and infographics).

Demonstrated expert experience in collecting information, data, or knowledge and translating that into multimedia content and graphic designs that are quickly and easily understood.

Expert experience creating and analyzing effective integrated digital and social media campaigns.

Creation of knowledge management and dissemination strategies and tactics at the expert level focusing on wide-ranging audiences (for example, museum and/or library end-users, key stakeholders, researchers, collaborators, and learning networks).

Expert level managerial skills and leadership experience to serve as a manager with the ability to supervise professional staff’s performance, evaluate training needs, and provide technical guidance when necessary.

Mastery level in writing governmental or policy publications, public testimony, and other required regulatory communications.



1. Application procedures are specific to this vacancy announcement. Please read all the instructions carefully. Failure to follow the instructions may result in your not being considered for this position.

2. To be eligible for Federal employment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959 must certify at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.

3. The individual selected may be subject to a security investigation. Favorable results on a background investigation may be a condition for employment or selection to another position. If you do not provide all the information requested, you may lose consideration for this position.

4. Moving expenses are not authorized.

5. All Federal employees are required to have Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choosing.



BASIS OF RATING: Once the announcement closes, your application will be automatically evaluated and rated by the Office of Human Resources. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your application and supporting documentation will be made and compared against qualification requirements for the position. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.



This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees.

The below links provide quick access to some of the many benefits currently offered to Federal employees:

Flexible Spending Accounts - The Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSAFeds) allows you to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. For additional information visit:

Health Insurance - The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers over 100 optional plans. For additional information visit:

Leave - Most Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave. For additional information visit:

Life Insurance - The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) offers: Basic Life Insurance plus three types of optional insurance, for additional information visit:

Long Term Care Insurance - The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for Federal employees and their parents, parents-in-law, stepparents, spouses, and adult children. For additional information visit:

Retirement Program - Almost all new employees are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are: Social Security Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, Thrift Savings Plan. For additional information visit:



The IMLS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.

TTY/ASCII users should use the toll free Federal Relay Service number: 1-800-877-8339 and provide the IMLS number of the office or individual you are calling. For more information about using the Federal Relay Service see:



1. Résumé

2. Writing Sample(s)

3. References

-For Veterans: DD-214-For Disabled Veterans: DD-214, SF-15 and VA letter dated 1991 or later



Antoine Dotson, Director, Office of Human Resources

Institute of Museum and Library Services

955 L’Enfant Plaza, North, SW, 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20024





After a review of your résumé and required documents is complete, you will be notified of your referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required you will be contacted.