Director of Communications

About the Organization

The Education Trust–West works for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-K through college. We expose educational injustices and inequities that separate students of color, English learners, and low-income students from their peers, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close equity gaps. We work alongside P-12 schools, districts, and institutions of higher education to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies intended to reduce and eliminate racial equity gaps. We use lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analysis, to drive a state and national conversation about how schools, from pre-kindergarten to universities, can better serve students of color, English learners, and low-income students. To learn more, please visit


The Position

The Education Trust–West seeks a Director of Communications to advance the organization’s ambitious agenda to expose and eradicate injustices and inequities in California schools, colleges, and education systems. Managing the Communications Department and reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Director of Communications will closely partner with Ed Trust–West’s research and policy analysis (RPA) team to develop and execute communications strategies that advance the organization’s advocacy goals.

The position must be based in Oakland, CA, and requires a willingness to travel throughout the state. Due to the pandemic, ETW is currently teleworking, but team members will be expected to return to the office once it is deemed safe.


Major Responsibilities

The Director of Communications’ responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Organizational Leadership, Management, and Development (40%)

  • Develop a thorough, iterative communications strategy, informed by the organization’s 2020-2023 strategic plan and annual focus area policy and advocacy goals
  • Lead annual fundraising efforts to support organizational communications capacity by developing and maintaining relationships with current and potential funders and contributing to reports and proposals
  • Supervise and effectively manage communications team members (i.e., 3-4 people) as well as external contractors
  • Provide media and communications training and support to key ETW team members and select partner organizations
  • Develop, manage and ensure proper allocation of the communication’s team budget
  • Shape and manage the communications and editorial calendar in partnership with the team, especially the research and policy analysis (RPA) team

Strategic Advocacy Communications / Collateral Production and Dissemination (35%)

  • Develop and implement short and long-term multi-platform collateral release plans aligned with ETW’s brand as part of ETW’s broader focus areas and advocacy campaigns
  • In close partnership with the research and policy analysis (RPA) team, provide input that shapes framing and key messages for upcoming collateral (e.g., reports, briefs, opinion pieces, blogs)
  • Ensure ETW’s brand identity and ETW voice through reviewing for clarity, copyediting, and designing a variety of collateral
  • Oversee the organization’s social and digital media strategy and leverage multi-media platforms to maximize the impact of our advocacy efforts
  • Develop and implement metrics to track the level of engagement of ETW’s network and to test the effectiveness of communications activities

Relationships with Media (25%)

  •  Build and nurture relationships with journalists, opinion leaders, and a broad range of education stakeholders to help advance the mission and efforts of the organization
  • Oversee the development, review, and placement of news stories, op-eds, press statements, in key print and online media outlets to increase ETW’s visibility as a leader in the educational justice movement
  • Other duties as assigned, including servings as a spokesperson for ETW as needed


Qualifications and Experience

  1. 5-7 years of communications experience, preferably in an education setting (e.g., school, college, direct service, or policy/advocacy organization) or with communications experience in broader social policy, political, or advocacy settings
  2. Demonstrated ability to plan effectively but maintain flexibility to handle the unexpected and to juggle multiple projects in a fast-paced environment
  3. Experience managing team members to their full potential, including managing the team by providing clear and coordinated priorities, updates, and expectations
  4. Outstanding writing/editing and verbal communications skills
  5. Diplomatic communication and strong presentation ability
  6. Exceptional organizational skills with an eye for detail
  7. Strong computer skills; proficient or advanced skills in Microsoft Suite (i.e., OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook), high level of comfort with key organizational and communications team software (e.g., Asana, Slack, EveryAction, Cision)
  8. Fluency in writing and speaking in Spanish is a plus
  9. The ability to work collaboratively and creatively across teams
  10. Experience fundraising for communications projects is a plus
  11. Robust education equity and racial justice lens is a must
  12. Familiarity with digital platforms (i.e., social media, email management, web) such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Sprout Social, HootSuite, and WordPress
  13. Undergraduate degree required, Master’s degree in related field preferred


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.  The Education TrustWest offers a comprehensive benefits package. 


Application Process

Please provide a tailored cover letter and resume to be considered for this position.  

In the file name, please write the name of the position you are applying for and your last name: e.g. “DirectorOfCommunications_Williams”

Please submit your application materials at Recruitment (


The Education Trust–West is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.