Job Title: Director of Communications and Development
PVN ID: JJ-2302-005403
Category: Managerial and Professional

Job Description

General Description

The Director of Communications and Development will be a member of the executive team and in collaboration with the Executive Director will be responsible for the Institute’s communications and fundraising strategies and implementation, including securing and maintaining public and private funding through grant proposals and renewals.  The Director will oversee the communications efforts of the Institute, including the websites, media relations, publications and other vehicles. The Direct will work with others on the Executive team on the development of new collaborative initiatives within CUNY and the larger community. The Director will supervise two staff and manage relevant consultants.

We seek a communication and development professional with a commitment to social justice who will support the Institute’s mission of increasing access to education and careers for people with lived experience with the criminal legal system.  The ideal candidate is skilled at storytelling and will lead the development of a shared compelling narrative about our work and generate interest and support from colleagues, funders, elected officials and the press.


Other Duties


  • Consult with Institute leaders to identify funding needs to sustain existing programs and to expand our programs into new areas
  • Generate resources for Institute activities through prospect research, cultivation, proposal writing, and managing relationships with funders and potential funders, including being the lead on writing renewal applications and government contracts
  • Other resource development activities as required


  • Create a consistent internal and external Institute narrative and brand identity appropriate to key stakeholder groups, including CUNY students, faculty and staff; higher education and social policy thought leaders; government officials and non-profit colleagues at the national, state and local levels; funders and the media
  • Develop goals and a strategic plan for Institute communications including digital and online media efforts, including management of the Institute website and social media
  • Develop materials to increase awareness of Institute services, priorities and accomplishments
  • Build relationships with CUNY communications staff, the press and allies to amplify the messages and impact of Institute initiatives
  • Ensure accuracy and broad dissemination of Institute reports, toolkits, and work product to maximize impact on the field
  • Establish Institute as a thought leader by identifying opportunities to participate in national and local conversations on equity, access to opportunity and other critical issues facing people who have been involved in the criminal legal system
  • Support and train Institute staff and students to optimize their communications skills and ensure consistency of message and quality of presentation across platforms
  • Oversee events for the organization, including developing collateral materials, booking keynote speakers, and ensuring consistent branding.
  • Other duties that are within the realm of the Communications expertise.


The ideal candidate will have some combination of non-profit, governmental and higher education experience in progressively responsible positions, and, specifically, have had responsibility for fundraising, communications, and managing relationships with important external partners.  Commitment to social and racial justice.  Knowledge of higher education issues and passion for criminal justice reform are highly desirable.

  • Minimum five years of experience, including program and leadership experience, in non-profit, higher education, or philanthropic organizations in the areas of communications and development
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising from governmental and philanthropic funders; experience with individual and corporate donors is desirable
  • Knowledgeable of city, state and private funding agencies, guidelines and policies and procedures.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the field of grants proposal development and research administration
  • Proven strategic thinking, project planning and management skills that combines thinking about big ideas with attention to details
  • Strong communications and marketing skills, and ability to translate complex ideas into clear, concise and compelling narratives for various audiences
  • Ability to engage effectively with broad range of stakeholders, building mutually beneficial relationships and strategic partnerships
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public administration, English or another relevant field
  • Strong writing, proofreading and presentation skills
  • Excellent inter-personal and communications skills
  • Team player with a co-operative approach to colleagues
  • Proven team leadership, project and people management skills
  • Ability to balance a high volume of incoming requests from multiple constituencies across the organization
  • Agility and endurance in managing within a large and complex organization
  • Flexibility and sense of humor


At the Institute, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  The Institute believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.


John Jay College Institute for Justice and Opportunity (The Institute) opens doors and eliminates barriers to success for people who have been involved in the criminal legal system as a champion of institutional, structural, and personal transformation. The Institute is one of twelve research entities that collectively comprise the Research Consortium of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Institute has a diverse portfolio of projects that focus on identifying what it takes for people to live successfully in the community after justice involvement and on increasing the effectiveness of the professionals and systems working with them.  Recognizing the transformational power of education, the Institute focuses much of its work on increasing access to higher education for people with criminal histories.  The Institute’s comprehensive and strategic approach includes direct service, research, and technical assistance. To learn more please visit our website:

About the Research Foundation

The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) was established as a not-for-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of New York in 1963. RFCUNY supports CUNY faculty and staff in identifying and obtaining external support (pre-award) from government and private sponsors and is responsible for the administration of all such funded programs (post-award).

RFCUNY stands between CUNY’s principal investigators (PIs) and the sponsors who support them and strives to fulfill its essential responsibilities to both groups. Working closely with individual PIs and Grants Officers on the campuses, RFCUNY oversees employment, accounting, audit, reporting, purchasing, and special responsibilities that include management of a planned giving program; liaison with governmental agencies and foundations; negotiation of agreements; facility construction and renovation; protection and commercialization of intellectual property; and compliance with applicable standards in research involving human subjects, animal care, environmental and radiological safety, and conflicts of interest.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Research Foundation of the City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Americans with Disabilities Act/E-Verify Employer. It is the policy of the Research Foundation of CUNY to provide equal employment opportunities free of discrimination based on race, color, age, religion, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, national origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic violence victim status, arrest record, criminal conviction history, or any other protected characteristic under applicable law.

Key Features

Institute for Justice and Opportunity
Full Time
Annual Salary Range
$100,000.00 - $120,000.00
Closing Date
May 24, 2023 (Or Until Filled)
Bargaining Unit