Job Description

Senior Communications Strategist

Location: Atlanta, GA

Position Category: Direct hire, paid in US

Posting Date: 07/27/2017

Deadline Date: Open until the position is filled.


John Snow, Inc. (JSI) is a public health research and consulting firm dedicated to promoting and improving health around the world. We have an exciting opportunity for a senior-level professional to lead strategic communications planning for the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy (OHAIDP) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Senior Communications Strategist will influence communications strategy and messages that address the impact, threats, opportunities, and scientific, programmatic, and personal successes that are associated with infectious diseases that affect millions of Americans and can be costly to treat and/or deadly.

The Senior Communications Strategist will be responsible for leading OHAIDP’s efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive office-wide communications strategy that is responsive to the needs of OHAIDP and other HHS leaders, and other federal and external stakeholders. That strategy will be supported by website message boxes and other communications products and tools that address HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, TB, tick-borne diseases, and other infections and/or conditions. The position will provide vision and leadership on industry best practices, issues management, and message framing for key audiences; and assist with the direction of the program’s internal and external communications planning through traditional, web, and social media channels.


Responsibilities include playing a lead role in developing communications plans, content for message boxes and other communications tools, strategies, and tactics that are consistent with and further OHAIDP's major goals, and objectives. The Senior Communications Strategist will develop the communications strategy in collaboration with OHAIDP and team members. Washington, DC, is the preferred location, however the position can be based out of any of JSI’s domestic offices.

The Senior Communications Strategist will work with OHAIDP and staff to: develop communications plans and activities that are aligned with strategic priorities; assess day-to-day needs; interface routinely with OHAIDP and Directors, other government officials, the private sector, and the general public; and support spokespersons for OHAIDP programs. The Strategist will report directly to JSI, while working in close collaboration with OHAIDP’s Senior Communications Advisor and the Director of
  • Develop, update, and refine a comprehensive OHAIDP communications strategy (including short- and long-term objectives, website message boxes, editorial calendars, talking points, etc.) for HIV, viral hepatitis, blood and tissue safety, tick-borne diseases, and other infectious diseases
  • Identify and assess key issues
  • Identify key organizations and their priorities
  • Identify stakeholders and their priorities, opportunities, and threats
  • Play a leading role in framing messaging for OHAIDP’s key audiences
  • Contribute to OHAIDP’s efforts to track and monitor communications planning activities and performance
  • Develop health communications content that complies with HHS guidelines and clearance policies, and specify appropriate message-delivery formats
  • Support OHAIDP’s efforts to rapidly create and disseminate scientifically accurate, consistent, plain-language messages that support HHS Strategy 4.1
  • Assess OHAIDP’s reach, benefits, and communications strategies and products
  • Provide input into the development of press releases, fact sheets, web content, blogs, briefings, presentations, videos, social networking content, stories, and promotional materials to support OHAIDP activities, including campaigns
  • Contribute to the design and promotion of both traditional and digital media outreach activities for OHAIDP’s programs and major initiatives to enhance the public’s understanding of OHAIDP priorities
  • Serve as an expert advisor to OHAIDP and its partners on: health communications; media and marketing research methods and projects; and ensuring compliance with legal, ethical, and regulatory standards and policies
  • Assist OHAIDP’s spokespersons in managing its interactions with the media to ensure consistency with the Office’s communications strategy and key messages
  • Participate in HHS and other meetings as requested


  • Advanced degree or certificate in communications, media, journalism, public health, or related field
  • Must have at least 4 years’ experience in senior-level government health/communications projects, and/or equivalent
  • Considerable experience developing communication messages for consumers and health information and behavior-change messaging for minority and/or other audiences
  • Strong relationships and networking history related to public health or health care organizations that serve racial/ethnic minorities and/or other vulnerable populations
  • Demonstrated experience developing effective working relationships, communications plans, and products addressing needs similar to those outlined in the Duties section
  • Advanced skill with applications used in media outreach, communications planning, implementation, and presentations (Microsoft Office Suite, including designing for PowerPoint presentations, etc.)
  • Experience with social media and traditional press
  • Must respond to requests and shifting priorities on-demand and be available as needed during non-traditional working hours given occasional urgent news breaks and time zone differences for national events

Salary commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates should submit their resumes and cover letters online.

No phone calls please.
Principals only please.

JSI is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer committed to workplace diversity. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all qualified applicants and employees without regard to age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, gender, disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual preference, genetic information, political affiliation, or protected veteran status in any employment decisions. M/F/V/D

If you are an individual with a disability, or a disabled veteran and unable to apply online for an available position, you may submit your request for reasonable accommodation by calling Human Resources at 617-482-9485.

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