Chief Communications and Creative Officer

Washington, D.C. | Full-time, permanent

Position Summary

The Chief Communications and Creative Officer serves as the senior-most communications leader within the organisation and reports to the Chief Executive Officer. They are responsible for the strategic development and implementation of Malala Fund’s communications and brand strategy, raising global and national awareness of Malala Fund’s advocacy and programmatic work and advancing its mission to build a global movement for girls’ education.

This position works closely with Malala Fund's Co-Founders and, as such, has to be a leader of impeccable cross-cultural sensitivity and communications. As the brands and identities of the Co-Founders and the organisation are intertwined and mutually reinforcing, this role has to navigate cross-cultural communications in a way that is constantly evolving and responsive. They will lead a team of creative and communications staff working across editorial, media relations and digital. They are a collaborative and creative communicator who works across the organisation to provide strategic communications guidance to Malala Fund’s advocacy, programmes and fundraising teams, as well as communications-related needs for the Executive Leadership Team, Co-Founders and the Board of Directors. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, they work closely with the CEO of Malala Fund and senior colleagues to inform the growth and effectiveness of the wider organisation.

Starting salary range: $123,000 - $131,000 USD

II. Responsibilities

  • Develops and implements Malala Fund’s organisation-wide communications plan that is strategic, measurable, audience-focused and aligned to the strategic plan.
  • Works with the CEO and Co-Founder Relations Manager to streamline communications between co-founders and the organisation; supporting principal-led priorities and initiatives as necessary.
  • Drafts talking points, op-eds, quotes and speeches for Malala Fund’s CEO, Co-founders and staff.
  • Leads the Communications and Creative team in its development of strategic processes to advance Malala Fund’s brand and positioning; ensures that Malala Fund brand is accurately articulated in all public-facing communications (printed materials, social media, website, interviews, etc.).
  • Develop messaging strategy for key initiatives, create rollout plans for programme launches, and leads long-term planning for communications initiatives across the organisation.
  • Oversees the editorial direction, writing, design and production and approvals for all public-facing materials.
  • Provides crisis communications counsel to the Executive Leadership Team and others as necessary and serves as the lead point of contact for public relations during crisis situations.
  • Evaluates trends and effectiveness of media relations, social media and marketing strategies through metrics and qualitative analysis.
  • Assesses the impact of Malala Fund’s communications work and makes recommendations for changes to systems, procedures and resources necessary for seamless execution of communications and digital department duties.

External Engagement

  • Represents Malala Fund in external events and engagements, serving as a public spokesperson for the organisation and telling the story of the Malala Fund.
  • Develops and cultivates strategic relationships with communications specialists from a variety of organisations, foundations and corporations to leverage Malala Fund’s brand awareness and collaboration.
  • Collaborates with the Development team to effectively position Malala Fund with foundations, corporations and individual donors and supporters; supporting the creation of timely and compelling donor-facing materials.
Strategic Leadership and Management
  • Leads the communications team with a vision for what’s possible — consistently assessing and improving the impact of communications with a forward-thinking orientation.
  • Works closely with the Executive Leadership Team in developing and delivering the strategic direction and management of Malala Fund.
  • Develops and leads the growth of national chapter communication strategies in coordination with the Programmes and Advocacy teams and Malala Fund grantees to ensure the national perspective is increasingly leading the messaging and framing of Malala Fund’s impact in focus countries.
  • Effectively manages staff, consultants and vendors within the communications and digital departments, encouraging creativity, inclusivity and high performance.
  • Accountable for effective planning and management of the department budget and the approval of department expenses.
  • Ensures adherence to Malala Fund policies by members of the Communications and Creative team.
Organisational Culture
  • Upholds the values of Malala Fund.
  • Actively contributes to making Malala Fund a diverse and equitable workplace through inclusive practice and openness to different perspectives, cultures and ideas.
  • Maintains behaviour and conduct that uphold the highest standards for safeguarding, professionally and personally.
  • Acts as a role model for a ‘learning organisation’ culture by seeking insight and using problems as opportunities to learn.

III. Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Essential Skills and Knowledge

  • Experience leading creative teams and setting strategic communications direction for major initiatives and projects
  • An understanding of the communications and media landscape, ability to bring fresh ideas and perspective to the team
  • Excellent communications, research and organisational skills
  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills, with a high capacity to lead collaborative projects across multiple countries and contexts and inform strategic plans for the future
  • Demonstrated success in pitching stories to journalists and non-US media outlets
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in the field of communications, marketing and/or public relations
  • Solid judgement and problem-solving skills with high attention to detail, accuracy and quality
  • Ability to prioritise and work across departments
  • Strong interpersonal skills: demonstrated relationship management experience and a high degree of diplomacy
  • Experience developing and overseeing departmental budgets and spending
  • A creative, open and innovative mind energetically searching for new solutions
  • Strong, self-directed work ethic
Desirable Skills and Knowledge
  • Experience working with and managing communications for high-profile individuals and/or principals
  • Networking skills — ability to develop and maintain build relationships with a network of journalists, communications consultants and media agencies

Essential Experience

  • Experience in communications, public relations and/or media, working with globally dispersed organisations and stakeholders
  • Experience developing communications or media strategies
  • Experience managing contractors, consultants and freelancers


  • Strong commitment to the Malala Fund’s mission to empower girls through education
  • Strong commitment to gender equality, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, decolonisation and social justice
  • Strong cultural competency, including a desire to cultivate skills and behaviours to effectively communicate with stakeholders and audiences with diverse interests, approaches and backgrounds
  • Strong commitment to professional development and continued learning
  • Excellent team player with ability to work independently and in collaboration with colleagues at all levels across departments and external stakeholders

IV. About Malala Fund

Registered as a public charity in the U.K. and U.S., Malala Fund is working toward a world where all girls can learn for 12 years and lead without fear. We advocate for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education. The girls we serve have high goals for themselves — and we have high expectations for leaders who can help them. We invest in developing country education leaders and frontline organizations — the people who best understand girls in their communities — in regions where most girls are missing out on secondary school. We amplify girls’ voices. Malala Fund is building a movement of young education activists who, like Malala, speak truth to power around the world.

V. How to Apply

Please submit your resume and responses to the below prompts through the application link by May 9, 2021.

Please note that due to the very high number of applications we receive when positions are posted, we are only able to respond directly to candidates with whom we wish to move forward in the interview process. Malala Fund’s deadline for internal applications is 10 days from a vacancy’s posting date. If an internal applicant is selected, this position will close prior to May 9 and external applicants will not be contacted.

Malala Fund is an inclusive organisation and welcomes applications from underrepresented and intersectional groups including BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and persons with disabilities. We are seeking people from different backgrounds, cultures, age, experience and identities, to provide a wide range of experience, ideas, views and insights into the strategy, policies, culture and ambitions of Malala Fund.