Director of Communications

Full Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks a Director of Communications to develop, integrate, and implement a broad range of public relations activities to advance the strategic direction and positioning of the organization, its leadership, and its research.

The Director is responsible for communications strategy and activities including traditional media and public relations; event management and promotion; website and multimedia engagement, including video production and promotion; digital media outreach, including podcast creation and promotion; paid media and marketing; congressional engagement; impact analysis and market research. The position is also responsible for the management and professional development of three full-time staff members. The Director reports to CNAS’ Chief Executive Officer and collaborates closely with the executive leadership team.


Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications and marketing plan to advance CNAS’ brand identity; broaden awareness of CNAS programs, projects, and initiatives; and increase the visibility of CNAS’ programs’ products and experts across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Create comprehensive communications plans in support of research projects that include the full array of public affairs activities, including traditional media, digital media, events – both public and private – congressional engagement, and donor communications.
  • Work closely with the Development team to create strategies and marketing materials designed to promote CNAS partnerships and individual giving.
  • Mentor and develop communications staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Develop departmental budgets and ensure expenses remain consistent with planned costs.

Media Relations
Working closely with CNAS’ Media Relations Coordinator:

  • Develop and sustain relationships with journalists, producers, and op-ed editors.
  • Oversee the production and distribution of press releases, press notes, and media advisories for CNAS reports, announcements, and reaction to major news events.
  • Help publish op-eds written by CNAS experts.
  • Act as the organization’s primary spokesperson to the news media and lead press conferences with CNAS research experts.
  • Provide and arrange for media training for CNAS experts and staff.

Digital Media Engagement
Working closely with CNAS’ Digital Communication Specialist:

  • Develop and execute a digital media strategy for CNAS content and the CNAS brand to increase organizational relevance to existing audiences and visibility with new audiences.
  • Develop strategies for promoting new media, including video, podcasts, and graphics to communicate research products.
  • Direct and oversee advertising efforts.
  • Drive social media strategies that are proven through testing and metrics; use analytics to identify trends, assess data, and enhance content performance and traffic.
  • Provide oversight of, and direction for, CNAS website content and contractual relationships with website and email marketing vendors.
  • Work closely with the Center's Development and Publication teams to project a consistent organizational brand and drive potential leads with prospective partners.

Event Activities, Congressional Engagement, and other External Partnerships
Working closely with CNAS’ Events Manager:

  • Oversee the execution of CNAS events; lead the efforts for key public events including the organization’s annual national security conference and defense forum.
  • Serve as a primary point of contact for key external partners, including CNAS’ media partnership with the Washington Post.
  • Actively promote opportunities for CNAS experts to testify and brief Congressional committees and staff.
  • Create and implement a Congressional engagement plan with relevant Hill committees and offices, promoting selected publications, events, trip reports, and issue briefings.


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, or related field.
  • A minimum of five years of communications-related experience.
  • Knowledge of the national security, defense, and foreign policy community is preferred but not required.
  • Exceptional written, oral and interpersonal skills, creativity and enthusiasm.
  • Extensive successful writing and editing experience.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in developing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance the goals of a mission-driven organization.
  • An understanding of the news cycle and what is newsworthy. Must possess a sophisticated working knowledge of news media personalities and news outlets.
  • Familiarity with congressional relations is preferred but not required.
  • Results-oriented work ethic, with demonstrated ability to engage in collaborative problem-solving.
  • Flexibility in schedule to work occasional evening events and weekends in accordance with the news cycle or major organizational events.
  • Experience managing professionals with diverse portfolios.

About CNAS

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) develops bold, innovative, and bipartisan national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. Building on the deep expertise and broad experience of its staff and advisors, CNAS engages policymakers, experts and the public with innovative fact-based research, ideas and analysis to shape and elevate the national security debate. As an independent and bipartisan research institution, CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow. CNAS is located in Washington, D.C.

To Apply

CNAS accepts online applications only. Apply online using this link:

Your complete application must include a cover letter explaining why you are interested in and qualified for this job and a resume or CV.

Candidates are chosen based on merit in an open, competitive process. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or national origin.