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 of Communications 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 of Communications reports to CNAS’s Executive Vice President and collaborates closely with the executive leadership team.


Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications and marketing plan to advance the Center’s brand identity; broaden awareness of CNAS programs, projects, and initiatives; and increase the visibility of CNAS experts and research products among 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 to promote CNAS fundraising activities.
  • 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 the Communications Officer:

  • Develop and sustain relationships with journalists, producers, and editors.
  • Oversee the production and distribution of press releases, press notes, and media advisories for CNAS reports, announcements, and reactions 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 the Digital Communication Officer:

  • 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 CNAS research.
  • 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, Publication, and Design 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 the Events Manager and Communications Officer:

  • Oversee the execution of CNAS events. Lead the efforts for key public events including the Center’s annual national security conference.
  • Serve as a primary point of contact for key external partners, including media partners for events.
  • Actively promote opportunities for CNAS experts to testify and brief congressional committees and staff.
  • Create and implement congressional engagement plans with relevant committees and offices, promoting selected publications, events, trip reports, and issue briefings.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership developing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance the goals of a mission-driven organization.
  • Knowledge of the national security, defense, and foreign policy community.
  • Exceptional written, oral and interpersonal skills, creativity and enthusiasm.
  • Extensive successful writing and editing experience.
  • An understanding of the news cycle and what is newsworthy. Must possess a sophisticated working knowledge of news media personalities and news outlets.
  • 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.
  • Legal right to work in the United States.

Especially competitive applicants will have

  • Strong pre-existing relationships with the press (particularly tier 1 outlets).
  • Familiarity with congressional relations.
  • Experience with SEO and paid promotion strategies.
  • Experience managing small, flexible teams of professionals with diverse portfolios.


The Center for a New American Security 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 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization, CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow. CNAS is located in Washington, D.C.

CNAS is committed to creating a diverse 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, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

CNAS abides by all Federal and District of Columbia employment laws.


CNAS is accepting online applications only. Apply online using this link:

A complete application will include a cover letter explaining the candidate’s interest in and qualifications for the position, together with a résumé or CV. Additional application materials and professional references may be requested.