Communications Officer for Human Rights Storytelling

New York, NY

About American Jewish World Service

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to fight poverty and pursue justice in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger, to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all.

Job Description

AJWS is seeking a talented writer and editor with experience in communicating about international development and global human rights, with a background in strategic communications, journalism or fundraising communications.

The Officer will serve as a lead writer of stories, articles, blogs and other content for print publications, AJWS’s website and its social media presence. These stories will feature the human rights advocacy of AJWS’s more than 450 grantees in 19 developing countries, and they will raise awareness about the pressing human rights issues addressed by AJWS and its grantees and communicate the impact of their work.

To gather and shape these stories, the Communications Officer will both travel globally and work closely with AJWS’s program colleagues and our grantees who visit the United States. On story gathering trips to developing countries (1-3 trips per year), the Officer will work as part of a team that includes a documentary photographer and/or videographer and AJWS’s programs staff who are experts on that country. When working in the AJWS office in New York, the Officer will gather additional stories from AJWS staff, board members and visiting grantees, generating a pipeline of content that will serve as the basis of AJWS’s communications, marketing and fundraising messaging across formats and channels.

To succeed, the Communications Officer must understand human rights and international development and have a strong familiarity with one or more of the following issues: sexual health and rights, civil and political rights, natural resource rights, and disaster and humanitarian response. The Officer must be adept at translating technical human rights language into engaging, clear and concise copy that will motivate our supporters to learn about AJWS’s work and that of its grantees, donate to AJWS, and take action on human rights issues through advocacy.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Generate a pipeline of compellingly written content for AJWS’s website, print publications and social media—including newsworthy articles, profiles and blog posts about AJWS’s grantees and the countries in which they work.
  • Craft tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts to promote this content, working closely with AJWS’s Social Media Manager, who is responsible for shaping AJWS’s profile on social media.
  • Travel to the countries where AJWS works (approx. 1-3 times per year) to participate in story gathering, photo and video shoots, working closely with international staff and a freelance documentary photographer and/or videographer. During these trips, the Communications Officer will interview AJWS grantees and their beneficiaries and shoot iPhone video for social media clips.
  • Following the trips, the Officer will write blogs, use digital storytelling platforms like Animoto to create compelling narratives for the website and social media, and advise video editors on developing accurate, compelling narratives from the footage.
  • Conceive, write and edit publications for AJWS’s donors and supporters.
  • Serve as the key content liaison with AJWS’s international programs division and work closely with AJWS’s country and issue experts to solicit a regular stream of information about AJWS’s grantees’ achievements, ensuring that AJWS’s work is portrayed accurately and clearly.
  • Manage AJWS’s searchable, digital story bank and other content.
  • Oversee the implementation and management of the new story bank platform.
  • Manage interns, support staff, or new employees hired to assist with the implementation of the new story bank platform.
  • Edit research or policy papers on human rights topics produced by AJWS’s programs and research division along with AJWS grantees. Edit other content written by staff throughout the organization to ensure quality and consistency with AJWS’s editorial style guide.

Qualifications

  • 6+ years of experience as a writer, editor and communications professional, two of which must have been in the human rights, international development or social justice sectors.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree a plus.
  • Engaging writing style and talent for transforming complex ideas and technical language into clear, motivational prose; meticulous copy-editing skills.
  • Prior experience with international travel in developing countries, the ability to navigate travel and living conditions in developing countries—sometimes on short notice—and the capacity to work amicably and with culturally sensitivity with community members, photographers and videographers while documenting AJWS’s human rights work in the field.
  • Superlative interviewing and reporting skills and an understanding of visual storytelling, including photography and video.
  • Experience managing complex projects from start to finish, working collaboratively and ensuring timely delivery.
  • Responsiveness to edits and feedback from senior staff and the flexibility to adapt personal style to an institutional “voice.”
  • Ability to incorporate feedback from multiple reviewers while maintaining the integrity and fluidity of a text.
  • Experience applying AP or other style guides, and the ability to learn and implement an organizational style consistently.
  • The ability to learn and implement a simple data management system.
  • Prior management experience preferred.
  • Familiarity with AJWS’s largely Jewish audience committed to social justice (useful, but not required).

Additional Considerations:

People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply:

For immediate consideration, apply below.

Applications submitted without a resume and personalized cover letter will not be considered.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.