Communications Specialist

Communications Specialist

The Communications Specialist designs and manages two-way communications strategies for engaging stakeholders and disseminating work done within Northwestern’s research practice partnerships. These partnerships include the Northwestern-Evanston Education Research Alliance (NEERA), SESP’s Center for Education Efficacy, Excellence, and Equity (E4), and other collaborations with in- and out-of-school educational providers. The Communications Specialist will develop regular written and web communications, print collateral, and press materials. The position combines strategizing, storytelling, and meaningfully engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders including researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, Traditional communications dissemination will include working with print, online and social media communications. The specialist will work to determine how to communicate and disseminate usable knowledge produced by the research-practice partnerships which may include podcasting, use of social media, and other digital communication modes. This position will focus on listening to stakeholders’ needs as much as pushing information outward. It will be well-served by thinking creatively about authentically engaging with stakeholders.

The position offers the opportunity to ensure that research, practice, and policy work hand in hand to serve youth locally and nationally. These research-practice partnerships have collaborative and inclusive teams that include educators, practitioners, and leading education and social policy researchers.

Please note: This position will have a regular, weekly schedule; however, we anticipate the occasional need for flexibility around special events, including evenings and weekends.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Develop strategic plans for research-practice partnership communications, identifying audience segments, communicating goals and strategies, and determining the most effective vehicles and timing for engaging around and disseminating usable knowledge.
  • Develop best practices for audience engagement for research-practice partnership including the production of messages, vehicles, and communications timeline for diverse audiences. 
  • Provide information and artifacts that tell the stories of these research-practice partnerships and that communicate research findings.
  • Manage the production of print and web materials, including E4 and OCEP reports and practice briefs. This includes acting as editor; proposing and contributing content; and hiring and consulting writers, designers, and photographers.
  • Act as the primary liaison with SESP’s Director of Communication.
  • Serve as an advisor to SESP staff regarding messaging strategy and approach with a goal of creating and maintaining a cohesion among partnerships story for both offices.
  • Identify and deploy strategies for increasing E4 and OCEP’s social media presence with a goal of enhancing school’s reputation, recruitment efforts, and thought leadership. Track and report relevant metrics. 
  • Direct and support E4 and OCEP website redesigns and day-to-day management of content, in collaboration with the E4 Program Assistant.  Contribute and curate content, editing and updating for consistency and accuracy. 


  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a major such as journalism, communications, marketing or related; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.   
  • Experience working in nonprofit, education, and/or government environments.
  • A minimum of 5 years writing, editorial, publication or other relevant experience required.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Strong organizational skills.  Ability to manage multiple, complex tasks simultaneously and meet deadlines.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Project management skills.  Demonstrated ability to direct the work of others to assure an integrated, high quality final product.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.  Ability to manage the relationships and input from multiple constituents at varying levels of appointment.
  • Demonstrated ability to serve as primary author of a significant document.


For consideration, current employees must submit an online application. For specific questions about this position, current employees may contact Rachel Monasterio at External candidates should be directed to apply via Northwestern’s career site at

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