The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in the basic sciences and mathematics. We are a large philanthropy with big goals. The foundation is seeking candidates for the newly-created position, Director of Digital Communications. This person will be tasked with bringing strategic oversight to the foundation’s entire digital and online presence, including, but not limited to, all social media and our main web site, simonsfoundation.org.
The Simons Foundation is at an inflection point in its work and outlook. While our core work of both grantmaking and research in basic science remains central, under a new president we have just re-branded and seek to raise our local and national profile as a vibrant, ambitious institution very much in the mix.
The Director of Digital Communications will oversee a comprehensive review of our various online channels, formulate a cohesive strategy, and lead the implementation of that strategy. This is likely to include a relaunch of our main web site simonsfoundation.org to include any necessary changes to editorial workflows, technical tools and platforms, UX, content strategy, and design. The Director is expected to have a keen sense of how to leverage different communication channels to best effect.
They will also be responsible for ensuring our digital presence functions properly on a day-to-day basis and meets the needs of foundation leadership and stakeholders. The Director of Digital Communications will lead efforts to develop fresh digital content offerings that are both accurate and appropriate for our varied, discerning and generally very highly educated audiences, across multiple channels. It is expected that the successful candidate possesses deep domain expertise, be very familiar with the evolving online landscape and have the ability to develop and hone digital offerings pursuant to an overall organizational strategy.
The Director will show leadership in working with program leaders, balancing individual demands with the foundation’s new focus on creating a holistic, unified brand, message and approach to communications. This position is an excellent opportunity for an accomplished, experienced individual to sculpt and grow significant online offerings aimed at both scientists and the public.
This position reports to the Vice President, Communications and does not involve the production of journalistic work for Quanta Magazine or Spectrum, two editorially independent journalistic sites under the Simons Foundation umbrella.
This is a full-time position based at the Simons Foundation’s New York City office.
- Lead digital strategy under the guidance of the VP of Communications. Provide a vision for our digital presence, secure stakeholder buy-in for these plans, and drive execution.
- Supervise a team of three web producers, at least one senior writer and another communications team member.
- Partner closely with our in-house technical team comprised of full stack developers, UX/UI specialists, and project managers. Guide and prioritize site improvements and fixes, coordinate requests from program leaders and oversee the implementation of those requests.
- Work with and/or oversee the work of external agencies and consultants where needed.
- Create and enforce operational processes: a robust editorial calendar, production workflow, analytics reporting, etc.
- Oversee all functional aspects of digital operations including analytics reporting, SEO, content management, etc. Manage the day-to-day launch and maintenance of web, newsletter, and social media content.
- Top-edit all articles/content produced for digital channels, ensuring consistency of brand, voice, style and quality;
- Build and maintain trusting internal and external strategic relationships.
- Oversee vendor relationships related to the site, including writers, copy editors, designers and developers, and manage the annual budget for digital communications activities.
- Take responsibility for the quality of online user experience, including but not limited to site design, accessibility, art selection and overall quality of all content.
- Stay abreast of trends and technology in the online space, as well as trends in math/science publishing.
- Perform any other duties or tasks as assigned or required.
An undergraduate degree is a minimum; graduate school is preferred. Some advanced education in mathematics or science will be helpful in this role, but is not required.
- A substantial online background is a must, with command of online media best practices.
- While a background in science media may be helpful, we encourage interested and qualified parties looking to help the scientific endeavor to apply.
- Must have 7 years of experience in leading strategic roles within the digital communications industry
- Must have managerial experience, including managing small teams of in-house and outsourced resources
- It is expected that the successful candidate will have led at least one major website relaunch.
Related Skills & Other Requirements
- Must have the experience, gravitas and authority to establish credibility with top foundation leaders, to develop program and corporate mission-related initiatives, as well as to broker agreements among stakeholders when necessary. Must be able to work collaboratively with editorial, technical and leadership teams.
- Must be very well organized, flexible, able to multitask and able to field simultaneous requests from various quarters, with rigorous attention to clear and timely communication with stakeholders.
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills required, demonstrating command of the highest standards of written and spoken English.
REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS
Please submit a résumé and cover letter stating your interest in the position.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The full-time annual compensation range for this position is $170,000 - $215,000, depending on experience.
In addition to competitive salaries, the Simons Foundation provides employees with an outstanding benefits package.
THE SIMONS FOUNDATION’S DIVERSITY COMMITMENT
Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences, and we are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment. The Simons Foundation actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. We provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status, or any other protected category under federal, state and local law.