Senior Director of Communications (hybrid) - Research!America #2023-2804

Location US-VA-Arlington
Job ID


Senior Director of Communications (hybrid)

As health threats challenge our nation and our world, Research!America fights for a stronger and healthier future, advocating for increased funding and a policy environment that supports innovation in medical and health research that leads to life-saving advances in treatments, cures, and prevention. We are the nation’s leading non-profit medical and health research alliance. We are seeking a Senior Director of Communications with exceptional writing skills, media relations and outreach expertise, and experience managing an accomplished team to inspire action among our members and those in the broader advocacy and research communities.


Reporting to and working closely with the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Public Engagement, you will plan, develop, manage, and implement communications and media strategies aligned with our advocacy and programmatic goals. You will manage 2 full-time direct reports and 1 intern and oversee the day-to-day operations of the communications function while working with staff across the organization to drive advocacy for medical and health research funding and policy issues. You will also oversee the marketing of our programs to members and the broader research community. A solid understanding of the legislative process and the ability to communicate advocacy priorities and programmatic opportunities to targeted audiences will be central to your success.


How You’ll Make an Impact

  • Writing and editing. Collaborate with communications and policy staff to craft and polish the full range of communications, from op-eds to social media. With a deep understanding of the landscape in which we operate, you’ll help our alliance members and broader audiences make sense of what’s happening in medical and health research funding and policy while ensuring strong brand recognition of Research!America and its mission.
  • Media and stakeholder relations. Proactively develop and maintain productive relationships with media and communications leaders in key federal agencies (NIH, CDC, FDA, AHRQ, etc.), current and potential alliance members/partners, and other thought leaders relevant to Research!America’s communications agenda and needs.
  • Team leadership. Lead our talented Communications team to achieve the greatest impact. Leverage their expertise and ideas to energize performance, nurture their professional growth, and meet and exceed objectives while supporting our highly collaborative culture.


Work Environment, Salary, and Benefits 

  • You’ll enjoy a flexible hybrid schedule, with at least one in-office day weekly to collaborate with your team at our Washington, DC, metro area headquarters.
  • The budgeted salary range for this position is $125K - $135K with an outstanding benefits package including medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; long- and short-term disability insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan (after one year of service); and parking or Metro benefits.
  • You’ll join a warm, welcoming, and active team that is passionate about making an impact on issues critical to the health of our nation and society. We value innovation, flexibility, and adaptability in working together and in our outward-facing roles.



  • Develop and implement communications strategies and opportunities related to Research!America's role as a policy and advocacy thought leader. Set an annual plan with goals and targets.
  • Work with Communications team members to ensure high-quality member communications and assist with drafting content for potential funders.
  • Provide high-quality writing, supervision, and editorial management for Research!America communications. This includes press statements, opinion pieces, letters to the editor, member-facing communications, remarks for Board members and other participants in Research!America programs, and other materials. Ensure written communications are clear, compelling, and accurate.
  • Work closely with the Research!America executive team, leadership at member organizations, federal agencies, Congressional offices, The White House, and other entities on communications priorities and deliverables.
  • Build relationships and recruit high-profile media outlets and personalities to participate in Research!America programs and major events.
  • Plan and oversee the execution of proactive media relations strategies; provide message development and assist leadership team members in preparing for interviews and other media engagements. Act as spokesperson when fitting. Develop and help implement outreach strategies for leadership staff speaking engagements.
  • Oversee the execution of all reports and publications, including the Annual Report and Annual Poll Data Summary.
  • Oversee the continued enhancement of Research!America’s website.
  • Oversee survey work and ensure visibility for high-level takeaways, particularly as they apply to media outreach and policy work.
  • Supervise and assist in effectively using social media and digital outreach in coordination with Communications team members.



  • A bachelor’s degree is required (master’s preferred) in journalism/communications, public policy, health policy, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 10 years of increasing responsibility as a communications professional. Experience in a senior communications role in a Congressional or Executive branch agency or health/research/science advocacy policy setting is preferred.
  • Strong team orientation with no less than five years or more of supervisory experience
  • Superlative writing abilities and copy-editing skills. Familiarity with AP Style and industry-specific style guides.
  • Proven ability to work in a fast-paced team environment and maintain a collegial attitude while managing deadlines and competing priorities.


About Us

Research!America is a non-profit medical and health research advocacy alliance that advocates for science, discovery, and innovation to achieve better health for all. Together with our member organizations representing a vast array of medical, health, and scientific fields, our goals are: (1) Achieve funding for medical and health research from the public and private sectors at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. (2) Better inform the public of the benefits of medical and health research and the institutions that perform research. (3) Motivate the public to actively support medical and health research and the complementary sciences that make advances possible. (4) Promote and empower a more active public and political life by individual members of the research community on behalf of medical and health research, public health, and science overall.


To Apply

We encourage you to apply even if your experience is not a 100% match with the position description; we will consider people from a variety of backgrounds and career experiences.


Use the "Apply" button on this page or simply email your resume to Aileen Hedden at with “Research!America – Sr Director of Communications #2023-2804 SA” as the subject of the email.


Please note: The budgeted salary range for this position is $125K - $135K


Job responsibilities are similar to the following positions: Director of Communications, Director of Communications and Marketing, National Advocacy Communications Director, Associate Director of Communications.


Staffing Advisors is committed to reducing bias in every aspect of the hiring process. We have long recommended a competency-driven approach to hiring. 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, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.


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