We're Hiring! ILSR is Looking for a Communications Director

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national research and advocacy organization working to reverse corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic power and capacity of local communities. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration at the expense of local businesses, working people, and communities. It also shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable, sustainable, and democratic future. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We partner closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies.

ILSR is looking for an experienced communications professional to join our team as Communications Director. We’re looking for someone near one of our three home offices in Washington, D.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; or Portland, Maine but are open to candidates located remotely.


  • Develop and drive bold media strategies that garner earned media, advance ILSR’s policy goals, and highlight its expertise and thought-leadership, including pitching ILSR’s research and subject-matter experts to journalists and producers (30% of time)
  • Develop and execute the communications and media components of an organizational strategic plan, including identifying the best frame to communicate our mission, vision, and values (10%)
  • Harmonize ILSR’s written output (including reports, articles, podcasts, and newsletters) across its different initiatives, including by reviewing major written products and leveraging these products to advance ILSR’s broader message and brand (10%)
  • Manage a small communications team (10%)
  • Oversee ILSR’s web presence to maximize engagement with ILSR’s content (10%)
  • Develop and oversee execution of social media campaigns across all platforms, telling the story of ILSR’s work through engaging graphics, video, and other mediums (15%)
  • Collaborate with ILSR’s Development team on the Annual Report and occasional fundraising campaigns (5%)
  • Occasionally represent ILSR at meetings and events. (5%)
  • Administrative tasks (5%)
  • Some travel may be required


  • An exceptionally good writer and communicator with the ability to synthesize and convey complex ideas and policies in a clear and compelling way.
  • Deeply knowledgeable about the media landscape and skilled at building and managing relationships with journalists and producers.
  • A creative thinker and collaborative team member.
  • Scrupulously attentive to accuracy, detail, and nuance.
  • Strong social media skills and experience.
  • Passionate about the ILSR’s mission of countering corporate monopolies and building community power.
  • A skilled time manager with the ability to manage both long- and short-term deadlines, and the capacity to change focus based on organizational needs.


  • At least five years of experience in communications.
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Understanding and engagement with public policy and economic issues, the legislative process, and grassroots movements.
  • Experience using the software and tools our communications team relies on: Google Workspace, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Hootsuite, Canva, and WordPress.

This position is full-time, and can be done remotely or based in an ILSR office in Minneapolis, Minn.; Portland, Maine; or Washington, D.C. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The salary range for this position is $75,000 to $100,000 depending on skills, experience, and location. Position includes 100% employer-paid health plan (you pay no premiums); generous vacation, holiday, and parental leave; and a retirement plan with a matching contribution. We are a dynamic and friendly team dedicated to making the world a better place. ILSR takes professional growth seriously.

ILSR welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color), women, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, gender-nonconforming, veterans, and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply. 

If you’re excited about this position, but feel you don’t meet 100% of the requirements, please apply — it never hurts to try.

How to Apply: 

Please send a cover letter addressed to John Farrell and Stacy Mitchell, résumé, and two writing samples reflecting your original work to hiring@ilsr.org. The cover letter should be no longer than 400 words, and include mention of how you learned about the position. The writing samples should be no longer than 1,000 words each (excerpts of longer pieces are welcome). Please submit all of these materials as a single PDF. The subject line of the email should say “Application for Communications Director.” We will begin reviewing applications on January 24, 2022. Check ILSR’s website for updated information.

ILSR is an Equal Opportunity Employer

ILSR is committed to providing employees with a welcoming work environment free of discrimination and harassment. ILSR is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability.