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Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs


The mission of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation. PHAB is the accrediting body for Tribal, state, local, and territorial governmental public health departments in the U.S. Accreditation provides a means for a public health department to identify performance improvement opportunities, to improve management, develop leadership, and improve relationships with members of the community. PHAB is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (IDEA) and is on an ongoing journey to build an inclusive and welcoming organization.

Position Summary: 

The VP, Communications and Public Affairs is responsible for leading the development, planning, and execution of PHAB’s strategic communications and public affairs efforts to extend the reach, influence, and impact of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) on the state, Tribal, territorial, local and U.S. Army health departments that it accredits.

The VP, Communications and Public Affairs is a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) of PHAB. This executive leadership position has a high degree of independent decision making, strategic thinking, communications and advocacy program/initiative/campaign development, planning, and execution. The VP has responsibility for promoting PHAB’s healthy and aligned organizational culture, its commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism (IDEA) , and working across the organization to achieve PHAB’s strategic priorities and objectives as reflected in the PHAB Strategic Plan. This position has a high degree of independent decision making, strategic thinking, program planning, and program development, with general direction from leadership. This position reports to the Chief Operating Officer and coordinates and collaborates with leadership and staff across PHAB assuring the strategic and operational objectives are met.

Position Responsibilities: 

• Provides leadership to, and management of, the development, planning, and execution of PHAB’s strategic communications efforts

o Working closely with PHAB leadership and the Communications and Public Affairs staff and contractors to develop and implement strategic communications with audiences, goals, tactics, and metrics to enable PHAB to build on its past progress and expand its reach and influence. 

o Oversee the generation of content, from conceptualization through implementation, for communications activities reaching a wide variety of audiences.  Assure a collaborative process with program and education management and staff to develop and implement communications plans for key initiatives.

o Oversee communications and public affairs staff work with PHAB funding and national partners and accredited health departments, to assure coordination and dissemination of information and communications products regarding public health accreditation and public health systems transformation. This will include leading regular communications calls with partners, working directly with subject matter experts and governmental relations professionals, and managing the review process for all PHAB-published materials.

o Oversee the writing, editing, and proofreading of print and digital content including website content, blog posts, issue briefs, program overviews, case studies, and media materials, such as press statements and supporting documentation. Lead the development of the annual report and other PHAB publications.

o Lead content strategy and engagement planning for PHAB's social media channels. Assure the development and implementation of an editorial calendar, oversee the posting and updating of content on the website, and track and report on web and social analytics.

o Assure development and implementation of media goals and targets for proactive outreach (announcements, reports, promoting the leadership of accredited health departments, etc.) and reactive activities (responding to reporter inquiries, emerging issues, legislative developments, etc.). Cultivate relationships with media to help position PHAB as a go-to resource. Facilitate and garner earned media, including targeted media lists, story angles, op-eds, blog posts, and supporting media materials.

o Assure oversight of the work with designers to create graphics for print, web, and social media. Oversee PHAB's branding guidelines (logo, colors, fonts, etc.).

• Provides leadership to, and management of, the development, planning, and execution of PHAB’s strategic public and governmental affairs efforts

o Work directly with the CEO, the ELT and Management Team, consultants, and Communications and Public Affairs staff in development, planning, and implementation of government relations initiatives to effectively communicate the value of public health accreditation to elected and appointed policymakers for implementation at the federal, state, local, Tribal, territorial, and international levels;

o Represent PHAB in formal and informal coalition efforts re: public health policy and legislative advocacy;

o In collaboration with PHAB leadership, develop, plan, and implement state-level initiatives to foster public health systems transformation and incentivize PHAB recognition and accreditation programs within states. Oversee communications and public affairs staff in the effective promotion of these plans, including, as appropriate and needed, building coalitions to effect state legislative and regulatory changes to implement public health systems transformation;

o Assures that an IDEA lens is actively applied to internal and external work of the Unit; 

o Leads related strategic plan objectives and priorities and develops data reports and dashboards for the strategic plan. 

• Contributes to the development of new products

o Work closely with the ELT, and in coordination with other internal and external stakeholders, to develop new PHAB products and services; 

o Develop communications and market analysis efforts for new products to gauge interest and support roll-out as needed;

o Lead efforts to market and promote new PHAB products and services, including identifying potential public and private funding sources, developing marketing and outreach plans to secure new customers, and coaching and supervising staff to assure that marketing and sales targets are reached or exceeded;

o Develops and implements communications tools and campaigns to support the continued development and continued improvement of new products and services.

• Participates in and supports leadership, administrative and programmatic activities of the organization

o Active participant and leader in the ELT and Management teams of PHAB building an aligned and healthy organizational culture

o Participate in the organization’s strategic planning and takes lead responsibility on key strategic priorities;

o Serves as product owner for PHAB’s Customer Relationship Management technology;

o Provide Communications and public affairs reports, presentations, and webinars to the Board of Directors;

o Provide or contribute to PHAB webinars and presentations concerning PHAB’s programs, services, activities, and accomplishments.

o Work with the ELT in developing a Communications and Public Affairs budget to measure the effectiveness and investment in the different campaigns developed to achieve the stated activities and goals defined throughout this position description. 

Knowledge and Skills required:

• Advanced degree (Master’s or Doctorate) in communications, public policy, or related field is required;

• 7 to 10 years of progressively responsible experience in communications, public affairs, and/or government relations in non-profit or governmental sectors with a minimum of 2 years’ experience in an executive leadership role. Strong preference for candidates with both communications and government relations knowledge and experience, with preference that this experience has been in public health, social services, health care or related fields.

• Additionally, 3 to 5 years’ staff-level experience in communications, marketing, public affairs, or government relations in public health, social services, health care or related fields.

• Expertise in public health or public sector.

• Two or more years of experience in successfully managing complex, multi-faceted, mission-critical projects in a non-profit and/or governmental organization;

• Demonstrated ability to identify and effectively address performance-limiting issues affecting both individuals and teams;

• Demonstrated track record of building teams that are diverse and inclusive, with high levels of authentic staff engagement;

• Demonstrated ability to identify new or emerging organizational communications needs and to develop and/or adapt programs or initiatives to address them, going from concept to implementation;

• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with external partners and/or stakeholders to develop common approaches to address complex issues in communications and public affairs;

• Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a management team within an organization;

• Demonstrated ability to work effectively with members of an organization’s Board of Directors in a sustained manner, supporting the work of either a Board Committee or an initiative;

• Excellent written and verbal communications skills as demonstrated by clear record of accomplishment in staffing and directing communications, marketing, public affairs, and government relations comprehensive campaigns and initiatives, making ad hoc and planned professional education and advocacy presentations to a wide variety of audiences;

• Demonstrated track record of adaptive leadership, innovation, creativity, flexibility, collaboration, strategic thinking, implementation of strategy through collaboration in teams and across teams, valuing inclusion, diversity, and anti-racism, and depth of relevant subject matter expertise.

• Demonstrated ability to develop and execute program and departmental budgets, assuring that expenses are in line with revenue;

• Demonstrated ability to plan and implement evaluations of communication and/or advocacy campaigns’ effectiveness.

• Proficient in Microsoft Office 365.

Role Impact: 

The VP Communications and Public Affairs leads a mission-critical unit of PHAB under the general direction of the President and the CEO. The incumbent contributes to strategy and business development, mentoring and development of staff, and focuses on implementation of strategy, initiatives, and programs in area with significant responsibility for work across units and teams.  The Vice President is responsible for contributing substantively to raising the national visibility of PHAB’s role and contributions to advancing public health practice and improving public health systems amongst key audiences including elected and appointed policymakers at all levels of government.

DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed. 

PHAB is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (IDEA) and is engaged in intentional efforts to advance IDEA as an organization. We are committed to creating inclusive and equitable spaces that reflect our values and culture as an organization and to ensure our employees have the most positive experience as a part of PHAB.

HYBRID EMPLOYER ENVIRONMENT: The Public Health Accreditation Board’s staff currently work in a hybrid office environment. At the time of hiring, staff members are asked to elect if they will primarily 

work from an office in their home or in the headquarters office (currently in Alexandria, VA.) If they elect to work from a home office, they must agree to maintain a professional working environment with a dedicated workspace, including high-speed internet access. All staff are required to participate in in-person staff meetings that occur currently on a semi-annual basis for up to five consecutive days. These in-person staff meetings may be increased to a quarterly basis, as determined by management. Travel and related expenses for these meetings will be paid for by the employer.

VACCINATION: PHAB recommends but does not require its staff, volunteers, interns, fellows, assignees, and meeting attendees be up to date with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination series, including boosters. Other risk-mitigation measures, such as wearing masks in our offices or in meeting settings are also optional.

EEO STATEMENT: PHAB is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities. 

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