• 12-Oct-2018 to 04-Jan-2019 (EST)
  • External Affairs
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • $75-85k
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Our comprehensive benefits package includes optional medical, dental and vision insurance, 403(b) with company match, generous PTO + 13 paid holidays, and much more!

Position Name: Senior Manager/Associate Director, Thought Leadership

Department: External Affairs

Reports To:  Vice President, External Affairs

Classification: Exempt

Brief Summary of Position:

The Senior Manager/Associate Director, Thought Leadership leads our efforts to ensure KaBOOM! is known for the great work we do among key influencers and influencer organizations. The right candidate will embrace understanding the landscape of play and play infrastructure among mission-aligned organizations to explore possible partnerships and elevate the conversation around creating great places for kids to play across under-resourced neighborhoods, city systems (schools, housing, etc.) and communities.

This position will lead our thought partner relationships, with a specific focus on developing and growing those relationships; proactively positioning the expertise of KaBOOM! senior leaders; and serving as an internal expert on the issues that affect the communities we serve. Responsibilities include working with organizations and individuals to define the scope and scale of the shared value we can bring to each other; leveraging partnerships to increase internal and external visibility for KaBOOM!; working with other KaBOOM! teams to ensure high quality and timely support to the partnerships; developing and executing strategies to position our CEO and Senior Leadership team as experts externally; and acting as a relationship manager between our partners and KaBOOM! internal teams to ensure expectations of all are managed and understood. Strong communication (written and oral) and relationship development skills are required.

KaBOOM! is an EOE dedicated to workforce diversity - people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals are encouraged to apply. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

Partner Relationship Management

  • Develops and manages strategic relationships with mission-aligned organizations
  • Proactively builds strategic plans and identifies, evaluates, and pursues influencer engagement opportunities that drive organizational strategy and increase brand awareness
  • Develops thought-leadership communications strategy, positioning, planning, engagement, and content development for senior leadership.
  • Research key issues related to the KaBOOM! cause and outcomes of our work such as, neighborhood safety; racial equity; equitable city design and planning especially as it relates to planning for kids and families, etc.
  • Stay abreast of trends and developments, and proactively identify opportunities for collaboration with key partners
  • Counsels senior leadership in articulating their vision, strategy, and brand story in an effective way that engages with key audiences.
  • Develops executive speeches and inspiring, motivating and differentiating strategic message platforms, including positioning, crafting storylines, talking points and content.
  • Provide increased value to the partner by raising visibility of the partnership via appropriate communications channels (social media, etc.)
  • Conduct presentations, workshops, and trainings to highlight innovative play opportunities and showcase the work of KaBOOM! at national, regional and local conferences and meetings of local government officials
  • Promotes an environment of shared success and team-work, connecting and consulting with peers across
  • departments.
  • Actively contributes to our inclusive work environment by valuing other people regardless of differences and takes an active role in promoting practices that support diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree and 7+ years expertise in a related field (e.g. communications, public relations, public policy, urban/city planning, public health, education)
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills as well as interpersonal and relationship-building skills, with a focus on strong customer service
  • Strong business acumen, analytical ability, and outstanding written and oral communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize information and ideas to create plans that generate an engaging and positive reader/listener experience that promotes awareness of KaBOOM! and our work
  • Experience in successfully counseling senior executives on communications issues with a proven record of accomplishment in raising their visibility internally and externally
  • Excellent judgment as well as the right blend of professional confidence with a keen sense of diplomacy
  • Collaborative and team-oriented working style, combined with self-motivation and drive to get the job done with little supervision
  • Experience advocating on behalf of underserved communities when competing for extremely limited resources
  • Experience managing key relationships with strategic decision-makers and the ability to interact effectively with leaders at all levels, and across sectors
  • Possess an excellent customer service orientation and positive attitude
  • Passion for the mission of KaBOOM!

Other Skills, Abilities and Attributes

To ensure successful job performance, candidate must:

  • Possess the skills necessary to prioritize, multi-task and thrive in a culture of rapid change (learn quickly from multiple sources; possess well-developed analytical, planning, organization, and problem solving skills).
  • Model the behaviors that demonstrate commitment to KaBOOM! vision, mission, culture and values.
  • Be an effective team player who can argue like they're always right and listen like they're always wrong.
  • Possess a high level of self-confidence and be willing to challenge conventional wisdom and the status-quo
  • Possess the orientation and ability necessary to collaborate and work effectively as a member of a diverse, high-performing, and inclusive team.
  • Excitement for an environment that balances fun and professionalism

Essential Functions of Job:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential function of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

The employee must have the ability to maintain acceptable standards of office conduct and work cooperatively as an effective team member of a diverse workforce.  The employee typically sits or moves about to coordinate work along with using a computer and other office equipment.    

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential function of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This job description does not constitute an employee agreement between the employer and the employee; this description is subject to change by the employer as the needs and requirements of the job change.


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