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Director Of Communications

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF)

Washington, D.C.

Date Posted: 07/12/2019

Communications Director

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a vibrant, global, wildlife conservation organization based in Strasburg, Virginia seeks a dynamic and innovative individual to serve as Communications Director. Position can be remote.

About The International Rhino Foundation

The IRF is dedicated to ensuring the survival of rhinos through strategic partnerships, targeted protection, and scientifically sound interventions. Founded in response to intense poaching of Zimbabwe’s black rhinos in the early 1990s, IRF’s commitment helped to reduce the threat and stabilize the population. To this day, IRF-supported conservation programs in Zimbabwe have secured 90% of the country’s rhinos. In five countries across two continents, the IRF supports viable populations of the five remaining rhino species and the communities that coexist with them.

Throughout its 28-year history, IRF also has supported applied and basic rhino research. IRF is governed by a 15-person Board of Directors, who meet four times per year. IRF’s Annual budget is approximately $5.1 million and there are 12 professional employees. IRF carries out most of its work with trusted partners in range countries. IRF’s core values of integrity, collaboration, adaptability, sound decision-making, and commitment are at the heart of everything we do.

For more information on the International Rhino Foundation, please visit

Communications Director  

As a science-based wildlife conservation organization, IRF seeks to scale up communication about its impact conserving rhinos in Asia and Africa. The Communications Director will communicate to IRF’s existing constituency and expand its reach. S/he will possess the skills to develop and implement a communications strategy that will inspire others to further engage in a deeply worthwhile mission. The Communications Director will work with the entire IRF team, including the Communications Committee, providing critical oversight of IRF’s communications program.

The ideal candidate is a results-oriented, entrepreneurial individual who is comfortable with both new and traditional media, and who will thrive in a hands-on, fast-paced, and creative global enterprise. The candidate must be able to travel occasionally to field sites in Asia and Africa as well as within the United States. For remote employees, additional regular trips to the headquarters are also required.

The broad objectives for the Communications Director are to:

  • Expand the reach, influence, impact, and public recognition of IRF as a trusted science-based conservation organization
  • Provide thought leadership within the organization on the communications and media strategies
  • Grow and foster supporters via results-driven communications strategies

Specific goals include:

  • Create and implement IRF’s communications and media strategies, both traditional and digital
  • Develop relationships with key journalists and media outlets; respond to and coordinate incoming PR and media requests; draft press releases and pitch articles/interviews to media outlets
  • Develop general and issue-specific awareness campaigns in partnership with other organizations
  • Oversee and maintain IRF’s brand identity
  • Develop/oversee IRF’s social media strategy, including creating content, social listening, and analysis
  • Create content for all outward communications, including annual report, brochure, case studies, factsheets, posters, etc. Includes copywriting, designing graphics and print publications, and video editing
  • Work with other IRF staff to develop position statements and talking points on important issues
  • Manage IRF’s website, including creating and updating content and working with developers on updates and installations
  • Work with Development team to develop and manage annual online marketing and fundraising strategies, as well as specific campaign strategies, and related communications, including email appeals, advertisements, and promotions
  • Conduct media and communications training for IRF staff and partners
  • Manage and maintain IRF’s visual library using a Digital Asset Management software
  • Provide multimedia support for the organization such as photography, videography, and video editing

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

Professional Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing or a closely related field required; equivalent combination of education and experience also considered 8-10+ years’ experience in communications and public relations required, including at least 5 years working in national or international environments
  • Clearly demonstrated capacity for high-level strategic planning and campaign development to shape events and issues through proactive messaging and outreach
  • Experience running website and email marketing analyses as well as working with social media listening tools
  • Demonstrated experience working with social media advertising platforms as well as social media monitoring and management tools

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionate commitment to the values and mission of IRF
  • Highest level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards; strong work ethic
  • Commitment to teamwork and partnership development
  • Willingness and ability to work with a broad range of people, cultures, and disciplines
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Ability to think strategically, tactically, and creatively
  • Creative, articulate, and diplomatic, with a healthy sense of humor


Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience and skills.

 How to Apply:

Interested candidates should email a cover letter explaining how their skills and background fit this position, three writing samples, and a curriculum vitae to Refer to IRF/Communications in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The International Rhino Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

All correspondence will remain confidential.

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