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Director of Communications

Transgender Legal Defense & Educational Fund (TLDEF)

New York, New York

Founded in 2003, the Transgender Legal Defense & Educational Fund (TLDEF) is a national organization committed to advancing justice and equity for transgender people through impact litigation, direct legal services, advocacy, and public education. This year TLDEF has worked with a number of the nation’s largest insurers to successfully obtain removal of transgender health exclusions covering millions of members nationwide. We have brought Miami-Dade County to the negotiating table to end abuses against transgender detainees in their jail system, building on our 2020 success obtaining one of the nation’s strongest jail policies to protect transgender inmates in New York. We have also succeeded in improving court rules governing name changes in several states. And we’re just getting started. TLDEF is now engaged in a strategic planning process and brand refresh to sharpen its focus and guide its future development and growth.

The Opportunity

TLDEF is excited to kick off its search for a dynamic Director of Communications who is ready to play a leading role in shaping the national conversation about the legal and lived experiences of transgender and nonbinary people. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Communications will lead all aspects of communications to articulate TLDEF’s positions and analysis, advance strategic priorities, and further elevate the organization’s rising profile. This new role would suit candidates who possess a varied background in communications or related field who can bring bold ideas and the necessary skills and grit to make them a reality. As a member of TLDEF’s senior team, the Director of Communications should bring a leadership style grounded in principles of equity and inclusion.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Brand: Partner with the Executive Director and retained creative firm on executing TLDEF’s brand refresh. Develop an annual integrated communications plan that elevates the brand among current and prospective target audiences. Lead development of brand collateral (i.e., brochures, one-pagers, publications etc.) for program and development teams to leverage for engagement purposes. Ensure brand and narrative consistency both within and outside the organization. Work with external consultants (i.e., writers, graphic designers, photographers, video producers, etc.) to support content creation.
  • Narrative Change: Design and execute a communications strategy focused on engaging external audiences and framing and distributing legal and policy resources to advance thought leadership. Identify and partner with messengers who can deliver compelling messages. Conduct and/or review research and polling to inform strategy. Develop talking points, briefing materials, op-eds, email campaigns, and other materials.
  • Media Relations: Cultivate and steward active relationships with journalists, editors, producers, and influencers. Pitch timely stories and op-eds to media outlets; vet media opportunities; and serve as lead on media interactions. Produce press materials and media resources. Train and coach TLDEF staff, clients, and partners in preparation of earned media opportunities.
  • Digital: Oversee TLDEF’s website development including ongoing content creation. Design a comprehensive digital strategy to leverage the organization’s increasing social media presence, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Oversee execution of TLDEF’s Google AdWords grant valued at $500,000. Evaluate and refine digital engagement activities based off data analytics.
  • Leadership: As a member of TLDEF’s senior team, contribute to building a vibrant values-driven workplace culture. Effectively work cross-functionally both within the organization and outside among stakeholders, decision makers, funders/donors, and partners. Provide counsel and analysis to senior team members. Represent TLDEF at coalitions, meetings, and forums. It is also anticipated the Director of Communications will be responsible for building, leading, and mentoring a team as the organization continues to grow.

Additional Responsibilities

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, provide timely communications updates and analysis to TLDEF’s Board of Directors.
  • Other special projects or duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Strong belief in TLDEF’s mission and the people who are driving the work forward, including an intersectional commitment to social, racial, economic, disability, and gender justice.
  • At least seven years of relevant professional experience (i.e., agency, client-side, non-profit, journalism/media, etc.) in roles that demonstrate progressive responsibility.
  • Supervisory experience with a demonstrated commitment to mentorship and professional development of staff and interns.
  • Experience drafting and editing a variety of content, such as press releases, talking points, reports, scripts, website copy, email campaigns, social media, and other related materials.
  • Proven experience designing and leading communications campaigns or projects.
  • Experience cultivating media relationships, engaging stakeholders, and working with partners.
  • Exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal skills.
  • Editing and proofreading skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications especially Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Experience with collaborative tools, such as Asana, Slack, and Zoom.
  • Planning and organizational skills.
  • Proven project management skills, including the ability to work independently, strong attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Ability to travel and work outside normal office hours when necessary.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working at a law firm or legal advocacy organization.
  • Knowledge of emergent and current issues impacting transgender and nonbinary people.
  • A creative eye with a strong sense of aesthetic and design.
  • Experience with search engine optimization and data analytics.
  • Proficiency with PR and marketing tools, such as Cision, Constant Contact, Critical Mention, and IMDbPro among others.
  • Fluency or proficiency in Spanish or another language.

Personal Qualities

  • Strategic thinker. You’re a pro at planning with goals and objectives, outcomes, and deadlines. You know how to map out the landscape and identify all the players. You plan and come prepared with ideas, but also know how to keep your eyes on the “big picture.”
  • Complexity buster. You know how to cut through the noise. You enjoy being able to analyze complex information and pull out the key insights and findings. But you really pride yourself on developing a final product that is understandable and relatable.
  • Self-starter. You possess initiative. You proactively identify problems and recommend solutions. You also understand when and how to move independently or in collaboration with others to get the job done.
  • Extends grace to everyone. You approach the work with a great deal of humility. You approach stakeholders from all walks of life with dignity and respect ranging from legal clients, pro bono partners, activists, and supporters.
  • Evangelizer. You are passionate about mission-driven organizations. You naturally excel at finding ways to inspire and build positive relationships along the way.

Special Notes

Since last year, TLDEF’s office has remained closed and all work travel suspended. TLDEF employees currently work from home and only visit the office when necessary. The office is expected to re-open in the early Fall, but employees continue to temporarily work remote.

To ensure the health and safety of TLDEF employees and job applicants, the hiring process in its entirety will be conducted either by phone or video conference.


Salary range of $80,000 to $100,000, depending on experience. TLDEF offers a robust benefits package that includes 100% employer paid medical, vision, dental, and life insurance; employer contributions to 401(k) retirement plan; 15 paid holidays; generous paid time off; sick time; healthcare flex spending account; and pre-tax commuter benefits.

To Apply

Submit a compelling cover letter; resume or C.V.; and two relevant writing samples. Submissions without all required materials will not be considered. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with an anticipated start date for this position in either September or October. No phone calls or emails, please.

TLDEF is an equal opportunity employer. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, and intersex people; women; immigrants; people with disabilities, including those living with HIV; formerly incarcerated people; and people with lived experiences of poverty are strongly encouraged to apply.

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