Job Opportunity

Senior Director of Strategic Communications

Organization Overview

A global pandemic and stubborn health disparities across our communities have recently highlighted the essential nature of integrative health, and the ways in which the field explores and explains how multiple factors come together to affect the wellness of people and communities. As a recognized, research-driven force in this field, the Institute for Integrative Health (Institute) is poised to expand its leadership, increase its voice, and advance knowledge and new approaches to health and wellbeing. A key step for the Institute is to bring on board a Senior Director of Strategic Communications to develop and implement a comprehensive communication strategy at this exciting and important juncture. This person will lead the effort to expand the Institute’s profile and impact. 

The Senior Director of Strategic Communications, a newly created position, will report directly to the Executive Director, serving as a vital partner to Institute leaders. This role will be responsible both for positioning the Institute to engage a new generation of scientists and clinicians and for effectively placing research findings and best practices before policymakers, advocates, healthcare institutions, practitioners, and the general public. The Senior Director will also lead the design and development of an innovative online hub for the exchange and critique of ideas, clinical findings, and early stage research, establishing a unique resource for the field.

A non-profit based in Baltimore, the Institute was founded in 2007 by Dr. Brian Berman, then-director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine, to provide an environment for innovative thinking and action that contributes to an “epidemic of health” and improves the well-being of individuals and communities. Valuing the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, the Institute pursues bold ideas that challenge the status quo and uses cutting-edge methods to understand the processes that affect well-being. Moving away from a singular focus on disease, the Institute recognizes that health, wellness, and healing are determined by a complex network of factors—including genetic, environmental, behavioral, social and economic, spiritual, and psychological, as well as alternative and conventional interventions. By supporting and publicizing research and clinical findings on the connections among these factors, the Institute seeks to highlight the changes in policy and practice that a range of systems must make for individuals to be as healthy as possible.

To push the boundaries of the integrative health field, the Institute’s flagship Scholars and Fellows Program supports rigorous, creative research through a network of accomplished and emerging visionaries.  Meetings and publications disseminate research findings, spark important insights and innovation, and encourage multidisciplinary collaboration.  Pilot projects are designed to share evidence-based practices with a range of groups—including clinicians, youth, veterans, vulnerable community members, and medical students.  The online hub will aim to provide another platform for catalyzing ideas, research, and new practices and policies and for significantly enlarging the community that recognizes and acts upon the many factors that determine health, healing, and wellness.

Job Profile

The Senior Director of Strategic Communications is responsible for all aspects of communications and marketing for the Institute, including publications, public relations, online and social media channels, and special events. The Senior Director also oversees communications related to the Institute’s Scholars and Fellows Program.  The Senior Director works in close partnership with the Institute’s leaders to develop strategies and activities that promote the organization’s impact, while increasing understanding of and support for an integrative health approach to wellness and healing among researchers, clinicians, policymakers, advocates, and the public.

As part of this work, the Senior Director will take the lead in a major new Institute initiative – developing an online hub for the exchange and discussion of emerging ideas about integrative health, early stage research, and other information to engage various audiences.  The hub will aim to advance scholarship and action in the integrative health field using an interdisciplinary, inclusive, and rigorous approach. The Senior Director will have the opportunity to lead the design and early development of this unique and exciting platform for “connecting the dots” in diverse fields, with a goal of building and strengthening relationships and encouraging collaboration among a wide range of people committed to improving health and well-being.

The Senior Director will also work with Institute leaders to provide communications tools and strategies to support fundraising activities and to support the alignment of stories and messages across all communications efforts.

The Senior Director supervises and directs the activities and professional development of one full-time employee and recruits support from outside consultants, as needed, to meet the Institute’s communications objectives.  The position requires limited travel and, during the COVID pandemic, will be carried out remotely.

The essential responsibilities of the Senior Director are to: 

Craft and oversee an evolving communication strategy and work plan to raise the public profile of the Institute, including its mission, activities, impact, and lessons learned

Create and implement all strategies and tasks relating to: media relations; message development; website development and maintenance; development, production, and distribution of print publications; film and video production; social media; and public opinion assessment

Evaluate and procure vendors for marketing research, public relations, and digital media to meet Institute needs

Conceptualize, curate, and implement educational programs and events to engage key stakeholders, create awareness of the Institute, and increase understanding of the factors that contribute to wellness and healing

Support messaging and communications needs for the Institute’s Leadership Council

Commission, edit, and finalize reports and briefs to document and synthesize the work of the Institute, including the research of the Scholars and Fellows, for priority audiences

Publicize Institute pilot projects positioned for scaling and/or replication

Prepare materials to report on Institute programs, activities, and impact to staff, board members, Scholars and Fellows, partners, and other key audiences

Design and develop an online hub for the exchange and critique of ideas, clinical findings, and early-stage research

Lead an assessment of design options and engage a software vendor to develop the hub

Organize the hub in a manner consistent with the Institute’s conception of health

Develop and implement a strategy to publicize the hub

Pending the employment of a Director of Innovation who will oversee hub operations, work closely with Institute leadership to solicit and curate ideas and other contributions to the hub

Identify users of the hub who fall within the Institute’s priority audiences and, as appropriate, integrate hub activity and resources into the communications strategy

Collaborate with Institute staff to integrate communication strategies into their work

Coordinate the provision of technical assistance and training related to communications to Institute staff and to Scholars and Fellows

Secure media and speaking opportunities for Institute leaders, Scholars, and Fellows

Prepare talking points and presentations and coach Institute speakers

Draft or edit opinion pieces for Institute leadership and for Scholars and Fellows

Assist with conceptualizing and publicizing occasional regional or national conferences hosted by the Institute

Provide leadership on media and communications-related initiatives in the integrative health field that advance the Institute’s goals

Support the Institute’s development work

Create messages, written and online materials, and programs to support fundraising efforts

Conduct or commission research to identify effective messages and materials for prospects

In collaboration with Institute leadership, develop and finalize publications and online content and solicitations

Lead the planning, concept development, and implementation of high profile events for awareness building and fundraising purposes

Participate in Institute meetings

Help shape, implement, and document the semi-annual meetings and monthly e-meetings of the Scholars and Fellows

Collaborate in conceptualizing and convening special meetings to focus scientific inquiry on particular questions, using an integrative health perspective

Capitalize on meeting presentations and discussions to develop materials for subsequent publication through written and electronic channels

Participate in working groups established by the Institute and collaborative projects established by the Scholars and Fellows

Participate in planning meetings to strategize and critique program initiatives

Support Institute Board members as requested and provide reports and analyses at Board meetings

Other tasks as requested by the Institute’s Executive Director or President


Advanced degree preferred (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.F.A.) in a relevant field of study

Ten years of relevant work or training experience, including in a senior leadership position, in communications, public relations, marketing, or journalism

Experience in a non-profit, philanthropic, or higher education institution and/or government agency

Demonstrated leadership and management abilities, including program development, budget and financial management, and creative problem solving

Demonstrated ability to communicate about the many factors, including social and economic determinants, that contribute to health and healing in individuals and the importance of systems focusing on health rather than on disease

Superior writing and editing skills

Demonstrated oversight of the creative process inherent in branding and experience overseeing an organizational brand

Experience incorporating social media and electronic tools in a communications strategy

Experience in planning and executing a website development project and in effectively managing an organizational site

Sufficient knowledge of technology to oversee the design and development of the hub

Excellent analytical and organizational skills and demonstrated ability to develop and implement effective systems, policies, and procedures

Ability to manage multiple priorities to accomplish short- and long-term goals, often under tight deadlines

Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office

High level of self-motivation and the ability to work independently

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including ability to speak publicly and listen effectively

Proven track record and demonstrated capacity to apply racial and gender equity lenses

Demonstrated ability to use discretion and judgment regarding sensitive and confidential issues

Knowledge and experience in a field related to integrative health is a plus

Work Environment and Physical Demands:

Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise.  The Institute may make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Minimal travel is required.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Application Deadline: October 12, 2020

To Apply: Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements by October 12, 2020 to:

The Institute for Integrative Health is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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