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Communications Manager (Tax Policy)

The Urban Institute

Washington, District of Columbia 20037
Job Type:
Job Status:
Full Time
1st Shift
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Job Details

Who we are:

The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and delivered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Our objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector.

The Urban Institute has built a cutting-edge in-house communications team that is translating research for broad audiences through creative content and innovative engagement. As an extension of those efforts, Urban is hiring a Communications Manager for the Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. TPC is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government.


How you’ll contribute:

The ideal candidate for the Communications Manager role is a savvy, nimble, entrepreneurial communications professional who works within TPC to manage its digital platform and channels, promote new projects, react within the news cycle, and serve as a liaison and project manager for cross-team collaborations. The Communications Manager is a member of Urban’s Communication and Outreach department, but s/he will be embedded within TPC, collaborating closely with the TPC director and researchers. S/he reports to the Director of Strategic Communications with a dotted line to the TPC director.


TPC is a fast-moving, high-impact center that plays a critical role in national debates on economic policy.  Among TPC’s signature efforts are the analyses of tax proposals that are introduced and developed by presidential candidates, Congress, and the Administration. The Communications Manager should have subject-matter expertise or demonstrated interest in at least some of the center’s areas of focus:  reform of the federal tax code, including business tax reform; long-term implications of state tax and budget choices; state and local tax issues; and the evaluation of social policies that are reflected in the tax code.

The Communications Manager will lead a communications program that advances center and Urban Institute goals, such as building relationships with current and new audiences; engaging media, policymakers, and practitioners; and strengthening identity, brand, and reputation. S/he will leverage the knowledge, data, and relationships of TPC and its scholars to shape conversations and decisions among thought leaders who should know about the center’s work.



  • Act as a communications advisor and strategist within TPC and liaise between TPC researchers and Urban Institute’s Communications and Outreach team; ensure relevant content is fully leveraged on both and
  • Develop a visibility and engagement strategy for TPC that utilizes new technology, reaches new audiences and stays true to TPC’s brand
  • Translate complex research reports for a broader, sophisticated audience of media, policymakers, influencers, and the general public
  • Lead and manage collaborative projects and interactive features with researchers, communications staff, and external partners, including tracking labor hours and overseeing budgets
  • Develop compelling content including one-pagers, newsletters, blog posts, op-eds, fact sheets, media pitches, and press releases
  • Manage, including content strategy, homepage updates and other basic production
  • Manage newsletters, social media feeds and other channels, utilizing various digital platforms and tools
  • Develop editorial calendars and outreach plans for new publications and existing research; be poised to seize opportunities within the news cycle
  • Conduct outreach with traditional media, bloggers, partner organizations, and other key stakeholders to leverage research and influence national and state policy conversations; field incoming media queries
  • Provide communications guidance and support for events, roundtables, and briefings in coordination with the Director of External Affairs



What you’ll bring:

  • Five to ten years of communications experience
  • Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, journalism, political science, or related field
  • Relevant experience with and/or enthusiasm for tax policy
  • Experience leading strategy development for an organization, including managing timelines and producing deliverables
  • Aptitude for and/or experience with digital platforms and databases, including content management systems (Drupal) constituent relationship management tools (Salesforce), and other tools for traditional and social media engagement
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills, with a background in journalism, external affairs, digital/traditional media strategy, or public relations
  • Strong project management and organizational skills
  • Ability to form relationships with a range of staff, including scholars
  • Ability to understand and interpret data and translate it for broad audiences
  • Proven track record in management and team building, including the ability to set objectives, measure success, and meet or exceed goals
  • Capitol Hill or White House experience a plus



What you’ll experience:

Working in the Nation’s Capital- the epicenter of public policy- among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative.  You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters and, enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage.  Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan plus elect a pretax benefit for commuting expenses.

The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer --Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.