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Director of External Affairs & Strategic Communications - (Hybrid Work Model) Brooklyn, NY Full Time

Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
New York, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Nov 4, 2021

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Position Type
Programs, Community Outreach, Government Relations and Advocacy, Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Education, Other Fields, Social Services, Youth
Employment Type
Full Time
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Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) exists to break the cycle of poverty and inequity through education, job training, and employment. OBT’s programs operate out of multiple locations and serve as a bridge to economic opportunity for youth, individuals, and families in underserved communities. OBT is funded through a mixture of government contracts, corporate and foundation grants and private contributions.  To learn more about our work, please visit


Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of External Affairs & Strategic Communications will interact with local, state, and federal legislative bodies and government agencies to represent, communicate, and protect the organization’s interests.  The Director will work collaboratively with senior leadership to develop and implement OBT’s communication strategy to broaden overall programmatic impact, and management of organizational messaging and constituent services.


Key Duties and Responsibilities


External Affairs

  • Manage, build, and enrich relationships with federal, state and local officials and their staff to lead OBT’s advocacy efforts.
    • Ensure that elected officials are up to date on OBT’s program and services
  • In partnership with OBT’s CEO, craft annual budget requests for city and state legislatures
  • Research, solicit and submit applications for City Council and State Funding to enhance OBT’s services
  • Monitor, analyze, and track state and federal legislation and Lobby elected officials in Albany to build support for OBT’s services
  • Develop and implement strategies for lobbying including coordinating meetings and preparing OBT literature and informative materials
  • Ensure OBT’s voice is heard in local legislation related to youth education, workforce development, labor, immigrant’s rights, adult literacy, and economic development
  • Compose and deliver testimony as appropriate
  • In partnership with OBT’s CEO, sign onto letters and participate in coalitions related to issues of importance that align with OBT’s mission
  • Track lobbying and file lobbying reports to JCOPE and Elobbyist
  • Develop and co-lead OBT’s Youth Leadership Council
  • Register contracts with NYC funding sources including DYCD
  • Engage directly with elected officials and their staff to discuss public policy issues and legislation and provide guidance and mentorship to staff advocacy efforts.
  • Develop relationships with members of the media, government and peer networks to create new opportunities for OBT
  • Stay abreast and update CEO with summaries of workforce development, labor market and youth development modifications that impact OBT’s mission, programs, advocacy, and strategy
  • In conjunction with CEO strategize regarding actions steps related to workforce development modifications from research findings
  • In conjunction with the Development team, conduct internal research on OBT’s participant community, programs and outcomes

Strategic Communications:

  • Conceptualize and oversee the execution of OBT’s overall communication strategy including media outreach, digital and social media, internal communications, fundraising efforts, events and publications.
  • Lead the development, implementation and evaluation of OBT’s communication and marketing strategies, objectives and projects to advance the organization’s mission and increase OBT’s visibility amongst key stakeholders, including media, policymakers and donors.
  • Coordinate organization-wide communications and public image efforts to differentiate OBT from other organizations to reinforce commitment to our values.
  • Collaborate with executive and senior leadership and the Board of Directors to develop communications strategies and channels that will broaden programmatic reach and deepen impact.
  • Manage and facilitate the generation of online website, social media, intranet and print content that engages target audiences and advance OBT’s brand identity.
  • Ensure the organization’s mission, vision, values, and DEI values are appropriately reflected in all communications.
  • Implement measurement tools and metrics to ensure that internal/external communications efforts build meaningful engagement and broaden OBT’s awareness and ensure they are meeting/exceeding targets. Working with the Communications Committee of the Board, reevaluate plans regularly to check progress and ROI, and adjust as necessary.


 Demonstrated Skills in:

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with public officials and their staffs;
  • Communicating effectively with all levels of management, boards of directors, and staff as well as external individuals and groups;
  • Analyzing and interpreting legislation and policy documents;
  • Legislative advocacy, negotiation and persuasion;
  • Communicating complex concepts through oral and written mediums;
  • Preparing a variety of written communications such as reports, testimony, and factsheets.
  • Planning and organization.
  • Managing and coordinating special projects.
  • Developing and implementing strategic plans as well as responding to short-term objectives.
  • Attention to detail and strong follow-through.
  • Critical and strategic thinking.
  • Event planning and management.
  • Working independently, as well as with teams.
  • Working with people from diverse academic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Utilizing computer technology for communication, data gathering and reporting activities.



  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum 5 - 7 years of federal and/or state legislative, regulatory, lobbying or political experience.
  • Previous experience managing programs for federal and/or state initiatives.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with prior experience in creating and delivering public presentations.
  • Highly motivated, able to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Ability to travel 25% of the time.
  • High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
  • Highly collaborative working style with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, donors, program participants, and other supporters.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently and entrepreneurially.
  • Ability to create and implement new initiatives.
  • Strong commitment to the agency’s mission, purpose, and values.


Why You Should Join Us:

  • Salary: $70k – 75k + full benefits
  • Passionate and motivated staff excited to propel NYC’s youth and adult communities


 To apply with a cover letter and resume, go to: Enter position code 87R12 when prompted.  


OBT values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Diversity at our organization means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

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