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Publisher, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Stanford Social Innovation Review
California, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Dec 31, 2022

Publisher for Stanford Social Innovation Review, an award-winning media property at Stanford University

Job Purpose

In the nearly 20 years since its launch, Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) has grown to become the premier source for leading-edge insights on the theory and practice of social innovation and social change, reaching millions of social-change leaders globally each year. Starting as a quarterly print publication, SSIR has grown to include a popular website, multiple conferences, webinars, and podcasts, and six local-language editions, in addition to a forthcoming branded book series. Written by and for a cross-sector audience, SSIR is unique in its editorial approach, one that bridges the worlds of nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, socially-responsible business, academia & research, government & public policy. Since 2010, SSIR has been published by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS) at Stanford University. Not directly funded by the university, SSIR is reliant upon earned and contributed revenue for its operating income.


SSIR is looking for a new publisher to oversee its marketing, finance, and operations with the creativity, energy, leadership, and necessary skills to build upon its success and help further its growth. Together with the editor in chief, this position co-leads SSIR and reports to the executive director of Stanford PACS. Working closely with the SSIR and Stanford PACS teams, the publisher provides strategic leadership for SSIR helping to drive ongoing improvements to expand the reach and awareness of its print and online offerings, expand its suite of products and services, reach a larger, global audience, have a bigger impact on the field of social innovation, and ensure its financial sustainability.


The publisher will help establish the operational objectives of SSIR, managing all revenue generation activities (including revenue from circulation, conferences, webinars, advertising, sponsorships, licensing, and rights & permissions, as well as contributed revenue) and provide oversight and delegate assignments to the publishing and marketing team. The publisher will manage a “break-even or better” bottom line of approximately $2.5 million in budgeted earned and contributed revenue for the 2023 fiscal year. To accomplish this goal, the publisher will oversee and be directly involved in new business development and revenue generation from paid print and digital subscriptions, registration and sponsorship from conferences and webinars, advertising and custom content projects, content and brand licensing, rights & permissions, and other products and services, as well as contributed revenue, while ensuring that these activities are aligned with SSIR’s mission to “advance, educate, and inspire the field of social innovation by seeking out, cultivating, and disseminating the best in research- and practice-based knowledge.”


The publisher is ultimately responsible for:


  • Managing the overall financial performance of SSIR, including developing annual revenue and expense budgets (with input from key SSIR staff), and delivery of all earned and contributed revenue against goals, towards the end result of closing each fiscal year in a positive revenue position.


  • Working with the editor-in-chief to determine strategic objectives & organizational priorities/policies and co-leading day-to-day operations of SSIR.


  • Identifying new opportunities to expand the reach and visibility of the SSIR brand and its products in support of SSIR’s overall mission and long-term financial performance, vitality, sustainability, and growth.


  • Managing a high-performing publishing and marketing team that includes five F/T and P/T staff and external contract resources, helping them to set and meet goals for circulation, conference and webinar registration, advertising and sponsorship, licensing, and other revenue channels, as well as overseeing all marketing and promotion efforts for SSIR.


  • Delivering final review and approval on all marketing and promotional copy/materials prior to their release to ensure that they adhere to the SSIR standards of quality.


  • Providing support and input to the editorial team as needed/requested, while respecting the boundaries of editorial independence and integrity.


  • Together with the editor in chief and other key members of the SSIR team, determining the focus area(s) for tentpole conferences and other convenings, and overseeing the effective marketing and communications of those convenings to ensure that they meet programming quality and financial performance standards.


  • Together with the editor in chief, establishing and maintaining key relationships with external partners, including foundations, nonprofits, for-profit enterprises, consultancies, other media entities, and any other organizations with whom SSIR may choose to work to advance its mission and strategic goals.


  • Working with fellow members of the Stanford PACS senior leadership team to find opportunities for cross-initiative collaboration, and with other departments or programs and Stanford University on mutually beneficial projects.


  • Together with the editor in chief and the global editions editor, overseeing the activities and performance of six local-language edition partner organizations (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish) to help ensure their success.


  • Producing periodic reporting to funders and the Stanford PACS board.


  • Working within Stanford University systems, including budgeting/financial management, human resources, development, communications, and legal counsel as needed.


  • Together with the editor in chief and other key staff, representing SSIR at key sector convenings.


The successful candidate will possess experience in several key areas, including:

  • Driving operating income and managing businesses to a bottom line, while balancing revenue growth with organizational mission.


  • Identifying and soliciting grant support from foundations and individual donors.


  • Writing successful grant proposals for contributed income from foundations and individual donors.


  • Working collaboratively with an editorial team in a media environment.


  • Effective marketing communications and audience development.


  • Ability to create and sustain a variety of partnerships with external organizations.


  • Knowledge of best practices in digital strategies and emerging digital trends and tools related to user experience and audience growth for content/news sites in the rapidly evolving modern multimedia landscape.


  • A solid understanding of key concepts and evolving topics in the social sector to determine how SSIR can best serve and lead the field, or the willingness to quickly acquire this understanding.
  • Managing programming, audience promotion, sponsorship & registration revenue, and logistics for a multi-faceted “events” business, that includes the production of several annual conferences and 15+ annual webinars.
  • Prioritizing both longer-term strategic goals with day-to-day operational challenges and opportunities.
  • Demonstrating a track record of personally creating budgets and driving revenue on multiple projects as well as controlling expenses and managing to a bottom line.
  • Working effectively and collaboratively within a team of highly-skilled professionals.
  • Managing and developing staff to grow in their careers.
  • Managing multiple complex projects simultaneously and prioritize conflicting demands.
  • Effective written and verbal communications skills.


  • Strong presentation and public speaking skills, with a comfort and facility presenting to a variety of audience types, from board members and potential donors to conference attendees and other customers.


This is a 100% FTE, exempt position. This position will be based on the Stanford campus and will be considered for an option of telecommuting (hybrid of working on-site and off-site), subject to operational need.

Core Duties

∙ Implement and manage a budget for unit’s programs and publications.

∙ Implement programs for updating technological resources.

∙ Manage a unit of professional staff assigned to publish and/or disseminate information. ∙ Make recommendations for future publications.

∙ Participate in meetings with academic faculty and make recommendations regarding project requirements.

∙ Consult and collaborate with other internal organizations to exchange information on projects (e.g., articles, reports, and publications).


Minimum Education & Experience Required

Bachelor's degree and ten years of relevant work experience, or a combination of education and relevant experience.


Minimum Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

∙ Demonstrated project management skills and ability to plan, budget, and track resources.

∙ Ability to provide recommendations for long-range strategies.

∙ Demonstrated ability to apply discretion and judgment in evaluating implications of publication and information release to internal and external audiences.

∙ Ability to synthesize complex material from multiple sources to identify and resolve key publication issues.

∙ Ability to work effectively and provide leadership to a team under stringent deadline requirements.

∙ Ability to work effectively with senior organizational leaders, researchers, and faculty.


Preferred Knowledge and Skills

  • Extensive experience in publishing, marketing, and brand management.
  • Proven expertise in operating and growing a multimedia entity while adhering to the organization’s core mission.
  • Ability to create and sustain partnerships with outside organizations.
  • Experience developing and managing digital platforms and initiatives. Deep knowledge of media trends, including digital delivery, paywalls, SEO, SEM, customer engagement, and content marketing using traditional and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Track record of successfully managing a multi-faceted conference business that involves organizing speakers, marketing, and managing all logistics related to the conference.


Certifications and Licenses




  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sitting.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, use a telephone, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat, kneel/crawl.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.



  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Diversity: Demonstrates familiarity and openness to people of different backgrounds and cultures.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

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