Communications Director

Date Posted:
February 2023
Application Review:
Begins February 22, 2023 and continues until filled
PDF Position DescriptionApply Here

Position Description & How To Apply:

About the Alliance for Higher Education

The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison (the Alliance) is a national network dedicated to expanding quality higher education in prison. The Alliance believes that all people, regardless of their location or circumstance, should have access to quality higher education. The Alliance is committed to embedding equity and access in our work. As a newly formed organization, we are striving to do this in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: increasing educational access for all students, including people in prison who have traditionally been excluded from such opportunities; challenging the existing equity gaps in educational access, primarily ones based on race/ethnicity and/or class status; centering our work around collaboration, co-learning and community building.

About the Communication Director Position

The Communication Director is responsible for the implementation of strategic communication for the Alliance both internally and externally. The Communication Director develops and oversees the Alliance’s Communication Plan, which involves strategies and tactics that aim to help the Alliance meet its communication and organizational goals. These strategies reach all stakeholders, including: program directors and program staff, current and former students, teachers, media, funders and the broader/general public. The Communication Director is also responsible for overseeing brand management, content development, media relations and social media.

We’re looking for someone with deep enthusiasm for and commitment to our mission to expand quality higher education in prison, empower students in prison and after release, and shape public discussion about education and incarceration. Applicants should have experience in communications, public affairs or community relations and be able to effectively create and deliver compelling messages/content that drives interest in and support for our work. Applicants should have strong leadership skills and be committed to fostering a creative, thoughtful and collaborative team and work environment.

This is a full-time position that can either be remote or based out of the Alliance’s Denver Office. Relocation is not required. The Communication Director reports to the Alliance’s Executive Director.

The Alliance strongly encourages applications from people who have been directly impacted by incarceration.

Primary Roles and Responsibilities

Management Practices

  • Supervise and manage an existing communication team, including staff and volunteers and engaging in leading hiring efforts when necessary.
  • Develop and lead implementation of the Alliance’s Strategic Communication Plan
  • Assess the effectiveness of the Alliance’s communication efforts and put in place measures that will create awareness and test the effectiveness of communication strategies and tactics
  • Highly organized and able to manage multiple projects

Internal and External Communication

  • Build and cultivate strategic relationships with key partners, including other organizations promoting higher education in prison, funders, elected officials and other influential connectors
  • Provide (or supervise staff that provide) written text and visuals as requested for reports and publications, webinars, campaigns and other projects of the Alliance
  • Proofread and edit text as needed for publications (print and digital) of the Alliance
  • Support staff in the creation, implementation and dissemination of a monthly newsletter
  • Lead the implementation of public media campaigns and events.
  • Contribute to the Alliance’s work to host the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison
  • Manage multiple email accounts
  • Attend special events and host community meetings

Public Relations

  • Develop and lead implementation of the Alliance’s media strategy, including writing and distributing press releases, marketing, cultivating relationships with targeted members of the media and influencers, proactively disseminating information about the Alliance and its work to help shape the narrative about the field of higher education in prison, hosting Twitter chats, etc.
  • Maintain ongoing relationships with public relations counterparts at higher education in prison programs, foundations and other partner organizations throughout the country, and support joint efforts to promote one another’s work.

Required Qualifications

  • Five years of experience in communication, public affairs or community relations.
  • Proven experience in building, leading and supporting a communication team and in leading the implementation of a Strategic Communication Plan.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated ability to write/edit compelling materials to achieve a goal, and to effectively and persuasively convey and build support for an idea or pitch.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop working relationships with media and a demonstrated understanding of the national media landscape.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to motivate and build relationships with program and development staff, volunteers, community groups and other stakeholders.
  • Outstanding analytical skills and must be highly familiar with new and emerging technologies that support content/message delivery and measurement.
  • Ability to think and communicate in ways that challenge the status-quo and work to implement positive change
  • Proficiency in MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Google Suite, Zoom, Mailchimp
  • Experience with academic writing, APA, MLA, Chicago
  • Social media management: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Linkein, etc.
  • Website management

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in communication, journalism, marketing, public relations, public administration, multimedia, humanities or other related field.
  • Previous experience within the higher education, criminal justice reform sector and/or the nonprofit sector.
  • Some experience with at least one graphic design program (e.g., InDesign or Illustrator), digital photo editing program (e.g., Photoshop or Lightroom) and an audio/visual production program (e.g., Premiere or Final Cut).
  • Website management (Webflow experience preferred)
  • Experience with coding: HTML, CSS, etc.
  • Demonstrated experience in donor relations and grant writing
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the field of higher education in prison

Application and Deadlines:

Review of applications will be on a rolling basis, until the position is filled.

To apply for this position, please submit the following:

  1. Cover letter;
  2. Resume;
  3. Contact information (name, email and phone number) for three references;
  4. One professional writing sample (e.g., press release, blog/web posting, news article).

Attach all materials in a single PDF document and submit to: with “Communication Director application” in the subject line.


The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison provides a competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with our size and budget. Starting salary range for the Director of Communication is $65,000-$75,000 annually, depending on skills and experience. Relocation support will be offered to candidates outside of the Denver Metro area (if the candidate chooses to relocate). Annual Benefits include: health, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance, vacation and holiday pay and staff wellness and professional development programs. All employees (full-time, part-time and on-call) may also participate in a 403b retirement plan (commencing on the first day of employment) with an employer contribution (3%)  and match (up to 3%) after two years of 1,000 hours worked each year. 

Statement of Non-Discrimination:

The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison and its fiscal sponsor, Community Partners, is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. In keeping with our mission and values, no employee or applicant will face discrimination or harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or presentation, disability status, veteran status or former incarceration status.The Alliance encourages for employment applicants who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system and engages in review in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring, a "ban the box" law that significantly restricts employers when conducting a criminal background check or taking adverse employment action merely because of an applicant's criminal history.

More information about the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison can be found on our website:

Applications and questions can be directed to