Internet Freedom Nonprofit Seeks Experienced Communications Director

(Posted May 2, 2017)

The Tor Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides technical infrastructure for privacy protection over the Internet, is seeking a Communications Director to help us tell the world about our important work. The ideal candidate will have at least five years of experience talking with the press and leading social media campaigns. The ability to explain technical concepts to non-technical audiences is essential.

This senior level position will report directly to the Executive Director and will be part of the organization's leadership team. The Communications Director will set and guide the strategy for all communications and public relations messages to consistently articulate the Tor Project's mission. Tor software is built by a mix of paid staff and volunteers. This job includes working closely with this diverse, international community of people who make Tor and related software products. This is a hands-on position for a highly skilled communications professional with a fierce passion for technology and social media.

Responsibilities:

  • Represent the Tor Project to the press. Write press releases, handle press calls, and distribute media calls to appropriate members of the Tor Project community.
  • Train staff and community members on media and coach/prep/debrief them for specific media calls.
  • Manage the Tor Project's social media presence. Develop the Tor Project's social media strategy and oversee staff and volunteers who contribute to our social media efforts.
  • Publish the Tor Project's weekly newsletter, Tor Weekly News (TWN).
  • Translate technical software releases posted to our blog so the general public can better understand the Tor Project’s work.
  • Maintain the press section of the torproject.org website. Collect, organize and post the Tor Project's press clippings to the website. Develop and distribute an organizational press kit.
  • Manage the Tor Project's media contacts.
  • Help to write and edit content for the Tor Project's upcoming website reorganization. Be a key member of the reorganization team.
  • Write and update the Tor Project's one-pagers and other information pieces distributed at conferences and talks.
  • Coordinate speaking opportunities and conferences for Tor Project staff and community members.
  • Maintain the Tor Project's website calendar of speaking engagements.
  • General writing and editing responsibilities as required.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent verbal, written, and editing skills in English; fluency in other languages is a plus.
  • Commitment to helping Tor Project developers be regarded as respected global resources for information about open source anonymity and privacy technologies.
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with top tier reporters and editors, and in positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements.
  • Demonstrated experience with complex and high profile social media engagement.
  • Comfortable with highly technical topics and ability to explain them clearly and accurately to non-technical audiences.
  • Knowledge of and appreciation for the free and open source software movement.
  • Demonstrated experience with issues management, including media crisis management, and driving more advantageous coverage of the organization, its projects, and its people.
  • Strong generalist understanding of the basic mechanics of how the Internet works, as well as issues related to privacy, security, censorship, and surveillance.
  • Experience with, or willingness to learn how to use, communications and collaboration technologies such as PGP, IRC, Jitsi, WordPress, and etherpads.
  • Hard working and highly organized with superior attention to detail.
  • Highly collaborative with experience working with and as part of remote teams.
  • Self-starter who thrives on working independently with a dispersed workforce. Experience working or living outside the United States is a plus.
  • Fundraising and fundraising communications experience is a plus.
  • Willingness to travel to international meetings twice a year.
  • Excellent social skills and a sense of humor.

The successful candidate will probably hold a Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, marketing, public relations or a closely related field. The ideal candidate will be energetic, unflappable and flexible, and will thrive in a highly-technical collaborative environment.

The Tor Project's workforce is smart and committed. Experience working with open source communities and/or a dedication to Internet civil liberties are added pluses. The Tor Project currently has a paid and contract staff of around 25 developers and operational support staff, plus many thousands of volunteers who contribute to our work. The Tor Project is funded in part by government research and development grants, and in part by individual, foundation and corporate donations.

Flexible salary, depending on experience. The Tor Project has a competitive benefits package, including a generous PTO policy; 13 paid holidays per year (including the week between Christmas and New Year's, when the office is closed); health, vision, dental, disability, and life insurance paid in full for employee; flexible work schedule; and occasional travel opportunities.

This is a full-time position. The Tor Project’s main office is in Seattle, and we’d be delighted to supply a desk for the Communications Director there, however, this job can be done remotely. Knowledge of media and press contacts within the United States is essential.

To apply, send a cover letter and your resume to hr@torproject.org with the subject "Communications Director." Tell us why you think you're the right person for this job, and please include links to writing samples. No phone calls please!

The Tor Project, Inc., is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.

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