Position Profile

Director of Communications & Development Federation of State Humanities Councils

Arlington, VA

The Federation of State Humanities Councils (the Federation) seeks a Director of Communications & Development (the Director) to provide internal leadership of the membership-based organization as it enters a new phase of building its capacity to support and strengthen its membership and advocate for the humanities across the nation.

About the Organization

The Federation, founded in 1977 as the membership association of state and jurisdictional councils, provides support for humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life. With a mission to represent and strengthen the state and jurisdictional humanities councils, the Federation provides leadership, advocacy, and information to help members advance programs that engage millions of citizens across diverse populations in community and civic life.

Headquartered in Arlington, VA, the Federation has a staff of seven and an operating budget of approximately $1.3M. The Federation’s revenue sources include membership dues, conference registrations, and administrative fees collected from grants it earns on behalf of its members. The Federation’s leadership includes a 16-member Board of Directors as well as 10 committees and task forces, individually chaired by a Federation board member, that provide a governance or advisory function for the organization. Federation President Phoebe Stein began her tenure in May 2020 after serving as Maryland Humanities’ Executive Director for 12 years. For additional information about the Federation, please visit the website.

The Position

Reporting to the President and supported by the Content Producer & Editor and Communications & Meetings Associate, the Director leads the Federation’s communications and development work. The Director 1) develops, manages, and administers the Federation’s communications platforms, including its website, CRM, databases, and subscription tools; 2) identifies, develops and implements, with support from the Content Producer & Editor, Conference & Meetings Manager, and Communications & Meetings Associate, annual communications plans for the Federation including for partnerships, initiatives, advocacy, fundraising, events, and other activities; 3) with President, coordinates and carries out advocacy on Capitol Hill 4) with President, conducts member, alumnae, and donor cultivation and fundraising efforts. The Director plays a vital role in ensuring the Federation’s strong leadership, impact in the field, sustainability, and sound fiscal position.

Since March 2020, the entire team has been working virtually due to COVID-19. Staff members are expected to be available during typical office hours in the Eastern Time Zone, with some flexibility available, as well as have access to reliable internet service. This is a full-time virtual position with a flexible location, although proximity to the Washington, D.C. area is preferred. Out-of-state travel is typically required 2-3 times a year, ranging 1-5 days.

Key Responsibilities

Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  • Develop and implement the Federation’s communications strategy through collaboration with Federation staff, key stakeholders and partners, including website, social media, and press relations
  • Collaborate with the National Humanities Alliance to ensure collaboration on advocacy communications
  • Develop general promotional pieces for the Federation as well as advocacy materials
  • Work with event and communications teams from the Federation, National Humanities Alliance, and host council to develop and ensure the implementation of a cohesive annual conference communications plan
  • Identify research, tools, and data collection needs to support Federation communications, advocacy, and organizational goals
  • Research, develop, and present the Federation’s annual summary of activities report and other results reports, as needed


  • Responsible for updating, maintaining, and overall administration of the Federation’s website, including content curation and development. Point of contact for website and other communications’ systems contractors or support
  • Manage the Federation’s social media management system accounts in collaboration with the Communications & Meetings Associate
  • Administer CRM for the Federation – handle updates, management, data collection; work with the Communications & Meetings Associate to manage subscriptions and maintain listservs. The Federation anticipates selecting a new CRM platform later this year.
  • Train on CVENT or other event management platform


  • With President and Legislative Counsel, advocate for NEH support and the humanities councils
  • With President and Conference & Meetings Manager, design, plan, and help execute Humanities on the Hill
  • Support the President in developing member resources for advocacy campaigns


  • With Senior Manager, Data & Evaluation, gather and marshal data to support development and other organizational advancement efforts
  • With President, build relationships with national funders and apply for grants to support council work nationwide
  • Oversee and assist member council contact in managing the Humanities Communications Network, and more generally serve as the Federation point person for member council communications and development staff
  • Support the President in annual appeal direct mail campaign and fundraising efforts at Federation events
  • Assist President in cultivating relationships with Federation Board alumnae to support development, advocacy, and fundraising efforts
  • Other duties as assigned by President, including attending and staffing the Federation’s largest events, the National Humanities Conference and Humanities on the Hill, and all Board meetings. Travel to events (within CDC guidelines).

Skills and Attributes

The Director will be a collaborative leader with at least 7 years of broad communications and development experience including managing websites, databases, fundraising, and advocating on a national level. The Director will ideally have experience being a part of an organization that has implemented a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access lens and operationalized strategic vision. Talented candidates will also bring experience in the nonprofit sector and a passion for the humanities. Bachelor’s degree or related experience preferred. 

We realize there are great candidates who won’t check all these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

The salary range is $85,000-$90,000.  Benefits include full medical coverage (health, dental, and vision), life and AD&D insurance, participation in a 403(b)-retirement plan with 7% employer contribution, 22 days annual paid vacation, 13 national holidays, and 12 days annual paid sick leave.

Application Process

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to jobs@statehumanities.org.  Resume reviews begin immediately.

A demonstrated ability to cultivate positive and productive relationships and partnerships with a wide range of cultures, people, and organizations and a commitment to access are central to our work. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, working class individuals, veterans, and members of other marginalized communities.

The Federation of State Humanities Councils does not and shall not discriminate based on race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, members, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors.