Minnesota Humanities Center

Director of Strategic Communication

Position Title: Director of Strategic Communication (DSC)

Reports To: CEO

Hours: This is an exempt position that will require working occasional evenings and weekends

Salary: $75,000

Benefits Eligible: Health, Dental, PTO, Holidays and 401(k) plan

Closing Date: June 16, 2023


Minnesota Humanities Center

The Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) is a statewide nonprofit organization that supports the development of humanities programming in Minnesota, creates humanities programming, issue grants to support humanities programming, and operates an event center in St. Paul, Minnesota. MHC’s vision is to create a just society that is curious, connected, and compassionate.  MHC’s mission is to connect our past, present, and future to bring people together, increase understanding, and spark change.

As the humanities teach competence, communication, cultural awareness, and empathy, we believe in the power of the humanities to bridge differences, interpret the complexities of our world, and positively shape our collective future. Using the humanities disciplines such as philosophy, literature, civics, history, and language through mediums such as discussions, books, radio, and television, we facilitate respectful dialog, reflection, analysis, and change. In fulfilling our vision and mission, we intentionally collaborate with individuals and organization to inspire authentic conversation, forge deep connections, encourage action, and illuminate racially and ethnically diverse voices.


This position reports to the CEO and is a member of the senior management leadership team. The DSC will be responsible for driving MHC’s overall communication strategy. The DSC will provide vision and leadership to advance brand visibility, strengthen thought leadership, influence public opinion, enhance internal communication, and inspire broader engagement with MHC. The DSC will be responsible to:

  • Develop and implement MHC’s strategic communication plan
  • Develop, manage, and coordinate internal and external organizational communication
  • Drive the development of strategic “thought leadership” for MHC and MHC staff.
  • Develop and maintain strong internal and external partnerships
  • Anticipate, analyze, and interpret public opinion, attitudes, and issues that impact MHC operations
  • Collaborate with the CEO to shape, inspire, and motivate programming, marketing, and event planning teams

Thought Leadership

  • Partner with CEO to develop, set, and guide MHC thought leadership to articulate MHC’s mission and vision, impact of MHC’s programming, and role of MHC to actively spark positive change in society.
  • Partner with CEO and SLT members on messaging strategies, cultivating leadership “voices,” and leveraging opportunities to raise visibility of MHC at the state and national level.
  • Represent and promote MHC increasing its visibility to support the organizational mission, vision, and strategic goals.
  • Conduct interviews, research, and write news releases, articles, and feature stories for local and national publications to publicize and promote MHC activities and programs.
  • Manage and develop, in collaboration with MHC staff, websites, intranet sites and communications screens. Prepare reports and analyses setting forth progress, trends and appropriate recommendations or conclusions.
  • Monitor trends and developments in public opinion, both national and audience specific, regarding current MHC programming.
  • Initiate, direct/oversee, and evaluate strategic multi-media campaigns and activities, including but not limited to, digital marketing, media relations, organization representation, publications, websites, and social media that advance MHC brand.

External Relations

  • Collaborate with CEO to drive MHC federal and state legislative agendas.  Prepare and assist with communications with public officials and respective legislative assistants.
  • Collaborate with SLT members to support development, program, and event activities.
  • Cultivate relationships with national and local journalists through one-on-one meetings, briefings, and regular phone and email communications to help grow media presence and brand awareness. Prepare press kits and communicate with media outlets and journalists.
  • Draft press releases and speeches for CEO and SLT members
  • Create and maintain a unified MHC voice through both print and electronic media
  • Collaborate with other Directors of Communication within State Humanities Council network and Minnesota Council of Non-profits to leverage MHC impact.
  • Review all communications material prior to distribution, including op-eds, social media, publications, videos, and website content.

Internal Relations

  • Proven ability to identify opportunities, link strategies to internal communications plans, deliver results and adjust plans as appropriate.
  • Develop and implement internal communication plans, calendars, content, collateral content, HR communications and change management messaging.
  • Design and implement campaigns that consistently reiterate the company’s goals, values, mission, and vision.
  • Become a trusted advisor that provides strategic advice that assists key internal stakeholders [development and program] define their communication requirements and give their best efforts.
  • Draft interagency wide letters and memos

Operational Excellence

  • Develop, oversee, and manage the communications budget. Prepare reports and analyses setting forth progress, trends, and appropriate recommendation or expenditure of budgeted funds.
  • Define and track metrics to assess the effectiveness of communication strategy.
  • Develop materials to assist, coach, and educate MHC staff on best communication practices.
  • Provide an integrated and consistent approach to communication plans, messaging, departmental events, brochures, signage, newsletters, and annual report in all internal and external materials.
  • Contribute to MHC’s strategic workplan, reporting, and overall communications approach with MHC Board, MHC staff, and external stakeholders.
  • Consult with CEO to develop effective crisis communication procedures and policies.


The ideal candidate is strategic and has proven skills in leadership, writing, creativity and taking initiative. Must work independently and be results driven. Must be able to juggle multiple tasks and pay attention to details. Outstanding oral and presentation skills required. Must have excellent negotiation and communication skills.

The ideal candidate is a strong writer and team manager, has a proven track record in engaging a diverse employee audience through innovative outreach, and knows how to deliver measurable results.

Operate at a high level of intensity, act with a sense of urgency without sacrificing excellence.

Ability to synthesize and accurately disseminate information.

Excellent verbal communicator, strong writer, editor, and storyteller who can distill complex concepts, craft a compelling narrative, and build an emotional connection.

Great interpersonal skills demonstrated through working cross-functionally with key stakeholders, including partnering on communication requirements and providing strategic advice and counsel.

This position requires a strategic problem solver who can develop, frame, and implement a communications plan. The ideal candidate can multi-task, effectively perform with limited timelines, and thrive when needed in a fast-paced evolving environment.

The ideal candidate will have the ability to effectively present information, speak publicly, respond, and communicate to questions from the media, and other key business and community leaders and executives.  Demonstrated leadership experience coupled with the ability to delegate responsibilities and authority while at the same time teach and develop staff. 

  • B.A. degree in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, Marketing, or similar field
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in senior leadership positions
  • Experience in media relations: print/broadcast/internet
  • Ability to organize time, set priorities and work in an effective manner
  • Ability to deal effectively with people in difficult situations (conflict resolution)
  • Strong computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel)

Behavioral expectations:

  • Demonstrate high integrity, passion and commitment to the mission and goals of MHC
  • Provide a high level of customer service through listening and responding to the needs and requests of others, internally and externally, with a high degree of urgency
  • Adjust to changing conditions or priorities willingly
  • Identify problems and consistently make decisions that resolve problems
  • Professional attitude and appearance

Organizational Relationships:

  • Works closely with CEO, COO, and CHO to develop operational excellence strategies for internal and external process improvement
  • Collaborate with senior leadership team members, humanities officers, marketing manager, web administrator, database administrator, project management specialist, board of directors, vendors, and other contractors
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture, and supporting staff during organizational growth

General Expectations:

  • Self-motivated, flexible, and optimistic individual with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent projects
  • Culturally competent and the ability to build strong relationships, find common ground, build consensus, and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated leadership, coaching, mentoring, and relationship management experience
  • Strong demonstrated success managing internal and external relationships
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of project planning, organizational structure, budgeting, and administrative operations

Key Competencies

  • Enthusiasm – Exhibits passion, positive attitude, and excitement about MHC’s work
  • Adaptable – Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions and thrives in an environment of complexity, change, and ambiguity
  • Collaborative – Skilled at building relationships and acts respectfully when working with colleagues and partners to earn and build consensus.
  • Creative Problem Solver – Acts in advance to deal with an expected or unexpected situation, quickly generating alternative solutions/ideas.
  • Efficient – Able to produce significant output with strong work ethic and high-quality standards.

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to effectively communicate, use a telephonic device and/or use a computer. The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. This is largely a sedentary role: however, some filing is required. This would require the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand, as necessary.  While performing the duties of the job, the noise level in the office work environment is usually moderate.  Stress level may become high during certain times of the year.

Expected to work a flexible and varied schedule that may include working on evenings, weekends, and some holidays.  Must be available to respond in the event of a crisis as needed.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability status, marital status, veteran status, or any other protected class.


Interested candidates should email their cover letter (including salary requirements) and resume to jobs@mnhum.org. We are unable to accept telephone calls.