Director of Communications

The Director of Communications leads HJS' communications work and is core to our senior management team.

 The Henry Jackson Society

The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) is the UK’s boldest think tank and policy-shaping force, constantly ahead of the curve on the big issues of international and domestic importance. We are currently looking for a Director of Communications to help lead us permanently on the next stage of our organisational journey, which has already taken us to the status of a household name in the international political and media constellation.

When HJS was founded back in 2005, the global environment was very different to what it has become today. Over that time, the threats to the free world internationally and to free societies domestically have multiplied, but there has been one constant: HJS’s willingness and ability to fight for the principles and alliances which keep societies free – working across borders and party lines to combat extremism, advance democracy and fundamental human rights, and make a stand in an increasingly uncertain world.

Reflecting this, our work is focused into two main streams: “Securing our Societies” and “Advancing the Free World”. “Securing our Societies” focuses on threats to free societies within the West, while “Advancing the Free World” examines how the enemies of the free world are operating internationally. Obviously there is interplay between the two streams as the challenges we face are often not as obliging as to lend themselves to easy classification. Our research centres that fall under “Securing our Societies” are the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism, and the Centre for Social and Political Risk, while those sitting in the “Advancing the Free World” stream are the Asia Studies, Russia & Eurasia and Global Britain Centres. But these are not exhaustive topics, and we are able to take on many new areas of study as well.


What we are looking for

In order to meet our ambitious agenda and to augment our existing capabilities, we are looking for a Director of Communications to provide strategic oversight for all HJS communications and to act as an integral part of the senior management team.

This is a fantastic opportunity for an ambitious candidate to develop their skills and profile further and will suit people ready to take on a challenging and exciting role at an organisation that can offer profile development as it increases in size and scope, as well as those with existing management expertise looking for a new challenge at the leading edge of the public debate.

The Director of Communications is a key member of the Senior Management Team (SMT). Working closely colleagues, the Director of Communications will spend their time building relationships with the media to promote the organisation’s output, and work with the C-Suite to write, implement and deliver a media engagement growth strategy.

The Director of Communications will also help improve external communications and relations for the Henry Jackson Society, working with SMT and the research fellows, to conceive ideas, build engagement plans and execute communication through various media channels. Overall management of HJS social media also falls under the position.

This role will require a proactive and ambitious approach, able to marry the detail-oriented and fast-paced nature of the job in building awareness, interest and support for HJS, its initiatives, projects and policies. Serving as one of the organisation’s media point-people and external representatives, you will play a major part in identifying and exploiting communications opportunities, in print, broadcast and digitally, working with management colleagues and the research team in producing material, managing the media and social media outreach and assisting colleagues with their media and political world profiles.

This position is an opportunity for a motivated and well-rounded individual to work in a pivotal and challenging role where no two days are the same, and which provides the opportunity for career growth in an organisation looking to evolve domestically and internationally. Above all though, we want you to be passionate about our issues and hungry to make a difference in the public policy world – recognising that this is not a normal 9-5 job where you switch off once you turn off your laptop because (a) you don’t want to and (b) you understand that this is not how the policy world works. The rewards, both professionally and personally are vast, as some of the stellar names who have passed through our ranks are now shining examples of, but they require dedication and commitment to achieve.

Join us – and help make history.

Key Duties

  1. To manage HJS’s media and external communication, monitoring media in line with HJS’s remit, keeping colleagues informed of stories relevant to HJS, writing press releases and website copy, identifying new media opportunities and helping HJS to establish thought leadership in its areas of work.
  2. To extend HJS’s network of influencers and media contacts, developing a structured approach to acquiring new and relevant media relationships, maintaining and updating a database of journalists and managing key processes such as the submission of op-eds, briefing invitations, etc.
  3. To work with colleagues in identifying key publication opportunities for HJS issues within the policy domain and work with policy specialists to exploit these to best effect, including with Parliament where appropriate.
  4. To lead on and work with colleagues to produce effective material aimed at broadcast producers and lead on proactively acquiring opportunities for HJS staff to appear on broadcast media on an ongoing basis.
  5. To work closely with the Policy Relations Manager, and co-lead the implementation the HJS policy influence strategy.
  6. To be the main point of contact for all HJS media and press requests and be on-call for out of hour requests/opportunities.
  7. To work closely with the SMT to develop a new media growth strategy for research and political media: including broadcast, print, digital and media engagement strategies and events where appropriate.
  8. To assist the Policy Relations Manager with political events.
  9. To deliver, and where necessary create, communications templates requiring elements of design, formatting and management of brand standards and consistency.
  10. To assist, where appropriate, with the design and publication of HJS printed and published content.
  11. To assist with the production and running of events, where relevant.
  12. To produce the weekly counterpoint mail out.
  13. To lead on and be responsible for the content, production and distribution of all stakeholder mail outs e.g. Mid-morning news brief, Monthly round ups, report launches, donor mail outs and counterpoint.
  14. To lead on media training for all new comers and external facing staff, including interview techniques and post-broadcast quality reviews and feedback.
  15. To specifically work to heighten the media presence of the Executive Director as the external leader of the organisation.
  16. To manage and work closely with the Communications and Policy Officer to implement a new Digital Marketing Strategy, and to oversight all social media output at HJS.
  17. To ensure all media hits and journalists contacts and contact information is recorded on Salesforce in a timely and efficient manner.

Such other duties may be assigned by the Managing Director or their nominee.

Health, Safety & Wellbeing Considerations

This role involves undertaking duties which include the Health, Safety and wellbeing issues outlined below. Please be aware of these, when considering your suitability for the role.

  • Regular use of screen display equipment
  • Occasional lifting/carrying of heavy equipment


Person Specification


The person specification details the necessary skills, qualifications, experience or other attributes needed to carry out the job.


Qualifications / Training Essential Desirable
GCSE English and maths or equivalent  


Experience / Knowledge Essential Desirable
Previous relevant media/PR/communications experience  
Experience with use of databases  
Confident writing and speaking skills, and experience of communicating policy recommendations to a variety or audiences  
Evidence of successful placement of news stories, op-eds and booking interviews on broadcast media  
Knowledge and practical usage of social media  
Experience of running or participating in campaigns of some kind  
Knowledge of the UK political process  


Skills / Abilities Essential Desirable
Good IT skills, particularly Microsoft Office packages and Adobe products  
Web-management skills – WordPress  
Good communication skills both written and verbal  
Good digital marketing skills  
Ability to work independently to prioritise a varied workload  
Ability to work well as a  member of a team  
Ability to handle high-pressured environments  
Excellent organisational skills  



Additional Attributes Essential Desirable
Willingness to work outside of normal working hours without time of in lieu  
Ability to work flexibly as role demands  
Pro-active and self-motivated with a drive to develop and willingness to undertake further training if necessary  
Passionate and enthusiastic about the work of HJS  
Sympathy with our ideals expected  



£45-£55k, dependant on experience 

To apply:

Please complete the online form (CLICK HERE) and supply the following:


  • CV
  • Cover letter – please include your salary expectations
  • Links to examples of your published output and broadcast experience.

Please complete the online form (CLICK HERE) and supply the following:


  • CV
  • Cover letter – please include your salary expectations
  • Links to examples of your published output and broadcast experience.



Dependent on experience

16th January 2023


Lost your password?

Not a member? Please click here