Head of Communications


Applications for this position have closed.

Position description

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. All applications must be submitted by Friday, March 29th, 2024, EOD.

CEA is hiring a head of communications. While a successful candidate would ideally have a strong communications background, we’re open to applications from generalists with strong foundational skills who can build a team with additional expertise. This is a senior leadership position reporting to the CEO. The remit of the role is broad, including developing and executing communications strategies for both CEA and effective altruism more broadly. We anticipate that this individual will become the foremost leader for strategic communications related to EA and will have a significant impact in shaping the field's strategy. This will include collaborating with senior leaders at other organizations doing EA-related work.

Both EA and CEA are at important inflection points. Public awareness of EA has grown significantly over the past 2 years, during which time EA has had both major success and significant controversies. To match this growth in awareness, we're looking to increase our capacity to inform public narratives about and contribute to a more accurate understanding of EA ideas and impact. The stakes are high: Success could result in significantly higher engagement with EA ideas, leading to career changes, donations, new projects, and increased traction in a range of fields. Failure could result in long-lasting damage to the brand, the ideas, and the people who have historically associated with them.

We’re looking for a leader who can design and execute a communications strategy for EA. This person will be a strategic partner with and member of CEA’s leadership team to help us shape both the substance and messaging of EA. You’ll be able to build from the foundation set by our existing team, building on the work of our outgoing head of communications to further grow and expand the team, which currently includes one full-time staff member and support from an external agency. CEA has a new CEO, who is in the process of developing a new organizational strategy and views strengthening our communications function as a key priority. You should expect significant organizational support—e.g. attention from senior leadership and the allocation of necessary financial resources.

Job responsibilities

  • Develop and execute a communications strategy for EA. You’ll be a leader in determining how EA is perceived by key audiences.
  • Manage CEA’s communications strategy. This has heavy overlap with EA strategy, but you’ll also lead on any communications priorities specific to CEA.
  • Leverage communication tactics as needed to execute on strategic priorities (e.g, proactive press outreach, social media, SEO). The specifics will likely follow from your strategy, and we’ll work with you to get the resources you need to be successful.
  • Build a high-performing team to execute on strategic goals. You’ll need to choose the right people and coach them to success on their priorities.
  • Create a coalition to coordinate on communications throughout the EA community. You may want organizations to feature in stories, to develop spokespeople for EA, etc. You’ll need to get buy-in from other organizations and people, and we’ll support you in building relationships where you don’t currently have them.
  • Advising others doing public communications related to EA. Many important people and organizations in and around the EA community have little experience talking with reporters or managing a brand. You’ll be able to advise and upskill others on how to approach comms to maximize their impact and help coordinate communications across organizations when appropriate.
  • Decide how to respond to media inquiries. Reporters frequently contact CEA to ask questions about EA; your approach to engaging with them will impact media perceptions.
  • Improve public understanding of the relationship between EA and AI safety. The relationship between EA and AI safety is garnering an increasing amount of media attention, much of it incomplete or inaccurate. We want to take a more proactive role in helping inform key audiences.
  • Lead on crisis communications. If and when EA is subject to significant public scrutiny, we expect you to be in the room when important decisions get made. Your opinions will play an important role shaping our response.

What we’re looking for

We believe an effective communications team would have a wide range of skills. We don’t expect one individual to check every box but are instead looking for someone who can take a leadership role in building a team. As a result, we think it’s possible for successful candidates to not fit every one of these skills and would encourage you to apply even if you don’t fit every one of these criteria:

  • Strategic vision: The EA community needs more communications leadership, and we’re hiring you to take the helm. You’ll be empowered to think creatively about objectives and the tactics we’ll use to achieve them.
  • Enthusiasm for and deep familiarity with effective altruism: EA and the EA community are unusual, including with communications norms. You don’t need to have worked an EA job, but we want someone who knows what they’re getting themselves into and understands both the strengths and weaknesses of the EA brand. They’ll ideally also have a sense of how communications may come off to a variety of key stakeholders (e.g. mass media, insiders within the EA community, policymakers).
  • Integrity: While we care about EA and its brand, we don’t want to be deceptive or overly salesy. Trust is paramount, and while we want to highlight positive stories about EA ideas and impact, we want to do so in a way that maintains our integrity.
  • Level-headedness: Crises happen. We expect our head of communications to be in the room when big decisions are made, and we want to work with someone who can be action-oriented, collaborative, and calm in difficult situations.
  • Media experience: The ideal candidate would have experience engaging with the press and/or have other areas of communications expertise. You should have a reasonable sense of how different audiences would respond to different communications approaches. For the right candidate, we may be willing to compromise on formal experience in a communications role for someone with a strong foundational skillset and a hunger to work hard and learn more.
  • Narrative construction and evaluation: You should understand what stories and framings may be appealing and off-putting to different audiences.
  • Stakeholder and project management: We care not only about developing a good strategy but also executing it well. The communications team will regularly need to collaborate with others at CEA, as well as other stakeholders in the EA community. We’re looking for someone who can efficiently push toward the desired outcome while maintaining positive relationships.
  • Management: We expect our head of communications will have one or more direct reports and will be responsible for the impact of their entire team. Being able to choose and coach the right team will be essential.
  • Interest in object-level work: Much of EA’s communication strategy intersects with EA’s relationship with its primary cause areas, including AI safety, biosecurity, animal welfare, and global health and development. Given the pace of news in AI and how much media coverage of EA is driven by events in AI, we think it will be particularly useful for our head of communications to keep up to date on the latest developments in AI and how they may intersect with EA. You don’t need to come in with deep knowledge, but you should be excited to quickly gain context.
  • Prioritization and productivity: There will always be more work to do than time to do it, and you’ll need to effectively allocate your time to maximize your impact. We’ll work with you to develop a team and set of goals that contribute to sustainability, but there may also be unpredictable news cycles that require you to step up at unexpected times.

Other information

  • This is a full-time, remote position. We prefer applicants who are able to work in time zones between US Pacific Time and CET.
  • If candidates would prefer to work from the UK, we welcome applicants from overseas and we’ll sponsor visas where possible. We may be able to sponsor visas to work in the US for some candidates.
  • We’d ideally have you start as soon as possible, but can be flexible for the right candidate.
  • Our application process may include: one or more trial tasks, interviews, a reference check, and an onsite work trial for the top candidates.
  • We are currently reviewing our compensation policies, and compensation may be subject to change. In particular, we may be willing to pay more for candidates with certain relevant experience. Based on our historical policy, the compensation range for candidates (depending on experience) working from the Oxford office would be £76,670- £92,290, comprised of £69,700 - £83,900 in salary with an unconditional 10% pension contribution. Salary ranges for remote employees would vary by location. A high cost of living city in the US, for example, would have a range of $141,500 - $171,600 and a low cost of living city in the US would have a range of $119,500 - $144,800 also comprised of a base salary and a 10% 401k contribution.
  • Benefits include private insurance, flexible work hours, a £5,000 / $6,000 annual professional development allowance, a £5,000 / $6,000 mental health support allowance, extended parental leave, ergonomic equipment, 10% pension / 401k contribution, 25 days of paid vacation, and more.
  • We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from self-identified women and people of colour who are excited about contributing to our mission. The Centre for Effective Altruism is an equal opportunity employer. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, or have any other questions about applying, please contact jobs@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.
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