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Communications Officer

San Antonio Independent School District

About the Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation, an independent, national philanthropy based in New York City, traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Reader’s Digest Association. The Foundation’s work is grounded in their mission to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone. Their core values guide how they work together and with their partners. The Foundation aspires to create an engaging and inclusive work environment based on mutual trust and respect, and driven by equity, diversity, transparency, collaboration, and continuous learning.

Philanthropic Approach
The foundation has an unusual strategic approach: In each of our focus areas – Arts, Education Leadership, and Youth Development – we seek to identify, and help answer, one or more significant questions whose answers are not known but which, if known, could help propel progress more broadly. As responsible stewards of our resources, we seek to ensure that our initiatives contribute to Wallace’s dual goals:(a) benefits for our grantees and those they serve in the form of increased capacity, and (b) benefits for the broader field through credible, relevant knowledge.

This “Wallace Approach” is reflected in the way the foundation centers learning in developing its strategies and designing its initiatives. We begin by attempting to understand the context of the fields in which we work to identify an important unanswered question to address. We then simultaneously fund programmatic work in the field by grantees (supported by technical assistance and peer learning communities) and research that studies the process and results of their efforts to answer the question. The aim is to generate improvements and insights that can benefit both the people served by the grant recipients and the field. The public reports emanating from this work are the basis for our overall foundation communications strategy of catalyzing broad impact by serving as a knowledge hub for credible, useful lessons to be disseminated to key audiences of practitioners, policymakers, and influencers.

Interdisciplinary Team Structure 
The Wallace Approach is carried out in an interdisciplinary team-based structure with three disciplines: program, communications, and research. We seek employees who are highly skilled in their professions, able to work collaboratively across disciplines to capture the synergy of diverse experience and ways of thinking, think analytically, and clearly communicate the rationale for recommendations. We value the flexibility to adapt to change, a desire to learn, and the ability to work productively both on one’s own and with colleagues inside and outside the foundation.

For more information on The Wallace Foundation and to see examples of our work, please visit

The Opportunity
The Communications Officer is a key contributor to the success of the foundation’s approach and therefore expected to acquire deep knowledge of lessons learned from our initiatives in their focus area. They will provide substantive expertise and experience in communications to the interdisciplinary team’s work on strategy design, refinement and implementation; lead the writing and distillation of key messages; and support sharing of knowledge through four primary channels: direct dissemination through our Website, conference presentations and speeches; dissemination in partnership with external membership and issue organizations; underwriting of coverage in non-profit trade and general media; and social media.

Reporting to the Vice President of Communications, the Communications Officer will support the work in Education Leadership or the Arts, depending on experience, serving on the designated program’s interdisciplinary team that designs and implements the initiatives through which the foundation does its philanthropic work.

Communications Strategy

  • Develops communication strategy at the initiative level (in alignment with our overall foundation communication strategy and guiding principles); and does so within an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration with the Vice President, interdisciplinary team, and others.
  • As part of the interdisciplinary team, collaborates with colleagues from research and program to develop and disseminate consistent, clear, and effective messaging in support of the evidence-based research Wallace supports.
  • Ensures strategies build on the foundation’s evidence base and sustain its reputation for credibility, and employ best practices in communications, both Wallace’s and field-wide, to reach key audiences and contribute to nationwide impact most effectively.
  • Participates in collaborative editorial review of draft research reports and knowledge products to ensure the final version reflects the interdisciplinary perspective to “say more only as we know more,” and is respectful of the grantees whose work is presented in the report.
  • Collaborates, edits and writes Wallace developed products including publications, web content including social media, videos, podcast scripts, talking points, meetings briefs and more.
  • Contributes to the writing, distillation and synthesis of key messages used to prepare Wallace staff, Communications Partners and/or grantees for meetings, speaking engagements and media interviews, and as the basis for encouraging awareness and understanding of the foundation’s mission, strategies and initiatives leading to action among targeted audiences.
  • Cultivates relationships and participates in external networks including but not limited to communications-specific professional associations, initiative-specific convenings and funder collaborations.
  • Develops innovative ideas for Wallace-generated content to help distill insights and encourage broad consideration and adoption of Wallace’s viewpoints among key audiences.

Grants/Contracts/Partnerships Management

  • Ensures that the funded work of our initiatives reflects Wallace’s “dual goals:” benefits for our partners and those they serve, and benefits for the broader field through developing and sharing knowledge.
  • Manages the work of public relations firms, grantees, communications partners, and media sponsorships to advance the overall goals of the initiative.
  • Fulfills stewardship responsibilities: (i) ensures grantee budgets reflect the scope and deliverables to support the initiative goals, monitor spending, and review financial reports to inform future funding; and (ii) maintains an up-to-date record of the grants, including report reviews and feedback, conversations with grantees, and budget discussions to ensure the integrity of the foundation’s grants database.


  • 10+ years of experience in a strategic communications, public affairs, journalism, public relations, or policy communications role, with at least five years of that time spent managing complex projects involving multiple stakeholders; experience can be in the nonprofit, for-profit or government sector. Strong preference for candidates with communications experience supporting the fields of arts or education leadership.
  • Proven commitment to and enthusiasm for an evidence-based approach in communications and writing about research.
  • Experience in communicating about issues of equity while engaging with stakeholders across the political spectrum.
  • Demonstrated experience designing and executing strategic communications plans, preferably aimed at encouraging the spread of ideas or changing behaviors. Experience designing communications strategies and implementing them in the arts or education fields strongly preferred.
  • Experience developing and overseeing report releases, briefings, webinars, workshops and other tactical communications efforts.
  • Capacity to work productively and contribute in an interdisciplinary team structure.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills to identify issues and solve problems when working with colleagues.
  • Demonstrated capacity to build relationships with and among external parties such as grantees, vendors, and organizations with whom we partner.
  • Exceptional project management skills and ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent conceptual and analytical thinking skills.
  • Outstanding communication skills: listening, writing, speaking.
  • Deep appreciation for the foundation’s mission and a passion for bringing about positive change.
  • An undergraduate degree is required, certificate of further study or advanced degree is a plus.

Compensation, Benefits and Work Schedule
The salary range for this position is $169,314 - $188,126.

A snapshot of our generous benefits package includes a choice of health insurance plans and a healthcare reimbursement account, a new stand-alone mental health benefit, 403(b) retirement plan with 15% employer contribution upon eligibility, and a community service matching gifts program recognizing employee volunteer hours with a financial contribution to a qualifying non-profit organization.

The foundation’s regular in-person schedule is Tuesday-Thursday with the flexibility to work remotely on Monday and Friday.

Chaloner Associates, a search firm that specializes in placing communications talent through inclusive search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Interested and qualified candidates should send their resume and cover letter to Amy Segelin ( or apply online at

The Wallace Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to maintaining a diverse workplace where differing perspectives are a source of strength.


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