Communications and Staff Associate

Are you passionate about education reform? Energetic, organized, and comfortable handling varied responsibilities in a dynamic and demanding work environment? Are you a crack communicator, fluid writer, and savvy at social media? If so, you might be perfect as the Communications and Staff Associate in our Washington, D.C. office. This is a great opportunity for someone hoping to make an impact and learn quickly at one of D.C.’s leading ed-policy organizations.

About the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is one of the nation’s premier education policy think tanks. We  promote educational excellence for every child in America via quality research, analysis, and commentary, as well as advocacy and exemplary charter school authorizing in Ohio.

We advance:

  • High standards, strong assessments of student learning, and common-sense accountability for schools and children across the achievement spectrum;

  • Quality education options and high-quality school-performance information for every family; and

  • A student-centered system that provides clear pathways to upward mobility, good citizenship, and successful participation in adult society.

We promote education reform by:

  • Producing relevant, rigorous policy research and analysis;

  • Providing “thought leadership” to policy makers, philanthropists, advocacy groups, and others through timely and persuasive commentary;

  • Advocating sound education policies in Ohio related to standards, assessments, school choice, and other promising reforms;

  • Serving as a model charter school authorizer and sharing our lessons throughout and beyond Ohio; and

  • Incubating new ideas, innovations, organizations, school models, and visionary leaders to advance education excellence.

The Role

The communications and staff associate will report to the director of external relations and will work primarily with that individual, as well as the president and the rest of our small-but-mighty external relations team and other Fordham staff members. Approximately two-thirds of time will be spent managing our social media channels and playing a significant role in developing our media, marketing, and partnerships work. The remainder will be spent assisting Fordham’s president and ensuring that trains run on time by helping with scheduling and office management. Specific responsibilities include:


  • Oversee social-media strategy and execution, including digital marketing and paid strategy campaigns related to reports and Fordham’s areas of interest, by:

    • Identifying critical social metrics and setting ambitious growth and engagement goals;

    • Developing content including tweets, Facebook postings, and Google ads to promote Fordham’s research and commentary;

    • Owning monthly and weekly social calendars that tie to Fordham’s overall messages as well as external events (e.g., holidays, major events in ed reform/politics, etc.); and

    • Developing and adhere to budgets, as necessary, for paid opportunities.

  • Draft and project-manage promotional publications, including the annual report, quarterly newsletters, conference proposals, and website text

  • In advance of Fordham releases, assists by:

    • Managing media lists;

    • Copy editing pitches (and helping to develop where appropriate);

    • Drafting website texts and e-blasts for releases; and 

    • Identifying partners in the ed-reform space to help with outreach and impact.

  • Monitor Fordham’s impact in the media and keep staff abreast of media hits

  • Manage the Education Gadfly listserv and email inbox

  • Assist with event setup, act as videographer during livestreamed events, and edit and post videos

  • Handle scheduling for Fordham president Michael J. Petrilli, and assist with meeting prep

  • Assist other staffers with travel and scheduling as needed

  • Answer phones


The successful candidate must share the core values of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, possess a can-do attitude, and be comfortable juggling multiple tasks and deadlines. They should have some (1-2 years) experience in communications (preferably in social media, or journalism) and be interested in building their communications skills and knowledge across the board. Bachelor’s degree required, with majors in journalism, English, communications or a related field preferred. Other qualifications include:

  • Strong writing and editing skills

  • Demonstrated interest in education or education policy

  • Enthusiasm for key education reforms, including high standards, accountability, and parental choice

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills

  • Experience with Tweetdeck, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, and Canva (or similar tools)

  • Creativity, flexibility, and diligence

​If this sounds like you, please submit your resume, a cover letter, and a writing sample here.