Director, Strategic Communications | Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Posted on Jan 11, 2022
Type: Job

Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer, the Director of Strategic Communications is responsible for developing and implementing the Academy’s communication strategy. This includes a broad range of communication activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and the nutrition and dietetics profession. The Director of Strategic Communications is responsible for the Academy’s varied and integrated communications products and services, including print, web and online communications; media and public relations. This individual supervises a core team of media relations and public relations professionals and manages the Academy’s network of volunteer media spokespeople to advance the organization's position with relevant stakeholders, as well as to drive broader profile for the organization.


Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Maintain current plans and lead the development of new communications strategies, plans and protocols to advance the Academy’s brand identity; enhance the profile and reputation of the nutrition and dietetics profession; and increase the visibility of Academy priorities across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Provide leadership, expertise and reporting in all areas of communications (internal and external) for, and in collaboration with, leaders, management and all Academy units.
  • Cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media and key influencers, and the Academy’s Spokespeople.
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with the leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.

Communications Operations

  • Oversee the development of team print and digital communications including the media guide, and electronic communications including collaborating on website content and new media; manage relationships with associated vendors.
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations and other supporting material as needed.
  • Actively engage, cultivate and manage press relationships to ensure coverage surrounding Academy priorities, special events and other projects.
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning and staff development.
  • Develop communications products and services that facilitate member engagement, retention and recruitment.
  • Introduce best practices and refine existing processes and procedures that expand the capacity of the Strategic Communications department to proactively meet the communications-related demands of Academy programs and initiatives.
  • Maintain current and establish new measurement metrics and benchmarks for communications and external relations to improve visibility on progress and return of value to members.
  • Assist in budget preparation; develop budget recommendations; review expenses against budget; control budget expenditures.

Team Development/Management

  • Manage a communications team.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality, trustworthiness and collaboration.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals.


  • Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications or related field is required.
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in a management role either in-house, with an agency or in an association.




  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building and nurturing relationships with key stakeholders, top tier reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter experts with the media to achieve high impact placements
  • Extensive successful writing and editing experience with a variety of print and online communications media
  • Established experience and leadership in managing comprehensive strategic communications and media relations in order to advance the Academy’s mission and goals
  • Creative and thoughtful on how new media technologies can be used
  • Extensive experience in planning, writing, editing, production of newsletters, press releases, annual reports, and other print publications and directories
  • Innovative thinker with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and results
  • Experience in mentoring and coaching a team of communications specialists
  • Energetic, self-reliant, good problem solver, results-oriented
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills with the ability to effectively interface with senior management
  • Articulate and persuasive communicator, written and oral


About Us:

The Academy offers a salary commensurate with experience as well as an excellent benefit package, including medical, dental, LTD, tuition reimbursement and 401k match with IMMEDIATE VESTING!

The Academy promotes a friendly, professional and challenging team-based work environment.  Also, the Academy’s office is conveniently located near public transportation:  two major Metra train stations (Union and Ogilvie), CTA lines and major bus routes are all within a few blocks.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.


Market Competitive


120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606

How to apply

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