Chief Storyteller - The SecDev Foundation

Mar 14, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario

The SecDev Foundation is seeking a Chief Storyteller to join our rapidly growing international organization dedicated to improving the digital opportunity, safety and citizenship of users at risk around the world.  Our mission is to support digital well-being for all, with a special focus on civil society organizations, women, youth, and vulnerable groups. We help communities pursue digital opportunity, while understanding how to better control the technologies they so readily use. We help societies navigate the emerging opportunities of the global digital economy, which is founded on sound policies and savvy digital citizens.

The Chief Storyteller (CS) will shape the storytelling and online audience engagement space for The SecDev Foundation,  guide and support our flagship regional programmes and online communication teams, and line-manage a talented creative team (visual multimedia designer and web developer).   Working closely with the ED as well as the Foundation’s regional teams, the CS will drive strategy, content and impact of Foundation-level communications and engagement, both on-and-offline.

The CS will also support regional communications teams with specific campaigns, ensuring best practices are baked in, and the data and analytics capture evidence-based impacts.  The CS will act as a cross-team learning facilitator, to ensure that team achievements and innovations in one region are effectively shared and incorporated into Foundation-wide practice. The CS will ensure that programmatic websites and resource portals reflect best design principles for user-friendly information navigation. The CS will help our programme managers effectively leverage the prodigious talents of our creative team, navigating conflicting demands and managing  clear timetables for delivery.

The CS will support the Foundation’s rapid expansion by leading the rebrand and relaunch of the Foundation’s main webpage and development of an institutional-level engagement strategy.  The CS will position the Foundation as a go-to global authority on digital citizenship, safety and opportunity in difficult operational contexts.

The ideal candidate is a natural storyteller, well-versed in international perspectives and able to rapidly apprehend the cultural and demographic nuances of different audience groups (including women and youth in different operational contexts).  You do not need to be a polymath cultural expert, but you do need to help our teams with design strategies to ensure that messages and campaigns resonate with designated audiences.  You have wrestled with tough questions on how awareness campaigns can generate evidence of impact and behavioural change. You are fiercely creative, not only with respect to the words and images that grab attention, but also in devising new methods to measure that engagement.  You are able to render technical and complex subjects into easy-to-understand guidances or human interest stories. You are a meticulous copy-editor. You have a great sense of how  layout and design helps messages resonate. You are a consummate team player, ready to supportively share your knowledge and expertise, but eager to learn from the experience of your communication colleagues.   

You are a doer. You revel in the opportunity to help others globally. You have strong respect and admiration for the amazing people you will work with, who navigate difficult local circumstances and risks to make the world a better place. You have a good sense of humour and self-reflection that tempers your passion for excellence. You are ready to assume a leadership role within the Foundation’s exhilarating and complex programming environment, shaping the Foundation’s broad online presence, communicating our amazing work while navigating critical sensitivities, supporting project communication teams  and campaigns, to significantly enhance our public presence and ensure coherent and on-brand messaging.  

Is this right for you? Here’s what we are looking for:

  • Master’s Degree in relevant subject (communications, strategic communications, international affairs, education, global studies etc) and/or Bachelor’s plus relevant experience;
  • At least five years of progressive story-teller/communication management experience, including supervisory experience or experience managing/directing staff at varying levels;
  • Demonstrated experience leading successful online communications campaigns;
  • Evidence of strategic communications successes;
  • Excellence in English language, written and spoken, with ability to demonstrate clean, clear and engaging text;
  • Experience working in an international context.

What would make you extraordinary?

  • Experience leading communications for an non-profit that works globally;
  • Experience with technical writing for popular audiences -- turning technical guidances into easy-to-understand and engaging visuals and texts;
  • Experience with online analytics, indicator development;
  • Proven ability to work effectively with a busy Senior Leadership Team to move everyone ahead to desired end goals;
  • Experience leading the production of outstanding annual reports or similar;
  • Knowledge of, experience working in,  any of the Foundation’s areas of operations;
  • Digital safety or citizenship knowledge or interest is a definite bonus!
  • A second key language (French, Arabic, Russian, Spanish) is highly desirable.

What we offer:

A rewarding opportunity with a competitive compensation package, strong emphasis on work-life balance, innovation and technology, ample learning and development opportunities, and the knowledge that you are working to make the world a better place:

  • The opportunity to meaningfully contribute to an innovative, future-oriented organization working at the cross-roads of technology, security, development, and the growing influence of cyberspace
  • A competitive salary
  • Comprehensive Group Health Benefits and Insurance
  • Group Retirement Pension Plan benefits
  • Work-life balance: summer work hours and generous leave entitlements
  • Learning and professional development opportunities through hands-on experience, peer coaching, as well as a professional development budget;
  • International travel opportunities
  • A centrally located office (although we are currently operating remotely due to COVID-19)
  • Being part of a culture that is constantly looking for how to improve -- both our excellence in operations and in our programming, meaning the assistance we deliver to people and communities around the world.  All staff are encouraged to understand “what we do” and contribute new ideas for how we can improve or expand our assistance globally.

How to Apply

If you are someone who thrives on challenge, loves a varied role, and wants to be part of an innovative and growing organization, then this opportunity is for you. Please submit your CV and a cover letter of less than 500 words explaining how you’re the best Chief Storyteller for the SecDev Foundation, through the link in the "apply"  button by March 14th, 2021. 

About the SecDev Foundation

The SecDev Foundation is a rapidly growing not-for-profit think-do tank based in Ottawa, Canada. We work globally at the cross-roads of security, development and the game-changing influence of cyberspace.  Our mission is to support digital well-being for all, with a special focus on civil society organizations, women, youth, and vulnerable groups. We help communities pursue digital opportunity, while understanding how to better control the technologies they so readily use. We help societies navigate the emerging opportunities of the global digital economy, which is founded on sound policies and savvy digital citizens. And, in countries affected by conflict and war, we help local communities and societies pursue new forms of resilience in the digital sphere.  We prioritize local partnerships to ensure programming is responsive, inclusive and yields lasting capacities.

We have current operational programming in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Eurasia.  Our work has been supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), The Embassy of the Netherlands, Freedom House, The Open Societies Foundation, the Global Peace and Security Fund (GAC), The Stability Network, Public Safety Canada, the Bureau of Democracy, Rights and Labour, American Bar Association, Facebook, Google, Public International Law and Policy Group, Missions Publiques and Centre for Victims of Torture.

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