Assistant Director of Communications

Grade: MGT E, Starting Salary $104,389/ Annual


Directs and provides overall leadership to all SEIU division communications and media work to support priorities for growth, to involve members and the public in achieving those growth goals, and to brand SEIU as the national and international union within the industry.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: (Any one position may not include all of the specific duties and responsibilities listed.  Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by employees in the classification.)

Division Communications

  • Directs strategy and implementation of all division communications.
  • Directs creation of all division communications content.
  • Directs message development and oversees work of pollsters.
  • Directs all aspects of communications strategy for all division growth and political/legislative/advocacy campaigns.
  • Serves as subject area expert for the division and its campaigns.
  • Directs all communications with members of the division.
  • Directs all communications with potential members of the division.
  • Directs external media relations strategy and implementation.
  • Directs internal communications strategy, message, and materials across the division and SEIU.
  • Directs message development for division leadership, International officers, and local leaders.
  • Directs leadership spokesperson training.
  • Directs speech writing and other visibility work for leadership.
  • Serves as key communications contact for division leadership, local leaders, and local staff.
  • Directs and serves as key contact for communications with allies and partners.
  • Chief person responsible for campaign event communications – strategy, message, look and feel, materials, marketing, media outreach, event flow and agenda.
  • Directly supervises up to 10-15 individuals on division communications team, including those in field campaigns.
  • Oversees work of communicators within locals in the division to ensure high quality standards, best practices, and consistency of message.

Local Capacity

  • Works with division to identify locals that need to increase communications capacity to carry out division priorities.
  • Works with Director of Communications Training and Capacity to develop plans for local union communications staff development.
  • Provide training for local communicators
  • Recruit local staff, and assist local with evaluating and hiring candidates.
  • Ensure high quality standards and best practices in all division, campaign, and member communications.

Overall SEIU Communications

  • Helps to develop and implement overall SEIU strategy as part of the International union’s communications lead management team.
  • Directs strategies and activities to improve the public image and visibility of the labor movement and SEIU and to maintain effective relations with national and local media.

Management and Administration

  • Coordinates with the Executive Office and divisions, departments, and field on strategies, budgets, resource allocation, staffing, and other issues. 
  • Serves as surrogate for the Assistant to the President, Director of Communications, in a wide variety of settings.
  • Serves as part of the senior management team of SEIU’s Communications Department. 
  • Helps manage the Communications Department, including planning, budgeting, and project management, and coordinates with divisions, departments, and field on those issues. 
  • Directs vendor management for division communications work. 
  • Prepares and monitors division communications budget, including budgets for division campaigns. 
  • Directs allocation of staff team resources. 
  • Directs recruiting, reviewing, and recommending hiring for all division communications staff. 
  • Directly responsible for retention of division communications staff, including training, feedback, reviews, skill and career development. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the work of the department.


Must be able to represent the International Union with local leaders, members, staff, and outside organizations utilizing independent judgment and the highest level of professionalism.

Interfaces with highest level organizational and external contacts, including:

  • SEIU officers, division leadership, International senior staff, project and program managers, field and organizing directors, local union officers and staff.
  • External: news media, politicians, government officials, partners and allies.
  • Vendors: consultants, pollsters, freelancers, video and multi-media producers, advertising agencies.

Ensures that sophisticated choices are made about appropriate vendors and support services.

Direction and Decision Making:

Reports to the Assistant to the President, Director of Communications, and works with extreme independence.

  • Must have demonstrated ability to manage own work and work of others without supervision.
  • Requires a high level of judgment and ability to take initiative and work independently.
  • Must use a high level of judgment and discretion in resolving problems within the Communications Department, the division, and throughout SEIU.
  • Must maintain the highest level of confidentiality in handling SEIU affairs.
  • Must be able to work with International and local union elected leaders and senior staff in complex and sometimes politically sensitive situations.
  • Must be able to act and organize time with extreme independence.
  • Must be able to handle multiple “priority” projects simultaneously and set and meet deadlines, and ensure that staff team does the same.

Education and Experience:

Bachelor's Degree in communications-related field preferred.  Eight or more years of experience in communications or related work, including at least five years managing strategy, planning, and program development, or a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Experience developing and implementing strategy on a wide range of campaigns, including organizing, contract, political, and legislative, as well as experience working with community allies.
  • Thorough and extensive knowledge of media relations strategies.
  • Thorough knowledge of electronic and print media systems. Knowledge of advertising techniques and familiarity with all aspects of literature, audiovisual, and online production process required.
  • Excellent writing, verbal, and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to continuously develop knowledge and skills related to use of rapidly changing technology.
  • Knowledge of unions or other advocacy organizations.
  • Skill in the use of personal computer including Microsoft Office Suite.

Physical Requirements:

Work is generally performed in an office setting, but job may require work in the field or in other settings to perform the tasks required to complete assignments. Must be available for frequent travel with overnight stays.  Long and irregular hours.

Application Requirements:

A resume is required for all applications and a cover letter is highly suggested. Your cover letter should explain your reason for wanting to work for SEIU, an example of how you demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into your long-term career plan. 


SEIU staff enjoy top notch benefits including comprehensive health benefits, major medical, dental and vision for employee and eligible dependents, domestic partner benefits, competitive salaries, generous holidays and vacation policies, and both a pension plan and a 401(K) Plan.


SEIU is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Where is the role?

Washington DC

What kind of role is it?