Ascend is looking for a dynamic and strategic marketing and communications leader to join our network team. Reporting to the chief executive officer (CEO), and working closely with the executive team and school leadership, Ascend’s managing director of marketing and communications will develop and implement a communications strategy that catalyzes our strategic plan, elevates our brand, and unifies all stakeholders in support of our mission.
This position represents an extraordinary opportunity to partner with the CEO in driving a communications strategy that reinforces our commitment to DEIA, improves network-wide collaboration and engagement, and celebrates that which is unique and special about Ascend. Ascend’s managing director of marketing and communications will be a gifted communicator who will influence and inspire, masterfully telling the story of the phenomenal Ascend school community.
Why extraordinary professionals choose Ascend
Ascend is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 5,700 students in 15 schools across Brooklyn—New York’s most populous borough. Our undertaking is to lead our students on a great intellectual adventure, provide them with an exceptional college preparatory education, and place them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.
We guide our students to think critically and independently and to enjoy education as an end in itself. We teach a rich and rigorous liberal arts curriculum that nurtures students’ natural curiosity about the world. We foster a positive, non-punitive school culture where students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks. Even our school buildings are designed to reflect our high aspirations for teaching and learning and the notable accomplishments that occur within our walls.
To create this kind of vibrant learning community, we invest heavily in our faculty by providing ongoing professional training and support, and encourage our educators to collaborate closely and push each other to achieve great outcomes.
The managing director of marketing and communications oversees the end-to-end marketing and communications strategy for Ascend. The managing director will:
- develop a comprehensive strategic communications plan, including metrics and analytics, which supports the organization in meeting its strategic priorities, broadening visibility, engaging key stakeholders, and demonstrating impact;
- in tandem with the CEO, serve as primary liaison for media inquiries, and proactively and strategically engage external media and internal stakeholders, building meaningful relationships to increase internal and external content, in conjunction with the overarching communications plan;
- in collaboration with student recruitment and enrollment leaders, develop and implement strategies to ensure effective annual student enrollment and outreach efforts with current and prospective families;
- in partnership with the people team, create robust candidate cultivation communications including recruitment outreach communication, executive interview material, and internal employee job announcements to drive applications and improve candidate experience;
- support network development and stewardship efforts by collaborating cross-functionally with relevant departments, and helping develop an ambassadorship mindset across all departments;
- oversee strategic management of core communications platforms including Ascend’s websites, social media presence, and newsletters;
- in collaboration with school leaders, develop and implement a framework for school-driven communications that supports, unifies, and enhances Ascend’s overarching mission and elevates its brand, while celebrating each school’s unique positioning within their community;
- in partnership with the chief people officer, drive an internal communications strategy that reinforces our commitment to DEIA, improves network-wide collaboration, increases staff retention and engagement, and celebrates Ascend;
- serve as one of the Network’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Officers to receive and prepare responses to requests; and
- other duties to effect the efficient execution of the role as designated by the CEO.
Staff and Reporting Relationships
The managing director of marketing and communications will report to the CEO and will directly supervise the associate creative director of communications.
- Master’s degree required, preferably in a related field
- Minimum of ten years of leadership experience in the areas of internal and external communications, marketing, and public relations
- Experience in the education sector is strongly preferred
- Experience with mission-driven marketing and donor stewardship preferred
- Proven results developing and implementing marketing and messaging strategy and related metrics
- Exceptional and winning written and verbal communication, with strong active listening skills
- Highly effective strategic thinking and problem-solving skills; ability to set detailed vision and direction across large, complex sets of work
- Demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with a proven ability to meet and exceed ambitious goals
- Exceptional relationship management and influence skills; a proven servant leader
- Capacity to develop strong relationships with all staff based on trust, respect, effective communication, and common goals
- Entrepreneurial mindset with a commitment to preserving a bold, can-do culture that sustains the organization’s values of integrity, curiosity, community, empowerment, growth, daring, and excellence
- Demonstrated ability to utilize data insights to drive high-impact action
- Track record of creating and improving systems and experience leveraging technology to gain insight and increase efficiency; familiar with new and emerging technologies that support content and message delivery
- Demonstrated success managing teams, including leading, building, coaching and mentoring individuals
- Highly effective project management skills
Diversity at Ascend
Ascend is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.
Ascend offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. Please visit www.ascendschools.org/careers to learn more about the benefits of working at Ascend.