Director of Communications

Organization NameJob CategoriesPosition TypeRegion and Location(s)Career LevelSalaryAd Online SinceApplication Deadline
Stephen Lewis Foundation
  • Marketing / Communications / PR
Contract - Full Time
  • Ontario - Metro Toronto Area - Toronto
Manager (Supervisor of Staff)N/A2019-02-112019-02-25



The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) is a dynamic, collaborative, feminist organization with an unwavering commitment to supporting grassroots organizations across Africa in countries hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic. The work unfolding in these communities is ground breaking, as lives are rebuilt, rights are reclaimed and resilience re-forged. We are passionately committed to our partnerships and this model of working is infused into the fabric of our day-to-day work.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation partners with community-based organizations which are turning the tide of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa by providing care and support to women, orphaned children, grandmothers and people living with HIV and AIDS.  Since 2003, the SLF has funded over 1700 initiatives, partnering with more than 325 community-based organizations.


Job Summary

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Communications will be responsible for all aspects of communication to the public and media, including raising the Foundation’s visibility to enhance fundraising, advancing its profile with Canadians and the international community, reputation management/enhancement, and increasing understanding of its mission. It is the Director’s task to ensure that the ideological approach of the SLF to partnering with organizations in sub-Saharan Africa is powerfully articulated and reflected in all communications materials. It is also essential that the voices and expertise of our African partners be at the centre of all communications.

This is a full-time position and is based in our downtown Toronto offices.

Position and Duties

Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Raise visibility and awareness of the Foundation’s work and distinct approach to partnering with community-based organizations in Africa (primarily in Canada, while being mindful of U.S. and international contexts). This will include the development of appropriate fundraising/awareness-raising print, social media/digital, audiovisual and multimedia strategy and materials, and organizing press events, press trips and media outreach.
  • Increase understanding and support of the distinctive work of the Foundation through effective and consistent messaging that reflects the values of the organization.
  • Reputation management by overseeing the content and production of all informational and promotional materials, including materials developed by community groups in support of the Foundation, are appropriately reviewed and reflect the values of the SLF.
  • Develop a media strategy to actively cultivate and manage media relationships to ensure coverage of issues of strategic importance to the Foundation.

Communications Operations

  • Develop an annual communications strategy – for approval by the Executive Director – that reflects the Foundation’s strategic and fundraising objectives, and lead implementation.
  • Lead the development of additional communications strategies across the Foundation, working collaboratively with other teams to develop messaging and substance. The successful candidate will have the dual skills of developing and implementing a fundraising/awareness-raising communications strategy. They will work with SLF teams to develop and provide necessary support materials, and lead development of content/messaging. 
  • Prepare an annual Communications budget for approval by the Executive Director, as per agreed budgetary guidelines.
  • Manage a team of professional employees and a wide range of external consultants.
  • Consistently work to identify or anticipate emerging trends and informational needs.
  • Maintain the integrity of the Foundation’s identity to ensure consistency and reinforcement of the Foundation’s strategic goals.
  • Provide feedback and input into the development of fundraising initiatives so that communications strategies are coordinated with established goals.
  • Identify appropriate Foundation spokesperson(s) for media on a case-by-case basis.
  • Provide direction on internal communications and information-sharing within the Foundation.

Team Development/Management

  • Increase staff capacity through a supportive and collaborative approach when required.
  • Oversee activities, performance, and development goals; manage accountability and establish priorities for the Communications team and/or consultants as needed.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Approximately 5-7 years of experience in communications, public relations, media relations, marketing communications or publishing.
  • At least 5 years of development experience at the NGO level or in an international organization (some focus on Africa or other countries/regions in the global south a major asset).
  • Strong writing and editing skills are essential, as well as comfort with public speaking.
  • Leading development and delivery of successful end-to-end strategic communications plans, including budget oversight, from one-off events to ongoing relationship management with diverse stakeholders.
  • Managing a team of professional employees and a wide range of external consultants.
  • Highly organized and able to multitask at a high level.
  • Ability to revise priorities on a continual basis.
  • Ability to maintain focus on key objectives while remaining highly flexible and responsive.
  • Ability to exercise strategic, ‘big picture’ and long-term thinking.
  • Demonstration of good judgment and independent thinking.
  • Team leadership and positively motivating internal and external professionals.
  • Ability to relate and provide feedback diplomatically to various constituencies.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of issues surrounding HIV and AIDS is a major asset.
  • Personal commitment to the values of feminism, social justice, solidarity, collaboration and gender equality.
  • Fluency in written and oral French will be an asset.


Those wishing to apply please send your resume and cover letter to: Please note “Director of Communications” in the email subject line.

The closing date for this position is February 25, 2019.

Please do not call or email the Foundation about this posting. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Thank you for your interest!