Vice President, External Affairs

Organization Overview: The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) is the leading private nonprofit national foundation dedicated to comprehensive, ongoing financial education through best practices in research, programs and evaluation. We believe effective financial education is a powerful force for positive change. It helps people navigate financial decision making and equips learners with the tools and confidence to chart their financial journeys. Effective financial education focuses on what works and produces strong outcomes. NEFE strives to contribute its expertise in research, education, evaluation and thought leadership to the field of financial capability. By leading and encouraging best practices and knowledge-sharing, we’re committed to improving the effectiveness of financial education and raising awareness of the other factors which affect the achievement of financial well-being for all Americans. We seek a vice president, external affairs to help us grow our national influence and achieve this end.

Position Description: VP, External Affairs
The VP, external affairs is a key leadership position reporting directly to the president and CEO and will lead initiatives that build and execute brand, strengthen marketing and communications, foster strategic partnerships, and expand relationships with policy makers, industry leaders, and other influencers and stakeholders. The position is critical to the fulfillment of NEFE’s mission as we execute our strategic plan focused on redefining financial education.

The VP, external affairs will lead a department of seven and will establish and achieve NEFE’s aspirational objectives through strong and innovative leadership of the external affairs function. The successful candidate must be able to translate strategic plans into specific short- and long-term objectives and define metrics and accountabilities.

The VP, external affairs will be the brand champion at all levels of the organization. Operating through influence, they will facilitate the building of strong relationships with senior management and employees across the organization. They also will cultivate productive internal and external relationships across key stakeholder groups, and lead and influence across functional teams effectively.

Key Responsibilities:
• Create, implement, oversee and measure the success of a comprehensive, culturally competent marketing and communications advocacy program that will enhance NEFE’s position as the catalyst for the financial education field, including thought leaders, researchers, and policy makers in academia, government and regulatory bodies (national, state and local), national organizations and key public segments.

• Further define, build, protect, measure and promote NEFE’s mission, brand and history.
• Oversee design, production and effective multi-channel distribution of NEFE’s messaging, communication, advertising and promotional campaigns.

• Establish a “convener strategy” to actively engage key stakeholders and elevate NEFE’s research and national thought leadership role. This includes designing an overall conference strategy for NEFE-hosted convenings, as well as participation in key forums and gatherings around shared goals that position NEFE research, ideas and experts while promoting financial education through the awareness and use of NEFE resources and programs.

• Design proactive media, PR and thought leadership strategies to stimulate media interest, build brand awareness and convey NEFE messages. Ensure regular contact with targeted media and timely responses to requests (in conjunction with contracted consultants/agencies as appropriate). Support all aspects of internal and external communication.

• Serve as a spokesperson to key external audiences and position the president and CEO and other NEFE leaders to interface with the media and other key influencers such as think tanks, academics, foundations, nonprofits, government and regulatory policy makers, associations, business leaders and other key stakeholders.

• Create and manage a solid network of strategic partnerships and alliances in support of NEFE’s key priorities including fostering advocacy for research, ideas, products and programs.

• Devise and manage a robust digital and social media strategy and intelligence capability. Measure ongoing consumer and stakeholder engagement with NEFE’s brand, research, thought leadership, products and advocacy efforts.

• Translate ideas and insights into actionable programs, initiatives, thought leadership and research projects with specific and measurable outcomes.

• Use data, analytics and insights to determine program and initiative success. Understand and track the effectiveness of key marketing and brand initiatives, research, programs/events, and overall enhancement of consumer experience.

• Design and execute metric-based short- and long-term plans and budgets to achieve departmental goals, support the success of NEFE’s overall strategic and financial objectives, and establish key performance metrics connecting all areas.

• Develop and implement NEFE’s government affairs strategy covering federal and state departments and agencies, policy makers, and regulatory bodies. Build relationships with local, state and national legislators, state and local administrators, legislative associations, and regulatory agencies in support of NEFE’s mission and goals. Track and provide updates on external trends, developing points of view, and evolving legislation and policy.

Professional Experience/Qualifications:
The position requires an innovative and energetic leader who has a passion for NEFE’s mission and a commitment to build and position the organization as the thought leader in the field of financial education.

The VP, External Affairs will have experience building and running effective marketing and communication programs and building brands. S/he will have a measurable track record that exhibits the ability to define and build strategic partnerships/relationships, influence ideas, and manage relationships with external stakeholders in complex environments. S/he will be skilled at affecting change and building strong, sustainable and actionable relationships that deliver results with key external partners, including thought leaders, professionals and researchers in the field, academic circles, and associations, as well as across federal, state, local and government and regulatory bodies.

The VP, External Affairs will have a strong ability to coordinate across departments and understand the implications of decisions on areas throughout the organization. The right person will be a builder with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results.

The VP, External Affairs will exhibit intellectual curiosity, including the ability to listen to and learn from multiple voices. S/he will have a motivating approach to building strong working relationships and collaboration from stakeholders and internal teams and be able to establish rapport and open communication with all constituents. An engaging and supportive expert, the VP, External Affairs will offer credibility both internally and externally.

Position Requirements:

• Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline—advanced degree a plus.

• Prior experience working with or in the nonprofit or education sectors.

• At least 15 years of a combination of marketing, communication, external affairs (government, alliances, partnerships etc.,) brand management, digital and corporate communication experience, including significant senior management experience.

• Mission-driven and self-directed individual with experience building, developing and managing Agile and results oriented teams.

• Exceptional oral and written communications skills. Dynamic public speaker possessing the ability to communicate with and gain the confidence of people from a variety of sectors and settings.

• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively across the organization with a high-performing management team of senior professionals.

• Strong analytical skills and experience with data analysis and the use of metrics to drive decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

• Strong organizational and process management skills.

• Capability to execute vision and strategy across the organization to influence key stakeholders (including senior leaders) on the design and implementation of programs, partnerships and marketing strategies.

• Proficient in leading, attracting, hiring, retaining and developing high-performing teams and individuals.

• A relationship builder who is trusted, creative, collaborative, persuasive, dependable and possesses high ethical standards.

• Ability to travel approximately 30 percent of the time.

NEFE offers a generous employee benefits program that includes: vacation, sick and holiday leave; health, dental and vision insurance; contributions to both defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans; competitive salary; and a host of additional benefits.

Application Instructions:
To apply, please email cover letter, resume, salary requirements and list of references to [email protected] with Vice President, External Affairs in the subject line.

No phone calls. Application materials must be received by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, June 19th.

NEFE is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

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