Communications Project Manager

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Closing date
Aug 11, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Communications & Marketing

Job Details


HHMI’s biomedical research and science education efforts rely on targeted and timely communication. Our three major program areas - Science, Science Education, and the Janelia Research Campus – regularly communicate new program competitions; announce awardees; market programs to new and growing audiences; and promote the students, scientists, and institutions whom HHMI supports. To achieve this work, the Communications team strategizes, produces, distributes, and evaluates a wide variety of content, in partnership with program stakeholders.

The Communications team is committed to continuous development through outcome-focused planning, learning, and adaptation in our nonprofit environment. The Project Manager will join and advance these efforts with an agile mindset, an organized approach, and pragmatic planning to sustain a path to execution in frequently changing conditions.

The Project Manager will plan and manage the execution of communication campaigns and related Communications team deliverables to support this HHMI program activity. Reporting to the Chief of Communications, the Project Manager will collaborate closely with team members responsible for external, internal, and editorial communication. The Project Manager will serve in a consultative role with program partners for select Science, Science Education, and Janelia Research Campus initiatives.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

With supervision by the Chief of Communications, execute end-to-end project management of communications to support select initiatives of HHMI’s Science, Science Education, and Janelia Research Campus programs, from project planning and development through implementation and close-out. Duties include:

Plan and manage flexible and dynamic project schedules consisting of internal, external, and editorial communication deliverables. Establish project governance structure, including escalation paths and thresholds.

Plan and manage project scope by determining and prioritizing requirements in partnership with program stakeholders and Communications team members.

Plan and manage the quality and delivery of communications products to meet program stakeholder expectations, budget, and timing.

Develop and manage project artifacts, including project calendars, briefs, after-action reviews, creative assets, and other artifacts, in a shared space accessible to all team members.

Use iterative, incremental practices throughout project life cycles, regularly reflecting with Communications team members on lessons learned, stakeholder engagement, and risks.

Manage project changes by anticipating, embracing, and executing change management practices. Use agile practices to enable success in an iterative, uncertain environment.

Manage project issues, including misunderstandings and conflict, by breaking down situations to understand root causes, evaluating appropriate solutions, and using consultative skills to resolve.

Plan and manage outside support or services by vendors, from contract through deliverables and close-out, for activities such as media buys, photography, video, and other creative and strategic services. Track spending and manage budget reporting, in collaboration with the HHMI Communications Office Manager.

Plan and manage project close-out, including reporting, knowledge transfer, and recommendations.


This is an individual contributor role with no supervisory or budget responsibilities.


Bachelor’s degree required.


At least 5-8 years in a project management role in communications or another creative field required. Experience in nonprofit or higher education settings strongly preferred.

PMP certification required.

Demonstrated experience generating project management artifacts

Facility with the full Microsoft Office 365 suite required.

Experience with project management tools (e.g., Asana) required.

Skills and Abilities

Consultative skill to question, understand, and interpret the roles, needs, and styles of stakeholders in a matrixed and ambiguous environment.

Ability to exercise independent judgment amid competing priorities.

Exceptional interpersonal skills; proven ability to build rapport while strategically and inclusively connect with a variety of stakeholders.

Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, understand and incorporate different perspectives, and authentically instill trust with stakeholders.

Ability to anticipate, analyze, and mitigate conflict in project execution.

Ability to partner with conceptual thinkers, helping them chart and focus on a path to execution through specific tasks to achieve project success.

Eye for detail and ability to execute with care and precision.

Exceptional project and time management skills.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills; ability to succinctly express ideas.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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