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Director of Strategic Communications

Job Details

San Jose, CA


FIRST 5 Santa Clara County is looking for an enthusiastic and strategic Director of Strategic Communications to lead and implement our external community and internal agency communications on behalf of children, prenatal through five years, and their families and caregivers. This is a dynamic opportunity to promote and advance the equity-centered efforts of our recently completed 2024-2027 Strategic Plan. The Director of Communications will have an opportunity to elevate the agency’s public profile and increase awareness and support of the agency’s diverse priorities, partnerships, and services.

Aligning with our mission, we hope to create a positive impact on the lives of children and families in our community. We believe fostering emotional intelligence is at the heart of our work, both internally and in the broader community. By embracing empathy, understanding, and compassion, we aim to build and grow a team of individuals who not only excel in their roles, but also contribute to a supportive and nurturing environment.

Background on FIRST 5:

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County (FIRST 5) was formed when California voters approved Proposition 10 in November 1998. FIRST 5 is a local public entity governed by a nine-member Commission. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County supports the healthy development of children from prenatal through age five and enriches the lives of their families. FIRST 5 allocates funds to promote, support, and improve early childhood development for children prenatal through age 5 and their families.

Commitment to Diversity:

First 5 Santa Clara Country is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all individuals are valued, respected, and empowered to succeed. We believe that diversity enriches our community and enhances our ability to innovate and thrive. We are dedicated to creating a culture that celebrates differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, socioeconomic status, and other dimensions of diversity. We recognize that diverse perspectives lead to better solutions and stronger relationships. Through ongoing education, training, and intentional efforts, we strive to eliminate bias and discrimination in our policies, practices, and interactions. We are committed to providing equal opportunities for growth, advancement, and recognition to all members of our community.


Under the direction of the Executive of Community Impact, the Director of Strategic Communications is a key member of the leadership team, responsible for the development and implementation of internal and external communication strategies. This position is responsible for elevating the agency’s public profile, increasing awareness and support of our strategic priorities, partnerships, and services, and effectively communicating key messages to a diversity of partners, including employees, community organizations, policymakers, media outlets, and families.


  • This position is full-time exempt and is part of the recognized bargaining unit represented by SEIU Local 521.
  • The FIRST 5 SEIU Director Salary Range: $112,562 - $130,491(External salary placement is in accordance with MOU Article 12.4)



  • Lead communications strategies, including writing and developing content, using an equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racist lens. Promote responsible, human-centered storytelling including thoughtful partnerships working with people impacted by systemic racism and other injustices.
  • Develop a proactive and comprehensive communications outreach strategy with measurable objectives that includes traditional and digital reach, aligned with strategic goals and initiatives, programs, services, events, and other agency efforts.

People Management

  • Establish and contribute to effective cross-team relationships throughout organization, in service of promoting strategic communications that advance collective priorities.
  • Manage work with consultants and vendors to ensure successful completion of activities, including proposals, assessment, timelines, and budgeting.
  • Cultivate and employ leadership and listening skills to guide the work of the communications team, fostering a collaborative, inclusive, and creative environment.
  • Provide supervision, guidance, and delegation of work to communications team members that fosters a sense of belonging.

Advocacy and Awareness

  • Partner with colleagues and executive team on advocacy, awareness, and fund development efforts, including production of communications materials for policymakers and current and prospective donors.
  • Liaise with media and manage requests for interviews, statements, press releases, and other communications-related needs.
  • Launch regular advocacy campaigns countywide that support the work of FIRST 5, including partnerships with systems such as public health, social services, and other community-based organizations.
  • Provide support for all evaluative efforts including the Annual Report and communicate strategic efforts and results countywide.
  • Work collaboratively with communications team to ensure partners and families are aware of, fully understand, and actively engage in FIRST 5 Santa Clara County’s strategic efforts.

FIRST 5 Brand Strategy

  • Lead communications team to align messaging and timely release of announcements across social media, website(s), newsletters, email campaigns, and other communications channels to ensure families and community partners recognize, understand, and engage with FIRST 5 strategic efforts countywide.
  • Create and implement ongoing brand strategy, rollout, and compliance with internal and external audiences, including monitoring and ensuring brand consistency with staff, grantees, and partners for all print and digital collateral, including but not limited to distribution materials, social platforms, and FIRST 5 websites.
  • In partnership with the communications team, manage the Potter the Otter brand.


  • Develop and present to FIRST 5 staff, FIRST 5 Commissioners, and external partners on communications-related efforts, as needed.
  • Develop internal agency communication protocols, as needed.
  • In partnership with the communications team, proactively keep up with current news and legislation related to family support, childcare, and healthy child development to inform agency communications.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • The ability to work in a diverse and inclusive organization as an active participant in culture initiatives, training opportunities, and employee resource groups.
  • Demonstrates strategic acumen, ability to prioritize tasks, and flexibility to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent and effective written and verbal communication skills along with strong attention to detail,
  • The ability to build relationships and effectively communicate in individual and group settings with diverse colleagues, grantees and community organizations, and system of care partners.
  • Demonstrates emotional intelligence in interactions, negotiations, and communications.
  • The ability to work under pressure while exercising good judgment and handling conflict and uncomfortable situations with peers, and direct reports with tact and diplomacy.
  • Familiarity with graphic design, website management, visual design platforms such as Adobe Creative Suite for infographics and flyers, Mailchimp, editing skills, and/or video production.
  • Demonstrate a proven track record of effectively leading teams or workgroups, managing multiple projects and tasks simultaneously, exhibiting strong organizational skills, and the ability to prioritize, plan, and execute effectively.
  • Display adaptability to changing priorities.
  • Exhibit proficiency in conflict resolution skills, making sound decisions while considering potential impacts on individuals, organizational skills, delegation, and coordination.
  • Possess experience in providing feedback or participating in performance evaluation process. Demonstrate the ability to coach and mentor effectively.
  • Proven ability to identify challenges and devise solutions within programs and when engaging with individuals and communities.
  • Proficiency working within a Microsoft Office 365 Workspace.


The ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds occasionally, and the capability to sit and stand for extended periods, bend stoop, and perform tasks requiring manual dexterity. Will require participation in FIRST 5 related community events and working some evenings and weekends.


The work is performed in a typical office setting which is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated.



  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, media, marketing, journalism, or a related field; OR an equivalent combination of education and 10+ years of experience in the field.
  • Minimum 5 years of related work experience with increased responsibilities working in a lead strategic communications role.
  • Passionate and instinctive storyteller with excellent content-generation skills across a variety of communications platforms.
  • At least 3 years of supervision experience.
  • Experience in the public/nonprofit/government sector a plus.
  • Bilingual/bicultural a plus.