Executive Communications Specialist

Executive Communications Specialist

Reports to: Vice President, Communications

Location: San Francisco, CA

About the role:

We are looking for the voice of knowledge equity.

The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a collaborative and engaged communications specialist to manage the increasingly diverse and global portfolio of our executive communications. This dynamic individual will be a key link of support, primarily for our Executive Director, Katherine Maher, as well as our Leadership team and serve as a strategic thought partner. They will translate strategy into implementation to conceptualize, develop and execute meaningful communications for social impact. This person will be able to originate high level briefs from the Executive Director and Leadership team, and provide well-managed communications on their behalf, all while remaining aligned to the overall communications objectives of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Along with creatively bringing the vision of the Wikimedia Foundation to life through executive communications, this person will support the relationship between all levels of staff and the office of the Executive Director. They will be expected to insightfully develop, shape, and implement a public engagement strategy to inspire audiences, and to extend the vision of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The ideal candidate is:

  • An experienced storyteller who can bring the Wikimedia movement to life through a variety of forums and media.
  • An organized, strategic thinker who can implement tactical measures, turn complex issues into clear and influential messages, identify and manage evolving priorities and scale thought leadership platforms for our Leadership team.
  • A collaborative and vibrant team player who can seamlessly integrate into a dynamic communications team to collectively execute a singular and unique communications strategy.

The Executive Communications Specialist is accountable for:

  • Building and proactively developing thought provoking messaging and opportunities for the Executive Director to deliver a passionate external voice for the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Delivering a compelling internal communications strategy that engages and motivates both staff and the wider Wikimedia community.
  • Raising the profile of Wikimedia leadership by proactively seeking out media opportunities and speaking engagements as well as co-creating thought leadership and building public presence for our Leadership team.
  • Ensuring clear and effective communications between the Leadership team and the entire Foundation by creating communications plans related to a wide range of subjects from timely response around urgent issues, to a regular updates around organizational goals as outlined with the Leadership team.   
  • Developing unique executive content that captures the vision of the Wikimedia Foundation which includes keynotes, external events, presentations, blogs, podcasts, and social media channel development.
  • Managing a dynamic public engagement portfolio and communications priorities for  the Executive Director and multiple senior-level stakeholders.
  • Developing and integrating executive communications support and public engagement outreach into the broader strategic goals of the communications department.

They will join a growing team of highly collaborative and adaptive media strategists, marketers, writers and designers championing free information and knowledge around the world.

Skills and experience

  • 3 or more years of working as a corporate communications, PR, external and internal communications professional in a public-facing capacity.
  • Excellent communication, collaboration, teamwork, and time management skills.
  • Willingness to travel and work across time zones and on weekends.
  • Ability to work with colleagues who do not have English as primary language.
  • Proven ability to engage media and manage key influencers to drive results.
  • Expert writing skills with ability to write in a variety of styles and media, and across cultures, from business-to-business communications to speech-writing for social impact

 Experience or willingness to grow in:

  • Presenting to executive leaders, board members, and a variety of internal and external audiences.
  • Interpreting strategic plans for a variety of audiences using a mix of communication tools.
  • Adapting to the tone and voice of our executives to match their style, and meet the vision of the Wikimedia Foundation communications strategy.
  • Managing a variety of passionate communities and relationships with various groups.


  • We have a strong preference for communications leaders with experience in both public/government service and technology sectors.
  • Experience working with global nonprofit, international nongovernmental, or technology service organizations.
  • Hands-on experience with community centered efforts like anti-oppression work.
  • Fluency or familiarity with languages in addition to English.
  • Having lived or worked outside your country of origin.
  • Experience as a member of a volunteer community.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an open and transparent organization operating within a decentralized global network of volunteers. We tend to speak openly rather than aiming to control or restrict access to information about us. We seek to inspire, engage, and bring people along in our free knowledge vision.

Who should apply

At Wikimedia, we serve the world. We believe that there is no way to meaningfully achieve our goal of reaching every single human unless our organization reflects the full breadth of the human experience. To that end, the Wikimedia Foundation recruits candidates from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, including those from historically marginalized groups — women, people with disabilities, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or gender nonconforming, first and second generation immigrants, and people from low-income families. A diversity of lived experiences is reflective of those who create and use Wikimedia every day.

The Wikimedia Foundation is...

...the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

Benefits & Perks *

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

More information



Annual Report - 2017

Wikimedia 2030



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