At SMART Reading, we believe that reading is the gateway to learning and opportunity for Oregon’s kids. This year, we are celebrating 30 years of mobilizing our statewide community to make a direct impact by connecting kids, books, and volunteers who understand that education creates a brighter future for all. Our model provides two essential ingredients for early literacy and learning success: shared reading time and access to books. Without those supports, it’s almost impossible to become an excited, confident reader, or be prepared for learning and success. By helping thousands of children build confidence, literacy skills, and a love of reading—right in our own neighborhoods—we can reduce the negative ripple effects of illiteracy and help children realize their full potential.

When you join SMART Reading, you join an inclusive team of dedicated, hardworking and passionate people working toward our shared goal. As Communications Director, you join an executive team that shares your commitment to making this important work happen. Your position as the Communications Director for SMART Reading will focus on leading a comprehensive statewide communications strategy that drives awareness and support for the organization’s mission in order to accomplish our goals for fundraising and volunteer recruitment. You will lead the work of the Communications Department, which serves as a full-service agency serving all other organizational departments in support of their priorities, as well as the needs of regional offices statewide. You also provide important hands-on leadership, participating in high-level decision making to guide the overall vision and direction for the organization, and inviting and incorporating feedback from stakeholders along the way. 

The ideal candidate will have a passion for supporting children’s literacy, a strong commitment to equity, and experience leading strategic communications, ideally in an organization with multiple locations. 

The Communications Director will report to the Executive Director, who is based in Portland at the organization’s main office. While location for this role is flexible within the state of Oregon, the Communications Director should plan to make periodic visits to Portland.  SMART Reading is committed to supporting our staff with remote work and flexible work options. We know life happens.

Who you are:

  • Strategic, creative thinker with strong interpersonal skills, sound technical skills,  analytical ability, and good judgment 
  • Proven experience driving strategic communications campaigns 
  • Excellent project management skills and ability to keep pace with high demand and multiple competing priorities
  • Proven track record of developing and maintaining relationships with media and key organizational partners   
  • Experience in facilitating an inclusive working environment with a geographically dispersed field team 
  • Excellent writing/editing skills across a variety of media 
  • Ability to work collaboratively with leadership, peers, colleagues, external constituents,  and community members while maintaining a leadership role in area of expertise
  • Ability to speak persuasively 
  • Understanding of print production 
  • Knowledge of basic HTML required 
  • Minimum five years (preferred 10 years) experience in a relevant field such as public relations or marketing and experience managing marketing and public relations  programs.

If that’s you, here’s what we can offer:

  • A salary of $80K, and a generous benefits package worth $24K.
  • Support for remote work, flexible schedules (early or late start) or a compressed work week, while covering “core” hours as necessary.
  • A team of equally-committed, passionate and experienced individuals.
  • Plenty of opportunity to put your creativity and ideas to good use (We’ve got great systems but we’re always interested in improvement).
  • Professional development opportunities, both internal and external to SMART Reading.
  • An organizational culture that values team, plays to the strengths of its members, and is tirelessly devoted to serving all kids with the most inclusive, high-quality programming possible. 


SMART Reading’s Commitment to Equity:

As an early literacy program focused on helping children succeed with reading and learning, SMART Reading can’t ignore that deep racial, cultural, social and economic inequities in our country and state make it harder for some children to succeed compared to others. Our vision is an Oregon in which every child can read and is empowered to succeed, and we are making equity a top priority. As part of this, we particularly seek staff members, volunteers, and board members whose personal or professional background gives them a unique perspective to further SMART Reading’s work in serving children of color and children from other marginalized groups.


Physical Requirements:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to frequently use a computer at a desk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

General Requirements:

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required for the position. 


To read the full position description, click here:

Please provide a resume with a brief cover letter that tells us how you meet our needs, what your experience and commitment is to equity and whether you have bonus skills outlined above.

Please apply at the following link:

People of color, people living with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled but will begin the first review of all applications received on May 31, 2022. We will begin phone interviews after this time. Selected applicants will be invited to move forward to in-person (or video) interviews. At this point in our process we will ask for professional references and make an offer shortly thereafter. We would like to have the selected candidate start by July 1, 2022 if not sooner.