The Marshall Project is seeking to expand its award-winning accountability criminal justice journalism to communities across the country where local news resources to cover this urgent issue are being slashed or eliminated. Criminal justice is overwhelmingly a local matter. Police departments, courts, judges, district attorneys and other arms of the justice system are run by people elected locally, and laws regulating them are passed by state and local governments. To examine whether these institutions are serving the public fairly, communities need journalists equipped with the reporting, editing, data, visual and community outreach resources to investigate abuses and communicate with a wide range of people whose fates depend on how the justice system is run.
We envision a series of Marshall Project non-profit journalism teams staffed by local reporters who know their community better than anyone, with our national team providing editorial and operational support. We will work in partnership, not competition, with local journalists and existing news outlets.
We aim to produce journalism that is written for, and accountable to, the communities in which the teams are based. We will write for people with power to implement changes when abuses are exposed, and for those who have felt powerless. We intend to expand our sources and readers to make sure we are talking to people who often feel excluded or caricatured by the news media. Fact-based investigative, data and engagement projects are central to our model.
We will also explore alternative ways of telling stories so we make sure our journalism reaches those who might face literacy challenges or who haven’t traditionally received their information from written news outlets.
On this business side, The Marshall Project seeks a Chief Strategy Officer who can oversee the operational rollout of this ambitious local strategy for our newsroom. We’re looking for someone with experience in program development and management -- in other words, with the ability to successfully launch something new. The job will entail complex stakeholder management, working with both national and local colleagues, on the business side and in the newsroom, with external partners and funders as well as with our own staff. The Chief Strategy Officer will also promote The Marshall Project’s brand, overseeing our communications and marketing efforts, and working with the President to represent the organization to external stakeholders, including funders.
The successful candidate will be a people person, with a keen sense of the special role that journalism plays in exposing abuses and prompting change. They should have at least ten years of experience in project management, operations, and/or communications, either at a nonprofit or in the commercial media. They should have a strong track record of working with a complex array of stakeholders. Exposure to the philanthropic sector is definitely a plus. So is systems management; as we grow, we use a growing number of tools to keep track of our burgeoning operations.
We do not expect every candidate to be equally skilled in all these areas, and this is not a complete list of all relevant qualifications applicants might bring to the job. Please tell us about your other assets not mentioned here that may be valuable to this role. Reaching talent across a range of backgrounds and experiences is deeply important to us. If you do not meet all the criteria but are still interested in this role and/or in The Marshall Project, we'd love to hear from you.
The Chief Strategy Officer will report to the President of The Marshall Project, and work closely with the Managing Editor for local news and Editor-in-Chief, who will drive editorial and product strategy. The duties of this position will include:
- Assessing the feasibility of different locations for investment, overseeing the work of consultants where necessary and leading the staff committee devoted to guiding this work.
- Shouldering the administrative and organizational challenges of starting up local news teams, coordinating with the newsroom side to ensure that the hiring, financial, fundraising, audience development, and other operational needs are met.
- Coordinating the work of these local operations with our national business-side staff as the journalism gets underway.
- Brainstorming ways to encourage the sense of collective mission necessary to maintain the coherence of an increasingly geographically dispersed and diverse journalism nonprofit.
- Ensure cohesive leadership at the executive level so that the organization’s day-to-day operations and programs are professionally and efficiently administered. Create and implement new organizational systems to support our growth on the local and national level.
- Working with the president to keep our board of directors and funders apprised of our progress, and with our Development team to make sure resources are available where needed and both the newsroom and business side are operating collaboratively.
In addition to these duties related to the development of local news teams, the Chief Strategy Officer will also:
- Help ensure that The Marshall Project’s day-to-day operations and programs are professionally and efficiently administered, holding the organization to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.
- Work with our Human Resources team to ensure we attract the top-quality employees and invest in their professional development, advancing the values of diversity, equity and inclusion that are central to The Marshall Project’s mission.
- Embrace a crucial priority of our audience development, to commit ourselves to drawing new people to criminal justice news, and to reaching and serving people with personal experience of the criminal justice system.
- Ensure the smooth operation of two all-staff retreats in different locations around the country every year.
- A Bachelor’s degree and minimum of ten years experience in project management, operations, and/or communications, either at a nonprofit or in the commercial media.
- Demonstrated experience working with a complex array of stakeholders, both internally and externally.
- Exposure to the philanthropic sector is desirable although not required.
- Strong interpersonal skills and experience working effectively in a growing organization with multiple stakeholders.
- Experience in public speaking and media appearances is a plus.
- Ability to consider multiple perspectives and implement solutions to complex problems.
- Strong writing skills.