Director, New Initiatives

International Center for Journalists
Washington, DC
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
How to Apply
Please click on link to apply
Where to Apply

Title: Director, New Initiatives
Department: Partnerships and Culture
Reports to: Vice President, Partnerships and Culture
Employment Type: Full-time
Starting Salary: $80,000
Located: Washington DC. Flexible hybrid-remote policy.

Fact-based journalism is under unprecedented attack at a time when a free, independent news media has never been more important. The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) works to ensure that the cornerstone of healthy democracies – reliable, trustworthy news – stays strong for generations to come. We give journalists the support and tools they need to do their jobs better. Through our work, journalists are enhancing news coverage and connecting more deeply with their audiences. ICFJ’s network is truly international – in the past five years alone, we have worked with 132,000 journalists from 173 countries. Our programs have impact: Stories produced by our participants have led to the fall of corrupt governments, promoted better laws and made communities safer and healthier.

The Director, New Initiatives is a critical position within ICFJ and plays a key role in leading the proposal development process and advancing new areas of business. To succeed in this role, the ideal candidate will have experience in preparing and submitting competitive proposals for U.S. government and private foundations and be an impeccable writer and an out-of-the-box thinker who understands journalism and the media landscape. The role requires innovation, creativity, leadership and the ability to turn ideas into impactful global programs. The director will be responsible for creating systems that ensure that new ideas and innovation cascade through the organization. The director is someone who works well in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment and will be able to work independently and efficiently while handling multiple priorities.

The director will act as a full and active member of the New Initiatives team to ensure that ICFJ maintains the highest standard of quality and efficiency in all its projects. ICFJ runs more than 80 programs each year for journalists in the form of training, mentoring, fellowships or financial support. This programming falls under five areas critical for journalism today: Media innovation, investigative journalism, critical-issues reporting, financial sustainability, and research and resources. ICFJ prides itself on being a mission-driven organization with a global impact. We take employee growth and experience seriously and try hard to make sure that every staff member has the opportunity to grow and rise through the ranks.

Manage the proposal development process (75%)
• Develop new and innovative programs that align with ICFJ’s strategic priorities and appeal to a variety of funders.
• Write proposals, concept papers, and prepare supplemental proposal material as needed
• Manage the proposal development team in preparing and submitting competitive proposals in a timely manner.
• Lead the coordination with other departments as well as external project partners in the proposal process.
• Develop a system to surface and generate innovative ideas and communicate those ideas to senior leadership.
• Oversee New Initiatives assistant to track and analyze proposal information on database.
• Work closely with the finance department on proposal budgets.

Identify and cultivate new prospective opportunities and funders (15%)
• Support the VP of Partnerships and Culture in outreach with strategic partners and prospective funders.
• Work with the VP of Partnerships and Culture and the President to identify new programming opportunities to advance ICFJ’s strategic mission.
• Manage relationships with program partners and funders.

Support program growth in key regional areas, such as Central/Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East (10%)
• Provide strategic thinking on new growth areas and funding priorities.
• Provide technical support and consult on development and implementation of programs based on regional expertise.

• Leadership and decision-making
• Ability to turn creative ideas into actionable proposals
• Strong writing and editing skills
• Strong project management skills
• Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines

• Bachelor’s degree with 6-8 years of experience working in journalism and/or non-profit organization
• Experience in preparing proposals for U.S. government and private foundations
• Must be able to work independently and efficiently while handling multiple priorities
• Excellent writing and research skills
• Excellent interpersonal communication skills
• Proactive and able to identify and take initiative on projects
• Confident in managing multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment
• Exceptional attention to detail
• Strong critical thinking skills
• Ability to engage with partners, journalists and staffers from diverse backgrounds
• Excellent command of Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets; preferred proficiency in Salesforce

It’s a plus if you:
• Are bilingual
• Worked internationally
• Have a strong understanding of or experience working in one of the following regions: Asia, Africa, Middle East or Central/Eastern Europe

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter with salary requirement, and three references with contact information.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

ICFJ is a non-profit classified as a 501 (c) (3) and as such receives funding from public and private grant funds and donations. Our funders are listed at the bottom of our annual report.