Communications Lead at Open Knowledge Foundation

Open Knowledge is looking to contract a Communications Lead

This is a very diverse role which combines work in many exciting areas around data, access to knowledge and public interest advocacy to advance the right to know. The Communications Lead main priorities are to:

  • Make sure people throughout the World know what the Open Knowledge Foundation has to offer that might be useful to them and their communities, in ways that are friendly and easy to understand.
  • Tell the stories of our software projects, grantees and Fellows, in ways that help their work while also inspiring others.
  • Share lessons from grantees, Fellows and the Foundation’s work, in ways that are useful to and can influence others in our field and foster the values of openness and the importance of open knowledge.
  • Ensure that the Open Knowledge Foundation is accessible to and engaged with our key stakeholders, in ways that are open and transparent.

The Communications Lead Role

The Communications Lead will work as a contractor, providing strategic leadership and guidance on all aspects of communications, playing a key organisation-wide leadership role, with the opportunity to broadly influence Foundation strategy and operations.

Reports to: CEO

Other key relationships: International Network Lead.

Position Location: Remote.

Schedule & Travel: Occasional travel and driving may be required, with occasional schedule adjustments in order to meet priority deadlines or participate in community events.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead the Foundation communications strategy. This includes setting an overarching strategic communications plan that advances programmatic goals and reflects the Foundation’s values as well as leading operational and tactical work to implement the strategies.
  • Oversee communications operations. This includes annual planning and budgeting and ensuring all work is done well and meets the needs of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Serve as an internal consultant to the CEO and other Foundation staff to develop and refine key messages, themes, presentations that effectively advance the Foundation’s goals and vision. Explore and identify channels, forums and venues for sharing learning and insights.
  • Provide organisational leadership. This includes working with staff across the foundation to identify and resolve cross-organizational issues and providing leadership, counsel and support for effective internal and external communications.

Skills and Experience Required

  • Communications Leadership: Has significant communications leadership experience, with at least seven years of demonstrated success leading and managing complex work projects. This includes experience integrating strategies across communications channels, including web, social media, publications, and media relations.
  • Communications Practitioner: Is a great written and verbal communicator, able to communicate in ways that are simple and conversational and to help others do so, too. Experience preparing materials that capture the voice and tone of other people.
  • Open Knowledge and Open Data Awareness: Has enough experience in communications related to open data issues and open knowledge challenges and is capable of developing clear and nuanced messages on subjects that may be difficult or controversial.
  • Relational: Is good at building trusting relationships and able to work well with people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.
  • Project Manager: Is responsive and able to manage multiple projects with tight deadlines.


This is a full time contract. An offer will be made based on Experience. Expected annual earnings between £32,000 and £40,000 based on a flexible 40h work week.

Candidates should:

  • be a self-starter – capable of working independently and coordinating with colleagues remotely, and be able to demonstrate this.
  • Have access and relationships built with mainstream media and alternative media outlets.
  • Be digitally savvy and highly skilled using diverse tools to communicate and reach audiences across cultures and age groups.
  • be highly organised – capable of managing their own projects and initiatives (possibly several at the same time), as well as coordinating with and chasing up others where relevant.
  • be skilled and comfortable at public speaking, coordinating group activities and communicating on behalf of Open Knowledge in various public fora (including emails, on the web and at events).
  • be familiar with open data and the open definition.
  • have excellent written and spoken English, and demonstrated experience communicating to diverse audiences, including specialists and international groups. Other languages are a plus.

The Organisation:

Open Knowledge Foundation is a global non-profit organisation working towards the openness of all forms of knowledge to secure a fair, free and open future for all. A world where all non-personal information is open, free, for everyone to use, build on and share, in which creators and innovators are recognised and rewarded. The wide range of projects we work on all aim to give people access to data, the knowledge to understand it, and the power to use it in our everyday lives.

Open Knowledge Foundation is a distributed team, based all over the world, so experience or strong understanding of what is required to work in a global, multicultural, highly transparent, remote team is a distinct advantage.

The applicant must have their own computer, with all the software required to perform their work as well as access to a reliable internet connection, after a trial period, the organisation provides support for equipment acquisition and a budget for products and services to perform their work.