Director of Narrative Strategy

Communications · Oakland, California
Department Communications
Employment Type Full-Time (100% FTE)
Minimum Experience Mid-level
Compensation $115,000 starting of the range

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About PolicyLink

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®.  Please visit our website at: to learn more about our work, values, and impact.


Position Overview

Narrative has the power to illuminate a path forward that we may not have ever seen as possible. The right story, told the right way, with the right messenger can open up the types of opportunities that change the world as we know it. Narrative is power.

We are looking for a Director of Narrative Strategy to harness the power of narrative to advance racial equity and justice in PolicyLink’s key issue areas. As the organization’s first Director of Narrative Strategy, this role has the opportunity to co-architect how PolicyLink approaches narrative strategy in the long-term, while having immediate impact through timely key projects. In the first year, the Director of Narrative Strategy will serve as a critical member of a multi-organization effort to advance housing justice through narrative and cultural strategy to shift policy. The Director of Narrative Strategy leverages their knowledge of movements and narrative shift to develop strategies that amplify the powerful work of grassroots partners, while connecting work across organizations to build a cohesive national narrative strategy. In addition to developing strategy, the Director of Narrative Strategy will work to build capacity in grassroots partner organizations by creating tools, resources, and training. 

The Director of Narrative Strategy must believe in the power of narrative and understand its role in movements. Although not required, the ideal candidate is also passionate about housing justice and understands the landscape of housing inequity in our country, including the compounded crises exacerbated by COVID-19. During their first year, they will elevate public awareness of the COVID-deepened housing challenges; amplify the local campaigns; build the narrative capacity of local organizations advancing housing justice; and drive national housing justice narratives that align local, state and federal policies. 

The Director of Narrative Strategy is positioned on the PolicyLink communications team. In addition to informing PolicyLink’s overall narrative strategy, this role will be assigned to catalyze narrative change in specific issue areas to advance organizational goals.



  • Develop work plans to map the work and grant deliverables for time bound projects and initiatives.
  • Learn from and work with the grassroots organizations, networks and coalition tables partnering in this effort. 
  • Build upon research, evaluations and field application of the Phase I of Housing Justice Narrative Initiative
  • Align housing narratives with local, state, and federal policy advocacy and campaigns.
  • Serve as the liaison between grassroots organizations, grant partner organizations, granting institutions, and the PolicyLink team. 
  • Develop tools, resources, and training to support local organizations to tell their story and advance their priorities. 
  • Attend regular meetings with grantors to share lessons and connect efforts to aligned grantee projects. 
  • Participate as a member of the PolicyLink communications team bringing lessons and insights gleaned from the project-based work to support the organization. 
  • Stay immersed in the rapidly changing landscape of housing, including COVID-19 response policies such as eviction moratoriums.  

Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge Required

  • Developing communications strategy for individual organizations as well as national strategies connecting multiple organizations, including digital, cultural, and campaign strategy. 
  • Passionate about both communication and equity, with a deep understanding of their interdependence.
  • Skilled at executing the developed strategy, iterating nimbly when needed to increase impact. 
  • Comfortable holding the evolving needs of dozens of organizations and localities simultaneously.
  • Passionate about storytelling, narrative shift, and racial justice.
  • Ability to integrate arts & cultural methods in narrative strategy. 
  • Skilled in project management, setting and meeting deadlines, and time management.
  • Skilled in media pitching, placement, amplification.
  • Comfort developing and leading trainings, workshops, and sharing information across various audiences. 
  • Adept at developing strategic partnerships, including building relationships with funders.


Education and Experience Qualifications

  • 5-10 years experience and/or training in communications and narrative strategy.
  • Experience with project management, including managing the development of research products.
  • Experience developing, organizing, and conducting trainings for community-based organizations.
  • Experience working on multi-organization project teams.
  • Experience working at or with grassroots advocacy organizations.
  • Experience leveraging communications and narrative strategy as a tool for advocacy.
  • Experience using communications as a tool to shift culture in organizations or communities.

Additional Candidate Characteristics

  • Resourceful, willing to self-start and work with little direction.
  • Able to manage a constantly evolving landscape, and shift priorities accordingly.
  • Operating from an asset-based communications framework. 
  • Passionate about ethical storytelling and developing strategies to mitigate extraction. 
  • Sense of humor and a passion for prioritizing joy.

Work Environment

  • Housed in the PolicyLink communications team. 
  • Work is often highly collaborative with partner organizations. 
  • Close strategy collaboration with PolicyLink Housing team. 
  • Reports to the Vice President of Communications.
  • This position is a remote position, with potential for travel in the future (when it is safe to do so).


Position Type

Exempt, 100% Full-Time, 40 hours per week



This salary range for this position is $115,000 - $140,000, dependent upon experience. Additionally, PolicyLink provides an excellent and comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, 401k match, ancillary benefits, access to Flexible Spending Accounts, commuter expenses, and generous leave benefits.


To Apply:

We accept online applications only.  

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Please note: No phone calls please. Only those selected to participate in our hiring process will be contacted.



PolicyLink strongly values equity and believes in a just and fair society where all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We work towards a more inclusive world and as such we are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, skin color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or parenthood. PolicyLink is committed to maintaining a diverse and multicultural working environment.


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  • Location
    Oakland, California
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Full-Time (100% FTE)
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation
    $115,000 starting of the range