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Assistant Director of Communications

Massachusetts Historical Society


Join the team at the MHS as our Assistant Director of Communications!

Purpose:  The Assistant Director of Communications (ADC) is responsible for managing the daily operations of the Communications and Visitor Services teams. Reporting to the Interim Vice President of Programs and External Affairs (VP PEA) this position helps create and implement communications and engagement that are aligned with the company’s mission, vision, and goals.  The ADC oversees the Visitor Services team and ensures a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors. The ADC is responsible for the management of various communications including external and/or online communications that include fundraising materials, print collateral, e-communications, and social media to build visibility of the MHS and to engage constituencies.


The ADC is a strategic and operational partner to the VP PEA.  While the VP PEA is responsible for the overall vision and strategic direction of the work of the PEA team and directs and controls the overall calendar of communications and events, the ADC will manage the communications and visitor services team’s implementation of that vision, thereby enabling the VP of PEA to focus on the overall management of the PEA team. As a member of a small team, the ADC will have interaction with the MHS’ strategic partners, donors, and internal stakeholders, and is a tactful and adaptable communicator.


The ADC is an excellent writer, with strong attention to detail, and an ability to manage a complex calendar of print and social media communications targeted to a variety of audiences.  As the manager of the Communications and Visitor Services staff, the ADC is able to coach employees to greater independent decision-making and increased judgement and technical skill and is able to work across a changing set of priorities as needed.


Reporting Relationships:  This position reports to the VP PEA


Supervisory Responsibility:  This position supervises the Communications Manager and Visitor Services team.


Work Location:  This position is eligible for hybrid work, but regular on-site work at the MHS’ Boston location is required to effectively support PEA events and the Visitor Services team, so residence in New England is a condition of continuing employment.


Schedule:    The Society’s regular work week is Monday-Friday, 35 hour per week business hours schedule.  As a salaried manager and member of the PEA team, some evening or weekend support may be required around specific events.


Major Responsibilities:


  • Works with VP PEA, the PEA team, the Program Coordinator, to develop and implement effective communications.
  • Works with the Collections and Content Development team, Development team, Education team, Research team and other departments to develop and implement effective communications across a variety of audiences and events.
  • Creates collaborative relationships across the organization in support of identifying collections items, staff work or research, and upcoming events that can contribute to the MHS’ maintenance of timely, relevant, and interesting array of communications to attract new audiences, while retaining current audiences
  • Manages external communications and creation of collateral materials aimed at a general audience, as well as more targeted communications to donors, Members, K-12 teachers and students, and American history scholars.
  • Ensures that effective, timely, and consistent communication is a priority, and that all communication across all departments is in alignment with MHS strategy.
  • Writes, edits, and implements the distribution of print and electronic collateral including, but not limited to: Development materials, the Annual Report, calendar of events, brochures, invitations, and email blasts.
  • Manages the blog by scheduling, editing, and writing posts.
  • Supports the Communications Manager and collaborates with other staff on social media strategy and ideas to generate more engagement.
  • Works with the Communications Manager and Education team to create social medial strategy and ideas to generate more engagement.
  • Collaborates with Development staff on materials including, but not limited to, annual appeal letters, membership information, MHS Fund Giving Circle collateral, electronic communications, and direct mail.
  • Discerns and implements consistent voice and tone for communications tailored to various audiences.
  • Manages the Visitor Services team and ensures the VS team provides a positive experience for visitors of all kinds.

Oversees the staffing schedule and handles last-minutes scheduling changes.

  • Manages issues or problems brought up by VS staff, MHS staff, and/or visitors.
  • Works with Director of Security on maintaining up-to-date policies, training, and information for VS.
  • In consultation with the VP PEA and the Director of HR, manages the performance of the Visitor Services team, including hiring.
  • Supervises the Communications Manager, providing the coaching and support needed to effectively and successfully manage their workload.

Works on other MHS projects as needed.


Key Contacts

External – vendors and consultants related to communications responsibilities.

Internal –VP PEA, PEA team, department managers, Development department staff




  • Bachelor’s Degree


  • Minimum of 7-10 years’ experience in a relevant professional position, non-profit experience strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated success creating and implementing communications strategies
  • Experience writing and/or designing print and online communications pieces
  • Experience developing and managing a calendar of communications
  • Experience managing staff or interns (preferred)
  • Experience managing vendors
  • Interest in American history and/or libraries and an understanding of the Society’s mission is essential



  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management
  • Strong organizational skills, with the ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Ability to be detail-oriented and accurate
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Ability to coach staff to increased independence and provide feedback to foster growth
  • High level of initiative and creativity
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Proficiency in website content management systems and social media tools, including:  Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), YouTube, WordPress
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite software
  • A basic knowledge of the Altru or comparable fundraising software is preferred


Travel:  Minimal


Note:  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Compensation and Benefits:

Annual salary: $75,000-$90,000, depending on experience.

The MHS offers a generous benefits package including:

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts
  • Vacation starting at three weeks plus 12–14 holidays per year
  • Unlimited sick time
  • Retirement benefits with an employer match of up to 4%
  • Pre-tax commuter benefits and a monthly public transportation incentive
  • Reciprocal entrance to local education and cultural institutions

Application Instructions:

Our hiring process aims to open this opportunity to the most diverse group of applicants possible while also increasing transparency to candidates and mitigating bias in the decision-making process.

To apply to this position, please send a resume and cover letter, and submit them as a single PDF to Carol Knauff, Interim VP of Programs & External Affairs, Please include “Assistant Director of Communications” in the subject line.

Candidates moving past the initial screening stage will be requested to provide a writing sample of their long-form and short-form writing work. 

Pre-Hire Requirements:

MHS requires proof of a vaccination and up-to-date boosters for COVID-19 for all employees. As part of its offer process, MHS will conduct a reference, education verification, and criminal background check for any finalist. We are not able to sponsor visas.

Equal Opportunity Statement:

The Massachusetts Historical Society aims to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. Candidates of all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to apply. We are committed to creating a workplace free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law (also known as membership in a “protected class”).

Candidates in need of accommodation in the application process should reach out to our human resources department with inquiries:

Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.