The Vice President of Communications leads the Aerospace Industries Association’s outreach and communications functions and works closely with AIA member companies to tell the aerospace and defense industry’s story in the United States and around the world. He or she plays a critical role in supporting AIA’s role as the leading advocacy organization supporting the U.S. aerospace and defense industry.
Over the past 18 months, AIA celebrated its Centennial, re-branded with a new logo and messaging, launched a new website, upgraded our advocacy tools, and reached out to new audiences to tell new stories. We are looking for a Vice President of Communications to lead a talented, high-energy communications team integrating digital, creative, and earned media to advocate for our industry and amplify the innovation and impact of our members.
The Vice President reports directly to the President and CEO and is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive communications strategy to support the association’s policy, advocacy, and membership goals. He or she will provide input, leadership, guidance, and direction for all communications activities of the association, ensuring AIA’s and the industry’s message swiftly and effectively reaches key audiences including: policymakers, regulators, and lawmakers; industry leaders; opinion leaders; and the general public.
AIA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or Veteran status. Consistent with AIA’s commitment to be an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly believe that diversity contributes to a broader collective perspective that will consistently lead to a better organization and better results. We are working hard to increase the diversity of our team wherever we can and we actively encourage everyone to consider becoming a part of our team.
Core Duties and Responsibilities:
The Vice President of Communications will work with AIA’s senior leadership team to ensure that all communications efforts align with AIA’s mission, strategic plan, and overall objectives. In addition, the person will:
Develop and oversee execution of integrated communications strategies to: 1) effectively communicate around investment, policy, regulatory, and workforce issues important to the aerospace and defense industry; 2) highlight the aerospace and defense industry as an exciting and inspiring option for students and job seekers; and 3) strengthen AIA’s voice as the leading advocacy organization representing the U.S. aerospace and defense industry.
In close coordination with AIA’s Strategic Initiatives and Legislative Affairs divisions, develop and implement industry-wide campaigns, as needed, to advance aerospace and defense objectives.
Working with the Media Director, engage with AIA’s policy staff to identify and respond to potential media issues and opportunities. Engage regularly with trade and other media and serve as a media spokesperson for the association.
Working with the Digital Director and Creative Director, ensure impactful print and digital engagement to AIA’s stakeholders using our website, digital channels, email marketing, and paid advertising.
Partner with AIA’s Corporate Events team to produce impactful, high-quality events for AIA members and stakeholders.
Oversee development and ensure the quality and effectiveness of all organizational communications including news releases, statements, op-eds, social media, letters to the editor, and other materials.
Identify and develop speaking opportunities and other platforms for the president and senior staff that support the association’s policy and advocacy objectives.
Develop and implement a strong program of communications to AIA members and support the needs of AIA staff communications as well.
Develop and maintain an active network of public affairs contacts within the industry, federal agencies, the administration, international organizations, and other important sources. Work with other associations to identify common issues that are appropriate for concerted actions. Keep highly informed of industry developments through wide reading and contacts with industry and government officials.
Coordinate the AIA Communications Council. Inform council members of fast-breaking developments and work with them to develop industry positions. Proactively develop communications plans for developing issues that may/will become important to our members, including crisis communications management.
Develop, oversee, and manage an annual budget for the communication function.
Staff of 6: Director of Strategic Communications, Creative Director, Digital Director, Media Director, Writer/Editor, and (a shared) Administrative Assistant.
Qualifications and Experience:
Demonstrated experience as an executive in a company or association, with specific established expertise in communications;
A minimum of five years in a senior management role in government, an association, an aerospace-related corporation, or a public relations organization;
Experience in the primary/senior communications role for more than three years;
Direct experience working and/or pitching stories to media outlets, specific reporters, communication teams, etc.;
Demonstrated experience and success in the use of technology as a management tool;
Ability to effectively communicate the vision, programs, and value of membership in AIA to maintain and increase membership including reaching and/or expanding into new or untapped markets;
Experience in developing and managing departmental budgets;
Superb interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work collegially with others and with the highest standards of integrity;
First-rate personal, political, analytical, and organizational skills;
Ability to quickly get up to speed on complex technical and regulatory issues;
Excellent communicator with great interpersonal and presentation skills, both for policy experts and the layperson;
Ability to work independently and as a team player while producing the highest caliber work product in a timely manner;
Self-starter with a sense of humor and the ability to thrive in a fast moving and sometimes high-pressure environment.
Bachelor’s degree in communications or journalism, or equivalent work experience, required;
Master’s degree in communications a plus.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), founded in 1919, only a few years after the birth of flight, is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the U.S. aerospace and defense industry on Capitol Hill, within the administration and internationally. As the voice of American aerospace and defense, AIA’s strong advocacy is essential to protecting the interests of our nation and our industry.
Based in Arlington, Va., AIA is led by a Board of Governors that meets twice a year and consists of senior representatives of member companies at the c-suite level, and an Executive Committee that meets more frequently. A hallmark of AIA is that it receives its policy guidance from the direct involvement of CEO-level officers of companies of all sizes across all levels of our industry. The government frequently seeks advice from AIA on issues, and AIA provides a forum for government and industry representatives to exchange views and resolve problems on non-competitive matters related to aerospace and defense.
Today, more than 340 major aerospace and defense companies and their suppliers are members of the association, embodying every high-technology manufactu...ring segment of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry including commercial aviation and avionics, manned and unmanned defense systems, and space technologies and satellite communications.
Working together through our councils and committees, AIA is at the forefront of critical issues, such as advocating for robust federal budgets for aerospace and defense, a strong U.S. industrial base, defense modernization, and an efficient acquisition system. In addition, accelerating deployment of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NexGen) technologies and equipment, promoting the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), modernizing export controls, and obtaining additional resources for research and development and space exploration are important priorities. We are a leader in developing and publishing national aerospace standards that are used in aerospace design and manufacturing across the globe. And we coordinate and lead a full spectrum of efforts across the local, state and federal levels to address workforce recruitment and retention. Read more about AIA’s strategic plan and priorities here.
The aerospace and defense industry supports our national security and drives our nation’s economy. It fuels innovation, creates competition, and employs millions of Americans. We are proud to represent our members and our nation.