Skip to main content

Africa Program - Communications Assistant/Contractor

The Africa Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is seeking a qualified individual to serve as a temporary communications assistant for a State Department-funded project, “Ten Plus Ten: YALI and United States Look Back, and Ahead, Together.”

Connect With Us
OpenNovember 10, 2020 — November 20, 2020
DeadlineNovember 20, 2020

Scope of Work
Temporary Communications Assistant for the Wilson Center Africa Program Project: “Ten Plus Ten: YALI and United States Look Back, and Ahead, Together”
Position Title and Type: Communications Assistant/Contractor
Duration: Full-time, approximately 36 weeks (November 2020-July 2021)
Location: Remote (telework)-United States (Washington D.C.)
Deadline for Applications: Friday, November 20, 2020
Required: U.S. Citizen

The Africa Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is seeking a qualified individual to serve as a Communications Assistant for a State Department-funded project, “Ten Plus Ten: YALI and United States Look Back, and Ahead, Together.”

This position will be responsible for supporting the design and production of project materials, promotion of project content, and reporting for two major online/virtual events: 1) a livestream virtual program for approximately 2,000 attendees in March 2021 and 2) a multi-day, interactive virtual summit for the YALI community for 15,000 to 25,000 participants in April 2021.

This position will be a remote work position, with the possibility of transitioning to in-person work at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. in 2021 (COVID-19 restrictions allowing). This position is intended to be a full-time, contract position for 36 weeks from approximately mid-November 2020 to mid-July 2021.

Compensation will be tied to the successful completion of assigned project deliverables and the rate of pay for the contract is $48,000.

The contractor will be responsible for all tax obligations and health insurance costs. The contractor will be responsible to file federal and state tax returns and pay all applicable taxes on amounts paid pursuant to this contract and shall be solely liable and responsible to pay such taxes and other obligations, including, but not limited to state and federal income and FICA taxes.

Project Overview:
Established in 2010, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is the U.S. government’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Over the past decade, YALI has grown to include the Mandela Washington Fellowship exchange program, four Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in Africa, and an extensive digital community called the YALI Network. These programs aim to strengthen democratic institutions and good governance, spur economic growth and prosperity, and foster peace and security in Africa.

To celebrate and commemorate YALI’s ten-year anniversary, the Wilson Center, a leading global foreign policy think tank has been selected by the Department of State to plan and administer all components and aspects of the anniversary programs. Working in concert with the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, African Regional Services, in the Bureau of African Affairs the Wilson Center will design, implement, and oversee two separate but inter-related events in early 2021: 1) a livestream virtual program for approximately 2,000 attendees. This event will be open to the public; and 2) a multi-day, interactive virtual summit for the YALI community for 15,000 to 25,000 participants. Among other things, the Wilson Center is responsible for designing the livestream and summit, including participant registration, content and schedule for both events, and all technical aspects of livestream and digital virtual conference. The livestream program will take place in one day and will be approximately four hours in length. The summit will take place over the course of 3-5 consecutive days and include a total of 10-15 hours of programming.

The project will center on three substantive goals and three operational goals. Substantively, it will aim to strengthen African democracy and governance, expand U.S. trade and investment with the continent, and advance peacebuilding in fragile areas. Operationally, the program will bolster the YALI network by providing it with: a primary voice in shaping the anniversary events; a platform for educating American stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities Africa presents in the coming decade; and opportunities for skills development and greater exposure to new networks of thinkers and leaders in both Africa and the U.S. Collectively, these six goals will directly reinforce the three YALI curriculum tracks of Business, Civic Engagement, and Public Management/Service Leadership by providing targeted content delivery and mentorship opportunities under those three tracks.

Tasks and Responsibilities:
The Project Communications Assistant will play a primary role in supporting the design production of project materials, promotion of project content, and reporting for the two events.

Communication, Design, and Media Support:

  • Develop and design a project brand for use across all project documents.
  • Drafting web content for the Africa Program website to inform and promote the event, and selecting images freely available to use in compliance with all image licensing rules.
  • Collect web and social media analytics using Google Analytics and built-in social media analytics and tracking and reporting media coverage in support of program reporting
  • Provide detailed proofreading and copy edit for external project documents and publication.
  • Design, format, and layout project reports, promotional materials, infographics, and publications using Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Canva, or other design/content creation tools.
  • Support the Africa Program Communications Assistant in social media promotion through developing social media strategies and drafting content for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • Conduct web and social media analytics for reporting purposes.
  • Draft communications sections of project reports.
  • Draft project press releases and distribution lists to media contacts in the U.S., Africa, and internationally.
  • Draft, copy-edit and proof documents, including reports and program materials.
  • Attend scheduled and ad hoc meetings with the Africa Program Staff and planning partners, and brief Africa Program team members on project status.
  • Organize and maintain communications-related project files and documents.


  • 1 half-day live-stream event
  • 1 multi-day virtual summit
  • 1 executed communications and branding plan
  • 1 designed final report
  • 1 designed post-project booklet
  • Other communications sub-deliverables as required

Candidate Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Graphic Design, or other communications related field; Coursework and work experience with African studies, international relations, or other field related to Africa or U.S.-Africa relations is a plus.
  • Significant communications experience, including a minimum of 2 years’ experience in communications support including, design, Google Analytics reporting, event support, and Social Media and/or marketing.
  • Media production and graphic design, including experience with photography; photo, video, and audio editing; or graphic or page design.
  • Software skills including Adobe Creative Suite (particularly Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator), Canva, or similar graphic design platform; video and audio editing platforms such as Adobe Premiere and Audacity; WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics, basic HTML, Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • The position also requires the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; knowledge of proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and style; and experience proofreading written documents.
  • Attention to detail, initiative, good problem-solving skills, and an enthusiastic, responsible approach to unsupervised work are necessary.
  • Ability to multi-task and adapt to changing tasks and schedules is desirable.
  • Native speaker level fluency in English is required; French or Portuguese is a plus.
  • U.S. Citizen.


  • November: Recruitment and hiring of contractor.
  • November-December: Support in project planning, design, and design development and drafting.
  • January-February: Implementation of project plan and content refinement, including managing the “Why YALI Matters” content submissions.
  • March: Support hosting live-stream event (implementation and initial closeout).
  • April: Support hosting virtual summit (implementation and initial closeout).
  • May: Support administrative and reporting aspects of event administrative closeout and initial report.
  • June-July: Support implementation of post-event surveys and report production.

Instructions for Applying:

  • Email a resume/CV (no more than 2 pages), cover letter, and link to portfolio or sample of project demonstrating graphic design or video skills to the Africa Program at africa@wilsoncenter.orgno later than 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Friday, November 20, 2020.
  • In your cover letter, please address your qualifications and your experience in communications and design, and confirm your availability to begin work.
  • Please use the subject line “Project Communications Assistant [Your Last Name]” in your email. You will be contacted within 3 weeks of the application deadline.

Organizational Background Information:

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was established by an Act of Congress in 1968. Building on the ideals of Woodrow Wilson, its mission is to use research and scholarship to develop policy options for resolving the world's most pressing problems. In recognition of its work toward this mission, in 2018, the Wilson Center was recognized as the world's leading think tank for inter-disciplinary research, and as the 6th leading think tank in the world. The Wilson Center comprises 18 programs and initiatives, including the Africa Program.

The Africa Program was established at the Wilson Center in 1999 to work on Africa-related issues in support of the broader Wilson Center mission. The Africa Program's mission is to offer policy options for addressing the most pressing current and over-the-horizon challenges facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations; provide options for the development of mutually beneficial U.S.-Africa relations; and educate the public about Africa by challenging dominant narratives about the continent. The Africa Program contributes to and takes advantage of the Wilson Center's strategic positioning in Washington D.C., and its mission as the nation's key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues, its unparalleled convening power, and its depth of substantive and cultural expertise to fulfill effectively its mission. The Africa Program has four major programmatic focus areas: 1) conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and security; 2) leadership and good governance; 3) trade, investment, and sustainable development; and, 4) Africa's evolving role in the global arena. The roles of women, youth, and technology are addressed as cross-cutting issues across the four program pillars.