Vice President, External Engagement


Who We Are

Think of Us (TOU) operates as an R+D lab for child welfare. We take on strategic projects with the goal of causing “good trouble” and, ultimately, driving concrete, structural changes in policy, practice, resource flows, power dynamics, relationships and mental models. Our ultimate goal is to integrate Lived Experience at every level, ensuring everyone touched by the system has the conditions they need to Heal, Develop and Thrive.

We work across the ecosystem of current and former foster youth, child welfare workers, philanthropists and policymakers to Spark, Support and Drive to systematically center lived experience touched by the system.

Examples of what this looks like include:

Note: Most of our roles are fully remote. A select few are based in DC or LA, which will be specified in the job description if applicable.

The Role

The Vice President of External Engagement is a new position at TOU and will play a critical role on the senior leadership team. Reporting directly to Jess Skylar (Managing Partner), and working closely with Sixto Cancel (CEO), this role will lead the organization’s Partnerships, Development, and Communications functions. 

We are partnering with Edgility Consulting to find our VP of External Engagement! This VP is responsible for building a national network of partners across the ecosystem, developing and implementing the current and longer term communications and fundraising strategies and elevating TOU’s position and brand to key audiences. External Engagement is not a service function at TOU – it plays a core strategic and programmatic role in achieving our vision of shifting mental models within the child welfare system so it is responsive to those it purports to serve.

This role will build and lead a small team of development and communications staff with room for growth aligned with organizational needs.

Location Note: While TOU is a remote-first team, our strong preference is that this person is based in, or has easy access to, Washington DC.


Key Responsibilities of the VP of External Engagement include: 

External Relations + Partnership Strategy

  • Develop and lead a robust external relations strategy with an eye towards impact and sustainability;
  • In partnership with the CEO, build a National Network of both inside players and outside disruptors including nonprofits, think tanks, technology vendors, and advocacy groups to move our work quickly and strategically
  • In collaboration with the Executive Leadership Team, build communications and messaging strategies and represent TOU externally.

Development & Revenue Generation

  • In collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team, support, design and build TOU’s development strategy to support a $7-$10M annual budget (~50% earned/ 50% contributed);
  • Translate strategy into a detailed annual implementation plan (OKRs!), including hiring key team members with an emphasis on institutional donors, family foundations, and major donors ($100K+);
  • Establish strong operational systems and processes to effectively manage and track progress and results.


  • Develop and execute high-quality campaigns that help shift mental models and build an ecosystem wide movement;
  • Define messaging that resonates with a 360 degree view across TOU’s various audiences, inclusive of lived experts, local and federal policymakers, philanthropists, front line workers and donors;
  • Build + hire a team to lead the day-to-day operations of the department, including managing strategic planning, the editorial calendar, content development, events and other activities.


About You

  • Expert Communicator: you deliver information effectively and strategically for different communications vehicles, formats, and audiences, with the ability to simplify complex information;
  • Persuasive: you effectively persuade diverse stakeholders by adapting to what most speaks to their interests and perspectives and drives their actions;
  • Assertive: you share your own opinions and ideas confidently, but without shutting down others in the conversation;
  • Results Driven: you focus on outcomes rather than activities, are constantly focused on the end result, and hold yourself and others accountable to that;
  • Continuous Learner: you drive to learn and stay current professionally, solicit feedback and deal constructively with criticism, and welcome opportunities for growth.


The ideal VP of External Engagement candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Mission-aligned and deeply passionate about our work with experience in and/or proximity to systems surrounding child welfare;
  • 8-10 years of experience leading communications and/or revenue generation projects, with a minimum of three years of experience in a rapid-growth entrepreneurial organization;
  • Experience building authentic relationships with funders, influencers, partners, decision-makers, and other key stakeholders, with an ability to engage with a variety of individuals. This person can consistently articulate the organization’s goals and priorities in a clear and compelling manner;
  • Experience creating, leading, and implementing national communication strategies around campaigns, media, and PR;
  • Demonstrated ability to build and manage high-performing teams and talent with  comfort in ambiguity and environments that change rapidly;
  • Exceptional/unparalleled written and verbal skills in combinat

Perks / Timings / Salary

  • We provide generous health, dental, & vision coverage for you and dependents as well as a 401k plan for your pre-tax retirement contributions
  • We're a remote team with schedule flexibility
  • We have a flexible vacation policy
  • We hold monthly organization-wide learning sessions to deepen our understanding of the Lived Experience of foster youth and also on topics outside of foster care to build culture of curiosity and growth
  • We provide the opportunity for you to interact with leading voices in government, foundations, the nonprofit world, and entertainment working to reform foster care

Salary + Timeline

This position offers a competitive salary range of $160,000 - $190,000, with robust benefits including medical, dental, 401k plan and a flexible vacation policy.  More details can be provided upon request.

To Apply: 

Click on the link below!