The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is an international community of over 2,600 Roman Catholic Sisters who sponsor and serve in more than 200 organizations dedicated to help those in need in the U.S., Central and South America, Jamaica, Guam, and the Philippines. The Sisters of Mercy currently comprise six geographic communities, each a separate legal entity, with five based in the U.S. and one overseas. The Sisters of Mercy have been going through massive structural change including the consolidation of 25 regional communities into six in 2009. Given the continuing demographic shift, the strategic decision has been made to evolve to one Mercy organization by 2023.
The Institute Communications Officer (ICO) is a new position that will serve as the lead communications officer for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the strategic communications partner for the Institute Leadership Team. The ICO will play a key role in conceptualizing and implementing an integrated Institute communications strategy and determining how key messages are transmitted to be most effective in delivering the message of Mercy. The ICO will support the ILT in building the Institute’s identity in relation to its members and in serving as a strong public presence for the Mercy message in the media and to external audiences. The ICO will supervise the communications team in Silver Spring and functions that include marketing, publications, social media, crisis communications, and translation. The ICO will also work closely with the communications staff that reside in existing Sisters of Mercy communities and who will ultimately be accountable to the ICO for promoting and implementing communications policies and procedures that affect Sisters of Mercy communities and facilities. In addition, the ICO will collaborate in the provision of communications support, as needed, for several Institute ministries, including Mercy Investment Services, Mercy Volunteer Corps, the Conference for Mercy Higher Education, and Mercy Education System of the Americas (MESA). The ICO reports to the Institute Chief Operating Officer (ICOO) and works closely with the Institute Leadership Team, as well as the new Institute Advancement Officer, whom the ICO supports in providing Advancement communications.
The ICO will be a respected leader in Communications with outstanding technical and interpersonal skills, significant management experience in a complex mission-driven setting, and a strong commitment to service and accountability. Outstanding communications and influencing skills are required, complemented by a collegial style that engenders trust and facilitates collaboration. The ICO must be able to function as a strong thought partner to the ICOO and Leadership team and be able to identify possibilities, options, and their implications, and to anticipate issues that will require attention.
Requirements include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field with a relevant master’s degree preferred; at least 15 years of communications/public relations experience in progressive leadership roles in a complex organization, and a minimum of five years of executive communications experience working with a leadership team; and a broad background in communications that includes experience in public relations, media relations, marketing, social media, crisis communications, and change management. Other requirements include a demonstrated ability to think strategically; experience in communications planning; ability to compile, analyze, interpret, and integrate information to tell a compelling story; strong supervisory experience; the ability to manage effectively in a distributed environment and to mentor, motivate, and support employees; and understanding and support for the Sisters of Mercy, including their commitment to diversity, internationality, and interculturality. Fluency in Spanish would be desirable.
The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has retained the services of Diversified Search to assist in the search process. All communications will be treated confidentially. Nominations, inquiries, and applications (including a cover letter, resume, and the names of five references) should be directed electronically in confidence to SistersofMercyICO@divsearch.com.
Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D., Senior Managing Director
Nancy Helfman, Vice President and Senior Associate
2005 Market Street, Suite 3300, Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is an Equal Opportunity Employer.