At the Vera Institute of Justice, our vision is of a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for all. At a propitious moment for justice reform, we are standing up and driving change on a variety of fronts—ending cash bail, ending mass incarceration, vastly improving life behind bars, ensuring that immigrants get due process, and centering all this work in racial equity. Convincing people to change the way they think and act in order to serve justice is in our DNA. We leverage our access and influence with government partners and work collaboratively with community stakeholders to transform the systems we rely on for safety and justice. Are you interested in helping a super-dedicated and productive team use best-in-class communications strategies and tactics to drive change in the justice system?
If so, read on.
Over the past five years, with 2.3 million people behind bars—we’ve reached a tipping point, and justice reform has become mainstream. It’s on the front pages, it’s bipartisan, it’s got new funders, it’s attracting cultural attention. Vera has been on the cutting edge of this change. Long known for our research and technical assistance, communications has more recently become one of the core pillars of how we do our work. We embed communications in our program and project work from the start. Our efforts have paid off—with an award-winning rebranding and website overhaul, significant media attention, dramatic growth in digital engagement, and new partnerships.
We need to leverage the increased attention to justice and to Vera’s work in particular by deploying communications strategies to elevate our issues and our brand. We are seeking a Managing Editor to join a diverse and growing team to manage team workflow and shepherd publications and campaign and multimedia materials through the editing process each year.
Candidates must be excellent writers and editors and have demonstrated professional editing experience as well as project management skills overseeing manuscripts through multiple rounds of line editing, review, revisions, copyediting, design, proofreading, and publication. Candidates must have the ability to distill complex issues in a clear and concise way to a sophisticated lay audience, as well as excellent communications skills. The ability to work on multiple projects and prioritize competing deadlines while maintaining meticulous attention to detail is a key responsibility in this role.
The Managing Editor will report to the Editorial Strategy Director in Communications and will join a communications team of content creators (editorial, design, blog, website), media and messaging, digital, and public affairs strategists.
What You’ll Do
The Managing Editor will work in collaboration with Vera’s editorial team and program and research staff to manage daily workflow and production of editorial content (reports, fact sheets, blog posts, rapid response pieces, special projects, etc.), including setting and managing deadlines that take into account reviews from internal and external stakeholders and maintaining a comprehensive content calendar. The Managing Editor will also perform developmental editing, line editing, and copyediting for Vera’s publications, including research reports, fact sheets, policy briefs, blog posts, technical reports, memoranda, and digital content, where necessary. The Managing Editor will also be called on for original writing assignments for the blog and other communications products as needed.
The Managing Editor will:
- Manage daily workflow and production of editorial content.
- Create and maintain a multi-month content calendar.
- Collaborate with authors, designers, and the editorial team to manage all editorial projects using Basecamp, carrying them from initial draft manuscript to print or digital-ready publications while receiving and managing feedback from diverse parties and working under tight deadlines.
- Review and edit publications to improve organization, structure, grammar, syntax, and clarity of thesis and arguments, so that they adhere to Vera’s editorial and brand guidelines and reflect the organization's positions.
- Manage editorial consultants, freelance writers, and interns performing editorial tasks (research, fact checking, line editing, copyediting and proofreading), including handling work orders, contracts, and invoices, and assign content generation when appropriate.
- Provide writing assistance and editorial guidance to Vera staff as needed.
- Review and mark up designed manuscript layouts using Adobe Acrobat DC.
- Work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
What We Need in You
- Passion. A demonstrated commitment to social justice issues.
- A record of edited publications. A proven track record of professional editing experience at all levels: developmental, line, and copy edit.
- Project management. Demonstrated experience as a managing editor or production manager, managing publications and other editorial content from manuscript through the editing and design processes to publication. You are detail-oriented but can see the big picture. You have keen time management and multitasking skills, including the ability to take initiative, prioritize tasks and duties, pay close attention to detail, and work independently while meeting specific deadlines.
- Expertise. Exceptional writing, editing, and communication skills. The ability to write and edit quickly, clearly, persuasively, and accessibly across a variety of products. Open to and willing to incorporate feedback as part of the publication development process.
- A deep commitment to racial equity. In a system built on racism and inequity, we are working to ensure equity both in our workplace and in the world. You incorporate this value and share it with others.
- A collaborator, rigorous thinker, and problem-solver. Collaboration is a Vera value. We thrive when we learn and build on each other’s ideas. We’re open to giving and receiving feedback—both in our team and across the institution. The Managing Editor must be able to respectfully raise issues about clarity, accuracy, and structure and work to resolve sometimes competing feedback with authors and reviewers.
- Emotional intelligence. You demonstrate strong social and emotional awareness with your team and external partners. You’re open to opportunities to learn and grow. You exercise good judgment and don’t allow urgency to trump relationships.
- Bachelor's degree preferred. Advanced degree in a related field (e.g. law, criminology, journalism, social sciences) a bonus.
- At least seven years of editorial experience, with at least three years in a managing editor or production manager role.
- Command of the Chicago Manual of Style.
- Ability to operate under pressure and within short deadlines.
- Strong preference for people with experience writing or editing in the criminal justice field.
Based on experience and including excellent benefits. Vera believes in compensating its staff members at or above market.
How to Apply
Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until position is filled. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s careers page) is preferred.
No phone calls or email, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera’s work, please visit www.vera.org.