For more than 40 years, the Cato Institute has led the charge for liberty in our nation and around the world. The mission of the Institute is to keep the principles, ideas, and moral case for liberty alive for future generations, while moving public policy in the direction of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Cato’s vision is a free and open society, in which liberty allows every individual to pursue a life of prosperity and meaning in peace.
The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization (or think tank) with a reputation for principle, independence, and nonpartisanship that promotes libertarian ideas in the public policy debates both at home and abroad.
Cato’s scholars and experts develop and execute a portfolio of projects and initiatives that drive tangible change in the near term, while producing research and analysis that bend the arc of ideas toward liberty in the long term. Cato’s ideas are distributed through media appearances and published articles in major outlets; conferences; publication of books and research; effective engagement on Capitol Hill, in the states, and with key administrative agencies; and production of a full range of digital and multimedia content.
Making liberty come alive by sharing work in clear language, free of jargon, Cato brings its ideas and philosophy to a mass audience around the world, including to young people and students through an innovative suite of educational initiatives.
The Cato Institute has a broad strategic vision and seeks a proactive leader to drive strategy and implementation in the areas of marketing and communications, oversee digital content creation, and continue to build a strong brand consistent with the Institute’s substantial assets, capabilities, and critical role in leading the charge for liberty. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will deepen engagement within the Institute’s existing community through leadership of these areas, broaden its reach among new and prospective audiences, and help drive support for Cato’s work on a national level.
Cato’s CMO is responsible for overseeing the development, management, and execution of the organization’s marketing, communication, and branding operations and initiatives. Reporting to the President and CEO, this role will structure, manage, and further build an effective marketing and communications team currently comprising approximately 26 staff, including leading the units responsible for digital and multimedia content creation and production such as video, data visualization, and social media.
The successful candidate will be a key member of the Institute’s leadership team and must develop and maintain effective relationships and partnerships across the policy, external outreach, technology, and operational teams.
The CMO is charged with markedly expanding Cato’s brand and the strategic promotion and distribution of its scholarly, impactful content, thereby achieving a level of excellence in marketing and communications commensurate with the overall profile of the Institute. The CMO will build and broaden Cato’s audiences. The CMO will require a sophisticated understanding of the media landscape and how to promote policy content and ideas. The CMO will be required to work collaboratively and in a team environment with policy and senior leadership. Cato’s leadership is committed to the integrity of the Institute’s brand and reputation and has an unwavering adherence to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Management and the board also see responsible financial stewardship, to safeguard the organization in perpetuity, as one of their most important duties; as a result, Cato maintains a strong financial profile. The Institute embraces experimentation, calculated risk taking, and continuous improvement, empowering the CMO to create a vision for Cato marketing and communications, in collaboration with the President and CEO, to create future success for these critical areas. This includes the organizational design, talent acquisition, and functional alignment of the marketing and communications teams.
While Cato will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:
- Commitment to the Cato Institute’s mission to keep the principles, ideas, and moral case for liberty alive for future generations, while moving public policy in the direction of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Credible understanding of libertarian principles and ability to communicate related information with authenticity and passion.
- Track record of long-term success and/or high potential in a senior marketing, communications, and/or branding position, preferably within a complex, matrixed organization. Experience with the following: public relations strategies; marketing in support of mission and programmatic, fundraising, event, and organization-wide goals; branding; digital and print communications; social media; web and mobile development; media relations with major outlets; thought leader engagement; and strategic and crisis communications.
- History of creative strategic thinking, entrepreneurial capabilities, and innovative leadership in developing and executing comprehensive marketing and communications plans that engage and grow a variety of diverse audiences and advance the organization’s strategic mission.
- Technologically confident, skilled in digital and social media, and effective with diverse platforms for audience engagement; demonstrated ability to extract and analyze data analytics to make effective decisions about strategy and to create and execute targeted marketing campaigns with average or above-average engagement.
- Familiarity with and conversant in emerging technology, to include generative and predictive AI, Customer Relationship Management Software, SEO tools, and UX testing tools.
- Proven ability to collaborate with senior leadership to leverage organization-wide capabilities and establish and execute marketing and communications strategies; experience identifying and coaching project spokespeople.
- Demonstrated management and leadership capability to structure and lead a high-performing team, including creating and driving department processes to achieve vision and goals, defining roles, identifying, and filling talent gaps, and effectively motivating and evaluating individual and team performance.
- Preference for educational background in relevant disciplines (e.g., marketing, business, communications, etc.).
The Cato Institute has retained the DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice of the Diversified Search Group to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) may be submitted at https://talent-profile.diversifiedsearchgroup.com/search/v2/20441, or directed to:
Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.
Managing Director and DSG Fundraising & Advancement Practice Leader
Diversified Search Group
The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, New York 10174
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