Director of Narrative Strategy

Brief Overview:

We are seeking a visionary, mission-driven individual to play a key role in building and leading our narrative change and strategic storytelling work.

Position Description:

HRiA is a rapidly growing, dynamic social change consulting organization working internally and externally to advance health and racial equity. At a pivotal time in our organizational growth, as well as in public health and our world, HRiA aims to actively and intentionally weave strategic storytelling and narrative change into our body of work to build community power and transform systems and culture. Stories and narrative shape how we, as a society, understand our past and our present, shaping our culture, power structures, policies, and practices. Explicit attention to identifying these deeply embedded assumptions can help us more clearly see the unjust conditions that hold inequities in place. The process of narrative change facilitates the inclusive creation and amplification of new and lesser-told stories, which together can become collectively-owned narratives that cultivate new understanding and ways of being, build community power, and ultimately transform policies and practices. With a substantial portfolio of local, regional, and national projects, and its demonstrated commitment to health and racial equity, HRiA is in the position to leverage resources, partnerships, and our thought leadership to challenge narratives, shift power, and transform culture to create bold and sustained systems change.

We seek a Director of Narrative Strategy to ground our work in the power of storytelling and narrative change. This is an excellent opportunity for a passionate, creative changemaker to apply narrative strategy across a diversity of projects and content areas including behavioral health, COVID response, community rebuilding and investment, and other social determinants of health (e.g., housing, education, etc.). The candidate will work within HRiA’s newly formed, cross-disciplinary Health and Racial Equity Cluster to advance actionable, bold, equity-centered solutions that promote community health and flourishing.

The Director of Narrative Strategy will drive narrative strategy in our client-based consulting work as well as in our organizational initiatives, including a behavioral health and racial equity initiative, our policy and advocacy work, and internal equity work. Client-based work initially will comprise two key projects – the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize project, and an effort to support and promote equitable community processes for decision-making and use of American Rescue Plan Act funds. In addition, the Director will play an advisory role on a diversity of projects across different topics and teams. The Director will also shape HRiA’s internal approach to narrative change and cultivate and pursue business development opportunities. The Director of Narrative Strategy will report to the Managing Director of Health Communication and co-lead the communication and narratives practice area of the Health and Racial Equity group at HRiA.

This is an exempt, full-time position. The salary range for this position is in the low 90k’s to the low 100k’s, dependent on experience and skills.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The duties and responsibilities below provide an overview of expectations for this role, though HRiA invites candidates to create and collaborate on a shared vision for the role of narrative strategy in HRiA’s work.


  • Provide leadership in HRiA’s Health and Racial Equity Cluster, with the common goal of building a framework that challenges narratives, shifts power, and transforms culture.
  • Lead and/or be an active member of multiple project-based teams working to advance equity through strategic storytelling and narrative change.
  • Co-lead HRiA’s communication and narratives team and project portfolio.
  • Supervise, mentor, and support the professional development of staff, as appropriate and as needed.

Project Work

  • Serve as HRiA’s communication lead in a multi-partner effort to transform RWJF’s Culture of Health (CoH) Prize, contributing to overarching project strategy and playing a leading role in narrative strategy; in collaboration with CoH project partners, build capacity of previous CoH winners and CoH National Advisory Committee to engage in narrative strategies to create change.
  • As part of a cross-disciplinary team facilitating and promoting community engagement in planning and allocating American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds, develop narrative strategy that shapes and tells the story of community engagement and community power in pandemic recovery and rebuilding efforts.
  • Consult with project teams on narrative strategy and build organizational capacity to apply narrative strategies to advance equity.
  • Lead and engage in research, planning, implementation, and iteration of narrative change projects.

Thought Leadership

  • In collaboration with staff across organizational levels, co-develop and co-implement plan for communicating externally about HRiA’s and partners’ work in storytelling, narrative change, and systems transformation.
  • Co-develop storytelling and narrative strategy capacity-building tools, trainings, and thought leadership content; present at conferences and events where appropriate.
  • Contribute to developing and changing organizational culture to value the role of storytelling, community power building, and narrative change across all areas of our work.
  • Suggest ideas/improvements in project and/or organizational processes and systems through participation in teams and committees.

New Business Development

  • Build relationships with current and future clients, identify business development opportunities, and write proposals.
  • Be an active member of HRiA’s business development team.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • 10+ years’ experience in storytelling, narrative strategy, communication framing, community organizing, or related field.
  • Understanding of and experience working in and with communities that are harmed by, and experience the consequences of, decisions that create disadvantage – specifically with Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations and economically distressed communities.
  • Commitment to and understanding of health and racial equity.
  • Strong understanding of the root causes of inequities and how racism is a public health crisis.
  • Strong facilitation skills; experience effectively leading/co-leading narrative processes engaging community.
  • Experience with and commitment to team building.
  • Creative, big-picture thinker who can also execute a vision and bring narrative strategy to life.
  • Demonstrated experience with building networks and community-level connections to inform and drive narrative change.
  • Demonstrated skill in storytelling with ability to build trust and rapport across differences and with diverse audiences, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Strong written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Supportive, growth-minded supervisory skills.
  • Experience developing/managing development of messages, digital content, video/audio content, and print materials.
  • Experience managing clients/funders, stakeholders, project teams, and consultants.
  • Experience measuring/evaluating progress and impact of storytelling and narrative strategy.
  • Strong commitment to high-quality products, customer/client service, and team interactions.
  • Bilingual/bicultural candidate preferred.
  • Relevant lived experience a plus.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office; proficiency in or capability of learning new software (such as Zoom and other collaboration software).
  • Ability to work virtually with a strong and stable internet connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor.
  • Ability to travel occasionally to Boston office and to project locations around the U.S. as needed (in accordance with HRiA COVID safety protocols).

HRiA’s office has partially reopened in a “hybrid model,” enabling locally-based HRiA employees the option to work remotely and/or in the office. Staff can flex their schedules to accommodate different time zones, client schedules and personal needs. This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position. It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the rights of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under their supervision. The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.

How to Apply:

HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

Health Resources in Action offers an attractive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, tax-deferred annuity, and generous starting vacation of four weeks.

To apply, submit your resume, cover letter, salary requirements, and 2-3 examples of relevant work (online links are acceptable) online.

* NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE, if you have a question please click the button below*