Assistant Director, Speechwriting & Executive Communications, Donor Relations

Job Details

Share This Job
Job ID:

10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA 02445


Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
Full Remote: 4-5 days remote/wk


This position is considered remote, up to 1 day in the office at 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA each week. DFCI guidelines state that employees must reside in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island.


The Assistant Director, Speechwriting and Executive Communications is responsible for articulating the vision of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s President & CEO and Senior Vice President/Chief Philanthropy Officer, as well as the priorities of the comprehensive campaign for internal and external philanthropy-related audiences.

Reporting to the Director of Stewardship in Donor Relations, the Assistant Director, Speechwriting and Executive Communications will work closely with teams across the Division of Philanthropy, Department of Communications, Office of the President, Office of the SVP/Chief Philanthropy Officer, and other collaborators. The Assistant Director, Speechwriting and Executive Communications will be responsible for conceptualizing and writing speeches, talking points, updates, letters, email communication, donor proposals and solicitations, acknowledgements, recognition pieces, campaign-related content, vision statements, quotes, social media posts, citations, slide decks, briefings, and a wide variety of other executive communications tailored to inspire philanthropic support for the Institute’s mission. The Assistant Director, Speechwriting and Executive Communications will be responsible for consistent messaging.

Embody Dana-Farber’s Core Values: Impact; Excellence; Compassion & Respect; and Discovery every day. Add value to the Dana-Farber community by seeking opportunities to collaborate across the Institute. Foster an ethical, positive, results-oriented culture founded on open communication. 

Dana-Farber is pursuing an ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to change the future of cancer research and care: The Dana-Farber Campaign. This $2 billion campaign is the largest in the Institute’s history and one of the largest ever in the U.S. focused solely on cancer. Philanthropy raised through The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities—helping us prevent, treat, and Defy Cancer.



  • Message architecture and strategy:
    • Develop inspiring, compelling, thought-provoking, persuasive materials aligned with Dana-Farber’s strategic priorities to engage philanthropists in the comprehensive campaign.
    • Curate and authentically infuse inspiring stories about patients, research, and care in speeches and other assigned projects for internal and external audiences.
    • Communicate complex scientific topics in cancer research in a clear and compelling manner.
    • Collaborate with the Executive Communications Specialist in Dana-Farber’s Department of Communications to reiterate key themes and coordinate on messaging and consistency of voice.
    • Keep abreast of current developments in cancer care, innovation, and healthcare trends and convey Dana-Farber’s leadership within this context.
    • Proactively review the calendar of the President & CEO and Senior Vice President/Chief Philanthropy Officer, as well as planned gift solicitation lists, to ensure timely delivery of assignments.
  • Speechwriting:
    • Serve as the President & CEO’s primary speechwriter for philanthropy events.
    • Write inspiring and compelling speeches for a variety of audiences.
    • Understand and convey the President & CEO’s personal style, tone, cadence, and word choices so that speeches are authentic.
    • Work closely with philanthropy staff to understand the goals and audiences for each event.
    • Contribute to the development of succinct, effective briefing documents for the President & CEO and top-tier executives.
    • Create slide decks for speeches to elevate messaging and captivate audiences.
  • Proposal writing: Draft proposals to solicit transformative gifts, shaping and synthesizing information to reflect a cohesive message and desired outcome, in collaboration with the Senior Vice President/Chief Philanthropy Officer, Vice President of Transformational Gifts and Strategic Initiatives, senior management, and prospect managers, among others.
  • Correspondence: Draft inspiring and compelling personalized acknowledgement letter templates, executive email messages, citations, and special occasion notes for major donors, prospective donors, Dana-Farber Trustees, and key constituents.
  • Communications: Draft inspiring and compelling presidential letters, vision statements, and quotes for event program books, publications, state-of-the-Institute and other presidential or philanthropy updates, recognition pieces, comprehensive campaign materials, social media posts, and more.
  • Resource for the President & CEO’s voice and vision: Provide input and guidance to colleagues across the Division and cross-departmentally for all donor-related activities that include the President & CEO’s voice and priorities.
  • Collaboration and project management: Work with colleagues across the Division and cross-departmentally to keep projects on schedule, including planning, coordinating all phases with key project managers, and following through to meet deadlines and provide high-quality deliverables.


Reports to the Director of Stewardship in Donor Relations within the Division of Philanthropy. Collaborates with the President & CEO, Dana-Farber’s executive leadership, senior management within the Division of Philanthropy, and the Assistant Vice President of Donor Relations. The position has a considerable amount of autonomy in decision-making and in completing work-related tasks.



Bachelor’s degree and at least 5-7 years of experience in a speechwriting, writing, editing, capacity within philanthropy, healthcare, biotech, higher education, or relevant fields.


  • Excellent writing skills: ability to create inspiring and compelling speeches, proposals, and written communication (portfolio required)
  • Proven track record writing donor-focused executive correspondence, proposals, and marketing content
  • Direct experience working with senior-level executives
  • A history of managing time-sensitive internal and external communications
  • Ability to balance multiple projects, including urgent and unplanned requests
  • Expertise in PowerPoint
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, SharePoint experience preferred
  • Exposure to domestic and international healthcare trends
  • Utmost discretion and diplomacy in interacting with executives and maintaining confidentiality




Up to 1 day in the office at 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA each week. Some early-morning, evening, and weekend work required.


We’re stronger together.

In the Division of Philanthropy, we believe in the power of different voices. We encourage authenticity and diversity of every individual within our community. Our collective voices – donors, volunteers, staff, and patients alike – allow us to work together towards a world without cancer. Committed to being a place of inclusivity, belonging, and change, these are our core values. 

The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.  Requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” employment relationship.


External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents who become disabled as defined under the Americans With Disabilities Act, must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case-by-case basis.


DFCI offers a competitive benefits package including generous healthcare and retirement plans, at minimum 3-weeks’ vacation time in addition to 10 paid holidays, a flexible work environment, and work/life balance. We also provide an array of professional development opportunities.*

*All benefits subject to Institute changes

We’re hiring! Learn more about working in the Division of Philanthropy and view all open positions.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.

Follow Dana-Farber on Social Media