The Mackinac Center for Public Policy seeks a Vice President of Marketing and Communications to direct the Center’s promotional and communications efforts. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications will direct the Mackinac Center’s outreach efforts, including the content and platforms used to market its products and message. The chief purpose of this role is to coordinate strategic marketing campaigns that communicate the Center’s policy recommendations to key audiences.

While the efficacy of a policy idea can be proven through empirical argument and reason, it must be expressed in a way that personalizes, humanizes and dramatizes its value. To that end, the VP will oversee efforts to identify and engage people whose stories illustrate how public policy changes lives for good or ill.

The Mackinac Center is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of life of all Michigan residents by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions. We advance liberty and opportunity for all people by developing free-market policies, challenging government overreach and influencing public opinion so that it encourages policymakers to act in the broad public interest rather than narrow private or government interests. The Mackinac Center is a nonprofit organization with 35 full-time employees, a 50-member board of scholars and an annual operating budget of $5 million. It is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017.

This position is located in Midland, Mich.


The VP will report to the Executive Vice President and be a member of the senior leadership team. This officer’s responsibilities will include:

  • Direct all marketing and communications efforts, which include publications and their distribution, promotional materials, community relations, media relations, digital outreach and brand management;
  • Develop and execute strategic marketing plans that promote the Center’s research to appropriate audiences;
  • Oversee others who write, produce and manage publications, web sites, videos and other means of communications;
  • Oversee the timely acquisition of stories and testimonials;
  • Develop, execute and evaluate growth strategies for increasing the reach and effectiveness of the Center’s publications and media presence;
  • Direct efforts to get the Center’s name and message featured in top media outlets;
  • Manage and empower the communications team;
  • Proactively safeguard the Center’s brand;
  • Help colleagues develop their own communications skills;
  • Reinforce a learning culture by identifying and using innovative practices and technologies;
  • Leverage data to make decisions that enhance the Center’s capabilities and effectiveness;
  • Coordinate with the Advancement Department to promote the Center’s events;
  • Promote the efforts of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation;
  • Increase the distribution of the Center’s news division, Capitol Confidential; and
  • Participate in the Center’s strategic planning process.


The successful candidate will have the following qualifications and competencies:

  • A commitment to free-market solutions to public policy issues;
  • Strong leadership, organizational and managerial skills;
  • The ability to develop and execute strategic objectives;
  • Experience creating marketing campaigns for multiple channels;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills;
  • Curiosity and the ability to listen;
  • An ability to experiment and use analytics to influence and evaluate decisions;
  • Able to guide others toward achieving results;
  • Willingness to challenge assumptions and lead organizational change; and
  • Keen attention to quality management.

Experience managing a political or issue campaign is a plus.

Application Process

The position provides a competitive salary and excellent benefits. To be considered for this position, please send a resume, a cover letter describing your interest in the mission of the Mackinac Center and three writing samples to:

Patricia Benner
Vice President for Operations
Fax: (989) 631-0964

While we thank all applicants for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those whom we are considering for an interview. No telephone calls, please.

Praise for the Mackinac Center

“The Mackinac Center excels in both developing policy ideas and communicating them, not only in Lansing but to leaders and citizens across the state.”
Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute

“Not only is the Mackinac Center adept at putting a human face on their public policies, the face of those whose lives they are changing, but Mackinac people on all levels are hungry to learn new and innovative ways to deliver their sound policy solutions.”
Kevan Kjar, ArrowHead3

“Committed to its independence and its mission, [the Mackinac Center] does not waver in the face of any pressure. It simply produces great scholarship and then lets political chips fall where they may.”
Professor Walter E. Williams

“Michigan’s Mackinac Center — the best state-level think tank in America.”
John J. Miller, National Review

“Frankly, I admire what the Mackinac Center has done.”
Luigi Battaglieri, former president, Michigan Education Association

“In a time of upheaval for both politics and media, state-level think tanks sit at a peculiar nexus of influence: they both shape the news and report it. And few are more influential on either score than the Mackinac Center for Public Policy[.]”
Columbia Journalism Review