Communications Manager (Tradewind-DoD)

Position Number: H23-003

Status: Full-time

Reports to: Director of Communications

Location: Bloomington, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana

Job description and what you’ll do:

The selected candidate will be a critical part of the Tradewind communications team. Tradewind, one of ARI’s federal clients, is part of the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Chief Digital Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO). Tradewind is the DoD’s suite of tools, services, and vehicles designed to accelerate the procurement and adoption of AI/ML, digital, and data analytics solutions across the DoD.

The Communications Manager will support the Tradewind Strategic Communications program and assist the Tradewind Communications Director with a wide range of communications tasks and activities. The Communications Manager will serve as the Director’s trusted “go-to,” and will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the program.

The Communications Manager will work at the operational and tactical levels, and will focus on program execution and management, while also having the opportunity to contribute ideas to the overall communications strategy. The Manager will also be expected to run communications projects (embedded within the Tradewind Strategic Communications program), from start to finish, and will be responsible for the success of those projects.

*Please Note: Extensive technology experience/knowledge is not required for this position. However, a candidate must demonstrate the ability to quickly comprehend technical concepts and be able to communicate those concepts in succinct, non-technical terms.*

Tasks include (but are not limited to):

  • Planning online events (creating/coordinating/managing internal and external-facing Tradewind events)
  • Regularly and effectively engaging with internal and external stakeholders, and coordinating communication amongst various groups
  • Acting as the Tradewind communications primary point of contact and regularly liaising with the Government client
  • Managing Tradewind social media activities
  • Drafting and compiling Tradewind communications materials including, but not limited to, PowerPoint slide decks, marketing materials, etc.
  • Assisting with message development, product/program positioning, audience targeting, etc.
  • Briefing internal and external audience and stakeholders about Tradewind
  • Managing Tradewind Communications projects (ensure projects are progressing on schedule, update project timelines, manage production of deliverables, etc.)
  • Supporting Tradewind communications by planning and managing meetings, tracking follow-up actions, handling email correspondence, etc.
  • Overseeing and managing conference engagement (identify conferences relevant to Tradewind; manage the process of coordinating attendance, secure booth, handling logistics, etc.; occasionally travel to and attend conferences)
  • Representing Tradewind at conferences (manning conference booths, speaking on behalf of the program, etc.)

Required Skills and Qualities

Importantly, the right candidate must demonstrate a strong writing ability. A candidate must be able to write effectively across a variety of communications channels including, but not limited to:

  • Marketing collateral (such as slicks sheets)
  • Web copy
  • Official email correspondence
  • Social media postings
  • Presentations

Candidates will be asked to submit writing samples.

Additionally, the candidate must also have:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, and be adept at developing and maintaining relationships across teams, departments, and organizations
  • The ability to work independently, and instinctively know what items to take action on without being explicitly directed
  • The ability to manage multiple projects while simultaneously paying attention to details
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly PowerPoint and Excel
  • *For candidates without prior DoD experience, you must be open and willing to learning the intricacies of working within the national defense industry*

Desired Knowledge and Skills

The following skills/experience are not required, but highly desired:

  • Have awareness of, and experience with, the DoD and the national security industry
  • Knowledge of DoD acquisition is a big plus
  • Knowledge of project management systems (namely, Smartsheets)
  • Knowledge of administering LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter social media accounts
  • A creative streak than enables you to see things just a little bit “differently”
  • Having a “eye” for effective visual presentation
  • *National Guard and Reserve component servicemembers, and veterans, are strongly encouraged to apply*

Who You Are/What You Have

An ideal candidate will:

  • Be proactive and take initiative
  • Demonstrate a “can-do” attitude
  • Be flexible and adaptable
  • Be an independent thinker who is comfortable making decisions at their level, while also knowing when to defer to leadership for further guidance
  • Be a creative, yet analytic thinker
  • Be comfortable with traveling and available to do so (<25% of the time)
  • Be practiced at and willing to engage in conventions, exhibitions, and other large group environments (e.g., trade booth representation)

Required Experience & Education

The right candidate must possess:

  • 5 years of communications, public relations, and/or relevant marketing experience
  • Bachelor’s degree (a degree in English, Liberal Arts, Humanities, Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or in a related field is a plus)
  • An Associate’s degree would be accepted in lieu of 2 additional years of relevant work experience

Who we are:

Applied Research Institute (ARI) is a non-profit, non-partisan leader in technology innovation and strategy. ARI serves as an innovation partner for state, local, and federal organizations, managing complex technology projects from start to finish, and collaborating with cross-sectional partners from a variety of industries – all with the goal of transforming ideas into results. Through our network of 200+ partnerships across industry, academia, and government, ARI is uniquely positioned to solve emerging technical and national security challenges in advanced technology areas such as hypersonics, cyber-physical systems, trusted microelectronics, and artificial intelligence. For more information visit our website at, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Required qualifications to apply:

  • You must be a United States Citizen and have the ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. Security Clearance.


ARI rewards successful contributors and delivers a high level of job satisfaction. Additional benefits include:

  • A highly competitive salary
  • 401k (ARI provides 5% non-elective Employee Eligible Compensation, as well as providing an elective Safe Harbor match of up to 4% of Employee Contribution)
  • Health, Dental, and Vision insurance coverage. ARI pays 90% of plan costs for individuals and 80% for families
  • Employer-provided short-term, long-term disability, and life insurance
  • 4 weeks PTO to start, 5 weeks after 2 years consecutive employment
  • Flexible schedule, including the ability to work from home, when appropriate

To apply:

E-mail your resume and cover letter Please note position number H22-003 in the subject line of your e-mail. Please direct all questions on the position to Leslie Wolfe at