The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. Inspired by Pat Tillman, who proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country, family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Over the last 15 years, the Pat Tillman Foundation has supported 635 Tillman Scholars as they’ve furthered their education and increased their professional impact in the world.


PTF seeks an experienced and dynamic Director of Marketing & Communications to lead our national marketing & communication efforts in support of our mission and our Tillman Scholar community of over 600. This person will serve on the 5-person Executive Team of PTF to create, manage, and deliver on a 5-year strategy with a focus on increasing awareness of and engagement with our brand and our scholars. We understand that people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. If you believe you have the skillset to succeed in this role, regardless of industry, we encourage you to apply. 


Who You Are

  • Driven and adaptable. You want to leverage skills you’ve built over 10+ years of experience in marketing and/or communications that show exceptional leadership & effective management.

  • Inspired and inspirational. You are moved by the selfless sacrifice of our country’s veterans and their families, even if you didn’t serve personally. You love working with people and know how to excite them about the opportunities to engage with the PTF’s work. You love brainstorming to come up with big, inspiring ideas.

  • Storyteller. You understand that people connect with stories differently based on who they are, where they are, and what they’re doing. You enjoy finding the right story to share with the right person in the right way that motivates connection and action.

  • Results- and data-driven. You are driven by results and informed by data. You use data to make decisions and translate strategy into action, and you want to apply your analytical skills to increase audience engagement and conversion.

  • Detail-oriented. You will grow a nascent segmentation strategy using existing and to-be-built data tools to tailor messages to each audience in support of broad organizational themes.

  • Motivated coach. You take pride in the success of your team and will dedicate yourself to developing them as individuals, professionals, & teammates in support of our mission.

  • Humble (with a sense of humor). You love getting your hands dirty and know that a sense of humor, when everything is happening at once, will get the project done and contribute to a resilient team.

  • Passionate. You care about making a difference in the world, and want to support veterans and military spouses working at an impactful level across sectors including health, law, business, policy, academia, government, and defense. You want to come to work and feel inspired every day. You want to change the world.

What You’ll Do

Oversee a 3-person team responsible for creative design, content generation, and marketing activities. Serve as a member of PTF’s Executive Team, responsible for setting and executing the strategy of the organization in support of our mission. As a Director, you will serve as a cultural leader within the organization, responsible for both project management as well as cultural tone-setting. Outside of the strategic elements of this role, this role is predominantly focused on content generation, audience engagement, and driving revenue through digital outreach.


Content Generation

  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for content generation that elevates the work of Tillman Scholars and awareness of the Pat Tillman Foundation, within current industry best practices.

  • Ensure brand clarity and consistency across all channels, from creation and quality control of visual creative design to reinforcement of brand-standardized themes and messages.

  • Produce multiple Make Your Mark (MYM) talk events annually, similar to TED talks, that showcase Tillman Scholars and their work in the world in order to drive further engagement with PTF. This includes identification of and training for Tillman Scholars who will be MYM speakers.

  • Create and market Serving After Service (SAS) video productions that highlight the work of Tillman Scholars and that will serve as a tool for awareness and partner/donor engagement.

  • Lead production of Tillman Honors, one of PTF’s major fundraising events that creates opportunities for our partner and donor communities to engage with scholars and their work.

  • Partner with Programs team to identify scholars and scholar stories whose elevation through all PTF properties and channels will drive brand engagement.

  • Explore new content generation opportunities and channels as they align with our brand and create opportunities for engagement that align with PTF’s departmental and organizational strategies.

  • Support Tillman Scholars in the media through connection to media outlets and media training.


Audience Engagement

  • Build on PTF’s existing audience segmentation and outreach activities to bring the right message to the right audience, through the right medium, at the right time to drive engagement and activation.

  • In support of the Programs team, create and execute strategy for applicant outreach that drives increased initiated and completed Tillman Scholar applications.

  • Build relationships with national media outlets to deliver dozens of media opportunities for the Tillman Scholar community and for the Pat Tillman Foundation annually.

  • Create a strategy to increase engagement with current audiences and reach new audiences. Audiences will include veterans and military spouses seeking educational support, those motivated by our mission and support of leadership development, and our broad donor community who attend events like Pat’s Run and Pints for Pat.

  • Maintain, support, and oversee all digital properties and messaging.

  • Partner with Development team to support national brand partnerships.

  • Leverage board members and their networks to expand brand awareness and engagement.


Drive Revenue

  • In collaboration with the Development team, execute an annual Impact Campaign, a digital campaign that leverages assets and themes to drive donor engagement and financial support of PTF.

  • Leverage best practices to drive 28,000 registrants for Pat’s Run, one of the nation’s top 20 largest road races and a major fundraising and brand awareness effort for PTF. This includes driving registrations as well as brand presence through collateral, signage, merchandise, and messaging.

  • Partner with Development Director to provide digital outreach leading up to Tillman Honors and video, messaging, social, and print materials.

  • Through management of PTF’s email platform, reinforce general messaging and support Development efforts and outreach throughout the year.

  • Manage Marketing & Communications budget of ~$500k annually.


This position is based in Chicago, Illinois and reports to the CEO. Some travel is required.