Free Press/Future Leaders Program Manager

Department: Content
Reports to: Free Press Managing Director
Status: Full-time Regular
FLSA: Exempt
Prepared: May 2022


The role of the Free Press/Future Leaders Program Manager is to oversee all aspects of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Program and, working with the Free Press Managing Director, develop and execute ways to extend the relationship of those students with the Freedom Forum through college and early career to be ambassadors for the First Amendment. This person will be part of a strategic team that works together and collaboratively with all departments at the Freedom Forum to fulfill our mission by imagining, planning and executing programs and initiatives related to the role of a free press in a democracy, including but not limited to the Free Spirit program.

The Free Spirit program, established in 1999 by Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth, focuses on inspiring and encouraging young, free-spirited high school students to become involved in journalism with an emphasis on a fair press and an environment of inclusivity and diversity.

This position will be instrumental in creating a re-imagined program portfolio, using the best existing program initiatives and expanding and/or improving the overall program agenda. The program manager should be a creative thinker who is collaborative with others. The person also should be a strong writer and editor, able to multi-task, meet deadlines and connect with high school and college-age students to motivate and inspire.

The Freedom Forum works to raise awareness of First Amendment freedoms through education, advocacy and action with a vision of an America where everyone knows, understands, values and defends the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

Freedom Forum embraces flexible ways of working that enable staff to maximize performance and productivity and maintain work-life balance over the long term to deliver on its mission.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Overseeing the planning and execution of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Program, with a focus on amplifying the Freedom Forum’s mission, vision and values.
  • Evaluating the current program with attention to its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Working to re-imagine the program, focusing on collaborative efforts among the organization’s other free press efforts.
  • Effectively promoting and marketing the program, focusing on recruiting young journalists to become involved in the agenda.
  • Managing the program alumni network, tracking the achievements of former scholars and mentors.
  • Developing new opportunities for program alumni to become involved with the organization.
  • Managing the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism conference in whatever form it takes, overseeing all details of the conference.
  • Working with other teams to create and compile event materials, email communications, recruitment and needs for training programs.
  • Reporting and writing as requested articles, editorials, website explainers and other material to engage young journalists.
  • Participating in the annual scholastic conferences when deemed appropriate.

This individual must have:

  • An understanding and appreciation for student and early career journalists and journalism.
  • The ability to manage programs and achieve programmatic objectives.
  • Journalism expertise and skill in writing and reporting.
  • The ability to create and sustain a community.
  • Experience in program moderation.
  • Social media experience and expertise.
  • Time management and organizational skills.
  • Collaboration skills and the ability to advocate for specific initiatives.
  • The ability to motivate, encourage and inspire young journalists.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
Application Process

Please email your application as a single PDF, titled your last and first name (Jones, Jane), to [email protected] with a cover letter, resume and three references.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement: Our Unique Differences Are Our Greatest Strength

Diversity is an integral part of the Freedom Forum’s history ̶ and it is vital to our future. Our founder, Al Neuharth, championed the hiring and promotion of women and minorities across the country as chair and CEO of Gannett. His legacy lives on at the Freedom Forum, where we are committed to creating an environment where everyone across race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion, physical ability and life experience is respected, valued, encouraged and supported. Diversity fuels inclusion. Everyone offers a unique perspective; we welcome yours.

The Freedom Forum is committed to an ethical workplace, and our code of ethics reflects this commitment by promoting integrity, innovation, inclusivity, collaboration, accountability, respect and engagement. Competitive benefits include health, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as paid time off and a 401(k) Plan.

The Freedom Forum is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, age, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law.