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Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
JOB #R1903628

Strategy Director

@ ICF Next, we are fearless in finding new ways to solve problems, relentless in making sure it pays off for our clients and committed to making a positive change in the world. Join our community of mission-driven creatives, communicators, strategists, and technologists to challenge the status quo.

We’re currently hiring for a Strategy Director in our Chicago office. We’re looking for an entrepreneurial-minded Strategy Director with 10+ years of experience and deep passion for helping brands build cultural momentum. This role sits within the Brand Engagement division of ICF Next—one of the world’s most awarded and respected Consumer PR groups, famous for attention grabbing ideas that blur the lines of advertising, earned media and digital innovation. This hire will be the first brand strategy role embedded within our Chicago office, reporting directly to the head of strategy (located in Minneapolis). Initially, you’ll develop insights and lead strategy on a core CPG account and play a critical role on select new business efforts—ensuring that our team is delivering a leading-edge strategic product for our clients, grounded in relevant data, trends and insights. For the right candidate, this role can quickly become a Group Strategy Director role, leading strategy and building a team in Chicago.

As a Strategy Director, you will:

  • Lead strategy on a key CPG account for the agency, partnering with your peers in Client Impact and Creative to develop and deliver award winning work that drives growth for our clients and ICF Next.
  • Serve as the lead strategist on various new business efforts, collaborating with agency and team leaders to respond to RFIs, RFPs and pitch assignments, including playing a leading role in pitch presentations.
  • Partner with a peer Strategy Director in Minneapolis and the Senior Partner, Strategy to shape, evolve and articulate the overarching approach to brand strategy for Brand Engagement and ICF Next.
  • Collaborate with the broader ICF Next strategic capabilities like Analytics, Digital Strategy, Search and Media to craft stories that inspire clients and internal teams to solve marketing and business challenges in new and better ways; always finding the narrative and emotional connection in the data points.
  • Develop and contribute to thought leadership initiatives for the agency, including but not limited to writing blog posts, articles and speaking at conferences and events.
  • Partner with discipline leaders across the ICF Next collective as needed on new business efforts, client projects and special requests where brand strategy expertise is required.
  • Support ICF Next leadership in continuing to foster an inspiring and energizing culture where creativity and smart thinking flourish.

As a Strategy Director you will have:

  • 10+ years of experience working in marketing, brand consulting or creative agency roles with 7+ years as a brand strategist, account planner or client-side equivalent
  • Demonstrated ability to identify industry and consumer trends before they crest, and translate those trends into meaningful strategy for our clients
  • Proven success leading brand strategy on a large CPG account, but ideally also having experience across a variety of industries and categories
  • Experience managing, mentoring and developing entry-level and mid-level strategists—helping them master core strategy/planning skills
  • Energy and passion for pitching new business with experience leading pitches from a strategic perspective
  • Fluency and comfort with a wide range of marketing research tools and methodologies—from overseeing the design, execution and analysis of primary research projects (both quant and qual), to sourcing and blending 3rd party research, secondary and social listening, in order to shine a bright light on deeply buried truths
  • A proactive, collaborative, team-first work style—you’re willing to take on any level of task to meet deadlines, surpass expectations and ultimately, make the work better
  • An engaging approach to storytelling and experience pulling from different story formats to craft inspiring creative briefs, give clear, compelling strategic direction and deliver informed, persuasive client POVs on a range of strategic challenges and opportunities
  • Experience designing and facilitating workshops, both client facing and internal
  • An insatiable appetite for finding better ways to do things and the ability to inspire those around you to do the same

Working at ICF

Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth. If you’re seeking to make a difference in the world, visit to find your next career. ICF—together for tomorrow.

ICF is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. (EOE – Minorities/Females/ Protected Veterans Status/Disability Status/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity)

Reasonable Accommodations are available for disabled veterans and applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process. To request an accommodation please email icfcareercenter@icf.comand we will be happy to assist. All information you provide will be kept confidential and will be used only to the extent required to provide needed reasonable accommodations. Read more about non-discrimination:  EEO is the law and  Pay Transparency Statement.

Chicago, IL (IL12)

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Who is ICF Next?

A consulting services company of over 5,000 experts across 67 countries, but not your typical consultants
Learn More About ICF Next