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Director of Publications

Reports to: Associate Director, Strategic Research Partnerships 

Department: Publications

Salary range: £60,000 - £70,000 based on skills and experience

Location: London Office (Hybrid)

Contract: Full time, Permanent

 About RUSI 

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is the world’s oldest and the UK’s leading independent think tank engaged in cutting edge research in defence and security. Its mission is to inform, influence and enhance public debate on a safer and more stable world. RUSI is a research-led institute, producing independent, practical and innovative analysis to address today’s complex challenges.

RUSI publishes a wide variety of research and membership outputs. It houses the RUSI Journal, a leading peer-reviewed academic journal in defence and security, and produces approximately 60 research publications per year. These publications combine scholarly rigour and policy relevance, and are intended to be readable for a wide audience. The Institute’s published works are well regarded for their accuracy and clarity of expression on often-technical topics.

Main Purpose of the role

We are now recruiting for a Director of Publications to manage and deliver RUSI’s full suite of publications. This is a senior post that requires technical editorial skills, project management expertise, line management and engagement with high-level stakeholders.

The successful candidate will have extensive editorial and/or publishing experience. The person will be responsible for liaising with senior members of staff and researchers to identify requirements, risks and solutions throughout the entire publishing journey. The post holder will work proactively with other teams to coordinate publishing activities.

This role will be responsible for budget management and ensuring that the department’s financial reporting is accurate and timely. The post holder will liaise with relevant third-party suppliers and publishing partners, ensuring that RUSI obtains value for money.

The post holder will manage a skilled editorial team, and will have a crucial role in their individual and collective performance, success and continual professional development. The person will foster a collaborative and positive workplace culture.

​The successful candidate will also undertake day-to-day editorial tasks, such as editing and proofreading, to a high standard. A willingness and ability to work on a variety of tasks is a core requirement of this post.

Key tasks

  • Advise all stakeholders and staff on RUSI’s editorial policies.
  • Ensure that quality assurance processes are adhered to and that RUSI’s print and digital publications meet necessary standards.
  • Advise on editorial best practices, proposing changes to current policies as appropriate.
  • Work closely with the Communications function and wider RUSI to improve the impact of RUSI’s publications, including collaboration on the development of an audience focused content strategy, aligning with RUSI’s strategic objectives.
  • Line manage a small team, following best HR practices.
  • Foster the professional development and growth of team members, and take top-level responsibility for performance. 
  • Coordinate with internal and external stakeholders to ensure the effective delivery of RUSI’s research publications.
  • Ensure the delivery of RUSI’s membership publications, including the RUSI Journal, identifying business opportunities as appropriate.
  • Ensure that handovers between research and editorial processes are effective and efficient.
  • Understand major legal and reputational publishing risks, and make proposals to reduce these where appropriate.
  • Ensure that the use of third-party assets in RUSI publications adheres to relevant copyright and licensing requirements.
  • Manage relationships with suppliers, publishing partners and archival services.
  • Be responsible for the project management of challenging and bespoke editorial projects.
  • Undertake day-to-day editorial tasks, such as editing and proofreading, to a high standard.
  • Provide expert advice and recommendations on requests for post-publication corrections and on appropriate responses to potential legal or reputational harm stemming from RUSI publications.
  • Manage the departmental budget, ensuring that RUSI achieves value for money.
  • Record and report completed projects accurately for financial and audit purposes.

The above list of duties is not exhaustive. The post holder will be required to undertake such duties that may reasonably be expected within the scope and grade of the role.

Person specification

Essential skills and experience

  • Proven track-record of working at a senior level in a publishing or editorial environment, both digital and print, as well as and advanced understanding of risk and compliance.
  • Experience of long-form report-style publishing, as well as experience of managing content within a content management system and working with a range of digital content formats, including long-form HTML web pages.
  • Strong understanding of current SEO and web-copy best practices.
  • Demonstrable advanced project management experience and skills.
  • Experience of managing budgets and supplier relationships.
  • Proven ability to identify and solve problems, recognising competing business needs.
  • Ability to take evidence-based decisions and recommend courses of action to senior members of staff.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to liaise with senior internal and external stakeholders.
  • Line management experience and knowledge of best HR practices.
  • Excellent command of the English language with a proven ability to spot errors and inconsistencies and adhere to house style.

Desirable skills

  • Professional experience in the think tank sector or similar organisation.
  • A relevant degree or professional accreditation in publishing.
  • An interest in defence and security.
  • Knowledge of the Microsoft 365 suite.
  • Experience of working with innovative digital content formats and applying new technology and trends in publishing.
  • Experience in working with a range of editorial professionals – especially graphic designers – in an in-house or freelance capacity.
  • Knowledge and experience of Adobe Creative Suite, especially InDesign.

Our expectations 

We expect all staff to abide by and promote our RUSI’s Vision and Values and Equal Opportunities Statement​


  • 25 days annual leave (rising with service) 
  • Additional days off during Christmas - RUSI Christmas closure days
  • Generous pension contributions at 6% employer contribution, 
  • Access to 24/7 Employee Assistance Program
  • Season ticket loan 
  • Free access to RUSI's world leading program of events and conferences, research materials and library
  • Trained Mental Health First Aiders 
  • *Enhanced sick pay
  • *Enhanced maternity and paternity leave

*Depending on length of service​

Application Process

To apply, please click on the apply button and follow the instructions to submit:​

  • Your CV.
  • Cover Letter, no longer than 1 page, explaining your interest in the role and any significant relevant skills and/or experience.

The closing date for applications is 23:59:00 on Wednesday 11th of March 2024.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete a written test as part of the recruitment process. ​

Please DO NOT submit multiple applications for this vacancy. We no longer accept applications to our recruitment mailbox, applications received in our mailbox will not be processed.​

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the closing date brought forward if needed. Early application is encouraged. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.​

Equal Opportunity and Values

At RUSI you will be appreciated and valued. Our stakeholders, transactions, and projects are international and diverse, so we work hard to create inclusive teams that support our efforts and each other. We are committed in promoting equality and diversity in our workforce and make it as diverse as the communities we serve. Our recruitment data helps us monitor the effectiveness of our recruitment practices in order that we can continue to improve on creating a more diverse workforce. ​

We’re aware that the questionnaire may not capture the rich complexities of our backgrounds and identities, so we apologise if these are not best described. Please note that this data will be kept confidential and separated from your job application. If you are uncomfortable sharing, choose "Prefer not to say" or skip the questions entirely. ​

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Director of Publications

Rusi, London
Full-time, Permanent
Publishing, Project Management, Editorial
Director of Publications
Salary description: 
£60K +

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