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Communications Officer, Oceans and Climate
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, California
Date Posted 07/13/2020
Philanthropy-Program Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

About the Department:
The Communications Team develops and implements communications strategies designed to amplify the Foundation’s impact on the issue areas we fund and leverages the Foundation’s influence to increase program impact.

Our communications efforts are guided by the following priorities:

  • To communicate with grantees and stakeholders in a clear, consistent, and compelling way about our collective goals.

  • To selectively and intentionally use communications to augment grantees’ efforts and strengthen the fields in which we work .

  • To advise on communications-related grantmaking to achieve program goals.

  • To support grantees by strengthening their communications capacity and amplifying their work.

You will be part of a strategic, cohesive and collaborative team led by the Communications Director who is a member of the Foundation’s leadership team.

About the Role:
We seek a Communications Officer to lead the Foundation’s communication strategies and initiatives for our Ocean and Climate program areas. A successful candidate is an adept communications strategist, project manager, coach, and relationship builder who can prioritize, confidently make decisions, and move easily across projects.

Candidates should be passionate about the Foundation’s climate change and ocean goals, understand the connection between environmental issues and people, and be skilled at translating technical and scientific information and concepts into communications that inspire our audiences (e.g., grantees and their stakeholders, philanthropy, academic and industry stakeholders, and other communities of practice). Individuals should be intellectually curious and at-ease working with subject matter experts and leaders across various fields, including conservation and science.

Best suited to this role are people who are collaborative, solution-oriented, and a good listener with strong interpersonal skills to establish effective working relationships with Foundation staff, grantees, external consultants, media, and other stakeholders.

Inherent in all aspects of the Foundation is a commitment to creating an inclusive culture that values all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. You are personally devoted to growing your own cultural competence and will actively participate in the Foundation’s work to integrate justice and equity into all facets of our work.

This position is located in downtown Los Altos, California.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Communications Officers develop and lead creative campaigns, shape Foundation thought leadership, and amplify grantees to influence social change and inspire new audiences. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Develop and implement communications plans and approaches for the Foundation’s communications about our climate and ocean strategies.

  • Be an active thought partner and advisor to Foundation staff, guiding colleagues through communications planning, campaign strategy, and execution.

  • Manage communications activities such as message development, media engagement, drafting and editing content like articles, blogs, and social media posts, and other external communications.

  • Work directly with grantees as needed, organizing around shared projects and providing communications counsel and/or technical assistance.

  • Provide counsel on communications-related grantmaking to advance the Foundation’s climate and ocean goals.

  • Serve as a supportive, creative, and flexible Communications Team member on Foundation-wide projects, initiatives, and learning on the impact of communication activities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
In-depth knowledge of and skill with leading communications initiatives on climate change, ocean conservation and management, and/or other environmental issues, both in the U.S. and internationally.

  • Highest level of professional writing skills; ability to create content for opinion articles, web content, social media, and stories.

  • Significant project management experience with large teams and external consultants.

  • Excellent analytic abilities and critical thinking skills, with ability to see the big picture and chart a path towards achieving goals.

  • Media relations, media training, earned media, traditional and digital media strategy.

  • Demonstrated ability to coach, partner with, and support issue experts.

  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize and translate complex and/or scientific concepts and lexicon into clear, compelling content for non-technical audiences.

  • Adept at absorbing and understanding new subjects quickly.

  • Excellent time management, and prioritization skills, and ability to navigate and manage several varied responsibilities at once.

  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.

Important personal attributes for success include:

  • Humility and a “can-do” attitude

  • Flexibility to shift and pivot as needed

  • Collaborative and inclusive player

  • High emotional intelligence, ability to read and navigate situations with respect

  • Resilience and optimism

  • Discernment, excellent judgement

Education and Experience

  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent

  • At least 8 years of relevant work experience including: communications experience in climate change, ocean conservation, and other environmental issues; nonprofit, philanthropy and/or public affairs experience; experience providing communications counsel to an organization’s senior staff

  • Ideal candidate has worked for international organizations especially in the geographies we fund.

Compensation and Benefits:
The position is full-time, exempt. Salary will be commensurate with related work experience and education.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation offers excellent benefits for eligible employees. Current benefits include: medical (HMO and HDHPs), dental and vision coverage; 15% employer contribution to employee retirement plan; life insurance, disability insurance, vacation and sick leave; an adoption benefit; fertility benefit; a financial wellness program; health advocacy services, paid time off to volunteer for nonprofit organizations; matching grants for employee contributions to tax exempt organizations; commute assistance; and tuition assistance.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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