Senior Director, Global Communications

Senior Director, Global Communications

EDF Oceans Program

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading environmental NGO, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

EDF’s Oceans Program is leading the effort to reverse decades of overfishing and poor management that are depleting the oceans of sea life. EDF works to rebuild fisheries by helping to design sustainable management policies around the world. In the United States, fish populations are rebounding, far fewer fish are being discarded than under the old inflexible rules, and fishermen are better off. EDF also has supported progress in Mexico, Europe and elsewhere. We are working now on a bold plan to engage in fisheries representing nearly two-thirds of the world’s catch, to help sustainable fishing take hold globally. Compared to business as usual, our preliminary findings suggest sustainably managed global fisheries could provide as much as 112% more fish in the water per year; 23% more in annual harvests; and 300% more in profits per year.

Overall Function

The Senior Director, Global Communications for EDF Oceans is an experienced communicator adept at handling communications on complicated issues and telling stories persuasively to target audiences around the world.  We are seeking an experienced leader who can spearhead the work of telling our environmental story from the perspective of people, with a proven ability to take complex, heady issues and make them accessible and inspiring to decision-makers. S/he brings a strategic view of the world—its actors, government officials, corporations and others—and the regions/countries where we operate, in order to help write the public narratives that bring our strategies to life. The candidate must have experience managing teams located in different cultures, geographies and time zones, as well as experience communicating in various countries; experience in ocean communications is a major plus.

The Senior Director, Global Communications is a member of the Oceans Management Team, a group of senior program leaders who manage work across the program, and the lead strategist on building brand awareness and all communications for EDF Oceans. Reporting to the Vice President, Communications and working closely with the Senior Vice President, Oceans and other senior leaders across the program, the Senior Director, Global Communications will:

  • Lead the successful development and execution of a global communications plan designed to raise awareness of our work around the world, build the EDF Oceans brand, and meet our tangible goals for more fish in the water, more food on the plate, and more prosperous communities.
  • Continue to build the profile of EDF as a thought-leader on sustainable fisheries by securing speaking roles for EDF on high-level platforms, and overseeing development and rollout of a book on the turnaround in U.S. fisheries that is accepted by a publisher.
  • Build, lead and manage a network of talented PR consultants and EDF communications staff in countries where we operate; ensure the development and implementation of culturally-competent communications strategies that support our programmatic goals in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region.
  • Oversee successful development and execution of a strategic communications plan that communicates the value of our work to target audiences in the United States, working closely with the Deputy Communications Director.
  • Lead the Oceans communications team and collaborate closely with the Digital and Creative teams to tell compelling and visually interesting stories about our work in media and across EDF brand channels.
  • Manage the annual communications budget for the Oceans program.

The Senior Director, Global Communications must be smart, intuitive and a quick study, comfortable getting up to speed quickly on technical scientific content. S/he must possess a keen ear for nuance and a proven ability to write/communicate in the context of various political, cultural, and socio-economic factors unique to our countries of operation. The Senior Director must be a strategic thinker who is capable of connecting all the dots and developing forward-looking plans that drive achievement of the program’s global strategy and goals. At the same time, s/he must have a track-record of success as an executor who can juggle many responsibilities at once across various countries, managing each project to a successful outcome on time and on budget.

Responsibilities include:

  • Developing and executing a clearly defined and comprehensive communications strategy and tactical plan that helps achieve our program objectives and reaches our target audiences.
  • Tailoring the message platform into talking points, speeches, op-eds, news releases, blogs, media pitches, story narratives and other materials for audiences in countries where we operate.
  • Developing partnerships with media and other companies to amplify our messages and brand.
  • Maintaining, cultivating and owning relationships with agenda-setting media and reporters covering oceans and related topics.
  • Monitoring media and identifying opportunities to insert EDF messages into the news on a systematic basis, including pitching news stories, editorials, op-eds and blogs; identify opportunities to arrange desk-side and other briefings for media.
  • Managing PR/communications agency support, including developing RFPs, assessing agency expertise and managing agency teams for excellence.
  • Preparing program staff with training, advice and support for communications opportunities.
  • Working with the Deputy Communications Director and country-specific communications staff to develop and implement strategic media, accompanying messaging and collateral material.
  • Coordinating social media strategy for the program and direct daily execution, including drafting messages and responses, of social media team; identify opportunities to use brand-level social media channels and coordinate outreach with Digital team and lead writing of first drafts.
  • Participating in establishing and meeting budget objectives for areas of responsibility.
  • Developing and executing events that convene business, policy and academic leaders.
  • Leading internal communications.
  • Serving as lead communicator for the program and manager of the communications team.

This position requires an individual who:

  • Has 12 years of experience with an established record as a successful marketing and communications professional, campaign operative or journalist who understands how to create and identify compelling stories and who has successfully pitched stories in a variety of media worldwide.
  • Understands global, federal and state public policy issues, and possesses a significant knowledge base of and passion for environmental and science issues.
  • Can demonstrate the ability to take complex scientific and technical information and generate compelling stories that emphasize the impacts on people.
  • Has management experience, including management of staff in multiple offices and countries with different languages, and the supervision of public relations and advertising agencies.
  • Has a proven track record of working with leading media.

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.