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Position Announcement: Communications Director

Position Announcement: Communications Director

About the Alliance: The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) is a regional nonprofit organization whose vision is clean streams and rivers flowing through resilient landscapes, cared for by the people who live, work, and play in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We achieve this vision by bringing together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve our lands and waters. We are a non-partisan organization that seeks to build partnerships across sectors to accelerate the restoration of local rivers and streams. The Alliance was founded in 1971, and has regional offices in Annapolis, MD (headquarters), Lancaster, PA, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA.

About this Position: This position is joining the Alliance at a very exciting time in our history, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2021. The Communications Director will play a critical leadership role to a regional environmental group that is actively growing impactful programs for cleaner water across the Chesapeake Bay. This position will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to advance organizational goals as laid out in the 2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan. The ideal candidate for this position is a self-starter who possesses a high degree of initiative, is constantly learning, and has an entrepreneurial work ethic. This position will be part of advancing the Alliance’s visibility and recognition as we continue to grow and expand our impact across our four priority regions.

Specific Duties of the Position:

Communications Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

  • Lead the development and implementation of an integrated, organization-wide strategic communications plan that will enable the Alliance to broaden awareness and raise brand identity across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Work with the CEO and COO to develop strategies relative to organizational priorities and outcomes.
  • At the direction of the CEO, liaise with the Board of Directors to provide communications training and materials relevant to executing the Board’s priorities, including increasing communications expertise to elevate fundraising opportunities.
  • Organize and lead the Communications Team, which includes both dedicated Communications staff (who will be supervised by the Communications Director) as well as staff that contribute to the Communications Team but may report to a different supervisor (Communications Liaisons).

Communications Operations

  • Work with the CEO, COO, and other leadership-level staff to expedite the implementation of the 2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan, including but not limited to Priority 3: Differentiate and Elevate the Brand.
  • Provide edits on content generated by Communications Liaisons and other staff, offer constructive editorial direction to staff at every level, to tell the Alliance’s story in a unified and strategic way.
  • Quickly respond to, and coordinate, crisis communications.
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare leadership-level talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting materials as needed.
  • Serve as the lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization. Actively cultivate and manage press relationships to ensure coverage of issues of strategic importance to the Alliance.
  • Work with staff to ensure appropriate levels of communication materials are regularly updated, and available to all staff for use tabling at conferences and other external-facing events.
  • Identify, and apply for funding to increase the communications capacity of the Alliance.

Team Development and Management

  • Lead highly-efficient meetings that oftentimes consist of staff at a variety of levels and expertise.
  • Provide constructive input and helps advance a number of internal documents, including those that support the 2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan, or impact the flow of internal and external communications information.
  • Effective in managing and delegating staff workloads to ensure that time-sensitive deliverables are met and all communications-related projects progress efficiently.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Ability to develop and manage project budgets, and overall organizational budget for Communications efforts.

Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, environmental studies, or other relevant field.
  • Minimum of 7 years of professional communications experience (an advanced degree in a relevant field may substitute for one year of professional experience).
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills, including copy-editing proficiency and attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, prioritize work, and meet deadlines with high-quality communication products.
  • Expertise in developing effective organizational communication strategies that support and enhance both programmatic and fundraising strategies/outcomes of the Alliance.
  • Display critical thinking when crafting messages for broad audiences – with consideration of the communities, companies and conservationists the Alliance partners with and serves.
  • Experience with a variety of communications mediums, including but not limited to social media, written and online content, newsletters, blogs and press releases.
  • Experience managing and collaborating with remote team members in order to achieve effective outcomes on various tasks. Must be a self-starter and have a strong desire to “get the job done.”
  • Basic level of understanding of scientific and social considerations in the environmental field, especially those related to the Alliance’s programs, initiatives and key projects.
  • Understand politics impacting the environmental field in general, especially those that impact the Alliance’s ability to achieve its mission and strategic priorities.
  • Experience with non-profit communications is a plus.

The Alliance aspires to be an inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious and political beliefs. We are committed to ensuring diversity and inclusion remain integral to our organizational structure, policies, board of directors, staff, strategic goals, grants, partnerships and program delivery. The Alliance believes a broad base of participation and partners reflecting all of society is needed to be successful in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration effort. Visit www.allianceforthebay.org/DEI to learn more.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay offers a family friendly, flexible work environment. We are committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we encourage you to submit an application.

Supervision: The Communications Director reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Hours and Location: The Communications Director must have the ability to regularly work out of one of our regional offices (Annapolis, MD, Lancaster, PA, Washington, DC, or Richmond, VA). Some night and weekend work may be required. Travel throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed is needed at times, and will be discussed with the CEO first. The position advertised is full-time (40 hours per week). Please note that Alliance facilities are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this position will work remotely until further notice.

Salary: $70,000+ commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits including healthcare, employer-contributed retirement plans, and Parental Leave, are available.

Application: Please email a cover letter, resume, and a sample portfolio of writing to careers@allianceforthebay.org no later than Thursday, November 12th. Indicate “Communications Director – Last Name” in the subject line of your email. No phone inquiries, please.

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Kate Fritz Executive Director, Maryland Office

Kate is the Executive Director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Her interest in the Chesapeake extends beyond her love of kayaking and fishing, and has led her to many volunteer opportunities locally. She is a certified Master Watershed Steward, and was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy (WAS).

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