National Communications Strategist, Policy and Legislation

Washington, DC



Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; preserve magnificent places and wildlife; advance clean energy; and combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals, and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Chicago and Washington, DC.

 

Earthjustice’s environmental fights not only take place in the courtroom but also on Capitol Hill and in the political sphere. Advocating for our values, our clients, and our mission to key decision-makers, policy makers, and political influencers is vital to achieving the organization’s overall goal of delivering justice for the planet and its people.

 

The National Communications Strategist for Policy and Legislation develops strategic communications plans for Earthjustice’s policy and legislation work, builds key narratives and develops messages for these issues, ensures messaging consistency, and forms and leads teams of Communications colleagues to implement communications plan components —including dynamic storytelling and media and public outreach. The National Communications Strategist provides strategic guidance and management for the Press Secretary for Policy and Legislation, such as earned media goals, drafting press materials, pitching reporters, and contributing content to our website, blog and quarterly magazine and cultivating the partnerships we need to support program communications goals. This position will work in coordination with other members of the program communications team and coalitions and may work to help strengthen and develop them.

 

This role will be located in Washington, D.C. 

 

Responsibilities:

 

Strategy & Coordination (45%)

 

  • Works with the Vice President of Policy and Legislation and key communications, program and policy staff to oversee and implement the strategic communications on the Earthjustice Policy and Legislation team’s top tier priorities. 
  • Works with national and regional communications strategists, partners and clients in developing coalition strategy and advocacy tactics leveraging owned, earned and paid communications channels. Identifies opportunities for proactive state legislative communications work and consults and coordinates with relevant staff where necessary on state legislative messaging. Manages the press secretary to ensure coverage of Earthjustice work in target print, television, radio and online media; maintains knowledge of reporters covering a particular issue and coordinates press events and other earned media opportunities.
  • Coordinates public outreach with other partners, including non-profit, public health and community groups as needed; identifies potential partnerships with other local and national organizations to amplify key issues.
  • Looks for new opportunities to reach out to the public to generate awareness of Earthjustice and support for our programmatic goals; Works to build profile of Earthjustice among key target audiences, including partnering with marketing staff in Communications and Development in strategy development for major marketing and fundraising initiatives.
  • Uses market research/polls and contracts or conducts focus groups/quantitative studies to help determine message strategies and to target optimal audiences efficiently for program outreach.
  • Serves as political communication advisor to the Vice President of Policy and Legislation and other National Communications Strategists. Build and expand Earthjustice’s political footprint and influence, in DC and beyond. 
  • Assists in management of communications projects within the Policy and Legislation Department to ensure proper coordination, timing and collaboration between teams.

 

Content Creation and Branding (25%)

  • Drives storytelling projects involving our clients and affected communities and consistently seeks out new and compelling ways to tell and amplify these stories.
  • Drafts content for the Earthjustice blog, website and print materials. Develops internal message guidance for colleagues. Reviews, edits, and approves content and materials developed by the Press Secretary and Communications team members to ensure it adheres to brand standards and furthers strategic communications goals for the HC program.
  • Maintains close fidelity to organizational branding requirements and serves as an advisor to colleagues throughout the Communications department and organization on ensuring messages are on-brand and further institutional goals.

 

Earthjustice Action Communications (15%)

  • Will advise and coordinate on strategic communications initiatives for Earthjustice Action (Earthjustice’s 501(c)(4) advocacy partner) with the Director of Earthjustice Action. 
  • Will help coodinate and assist in execution of 501(c)4 advocacy strategies on priority issues. 
  • Works with the Director of Earthjustice Action, Earthjustice’s 501(c)(4) advocacy partner, to design and implement strategic communications to advance Earthjustice Action’s programmatic priorities.  Coordinates with Earthjustice Action Director, Earthjustice Policy and Legislation staff, and outside vendors to craft and launch congressionally focused advertising campaigns to raise awareness and promote action on priority issues. Drafts content for the Earthjustice Action website including press releases and blogs. Serves as communications advisor to the Director of Earthjustice Action and looks for new opportunities to generate awareness of Earthjustice Action and support for its programmatic goals.

 

Management (Essential Functions)

 

15 % of time: depending on number of direct reports and assuming dedication of approximately 10% of time for each direct report

 

  • Manages staff and contractors, including the Press Secretary.
  • Helps create special projects, determining project management roles, budget, tracking, measurements of success, and reporting.
  • Develops strategy documents, timelines, manages budgets, and oversees tracking of communications plans and tactics to determine effectiveness, ensure accountability, and inform future strategy. Sets achievable measurements of success for top priority issues and strives to meet these goals.
  • Participates in organizational trainings and professional development opportunities.
  • Recruits and hires qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.  
  • Promotes change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles. 
  • Sets clear team direction that aligns with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Develops staff by identifying and encouraging training and professional development opportunities appropriate to role and creating development plans for all staff.
  • Provides staff with consistent performance feedback – both positive and constructive -- and acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Creates a learning culture, by encouraging debriefing after completion of significant stages of projects.
  • Ensures that any direct reports who have supervisory responsibility are properly executing those functions.
  • Creates a respectful and inclusive work environment for team and models respectful and inclusive behavior.
  • Promptly addresses micro-aggressions and other concerns brought to their attention.
  • Resolves interpersonal conflict among team members and brings in outside facilitators as needed.
  • Communicates regularly with existing employees and encourages staff to raise concerns and to provide ongoing feedback.
  • Creates or identifies strategic opportunities for team building and individual and overall staff engagement with one another in order to strengthen teamwork, interaction and collaboration.  
  • Values and uses individual differences and talents to improve employee satisfaction and the quality of collective work. 
  • Celebrates successes and helps team members to understand and manage setbacks.

 

*Supervisory Responsibilities: [1 direct report]

  • Will manage one press secretary.

 

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public policy, campaigns, communications, or environmental fields required. Master’s degree desirable but not necessary.
  • Strong background in strategic communications, media or campaigning.
  • 7+ years in nonprofit or communications capacity or equivalent experience, with an emphasis in nonprofit/advocacy and communications. Experience setting strategy, managing projects, writing and producing content, and coordinating team participation in managing and executing projects.
  • Management experience is preferred.
  • Excellent strategic sense and an ability to set goals and priorities, managing limited resources for maximum impact
  • Experience working on environmental issues preferred, but not required
  • Prior experience and relationships with reporters covering Capitol Hill either as a communications staffer for a Member of Congress, an administration or an advocacy organization.
  • Media savvy with great depth of experience in successfully placing stories, opinion pieces, and narratives, with a history of influencing conversations unfolding in the media.
  • Thinks of and develops creative new ways to mobilize supporters for strategic impact.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with demonstrated experience in public speaking.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to lead teams and coordinate projects across coalitions.
  • Outstanding organizational skills with demonstrated ability to plan and coordinate a variety of detailed outreach projects, sometimes under a very tight deadline.
  • Ability to lead staff and vendors in a team environment and exhibit strong team building/participation skills.
  • Experience working in coordination with other nonprofit groups and local businesses also a plus.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

 

Management (Essential Skills)

 

  • Ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse team with emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understating of the impact of their behavior) and cultural humility (an understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientation and implementation of that learning daily management practices).
  • Ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s operations.
  • Strong team mentorship and communication skills
  • Understands the individual and team strengths and areas for development and develops plans accordingly. 
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.

 

**This role will also entail some travel.

 

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. We also offer an extremely congenial work environment and a casual dress code.

 

Salary is based on experience and location. 
Salary range in Washington, DC: $111,200 - $123,500

 

To Apply: 

TO APPLY

Interested candidates must submit the following via Jobvite. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply early:

 

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

 

Click here to apply.

 

Please reach out to jobs@earthjustice.org if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application.  No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

 

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.