Director of Strategic Communications and Public Engagement
Natural Resources Defense Council - New York, NY

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action group. A non-profit organization with four decades of success, NRDC leverages the grassroots power of its 1.3 million members and activists to stand up for our environment, defend public health and preserve our natural heritage for future generations. To best protect our air, water, wildlife and lands in a challenging political and economic climate, NRDC has six core goals: Promote a clean energy future that curbs climate change, Revive our oceans, Protect our health by reducing pollution, Defend endangered wild places and wildlife, Ensure safe and sufficient water and Foster sustainable communities. Today, our staff of more than 430 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Livingston, Montana and Beijing.

Position Summary :
NRDC is seeking a Director of Strategic Communications and Public Engagement to lead its Strategic Communications team in our New York office. As a member of the NRDC leadership team, the Director will shape and integrate innovative and effective communications strategies that help to amplify NRDC’s voice on core issues, advance the organization’s policy agenda and broaden its brand visibility globally. The Director will provide the vision within NRDC to make communications excellence an integral part of the culture of success that helps the group achieve its goals and objectives. The position manages a team of 40 and a budget of $8 million in a way that makes NRDC the indispensable voice on the central environmental issues of our time.

Responsibilities :
Create and direct an integrated strategic communications and public engagement plan that will: advance NRDC’s strategic goals and objectives; amplify its voice; and enhance the NRDC brand in a way that helps to enrich its reputation, expand its base of donor support and increase the number of NRDC members and activists.

Collaborate effectively with NRDC’s Program leaders and its Membership and Development teams on strategic messaging and tactical communications initiatives. Ensure integration and consistency with NRDC’s overall brand image and business objectives.

Lead a strategic communications team responsible for: electronic/print communications, publications, media relations and digital marketing, including social media, as well as advertising.

Partner with senior management to develop an internal communications strategy to demonstrate to all team members the benefits of a focused marketing and communications strategy.

Oversee the creation of a more compelling and effective digital presence. Develop, execute and monitor a strategy to build vibrant and responsive online communications and communities in support of key program objectives and initiatives through: continual website improvement; innovative use of emerging tools; strategic use of metrics to ensure that online work communicates the right message to the right audience at the right moment and is fully aligned with NRDC’s institutional priorities.

Expand online outreach to engage high priority audiences like college students, other members of Generation Y and women. Make it a priority to evaluate and optimize the use of multimedia and new media technologies.

Develop a comprehensive institutional communications coaching strategy to help enable NRDC spokespeople to articulate its positions in clear, assertive language that connects with the public, advances NRDC’s agenda and enhances its public image.

Oversee and elevate national media efforts to ensure frequent and regular earned media exposure – through news articles, opeds, commentary and guest appearances – on traditional print and broadcast media and online.

Analyze and modify, as necessary, the department structure and roles in order to maximize resources, meet the changing needs of the organization and ensure the team is capable of achieving our aggressive goals.

Develop a strategy for renewing and strengthening communications capacity, by researching emerging communications vehicles, trends and techniques and by making better use of existing relationships with corporate partners and high profile supporters.

Required Skills

Innovative strategic communications leader able to bring fresh ideas, as well as a disciplined, strategic marketing approach; a track record of success building and leading consequential brands; appreciation of and/or experience working with advocacy organizations is required.

Inspiring leader, effective team member and relationship builder who has been successful partnering across complex organizations.

Confident decision-maker; self-starter with high energy/drive and a relentlessly positive attitude. Focused on results.

Skilled in leading, motivating and developing a diverse team of strategic communications professionals. A role model who demonstrates respectful behavior with multiple stakeholders. Creates an environment where individuals feel valued and empowered.

Committed to working at a mission-driven organization: passion for environmental issues.

Ability to lead and influence senior-level, accomplished professionals on strategic communications goals.

Proven effectiveness in employing digital marketing and social media; able to develop communications plans that fully leverage new technologies.

Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred. Understanding of the environmental arena a strong plus.

Experienced in managing outside resources to deliver meaningful results on time and on budget when unique expertise or temporary capacity is required.

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter. No phone calls or faxes please. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to Customer Care by dialing 1-866-803-9663 .

For further information about NRDC, please visit

Required Experience

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