Communications Specialist (Ecosystems)

San Francisco, CA, US

Communications Specialist, Ecosystems
Ecosystems Program
San Francisco, CA

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 green group, 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 Ecosystems Program works with diverse partners to meet growing needs for food, water and infrastructure in ways that improve the environment and benefit the economy. The program has four goals: 1) reverse habitat loss on working lands, 2) eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major agricultural problem, 3) revitalize working rivers and their ability to provide resilient water supply, and 4) restore coastal ecosystems to protect communities from the impacts of climate change.

Overall Function

The Communications Specialist will assist the Communications Director and work directly with EDF’s water experts to develop, implement and coordinate strategic communications plans that advance the water goals of Ecosystems. This is a new position that will be instrumental in helping the newly formed water team reach their goals. The major water initiatives are centered on California ground water, water markets, and the Colorado River Basin. The Specialist will often play the role of both generalist and strategist, utilizing skill sets in persuasive writing, video editing, media relations and basic graphic/web design.

Key Responsibilities

Contacts and Communication:

  • Serve as the day-to-day communications liaison with water program staff working on various initiatives (revitalizing rivers, stabilizing ground water levels, and helping to promote market based water strategy) by advising them on communications strategies that will help them meet their objectives.
  • Manage and launch media campaigns in various media markets specific to new campaign initiatives.  
  • Develop and maintain on-going, positive working relationships with targeted journalists, bloggers, editorial writers, columnists and other opinion leaders.

Responsibility and Accountability:

  • Working closely with program staff and the Communications Director help develop and implement strategic communications plans that further the goals of Ecosystems water program.
  • Write, edit and distribute a broad range of communications materials – including news releases, social media posts, editorial pitches, reports, presentations, graphics, newsletters and op-eds — under deadline pressure.
  • Execute media strategies including press conferences, one-on-one meetings and media tours, and prepare program staff for media opportunities.
  • Secure consistent favorable media coverage of the program’s work in top-tier, regional and targeted trade outlets.
  • Manage Twitter handles; provide support to the program’s other digital media assets, including the Growing Returns blog.
  • Help to maintain electronic files, including media lists, press clips, collateral, editorial calendars, etc.
  • Track campaign metrics and prepare summaries on a regular basis.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with at least 2 years of professional experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Media experience; established contacts with reporters and editors.
  • Proficiency with social media tools.
  • Basic graphic, web design and video editing experience preferred.
  • Familiarity with Vocus media contact software desirable.
  • Familiarity with program’s complex science and economic concepts (in relation to water) in order to have a better understanding of goals and objectives.

Application Materials

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter.

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