Communications and Outreach Director

Pacific Institute

Oakland, CA, US

Position Title: Communications and Outreach Director

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Hours: Full Time

Location: Pacific Institute office, Oakland, CA

Reports to: Pacific Institute President

Salary: Commensurate with experience, includes a very competitive benefits package

About the Pacific Institute

The Pacific Institute is a global water research organization that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence sustainable water policies and practices at the local, national, and international levels. Since 1987, we have worked with a range of stakeholders from Fortune 500 companies to disenfranchised communities to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Among other activities, the Institute:

  • Analyzes the risks of climate change for fresh water supplies and develops and disseminates strategies to address those risks.
  • Pioneers and promotes the “soft path” to water concept, which calls for a new and comprehensive approach for managing water infrastructure, demands, and institutions.
  • Serves as the organizing force behind the United Nations CEO Water Mandate, which brings global corporations and international organizations together to adopt water sustainability best practices.

Position Description

The Pacific Institute seeks an experienced communications professional to develop and implement communications strategies to expand the Institute’s reach and impact. The successful candidate will broaden the Institute’s outreach capabilities, inclusive of public relations and marketing, and enhance the organization’s effectiveness in reaching and influencing target audiences. The Director will be part of the senior management team, and will work to create and execute against a strategic vision for the Institute’s external communications and promote our work to relevant stakeholders, including donors, the media, policymakers, the private sector, as well as academic and scientific communities. In addition, the position will oversee communications and messaging relating to all the Institute’s major events. The position requires a clear vision for effective 21st-century communications strategies, as well as a working knowledge of the Institute’s programmatic areas of focus. The Director will oversee and manage the work of a communications team and coordinate with research and fundraising staff.

Core Responsibilities

The Director will be overseeing a small team working on all aspects of the Institute’s communications and outreach. Some of these tasks will be the done by the Director, and some will be carried out by his/her direct reports.

Strategic Planning and Leadership

  • Develop comprehensive short- and long-term communications plans with clearly defined target audiences, outreach strategies, tactics, evaluation metrics, and measurable goals to support and advance the mission of the organization.
  • Develop and implement consistent organizational branding and messaging.
  • Collaborate with senior management to develop a system to measure and communicate the organization’s successes and impacts.
  • Continually evaluate the effectiveness of marketing and communications efforts and report on these to the board and senior management.

Writing, Editing, and Production

  • Write and edit for a variety of formats and for diverse audiences, including: annual report, press releases, op-eds, short form articles, advocacy newsletters, web copy, digital media, collateral materials.
  • Edit and oversee production of Pacific Institute materials including research papers, presentations, fact sheets, videos, press materials, and organizational marketing materials.

Website and Digital Communications

  • Assess, manage, and refresh the content of the organization’s website to ensure it is effectively communicating the Institute’s vision, stature, values, and work.
  • Oversee the production of e-mail newsletters, blog posts, and annual report.
  • Oversee the management of the Institute’s social media accounts.
  • In cooperation with the Associate Director of Development, create and maintain a lifecycle marketing plan and schedule for e-appeals, e-newsletters, and other marketing and fundraising external communications.

Media and Partnerships

  • Act as the primary media liaison, oversee media strategy, and maintain relationships with key members of the media.
  • Build relationships with networks of key stakeholders, including government agencies, corporations, other NGO’s, utilities, and individuals.

Other Responsibilities

  • Manage print collateral and social media communications for events and programs.
  • Facilitate interdepartmental communications.
  • Raise the profile of individual Institute staff via social media, blog posts, interviews, and op-eds.
  • Manage an effective Communications team. 


  • At least five years of experience in a leadership capacity overseeing communications and media relations and/or marketing.
  • Outstanding writing and editing skills with the ability to synthesize complex information for a variety of audiences.
  • Excellent verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Experience with strategic communication planning.
  • Detailed understanding of social media platforms, web, and print design.
  • Competency working with diverse audiences, including elected officials, corporations, community leaders, and the public.
  • Experience managing staff and establishing departmental priorities.
  • A demonstrated commitment to advancing the improvement of climate and/or sustainable water policies.

Application Process

Please submit a cover letter and resume to: [email protected].  Please note where you found this position description. Include the name of the position (Communications and Outreach Director) in the subject line. The Pacific Institute is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability status. For information about Pacific Institute, visit  No calls please.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development