Communications Officer

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Winnipeg or Ottawa, , CA

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today—a changing climate, ecological destruction, social exclusion, and unfair laws and economic rules. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries. 

IISD’s Resilience Program is a multidisciplinary team of policy researchers who work with governments, civil society, communities, and businesses to help them manage climate- and conflict-related risks. Its work on climate change adaptation focuses on planning, people, and nature–preparing for a different or uncertain future, making sure different genders and social groups influence and benefit from adaptation investments, and harnessing the role of ecosystems to help communities manage climate risk. The program’s work on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding supports policy-makers and practitioners working in conflict-affected and high-risk areas to ensure their work is sustainable in a changing climate and supports the transition from fragility to peace.


The Communications Officer will help implement the communications strategy for the overall Resilience Program, focusing primarily on the portfolio of adaptation work in Canada and our activities on Environment, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. They will also contribute to the communications activities related to our international adaptation work, including working with the Communications Officer for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, an initiative that supports developing countries’ efforts to advance their NAP processes. IISD serves as the NAP Global Network’s Secretariat.  

The Communications Officer will have a talent for making complex ideas accessible, have a sharp eye for design, show initiative in increasing IISD’s influence and be adept in the use of digital media. They will also be an excellent planner, organizer, and multi-tasker with a keen interest in climate change adaptation, peacebuilding, Canadian and international affairs, and sustainable development. 


  • Developing and implementing communication strategies for a range of projects, reports, and events, as well as monitoring these strategies’ effectiveness in order to adjust communications practices based on what works and what does not.
  • Developing an overall editorial strategy that supports the IISD Resilience Program’s broader communications goals, with frequent writing and editing assignments for print and web.
  • Providing editorial support and ongoing feedback to program staff to translate research into compelling key messages and stories that resonate with priority audiences. This includes communicating to donors how their support has made an impact.
  • Providing support to program staff, so they have the necessary skills to communicate key messages through different communication channels (e.g., traditional media, social media, online, etc.) and to act as public ambassadors for IISD.
  • Assisting in the promotion and hosting of the team’s virtual events, such as webinars.
  • Cultivating and managing relationships with journalists and influencers, particularly in Canada, with the aim of getting coverage of our work in key publications. This includes developing press releases and pitches for media, as well as nurturing relationships and tracking and analyzing coverage, adjusting strategies as needed.
  • Managing Resilience Program social media accounts to keep them relevant, timely, and engaging to reach key audiences. This includes developing specific content for social media, taking on new platforms when appropriate, targeting key influencers online, and reporting on results on a regular basis.
  • Maintaining the Resilience Program’s project content on IISD websites using content management systems (WordPress and Drupal).
  • Assisting in developing blog posts, stories, infographics, and videos that make IISD’s work accessible to non-expert audiences.
  • Regularly sharing the Resilience Program’s work with IISD’s core Communications team in order to ensure it is included in broader, IISD-wide communications activities.
  • Ensuring brand coherence and compliance with existing IISD communications practices across all IISD websites and publications (new and existing).
  • Identifying and selecting images to communicate IISD’s work in publications.
  • Continuously discovering and sharing new industry best practices to maximize efficiency.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 The Communications Officer will report to the Director of Resilience. They will also be supported by a team of communications specialists led by IISD’s Director of Communications.


  • Degree in journalism, communications, public relations, or another related social science discipline.
  • At least 3 years’ relevant professional experience in journalism, public relations, or organizational communications.
  • Fluent in written and spoken English; French language skills are a strong asset.
  • Experience working with think tanks or other research-intensive organizations is a plus, especially focusing on climate change and/or sustainable development in Canada and/or developing countries.
  • Strong writing skills for different purposes, including social media posts, long-form articles, report summaries, and promotional materials.
  • Knowledge of climate change adaptation and climate risk management is an asset.
  • Ability to clearly communicate complicated information.
  • Ability to travel occasionally (once travel is deemed safe and feasible).
  • Experience and comfort working with online content management systems and website monitoring (especially WordPress and Google Analytics).
  • Experience with video editing is an asset.
  • Computer literacy—proficiency in the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages.
  • Strong interpersonal, problem solving, and organizational skills.
  • Strong attention to detail, especially in written work. 

 The contract is for a full-time, one-year term position with a possibility of extension and will be based in IISD’s Winnipeg office. Please only apply to one posting, as this role is posted to multiple cities.

 All submissions must be in English. Accommodations for job applicants with disabilities are available on request. Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumes will be kept on file for one year.

IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQ+ to apply for the Communications Officer position. During the selection process, preference will be given to candidates from equity-seeking groups.