Senior Communications Manager (Ecosystems)

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

San Francisco, CA, United States 🇺🇸

EDF’s Ecosystems Program works with diverse partners to build resilient land and water systems that allow people and nature to prosper in a changing climate.  The program has four goals: 1) reverse habitat loss on working lands, 2) eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major agricultural problem, 3) rebalance water supply and demand in the American West and 4) restore coastal ecosystems.

Overall Function

The Senior Communications Manager will oversee and drive communications for the program’s work to rebalance water use in the West and to restore coastal ecosystems. Reporting directly to the program’s Senior Communications Director, the Senior Communications Manager will write and edit a broad range of communications materials while developing and maintaining positive work relationships with key journalists, bloggers, editorial writers and columnists. In this capacity, the Senior Manager will be responsible for developing public affairs campaigns, media strategies and a broad array of communication tactics that successfully influence the outcome of public policy, engage the press and stakeholders on innovative water solutions and enhance EDF’s overall brand.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develops and oversees the implementation of strategic communications plans that further the goals of Ecosystems western water and coastal restoration programs.
  • Mentors and manages Ecosystems communications staff, and helps to develop skill sets and foster teamwork
  • Manages, advises consultants on media relations and public affairs campaigns
  • Creates and implements media outreach and response strategies on a daily basis, monitoring and facilitating media response to breaking news and political/legislative events
  • Writes, edits and distributes a broad range of communications materials – including news releases, social media posts, editorial pitches, presentations and op-eds – under  deadline pressure
  • Develops and executes digital and social media strategies, including online editorial outreach, SEO, SEM, advertising and issue advocacy.
  • Develops news stories on a systematic basis for feature coverage
  • Maintains media contact lists and maintains regular contact and strong relationships with targeted reporters
  • Helps to prepare program staff with training and advice for media opportunities


  • A minimum of eight years’ experience, environmental media experience is a plus. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Superior creative and opportunistic media outreach abilities.
  • Track record of producing national and regional media coverage. 
  • Excellent organizational skills including the ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks and to meet deadlines.  Good strategic public relations and media judgment. 
  • Ability to multi-task and work effectively with staff on many levels of the organization.
  • Experience working in coalitions, including coordinating communications with other organizations and managing the work of communications consultants, preferred.
  • Able to adapt to frequent change and prioritize effectively under frequent deadline pressure.
  • Strong pitching and presentation skills.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.