Communications Director

International Rivers

Oakland, CA or Seattle, WA, , US

About the Position

We are looking for an exceptional person to plan and execute strategic and effective communications to drive campaign impact, support fundraising efforts and elevate the organisation’s profile. International Rivers is in a period of growth and transformation as we work to our newly minted, visionary strategic plan. The Director of Communications will be a key architect of the implementation of our new organisational strategy and will play an integral role in scaling up our long‐standing and impressive history of achieving impact.

We are looking for an entrepreneurial and passionate self‐starter, with energy for the long haul, who can roll up their sleeves in a dynamic and fast‐paced global team. This is a tremendous opportunity for a communications leader to leave their mark on a well‐ respected, high‐impact organisation as it takes on an ever more ambitious global strategy. The position will preferably be based in Oakland, CA or Seattle, WA. Depending on the candidate, we will also consider placement for this post in our Bangkok or Pretoria regional offices. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  1. Develop a broad vision for using communications to further the goals of International Rivers, and develop long‐ and short‐term strategies with other parts of the organisation to execute that vision and measure progress.
  2. As a member of the Leadership Team, share responsibility for the overall leadership of International Rivers;
  3. Manage a small staff team, and supervise consultants and volunteers, as needed and appropriate
  4. Create and sustain an organisational culture that attracts and motivates a diverse, exemplary staff; enables collaboration and strategic innovation; as well as rewards constructive accountability.

Strategy and Planning:

  1. Lead the development of International Rivers’ campaign communications strategies; including coordinating development of campaign communication plans with relevant program staff.
  2. Build a complete understanding of International Rivers’ campaign targets, markets, and audiences, ensuring strategic approaches to influence them effectively.
  3. Lead International Rivers’ news and media strategy, working with teams to drive a proactive news approach, spotting opportunities, selling journalists unique story ideas, and stimulating media commentary and debate.
  4. Translate complex campaign strategies into compelling stories and messages that can be used externally with key audiences and donors, and amplified by the broader organisation.
  5. Leads strategic initiatives through collaboration with senior level stakeholders in order to enhance overall performance in accordance with short and long term objectives.
  6. Understand and define all core media audiences and messages. Protect the organisation’s reputation, including development of crisis management strategies and protocols, and managing risk.
  7. Help build organisation’s ability to react to its external environment to both capitalize on campaign opportunities and mitigate risk.

Delivery and Execution:

  1. Ensure all International Rivers’ communications are of a consistently high quality and professional standard, with appropriate systems and processes in place for production and approvals of external messaging.
  2. Develop and manage key media partnerships and relationships as required, maintaining comprehensive knowledge of influential outlets. 
  3. Lead the generation of online content that engages audience segments and leads to measurable action. Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including, but not limited to, newsletters, brochures, and International Rivers’ website
  4. Coordinate webpage maintenance—ensure that new and consistent information (article links, stories, and events) is posted regularly 
  5. Oversee development and delivery of high impact, innovative media moments which deliver on campaign and broader organisational objectives
  6. Help ensure International Rivers’ external voice and identity is consistent, powerful, innovative, impactful, and properly reflects International Rivers’ values and ethos, work, impact and aspirations as an organisation
  7. Represent the organisation publicly and in the media as required

Required Experience and Skills:

  • First‐rate media operator and campaigner, with significant experience delivering communications strategies which get both campaign results and raises organisational profile
  • Top‐level strategic thinking and planning skills, including ability to set priorities, manageable work‐plans and work within budgets
  • Displays an excellent news sense, with the ability to capitalise on a breaking story or campaign opportunity while anticipating and managing risk
  • Demonstrable writing and broadcast skills and a proven ability to think creatively
  • Collaborative approach to working towards cross‐organisational initiatives and reconciling different perspectives in communications
  • Displays an understanding and knowledge of different audiences, media formats and demonstrable ability to pitch news stories
  • An excellent knowledge of the global media environment, combined with excellent contacts to bring to the job and proven networking skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to generate respect and trust from colleagues, direct reports, and external constituents  
  • Ability to manage complex projects and work across departments
  • Ability to prioritize and focus effectively across a wide range of responsibilities
  • Experience managing consultants
  • Comfort and ease working in a fast‐paced environment, managing a large volume of requests
  • Ability to cooperate easily and readily with colleagues
  • Tenacious, persuasive team‐player with a passion for and understanding of the issues International Rivers campaigns on
  • An inspiring and collaborative leadership style that engages the support and talents of the staff, leads by example, and encourages creativity and productive, high‐quality work.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working in international and multicultural organisations
  • A commitment to racial diversity and an ability and interest in working with people from different and diverse backgrounds inside and outside the organisation.
  • The position may require some international travel

To Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected] Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. International Rivers strives to bring a variety of approaches to the work we do. We’re committed to the principles of justice, and diverse perspectives and experiences improve the ways we work. We do our best to make staff positions accessible to all potential team members, and welcome applications regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation or identity.