Communications Director

Position Overview 

The Center for Environmental Health is looking for a skilled, experienced, and dynamic Communications Director to embed strategic communications throughout our organization. We seek a proven leader who can manage the day-to-day communications needs of a growing, fast-paced nonprofit while creating and implementing an effective long-term communications plan. 

The Communications Director will fully weave strategic communications planning and implementation into the fabric of our programs and fundraising strategies. This person will be an expert in their field and also a dedicated supervisor and leader who makes time to teach, mentor, empower, and partner with CEH staff.  

The Communications Director will work closely with the Managing Director of Programs (MDP), Program Leads, and the Director of Development. This person will report to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will serve on CEH’s Leadership Team. The Communications Director will supervise two experienced and fun-loving communications professionals: our Digital Manager and Digital Content & Engagement Manager–and we hope to grow our communications team further in the future.

Organizational Overview

Based in Oakland, but with a national presence and impact, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) utilizes a multi-pronged approach of science, policy, litigation, and purchasing power to protect individuals, children, and communities from toxic chemicals. We are the organization who forced global companies to remove lead from children’s products and many more wide-reaching cases, including:  

  • Helped end the government’s requirement for toxic, ineffective, flame-retardant chemicals in furniture, and then partnered with large purchasers to choke off demand for products that contain these chemicals. 
  • Forced Coke and Pepsi to eliminate a cancer-causing chemical from their products nationwide.
  • Wrote the health studies that helped push NY Governor Cuomo to ban fracking in the state.
  • Held big tobacco accountable for its false assurances about the safety of e-cigarettes, which, in truth, expose children and other users to addictive and cancer-causing chemicals.  
  • Went to court to eliminate another carcinogen from over a hundred shampoos sold nationwide.
  • Partnered with Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, Harvard University, and others to demand the elimination of toxic chemicals from their office furniture, leveraging over $500 million of annual purchasing power.
  • Greatly reduced the amount of acrylamide, a cancer-causing chemical, in 80 million servings of French fries sold every day.

CEH harnesses a number of tools to protect people from toxic chemicals, including:

  • Rigorous scientific testing
  • Legislative and regulatory policy
  • Corporate and community partnerships
  • Procurement dollars
  • Litigation
  • Communications

Commitment to JEDI

At CEH, striving for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (“JEDI”) for all is critical to our mission and values. 

We believe that to protect the health of all people, we must address the disproportionate health effects of toxic chemicals caused by systemic racism and other social injustices. The movement to eliminate dangerous chemicals must move forward in partnership with Environmental Justice, Reproductive Justice, and other related movements working to address the pressing social justice issues of our day.

CEH prioritizes JEDI core values throughout our organization. From our hiring processes to our programmatic work, JEDI is at the forefront of our strategy and culture: we push ourselves to ensure that CEH is a truly inclusive organization and a model for the world we intend to create.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Communications Director will:

  • Create and implement the annual and long-term communications strategy for the organization, providing insight and direction on all communications activities, including traditional and social media, public relations, digital communications, multimedia content, donor outreach, and communications for all other external audiences.
  • Manage our communications staff, providing direction, leadership, feedback, performance evaluations, and additional guidance as needed.
  • Create and implement staff training to build an organization-wide culture of communications and storytelling in which all program staff are regularly using communications tools and channels to (1) strengthen their work, and (2) build CEH’s effectiveness and brand.
  • In partnership with program and development staff, oversee production of print, digital and other materials including advocacy alerts, media outreach, newsletters, donor communications, social media, special event collateral, and other content. Manage external vendors, including printers, designers, etc.  
  • Lead CEH’s external messaging and internal staff and board development:
    • Serve as an articulate, enthusiastic, and visible spokesperson for the organization.
    • Lead the effort to find conferences and other public speaking opportunities for staff.
    • Work collaboratively with program staff on communications tasks.
    • Engage, train, and support the Board of Directors in messaging and communications, as needed.
    • Support other, related organizational and program work as appropriate
    • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

The successful candidate will bring the following minimum qualifications:

  • 5+ years of management experience with 5+ years in a communications leadership role.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field or equivalent experience. An advanced degree is preferred, but not required.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance a nonprofit organization’s mission and goals. 
  • Demonstrated experience planning, writing, editing, and producing newsletters, press releases, annual reports, marketing literature, and other publications, collateral, and multi-media content.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. 
  • Proven success in creating an environment that moves an organization towards a culture of effective and strategic communications and skilled in nurturing that culture’s growth and development.
  • Ability to translate strategy into action plans and results.
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in communications, public relations, marketing, and digital and social media.
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and get the most from direct and indirect reports and peers.
  • Expertise in, and deep commitment to, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, (JEDI)
    • Knowledge of communicating with diverse groups, working with a multicultural workforce, and sensitivity and appreciation to cultural differences is required. 
    • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and justice
    • Commitment to environmental justice, environmental health, diversity, and inclusion.
    • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Superb presentation skills and ability to persuasively convey the mission and work of CEH to diverse external audiences.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Entrepreneurialism and self-motivation.
  • Initiative, energy, creativity, sense of humor, and a collaborative spirit.
  • Grace under pressure, compassion, integrity, and the ability to be both kind and honest.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft suite of tools. Adobe, WordPress, and Salesforce experience preferred, but not required

Our headquarters are in Oakland and we have staff in Seattle, the Washington, D.C. area, and North Carolina. We expect that the Communications Director will work from Oakland.

Applying for the Job

Write/gather the following materials and send in a single PDF:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Short writing sample (two pages maximum)
  • Name, affiliation, and contact information for three references

Please merge these materials into a single PDF whose file name includes “Communications Director Position” and your surname.

Then email that PDF to: jobs@ceh.org (subject line: Communications Director Application).

This position will remain open until we find the right person to fill it. If this posting is still up, go ahead and apply.

CEH is an equal opportunity employer. As an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity or expression, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, age, ability, personal appearance, family responsibilities or national origin.