JOB: Communications director

Island Conservation seeks a director of communications to lead all communications and marketing efforts for the organization. Through strategic communications and expert relationship management, the director will lead the development of Island Conservation’s external and internal communications strategies, including the SIBD campaign to protect the world’s most threatened island species and island ecosystems. In collaboration with the management team, the director will be responsible for branding, marketing, public relations, strategic internal and external communications, and outreach. This position will also provide coordination among IC’s regional directors, staff, and partner organizations and will report to the executive director, as well as serve on Island Conservation’s management team. This is an excellent position for a highly skilled, culturally sensitive, and experienced professional looking for a meaningful conservation opportunity.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
The Director of Communications will perform the following and other duties as assigned:
Organizational =

  • Collaborate with the executive director and the management team to develop external and internal communications strategies that will broaden Island Conservation’s reach and deepen the organization’s impact.
  • Develop and execute communications, marketing, and external relations plans in support of island conservation, including a global effort to protect imperiled species and restore ecological integrity of priority islands.
  • Identify and develop key messages, positioning, and outreach strategies and materials in support of priority partnership development, external relations, policy, and philanthropy.
  • Identify significant media and public policy issues that can be leveraged to support Island Conservation’s work, and create and execute plans to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Oversee organizational response to media and other inquiries.
  • Serve as executive editor for the organization’s external communications.
  • Develop and execute an internal communications plan.

Small Islands, Big Difference =

  • Lead and execute the Small Islands, Big Difference campaign plan and its marketing and communication products.
  • Help create messages and products to build awareness in key, targeted constituencies.
  • Collaborate with the regional directors to develop regionally focused communication strategies and products.

Conservation Operations =

  • Lead the development, creation, and execution of project and crisis communication plans.
  • Develop project fact sheets and other outreach material for projects.

Philanthropy =

  • Develop case statements, promotional materials, and content for major fundraising proposals.

Compensation and Benefits
Island Conservation offers a benefits package and competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The position will be based in Santa Cruz, Calif.

The successful candidate will have the following minimum qualifications:

  • 7+ years of communications/marketing experience preferably with an international, non-governmental organization.
  • Degree in communications, journalism, public affairs, or a related field, advanced degree preferred.
  • Exceptional analytical, strategic, and tactical ability, as well as recognition as an entrepreneurial leader combined with expert relationship management skills and the ability to close deals.
  • Strong track record of positioning an organization to achieve tangible outcomes in a competitive communications environment.
  • Ability to communicate potentially controversial topics in culturally sensitive environments and successfully perform crisis management.
  • Significant communications experience that includes a blend of advocacy and media relations.
  • Experience garnering earned media in an international corporate or nonprofit environment.
  • Proven managerial talent in the execution of communications and marketing plans, including budgeting, staffing, and performance management.
  • Experience in developing collaborative communications efforts with external stakeholders.
  • Experience coaching and supporting senior leaders as spokespersons.
  • Demonstrated experience with nonprofit communications that target specialized audiences, including donors, governments, international aid agencies, multilateral organizations, etc.
  • Knowledge of complex environmental issues and interest in nature conservation.
  • Superlative interpersonal skills, intellectual curiosity, approachability, and willingness to listen to internal and external constituents and learn from their best ideas.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication abilities, including public speaking and a facility for translating complex information for a broad range of audiences.
  • Ability to both work independently and take direction from others, solve problems with limited supervision, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Fluency in Spanish, French, or both, preferred, but not required.

Personal Attributes
The following personal attributes are desired:

  • A deep commitment to the mission of Island Conservation.
  • Comfort with working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and locations.
  • A personable, flexible, tenacious, diplomatic, and respectful demeanor.
  • Proven ability to serve as a team player and leader to motivate and inspire staff and colleagues.
  • High energy level, impeccable integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and a sense of humor.

Island Conservation (IC) is a US-based, nonprofit organization that works with governments, NGOs, donors, and communities around the world to protect island species under acute threat of extinction. Its primary means for doing so is the removal of invasive vertebrates from islands. With its partners, IC designs and implements conservation projects that ensure the protection of native species while utilizing cutting-edge invasive species removal techniques. IC also supports on-the-ground research to optimize the success of invasive vertebrate removal. Since its founding in 1994, IC’s conservation efforts have protected 967 populations of 338 plant and animal species from extinction.
Through a recent, systematic assessment, IC has assembled a list of the world’s most biologically rich islands and imminently threatened species. Guided by this list, IC will continue to design and implement conservation programs in the United States, South America, the Caribbean, and the Tropical Pacific to protect these islands and their imperiled species. IC will continue to carry out this work through a decentralized global structure that combines deep technical expertise and regional collaboration with local knowledge and networks.
At the same time, IC is currently coordinating “Small Islands, Big Difference” a new global conservation campaign. Supported by the Convention on Biological Diversity, this centrally coordinated campaign to prevent extinctions on islands offers the single most effective approach to biodiversity conservation on a global scale. Small Islands, Big Difference (SIBD) will be financed by multilateral and bilateral donors in a unified effort to address the needs of developing nations and to maximize biological benefits. Over five years, SIBD will prevent the extinction of at least 40 threatened species while ensuring the conservation of many more. Equally important, SIBD will protect island communities from diseases transmitted by invasive alien species, improving the livelihood of island populations worldwide.
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