Senior Communications Officer, Environment

Walton Family Foundation Published: March 12, 2019
Location
Washington D.C.
Job Type
Full-time
Categories
Communications / PR / Natural Resources/ Restoration /

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Description

~ The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. ~

The children and grandchildren of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2017, the foundation awarded more than $535 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, with offices in Washington, D.C., Jersey City, New Jersey and Denver, Colorado, approximately 130 staff conduct the day-to-day operations of the foundation.

About the Environment Program:

We must sustain the places that sustain us. Conservation solutions that make economic sense will stand the test of time, providing opportunity to future generations. We:

  • Protect oceans and rivers and the livelihoods they support;
  • Are open to ideas from farmers, fishermen, businesses and conservationists, ensuring them an active role in solutions that are good for the environment and the economy;
  • Work to end overfishing and protect coastal jobs;
  • Improve the quality and availability of water in our nation’s largest river basins; and
  • Restore lost wetlands and the protection they provide to people and communities along the coastal Gulf of Mexico.
  • Learn more about the Environment Program at our website.

Position Overview

The Walton Family Foundation is seeking a skilled, highly motivated and entrepreneurial individual to join the foundation as a Senior Communications Officer, Environment.

The Senior Communications Officer, Environment will contribute to the foundation’s overall communications goals by managing the foundation’s Environment communications program. You will report to the Communications Director and work closely with the communications team and consultants, as well as with program and administrative staff across the foundation. The position may be based in either Washington, D.C. or Denver, Colorado.

Who we are looking for:

You have a high level of strategic communications experience and the ability to collaborate effectively across multiple teams. You have a demonstrated ability to connect with teammates and provide informed communications counsel.

Responsibilities

  • Work with program staff, the communications team, key stakeholders and consultants, to develop and execute effective strategic communication programs that advance the goals of the Environment Program.
  • Serve as an active thought partner to the Environment program staff to use communications to create more favorable conditions for the work of grantees.
  • Elevate voices of foundation staff and family leaders to help achieve program goals.
  • Identify key target audiences; assess communications challenges, objectives and related metrics to track progress.
  • Draft and edit materials to support strategic communications efforts, including news releases, blog posts, web content, social media content, media kits, media pitches, media alerts, media statements, talking points, crisis management, presentations, speeches, etc.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with grantees and media outlets, and coordinate communications surrounding important announcements and strategic communication opportunities.
  • Manage requests from news media and/or lead response with a designated spokesperson or information source.
  • On occasion, act as official spokesperson for the foundation in news media.
  • Manage a portfolio of Environment Program grants intended to elevate awareness of and support for foundation environment work.
  • Lead issues management related to public policy and public affairs.
  • Collaborate with stakeholder on crisis management.

Qualifications

  • 10+ experience in a professional setting with a strong focus on media relations and/or public relations specifically regarding ocean and river conservation in the U.S. and globally.
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field required (e.g., journalism, communications or other media-related field); advanced degree a plus.
  • Experience serving as a media spokesperson, in both proactive and reactive situations.
  • Established relationships with or knowledge of environment and philanthropy.
  • Applicable knowledge of public/media relations, and/or communication principles and theories.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to create compelling online stories, both narratively and visually.

Personal attributes that support your success:

  • A commitment to the mission of the Walton Family Foundation and a passion for conservation.
  • Ability to be a self-starter; experience and aptitude managing long-distance internal and external relationships.
  • Unquestionable ethics and personal integrity.
  • Diplomatic approach and an innate understanding of customer service.
  • A high level of discretion and confidentiality for both business and personal affairs.

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