Strategic Communications Director

Highstead Published: January 14, 2020
Redding, CT
Second Location
, 06896, United States
Job Type
Communications / PR / Sales & Marketing / Website Production /

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~ Since its founding in 1982,  Highstead has focused on improving the quality of life for nature and society. Highstead advances regional conservation outcomes at scale in partnership with hundreds of networked organizations, agencies, and individuals in New England, eastern NY, and beyond. ~

From its rural center in southern New England, Highstead supports land conservation and planning through regional conservation partnerships, conservation finance, partnerships with colleges and universities, long-term ecological studies, and land stewardship. 

Working with a range of partners and deploying the best available science, Highstead is dedicated to achieving the expansive Wildlands and Woodlands conservation vision for New England forests, farms, and communities. Situated on 150-acres of diverse natural area in Redding, Connecticut, Highstead offers a beautiful and delightful setting for research, education, and inspiration. 

Now, Highstead  is seeking an accomplished and collaborative communications professional to serve as their new Strategic Communications Director.

The Position

The Strategic Communications Director, as part of the senior leadership team, will develop and implement strategies to articulate, communicate, and grow Highstead’s land conservation, science, and stewardship programs to advance the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative.  S/he will lead a collaborative effort to restructure the small communications team and advance the reach for Highstead, its many partner organizations, and Wildlands and Woodlands. Objectives include:

  • Identify and motivate landowners, community leaders, funders, and local, state, and national policymakers to advance land conservation in support of nature and society.
  • Support and strengthen the remarkable capacity for conservation, land planning, and environmental policy in New England to create a healthy future for communities, the region, and the globe.
  • Support diverse collaboratives of individuals and organizations to expand the capacity to create and protect healthy, sustainable communities.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate experience advancing non-profit/philanthropic efforts, environmental policy, conservation and/or cause marketing.  S/he will be committed to the ideals of the Wildlands and Woodlands vision. S/he will be a strong leader and decision-maker, especially in the face of ambiguity and change, and welcome the challenge of shaping and implementing communication strategies that inspire people to increase the pace of conservation in New England through ideas that resonate locally, regionally, and nationally.

The Strategic Communications Director will serve as a member of the Highstead senior leadership team and will oversee a low six - figure budget.  S/he will also be a member of the Wildlands and Woodlands initiative team and will collaborate closely with Wildlands and Woodlands partners throughout the region. Highstead employs nine staff members and supports senior fellows and academic collaborators in advancing its goals.


  • Shape public messages and identity and develop new approaches for positioning Highstead and Wildlands and Woodlands effectively within target markets to build broad-based, regional support.
  • Work closely with program leads and the Wildlands and Woodlands Steering Committee to develop and coordinate a comprehensive outreach and communication strategy to advance regional conservation through traditional and digital/social media.
  • Create and implement a comprehensive media relations strategy leading to earned print, broadcast, and online media.
  • Leverage communications expertise of Wildlands and Woodlands partners and others to amplify Highstead’s communications reach while supporting the work of other New England conservation NGOs.
  • Oversee communications and outreach for special events, workshops, meetings, and conferences.
  • Manage the communication activities of an additional communications team member (new position to be named) office staff and interns; coordinate closely on outreach and communications with other communications and design professionals, including staff at the Harvard Forest and other partners.
  • Strategize, develop, and oversee the production and dissemination of Highstead and Wildlands and Woodlands publications and social media, including the Highstead website, annual updates, and print and electronic newsletters, as well as targeted outreach. Track and measure engagement within the network.
  • Serve as the principal contact for all media relations.
  • Develop new approaches to creating and distributing multimedia content that lead to measurable action. 

Qualifications Desired

  • Creative self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Extensive communications background and strong conservation ethic.
  • Senior-level experience leading communications, including cause marketing, public relations, media campaigns, etc.
  • Demonstrated success in leveraging organizational branding and positioning to influence others.
  • Ability to translate complex information into persuasive print and digital media.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational habits, extremely detail-oriented, and quality-focused.
  • Ability to lead, make decisions, delegate, manage varied activities, manage budgets efficiently, and balance multiple deadlines.
  • Team orientation as well as the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Familiarity with New England.
  • Ability to have a regular presence in Highstead offices in Redding, CT, balancing remote work with in-person collaboration with colleagues, and occasional regional travel. 

To Apply In Confidence  

Please click "Apply" below to email a cover and resume to Susan Barry, Egmont Associates.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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