Associate Communications Director, Energy Transition
Temporary, Full Time
About Climate Nexus
Climate Nexus is a nonprofit strategic communications group dedicated to changing the conversation on climate change and clean energy solutions in the United States. Climate Nexus is seeking an Associate Communications Director to join our Energy Transition team. This role will be focused on telling stories about how an electric grid powered by clean energy is resilient, cheaper than a grid run on outdated fossil fuel alternatives, and helps dismantle the racial inequities baked into our current electricity system.
Our team uses strategic communications to advance clean energy and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels. In this position, the Associate Director will lead daily work to position renewable energy and grid modernization as the common sense, equitable solution to the increasing blackouts that are caused by outdated infrastructure and climate change through targeted investments, complemented by strong measures to root out systemic racism and reduce pollution in environmental justice communities.
Climate Nexus was created to be the behind-the-scenes connector to ensure coherent, effective climate communications and to elevate the work of a broad network of partners, including environmental justice allies, cities and state leaders, technical experts, and more. Climate Nexus provides pro bono support to organizations that work on climate change and clean energy and believes the “story” of climate change is the foundation on which meaningful action is built. Our job is to tell that story to as many people as possible.
Climate Nexus is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. We strongly encourage candidates of all backgrounds, identities, and experiences to apply, especially people from communities that have been historically underrepresented in the energy, climate and environmental sectors.
Climate change and our aging grid infrastructure are contributing to blackouts and other electricity supply problems that are impacting all Americans, especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Renewable energy (like solar, wind, and battery storage) and modernizing our grid with new technologies are the solutions. We need the help of talented, committed, and justice-experienced individuals who agree that renewable energy and grid modernization have a crucial role to play in ensuring all communities have access to reliable, affordable energy and are excited about shaping narratives that communicate that widely, while inoculating against disinformation from opponents who want to slow down the energy transition.
Who you are
You are committed to and embody Climate Nexus’ values, including strategic vision; accuracy with integrity; racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; compassionate connection; and resilient service.
The Associate Director will lead Climate Nexus’ work on grid reliability, including carrying out a cohesive strategic communications program that reaches media, policymakers, and key constituencies to advance the transition to a cleaner, more resilient, and more equitable electricity sector. They will report to the Senior Director, Science and Energy and collaborate closely with other team members working on clean energy uptake and the harms of fossil gas.
The role will be responsible for both holding the vision and leading execution of rapid response and proactive communications strategies that shape the conversation on grid reliability via media, digital marketing, and engagement with impacted communities, advocacy groups, and experts.
A successful candidate will have experience in strategic communications, especially narrative building, simplifying complex issues for lay audiences, media relations, opposition monitoring, and message development. They will have direct experience working on racial justice in a communications capacity, and have a demonstrated ability to build trusted relationships across Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
This is a highly collaborative role – both internally and externally – and the candidate will be expected to work and communicate in a manner that builds trust.
The Associate Director is currently a grant-funded position. We have received 1 year of funding for this work to date, and seek to integrate it into Climate Nexus’ ongoing programmatic work.
- Workstream lead: Act as the organizational lead on grid reliability; track technological, policy, and real-time events in the power sector, as well as entrenched opposition arguments to renewable energy, and develop/seed new narratives based on that information
- Strategic partnership engagement: Lead relationship development with key advocates, impacted communities, and experts to gather information, cultivate spokespeople, and serve communications needs, with emphasis on a just transition and building trusted relationships with racially diverse and historically underserved communities
- Media strategy, relations, and outreach: Develop and lead execution of media strategy that builds narratives about grid reliability; determine the news value of stories and new angles; craft media products (including statements, pitches, press releases); build and foster relationships with reporters and editors across national and trade outlets who cover the sector
- Rapid response: Monitor the electricity grid, extreme weather, and other events to identify potential news moments before they happen; mobilize team and partner responses; successfully help shape national conversation in real-time when blackouts happen and threats to grid reliability emerge
- Message development: Develop messages that properly contextualize the issues at hand for use by the wider partner community and policymakers
- Internal collaboration: Collaborate closely with other teams working on extreme weather, clean energy, and the harms of fossil gas to ensure project alignment and coordination
- Project management: Manage internal cross-team and external collaboration to deliver complete products on time, work across multiple priorities and disciplines (including earned media, partnership management, digital marketing and polling/message development) to ensure appropriate coordination; develop project-specific campaigns in line with broader workstream goals; track and evaluate success of the workstream; assist in identifying and raising funds to support the work
- At least 8 years of experience in communications, public relations and/or media relations, journalism, or clean energy communications
- Direct experience fostering positive social change to address historic racial, gender, and other systemic injustices
- Self-starting project leader who can both hold a vision for the work and execute it at the same time
- Strong understanding that in the United States, energy and electricity, despite being a universal necessity, are not experienced the same way by all communities
- Experience with strategic communications tactics across media platforms (print, broadcast, web, digital)
- Strong relationship- and trust-building skills, with experience working with racially diverse and historically underserved communities
- Flexible and able to move quickly on fast-breaking assignments with experience leading rapid response
- Able to convey ideas and thinking clearly and concisely, takes joy in translating complex concepts for the media and lay audiences
- Knowledge of and experience working in clean energy and the energy transition in the U.S.
- Understanding of organized climate change opposition and the networks that seek to prevent renewable energy uptake
Flexible within the United States. Climate Nexus has an office in New York City, although our staff is able to work fully remotely. Occasional travel to our New York office may be required.
While we value work/life balance, due to the nature of news this role will sometimes require work outside traditional hours.
Approximately $105,000-115,000 commensurate with experience. Climate Nexus offers a robust benefits package, including 4 weeks paid vacation, additional personal leave, and unlimited sick time; standard health, dental, and vision packages; generous employer contributions to 401k retirement accounts; parental leave; and commuter transit benefit.
Interested applicants are invited to submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected] with “Associate Communications Director, Energy Transition” in the subject.
Applications are being accepted until Friday, November 18th. Due to the anticipated volume of interest, we regret that we cannot respond to every applicant.
Climate Nexus is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., an equal-opportunity employer.