Head of Communications & External Affairs
Full-time; New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco or Remote
How to apply
To apply or nominate a candidate, please send a resume, cover letter and one brief original writing sample to Cathy Schreiber, Search Consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Head of Communications & External Affairs search” in the subject line. Submission in a combined PDF or Microsoft Word file is preferred. This position is open until filled, with an initial application deadline of 5PM PDT on Friday, September 3, 2021. Candidate review and phone screens begin immediately and will be conducted throughout the search period.
About Rewiring America
Rewiring America is a growing nonprofit working to launch a movement that electrifies everything, starting with our 121 million households. We are motivated by the fact that 90 percent of all emissions in the U.S. are energy related and 42 percent of those energy emissions come from the decisions we make in our homes: how we heat our air and water, cook our food, and dry our clothes, and what kind of cars we drive. Through accurate, accessible, and actionable data and storytelling tools that power smart, inclusive advocacy and market-transforming partnerships, Rewiring America aims to achieve national emissions goals, improve our health, lower monthly bills, and create millions of clean energy jobs. Our firm belief is that the electrification of the economy -- starting with understanding the American household as the keystone of our infrastructure -- is the most equity-centered way to address the climate crisis. We are focused on transforming the market, with the urgency required to meet the moment we are in and to take advantage of the vast opportunity in front of us.
The Opportunity and Position Summary
Rewiring America is growing rapidly. With a clear and inspiring vision, smart strategies, and significant and sustained financial support, we are growing our team and seeking an entrepreneurial Head of Communications & External Affairs to join our Leadership Team. This position reports to the organization’s CEO.
In this newly-created position, the Head of Communications & External Affairs will lead the development and implementation of the organization’s communications and external affairs strategy, including building a strong communications shop and working with partner organizations around the country to build a groundswell of consumer awareness and community support for our vision and mission. This includes solidifying the organizational brand/identity and tools and tactics for audience engagement in a nimble and rapidly-evolving environment. The Head of Communications & External Affairs plays a critical role in the evolution of Rewiring America from its start-up phase to a more mature organization.
As the organization’s top communications officer, the Head of Communications & External Affairs is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive communications strategy, reflecting Rewiring America’s unique brand value in alignment with the organization’s vision, mission and values. They will also promote consumer awareness-building campaigns to boost the public’s understanding of the health, cost-savings, and environmental benefits of electrifying our homes, while supporting our policy and market transformation strategies.
What You’ll do
Strategy Development & Implementation
- Partner with the CEO, founders, and communications advisors to determine a comprehensive communications strategy and to define short- and long-term goals and objectives related to Rewiring America’s visibility, credibility, and growth.
- Ensure that Rewiring’s brand value and brand position are clear, compelling, and consistent across platforms.
- Work with vendors to develop strategies to grow digital engagement and drive audience and list building.
- Develop Rewiring’s thought leadership plan and identify opportunities to enhance the organization’s position in the home electrification landscape among relevant constituents, including public policymakers, funders, and the media.
- Ensure the organization’s brand and value proposition resonate with and inspire increased investment and engagement of Rewiring’s funders.
- Oversee public awareness campaigns, ensuring that these efforts meet stated goals and advance the broader vision of Rewiring America and our partners.
Messaging, Public & Media Relations
In partnership with communications advisors, develop Rewiring’s messaging architecture, talking points, and messaging for distinct internal and external audiences, ensuring consistency of brand position and value.
- Serve as a key spokesperson, standing in for the CEO when necessary, and provide media training for staff, advisors, and coalition partners.
- Enhance current and build new relationships with journalists, bloggers, and other media influencers and opinion makers in order to promote Rewiring’s position as an expert on home electrification.
- Identify opportunities to boost Rewiring’s visibility and thought leadership through writing and speaking opportunities such as opinion editorials, keynotes, and expert panel participation.
Creative Direction & Content Development
- Identify and manage writers, editors, data visualization designers, and storytellers working with Rewiring America, directing the creation of compelling content for emails, websites, social media, speeches, opinion editorials, and advocacy materials.
- Oversee the development of Rewiring’s communications to external stakeholders, ensuring that the team develops and maintains an editorial calendar of targeted correspondence.
- Test, evaluate, and iterate new communications technologies, platforms, and email marketing techniques, using analytics to improve strategy.
- Oversee the management of Rewiring’s website and social media identities, leveraging these platforms for campaigns and ongoing community engagement and movement building efforts.
- Oversee the development of published reports, data visualization and other storytelling tools, ensuring clarity of goals and on-time and on-budget production and dissemination.
- Support the CEO and founders in preparing for public speaking engagements and media interviews, providing talking points, speeches, and presentation materialsCoalition Building
- Convene coalition partners to refine our approach and ensure strong cohesion of message and collective action.
- Build new organizational relationships and alliances that reflect the importance of equity, diversity, and environmental and economic justice.
- Identify new partners with aligned efforts to accelerate action and leverage resources, relationships, and research.
Organizational and Team Management
- Serve as a member of the Leadership Team with responsibility for the success of Rewiring’s overall strategy, financial strength, and inclusive organizational culture.
- Lead, coach, and mentor staff and advisors in order to build a culture of communications savvy throughout the organization.
- Determine and manage the communications budget, ensuring cost effectiveness and accurate reporting to funders.
- Manage communications-related contractor relationships, including writing/editing, graphic design, data visualization, advertising, and video production.
- Develop the organizational systems and practices that support strong communications.
- Build and manage communications staff and consultant corps, including establishing annual objectives (to support overall goals established in the communications plan), provide regular feedback and appropriate recognition, conduct annual performance reviews, and support ongoing professional development.
- Develop dashboards to track progress and benchmarks against the communications plan and proactively produce reports and analyses of campaigns to inform strategies and improve results.
- Routinely report to advisors and committees on communications campaigns and other activities, providing quantitative and qualitative analyses to support their engagement.
Who You Are
The incoming Head of Communications & External Affairs will be driven by their belief in and commitment to Rewiring America’s vision and mission. Through their track record and expertise as a communications professional in the policy sphere, the successful candidate will lead organizational branding/identity and consumer-facing campaigns that advance Rewiring’s position and movement building efforts. The Head of Communications & External Affairs builds authentic and lasting relationships with coalition members, funders, and the media, engaging with them as partners in Rewiring’s mission and broader vision.
The successful Head of Communications & External Affairs joins a fast-paced team that operates with a sense of urgency and a track record of success in science, technology, business, policy, and politics. The Head of Communications & External Affairs is entrepreneurial and has the experience of growing/scaling a successful communications shop. Rewiring America has the opportunity to take our work to the next level and seeks a leader with ambition, determination, and the ability to instill confidence, trust, and inspiration.
This role requires an ethos of collegiality, strong collaboration skills, and the ability to manage through influence in a matrixed team. Despite the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead, Rewiring America’s leadership understands how to celebrate successes and seeks a Head of Communications & External Affairs who leads with positivity and a belief in what is possible. The successful candidate demonstrates a zeal for communications, coalition building, and climate justice and models excellence and integrity in all they do. The selected candidate will also possess the following Core and Preferred qualifications:
- Strong commitment to the mission, policies and goals of Rewiring America.
- At least 10 years of increasing responsibility in communications, with a proven track record of accomplishments and subject matter expertise in the climate space.
- Proven leadership skills with clarity of vision and a commitment to the highest levels of integrity, quality and collaboration.
- Experience designing and executing communications strategies that generate visibility and credibility.
- Expertise in branding, messaging, media relations, and myriad communications tactics.
- Outstanding people and project management abilities to ensure that campaigns and projects advance on time and on budget.
- Experience pitching stories and media relationship building.
- Social media savvy with understanding of how to integrate social into comprehensive communications and movement building strategies.
- Mastery of relationship-building skills with a wide range of diverse external constituencies.
- Outstanding oral and written communications skills that demonstrate an ability to:
- Convey a compelling story about Rewiring’s mission and impact;
- Translate complex data and analysis into persuasive narratives;
- Communicate Rewiring’s strategies with accessible expertise (without jargon).
- Ability to manage a small and growing team with competing demands; not easily flustered nor easily overwhelmed by a high volume of activity and projects.
- Sets and achieves high-performance expectations that are motivating and results-oriented.
- Seeks out and delivers timely and direct feedback that contributes to the ongoing development of oneself, team members and a positive organizational culture.
- Promptly resolves problems through timely consultation in an environment of mutual respect.
- Highly collaborative work style with the ability to operate as a peer and thought partner to the CEO, other Leadership Team members, and advisors.
- Bachelor’s or advanced degree, particularly in journalism, marketing or communications.
- Background in journalism, public relations, corporate communications, or agency experience; recent media/journalism experience a plus.
- Entrepreneurial drive to build an organization from the ground up; prior start-up experience is optimal.
- Content knowledge in climate, renewable energy, and/or building electrification.
Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Rewiring America values diversity in all its forms and is committed to inclusive and transparent recruitment, hiring and promotion processes. Candidates of diverse backgrounds and lived experience are strongly encouraged to apply.
Rewiring America is a project of Windward Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. Windward Fund is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. Windward Fund ‘s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.
The salary range for this position is $175,000 - $225,000, commensurate with experience. Rewiring America also offers a very generous and competitive benefits package, including health coverage, retirement benefits, paid vacation, sick time and holidays and access to professional development resources. This position is located in Washington, DC or remote.