Director of Communications

Lead Our Communications Program

Center for Environmental Health Seeks Expert Communications Strategist to Protect People from Toxic Chemicals

At the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), we believe everyone has the right to live, work, learn, and play in a healthy environment.  The Communications Director will lead our work envisioning and implementing cutting-edge communications strategies that will protect our children and our communities from toxic chemicals in our food, water, air, and consumer products.

The Communications Director develops the CEH communications plan and manages communications activities to promote, strengthen, and protect CEH’s brand.  This person is responsible for ensuring that strategic communications planning and execution furthers our program objectives, and are fully woven into the fabric of program strategy and implementation.  The Communications Director also partners with the Development Department to provide marketing materials that support the organization’s fundraising success.

Who We Are

CEH forced multi-billion dollar global companies to remove lead from children’s products, and then authored successful federal legislation banning lead in children’s products. We’ve also won scores of far-reaching victories, including:

  • Helping to end the government’s requirement for highly toxic and ineffective flame-retardant chemicals in furniture. (Some scientists have dubbed these chemicals “the new lead.”)
  • Working with corporate partners to create a $700 million annual market for non-toxic furniture.
  • Forcing dozens of polluters to end toxic air emissions that cause cancer or birth defects.
  • Forcing Coke and Pepsi to eliminate a cancer-causing chemical from their products nationwide.
  • Co-authoring health studies that helped push New York Governor Cuomo to ban fracking in the state to protect public health.
  • Going to court to eliminate a carcinogen from over a hundred shampoos sold nationwide.
  • Holding big tobacco accountable for intentionally marketing e-cigarettes to teenagers, even though these products cause cancer and birth defects.

CEH uses a number of tools to protect people from the reckless science experiment that the chemical industry is conducting on us all, including:

  • Rigorous, uncorrupted, cutting-edge science;
  • Corporate and community partnerships;
  • Effective Storytelling and Communications;
  • Legislative and regulatory policy; and
  • Litigation.

Job Overview

We’re looking for a skilled and experienced Director of Communications to help us embed strategic communications into all programmatic activities.  The ideal candidate is proven leader and mentor who can manage and implement the day-to-day communications needs of a growing, fast-paced nonprofit while creating and implementing an effective long-term communications plan.

The Director will fully weave strategic communications planning and implementation into the fabric of our program and fundraising strategies and execution.  This person may be a seasoned marketing expert, a public relations guru, a dynamic teacher.  The ideal candidate will have experience both in the private sector and the non-profit sector.  At CEH, s/he will roll up her/his sleeves to teach, mentor, empower, and work alongside our staff of collaborative and seasoned experts.

The Director of Communications will report to the Chief Executive Officer.  S/he will supervise a Media Director and an Online Communications Manager, and will collaborate closely with our Program Directors and the Director of Development.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of Communications will:

  • Create and implement the annual and long-term communications strategy for the organization, providing insight and direction on all communications activities, including traditional, new and social media, public relations, digital communications, multi-media content, donor communications, and communications for all other external audiences.
  • Manage communications staff, providing direction, leadership, feedback, performance evaluations, and additional guidance as needed.
  • Create and implement staff trainings to help build an organization-wide culture of communications in which all program staff are regularly using public outreach and all available communications tools and channels to (1) strengthen their work, and (2) build CEH’s effectiveness and brand.
  • In partnership with program and development staff, oversee production of print, digital and other materials including advocacy alerts, press outreach, newsletters, annual reports, fundraising appeals, donor updates, social media, special event needs, and other content.  Manage external vendors, including printers, designers, etc.
  • Lead CEH’s external messaging and internal staff and board development:
    • Serve as an articulate, enthusiastic, and visible spokesperson for the organization.
    • Lead the effort to find conferences and other public speaking opportunities for staff.
    • Work collaboratively with program staff on messaging and communications strategy.
    • Engage, train, and support staff and the Board of Directors in messaging and communications, as needed.
  • Work closely with CEH’s Science Director to ensure messaging is based on sound science.
  • Work closely with the Development Department to help raise adequate financial resources to achieve CEH’s programmatic goals. Ensure that relevant sections of foundation proposals and reports are high quality and submitted on time.
  • Partner with the Finance and Development Departments to create and monitor budgets.

The successful candidate will bring the following minimum qualifications:

  • Five years in a communications leadership role, with a total of 10 years in the field of communications.
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field or equivalent experience.  We’d prefer a candidate with an advanced degree.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance a nonprofit organization’s mission and goals.
  • Innovation and a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • Proven success creating and nurturing an environment that moves an organization towards a culture of successful external communications.
  • A minimum of five years’ experience planning, writing, editing, and producing newsletters, press releases, annual reports, marketing literature, and other publications, collateral, and multi-media content.
  • Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in communications, public relations, marketing and digital and social media.
  • Past experience managing communications professionals.  Ability to delegate and supervise effectively.
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and get the most from direct and indirect reports and peers.
  • Ability to translate strategy into action plans and results.
  • Experience providing effective support to a development team’s fundraising efforts.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Superb presentation skills and ability to persuasively convey the mission and work of CEH to diverse external audiences.
  • Creative problem solving skills, and the ability to make sound decisions in a changing environment.
  • Commitment to environmental justice, environmental health, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to excel in and contribute to a collegial and friendly working environment, while also possessing excellent negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Entrepreneurialism and self-motivation.
  • Initiative, energy, creativity, sense of humor (yes!), and a collaborative spirit.
  • Grace under pressure, compassion, integrity, and the ability to be both kind and honest.

Compensation and Benefits
Center for Environmental Health offers a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience and an excellent benefits package. We pay 100% of the premiums for full-time staff members’ participation in our group health insurance plan, as well as 50% of family members’ insurance. We also match 401(k) contributions up to 5% of salary.

The Best Benefit We Offer: Our Workplace
CEH’s engine is the twenty-five committed, science-driven advocates who gather every day to keep short-sighted business interests from harming people in the name of profits.

We are proud of our victories and protective of all-for-one-and-one-for-all workplace culture. We generously and compassionately support each other, we regularly push one other to improve, we work hard, we win landmark victories for people’s health, and we strive to make the work enjoyable. We are free of “camps” and “cliques” at both the staff and board level. We celebrate diversity not because we are supposed to, but because diversity sharpens our perspective and strengthens our work.

Our offices are in Oakland (our headquarters) and New York. The Director of Communications will work in the Oakland office.

Please note:  this is one of several new positions we’re creating this year.  You’ll find the current batch of job announcements on our website:

Application Process

Please submit the following materials:

  • Cover letter;
  • Resume;
  • Writing sample (two pages maximum); and
  • Name, affiliation, and contact information for three references.

Merge documents into a single PDF whose file name includes your surname, and email to: (subject line:  Communication Director).

If you wish, please also fill out and submit CEH’s voluntary EEOC form here:

We acknowledge receipt of all employment applications, and when we decide a candidate is no longer in the running, we notify her/him.

This position will remain posted until filled.

The Center for Environmental Health is an equal opportunity employer.  We strongly encourage people of color and women to apply.