The World Resources Institute (WRI), jointly with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) seeks a Communications Officer to lead development and implementation of a targeted communications strategy in support of their work under USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). CARPE is an ambitious two-decades old initiative to conserve the Congo Basin’s tropical rainforest and its threatened biodiversity. Through a network of partners (WCS, WWF, WRI, AWF, UMD/NASA, OSFAC and USFS), CARPE is implementing a comprehensive set of strategies across multiple priority landscapes to improve management of forests and biodiversity, reform natural resource and wildlife policy and orient land-use priority setting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo (ROC).
To achieve its objectives of reducing deforestation, conserving biodiversity and combatting wildlife crime, CARPE depends on being able to systematically monitor and effectively communicate the program’s progress, success stories and key messages to diverse stakeholder audiences – primarily located in the United States (e.g. U.S. Congress, other U.S. Gov. bodies, U.S. public), Europe and Central Africa. Given the number of partners and institutions involved, the breadth of activities being carried out and the diversity of target audiences, effectively capturing CARPE’s actions and impact and communicating these to targeted audiences, presents significant challenges and opportunities.
As a key member of WRI, WCS and WWF CARPE teams, this new position of Central Africa Communications Officer would serve the critical role of liaising across the three organizations, as well as with other CARPE partners, to develop and implement a CARPE partners’ communications strategy. This communications strategy will be primarily targeted at relevant U.S. Government institutions (e.g. USAID, USFWS, USFS) and U.S. Congress, but would also include the other targeted audiences mentioned above. The position would be responsible for regularly convening the CARPE Communications Committee, comprised of all government institutions and non-governmental organizations involved with CARPE, to provide further guidance and input to the CARPE partner communications strategy. The Communications Officer will also travel periodically to Central Africa to liaise with country-based teams, develop communications material and attend events.
The position will entail a diverse portfolio of activities, ranging from print and online to in-person communications and offers the Communications Officer significant latitude in developing the most effective approach to address each audience. The Communications Officer will be responsible for developing a suite of print, digital and online material, as well as organizing messaging for media and conference events. The successful candidate will be a highly motivated individual, with the ability to effectively coordinate between multiple organizations and subject areas, to develop an impactful communications portfolio for U.S Government institutions and U.S. Congress (as primary audiences). As the target audience is a mix of Anglophone and Francophone, ability to communicate effectively in both languages is highly preferred.
The Central Africa Communications Officer will be a shared position between WRI, WCS and WWF, based in Washington D.C. The position will be hosted within WRI’s Communications Team – reporting directly to the Communications Director for WRI’s Forest Program. Strategy development and activities implementation will primarily be oriented by a joint committee composed of senior staff members of WRI, WCS and WWF based both in Washington D.C. and in Central Africa. Additionally, the Communications Officer will draw from support and resources from WRI’s, WCS’s and WWF’s communications departments and relevant thematic and regional management programs in developing and executing the CARPE partners’ communications strategy.
The main responsibility will be to develop high quality communication materials in support of CARPE, as follows:
- Develop and execute a strategic communication plan for CARPE partners, working with programmatic and communications staff across WRI, WCS and WWF to identify high-priority projects and highlight CARPE partner activities, research, and success stories for U.S. Government (USAID, USFWS and U.S. Congress).
- Convene the CARPE partners steering committee, comprised of WRI, WCS and WWF CARPE teams, to orient development of the CARPE partners’ communications strategy and plan.
- Convene and chair the CARPE Communications Committee.
- Lead development of a suite of CARPE communications messaging and material in support of CARPE partners.
Work with CARPE partners to enhance CARPE’s visibility through online communications, media outreach, internal/external events, and other venues as appropriate.
- Find creative ways to translate CARPE-based research, analysis and policy recommendations into compelling storylines, including through multimedia online content, such as videos, photos, and infographics.
- Work directly with WRI’s, WCS’s and WWF’s communications teams to pitch and inform media stories related to CARPE.
- Provide editing/writing oversight and support on publications, blogs and other external materials to ensure clear, compelling, and timely program communications.
- Serve as communications point person for media and other events related to CARPE partners.
- Interface with WRI, WCS and WWF staff in Washington D.C., New York and in DRC/ROC to ensure effective coordination of communications material and messaging.
- Travel up to 15% of time in support of implementation of communications plan.
Education & Experience
- Undergraduate or graduate degree in communications, public relations, journalism along with 5 years of full time overall experience in communications, with a strong preference for formal experience in media and public relations for a private firm or non-profit;
- Prior Africa experience or work in a global organization, preferred;
- Experience working with communications related to U.S. Congress and/or CARPE relevant U.S. Government institutions (e.g. USAID, USFWS), preferred;
- Knowledge of conservation and natural resource issues in Africa preferred.
Skills & Qualifications
- Strong written and oral communications skills;
- Ability to communicate in French, preferred;
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a fast-paced office environment, both independently and as part of a global team;
- Excellent inter-personal communication skills, including the ability to encourage collaboration with other programs and partners;
- Articulate, versatile, highly skilled writer with professional writing experience (professional clips or writing samples preferred);
- Highly motivated, proactive work style and excellent organizational skills;
- Strong interest in and commitment to the environment or international development desirable; knowledge of forest/conservation science and policy preferred;
- Strong online research and computer skills;
- Understanding of social media and how to use it to impact audiences;
- Ability to think creatively and collaboratively about all elements of communications work;
- Visual skills, such as photography, graphic design, and Adobe Photoshop are desirable;
- Adaptable to rapidly changing priorities and able to manage multiple deadlines and deliver high quality work products;
- Experience in engagement with influential individuals (leaders, board members, etc.), preferred.
Final candidate will be required to take a writing test.
Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples.
Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package.
How to Apply
Qualified applicants should apply online at careers.wri.org. All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.