Senior Director, Communications

Pacific EnvironmentFlexible; West Coast Preferred

About Pacific Environment

For more than three decades, Pacific Environment has worked to serve people, wildlife, and ecosystems by promoting grassroots activism, strengthening communities, leading strategic campaigns, and working for policy changes. Pacific Environment is currently headquartered in San Francisco, with regional offices or staff in Alaska, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand, and with partnerships that span the Pacific Rim.

Pacific Environment and its partners fight fossil fuels and champion clean energy, challenge industrial models that disregard local interests, and bring grassroots concerns – and whenever possible grassroots leaders – to national and international bodies to advocate for policy solutions that reflect community needs and values.

Pacific Environment operates as a campaigner, coalition-builder, and thought partner. The organization provides direct funding and technical assistance to grassroots environmental activists in the regions where they work. Pacific Environment offers one of the very few granting and training programs for grassroots environmental leaders that nurtures creative activism and leadership among local partners and their many community volunteers. The organization complements these community-led efforts with national and international coalition-building and advocacy to decision-makers to support policy changes.  Pacific Environment has a strong track record of local and international achievements, addressing the root causes of environmental challenges.

The Opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity for a strategic communications leader to guide an organization that influences governments and industry while building lasting community partnerships across the Pacific Rim. With recent and substantial growth in funding, programs, and staff, this is a pivotal moment for Pacific Environment and a unique opportunity for a creative and pragmatic department leader to enact organizational change and scale program impact.

The Senior Director, Communications, will lead Pacific Environment’s narrative strategy and communications across the organization, including campaign programs, branding, and fundraising. They are responsible for developing and executing communications strategies to advance Pacific Environment’s campaigns, research, and thought leadership across all relevant media platforms on a global scale. By crafting engaging stories about people, campaigns, and actions, the communications department plays a key role in achieving Pacific Environment’s mission to nurture community-level movement building and advance systemic environmental reform.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director will build and manage an international department with the support of existing communications staff, evaluate communications strategies and tactics for increased effectiveness, and expand brand recognition to support the mission, program campaigns, and fundraising. The Senior Director will advise the Executive Director, other organizational leaders, and the Board of Directors. The Senior Director will be responsible for managing and executing a dynamic $800,000 budget.

The Senior Director will be joining an organizational culture that is global, fast moving, and highly entrepreneurial. Collaboration, participatory leadership, and inclusive decision making are characteristics of the team’s approach to working together. Embracing these qualities is essential to success in this position.

Key Responsibilities

The Senior Director’s specific areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to:

Communications Strategy

  • Build and lead the organization’s new, fully integrated communications department, uniting existing communications staff and strategies under a single comprehensive organizational communications strategy.
  • In collaboration with executive leadership, communications, and program staff, lead, develop, and implement comprehensive and measurable communications and strategies to further Pacific Environment’s mission and organizational priorities. 
  • Lead the continual refinement of communications strategies and practices and drive implementation throughout the organization.
  • Create a brand awareness strategy to ensure the organization’s recognition and reputation grows and supports impact.
  • Elevate and ensure the uniformity and quality of brand identity and voice. Foster cross-functional dialogue to deepen the organization’s understanding of communications and brand identity, and its direct influence on campaign impact.
  • Guide content production for strategic campaign communications priorities in disciplines including writing, digital content creation, videography, graphic design, event production, website, photography, and public relations. 
  • Oversee market, trend, and performance data analysis; recommend new strategies or adjustments to current programs, campaigns, and content.

Leadership, Staff, & Organizational Development

  • Build the long-term vision and structure of the communications team, including job delineation, career planning, and hiring.
  • Support a diverse, inclusive workplace culture to attract, retain, and motivate a values-aligned and high-performing team. 
  • Align globally distributed team members into a unified department.
  • Create a laser-focused prioritization system for staff to distinguish high impact tasks with ease while balancing the rapidly changing needs of specific campaigns.
  • Supervise consultants, vendors, and contractors to oversee graphics, writing, editing, and promotion, as needed.
  • Implement organization-wide administrative and budgetary systems for communications staff.  Facilitate budget literacy across the team to increase members’ capacity. 

Advancement & External Partnerships

  • Work with the Senior Director of Advancement to execute regular fundraising-related communications in alignment with broader communications strategies to captivate new funders and increase levels of individual giving.
  • Build relationships with targeted media and journalists, identify media opportunities, and shape larger news narratives around policy, programmatic, and political priorities.
  • Liaise with communications professionals at partner organizations and funders to produce content, coordinate messaging, and support the most promising climate, environmental justice, and biodiversity solutions.

Ideal Candidate

A successful candidate will have strong communications strategy and storytelling skills, strategic campaign communications expertise, and experience in brand strategy. They think systematically and are ready to refine existing communications processes to take advantage of new opportunities and maximize the team’s capacity.

This person is an experienced professional who manages communications for a portfolio of global campaign work; an entrepreneurial and collaborative colleague and a results-oriented team player who gets things done. They are a smart and thoughtful advisor who is also an effective implementor. This person needs the agility to pivot between high-level strategy and implementation, as well as the flexibility to handle rapidly changing program needs. A sophisticated understanding of all communications channels and tactics and how they fit into a comprehensive communications strategy is expected. 

Collaboration and teamwork are key. The ideal candidate needs a breadth of knowledge in climate and biodiversity issues and the intellectual curiosity to learn and engage across Pacific Environment’s campaigns. This leader will come into the role with previous experiences auditing an organization’s communications strategies and building a team or department to best accomplish goals. The organization’s commitment to environmental justice requires an understanding of and respect for equity across an international setting; candidates need to demonstrate this through personal or professional experience.


With the understanding that no person will offer every desired skill and characteristic outlined below, compelling candidates will offer much of the following:

  • 7+ years of relevant experience managing strategic campaign communications and organizational communications strategic planning and implementation.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and winning campaign communications strategies, with experience in global campaigns.
  • Experience building or significantly growing a communications department through effective change management.
  • Commitment to advancing social and environmental justice through communications strategies.
  • Experience working alongside and elevating the stories of communities most impacted by fossil fuel pollution, communities of color, as well as grassroots organizations in the US and abroad. 
  • Demonstrated success as an effective manager, team builder, and organization developer, including systems to effectively collaborate with and serve the interests of fundraising and programs teams.
  • Proven capacity for high-level strategic planning, driving strategies, and campaign development to shape narrative and issues through proactive messaging and outreach. 
  • Skilled in project management, setting and meeting deadlines, time management, and prioritization. 
  • Documented success in rapid response communications, including the ability to grasp and appropriately respond to both internally and externally precipitated crises. 
  • Excellent cross-cultural skills, including the ability to communicate with people at all levels and from various backgrounds. 

Location & Salary

Pacific Environment staff currently work from home. Bay Area and California candidates are strongly preferred, followed by candidates located on the U.S. West Coast or in East and Southeast Asia. This position requires working across US West Coast and East Asia hours, including some evenings or weekends. This role includes frequent travel, domestically and internationally.

Pacific Environment provides compensation commensurate with experience and equitable with others on our team, plus a full benefits package for staff positions. The salary range for this position is $122,000-$145,000, which is carefully considered to account for equity, and the final offer will be based on the candidate’s qualifications. The employee will enjoy a flexible working environment with a dedicated, diverse group of colleagues.

Pacific Environment’s EEO Statement

Pacific Environment is an equal-opportunity employer. We encourage people from communities harmed by environmental degradation and from backgrounds underrepresented in the environmental movement to apply. We welcome diversity to do our best work and believe that creating teams in which everyone can be their authentic self is key to the change we seek.

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button. Letters may be addressed to Martens Roc.  

Applicants applying by July 17th will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

Senior Director, Communications Pacific EnvironmentFlexible; West Coast Preferred

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by Pacific Environment to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Martens Roc
Vice President
Direct: 202.933.7616

Celene Haque Tanner
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6189

Cody McCarthy
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.309.5591

Gabe Sapuay
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.462.6189