87916 Requisition #

Communications Manager
Position Announcement

Are you interested in the intersection of ocean science and policy and building solutions for current and future ocean issues? If so, the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, part of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, invites you to apply to be our Communications Manager.

The Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) catalyzes research, innovation and action to improve the health of the oceans for the people who depend on them the most. COS capitalizes on Stanford’s broad expertise in ocean science and in the many other disciplines crucial to developing ocean solutions, including engineering, computer science, political science, design, law and business. We work with researchers from across the University, and partner with other research institutions, national and international non-governmental organizations, businesses and governments, as well as established and emerging leaders in the data revolution.

Position Summary
The Communications Manager (Public Relations Officer 1) leads planning, coordinating and implementing communications programs, develops internal and external written communications, and designs and coordinate media relations efforts across key COS initiatives including: Oceans & Food Security, Sustainable Ocean Economies, Small-scale Fisheries & Technology, Managing Ocean Risk, and Curbing Illegal Fishing and Labor Abuses in the Seafood Sector. The Communications Manager will work on these tasks with senior management, colleagues and partners.


This position offers a range of exciting opportunities for high-visibility storytelling and international networking with government representatives, NGOs, and multi-laterals. For example, over the next year we will be releasing the “Blue Food Assessment,” an international effort to put “blue food” (food from marine and freshwater systems) at the center of the global food policy agenda to be presented at the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021. The communications manager will work with our partners – the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the EAT Foundation and Springer-Nature – on an ambitious global media outreach and engagement strategy. Similar opportunities arise across our initiatives.  


The Communications Manager reports to the Deputy Director of COS, works closely with the COS Managers and Co-Directors as a member of COS Senior Staff, and also coordinates with the Woods Institute’s Associate Director for Communications and broader Woods communications team.

Consistent with the mission of COS, we seek a person with experience and/or interest in both advancing scientific frontiers and addressing real-world challenges of sustainability in coastal and ocean environments. The ideal candidate will be a creative individual with expertise communicating in a relevant ecological, economic, legal, or policy discipline and the ability to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams. 


COS strives to nurture diversity in our teams and projects to develop just and lasting solutions to ocean challenges. We aim to make our projects inclusive, to engage diverse perspectives, and to involve those whom our solutions affect.


Core duties include:

  • Develop, execute and oversee written communications, including presentations, speeches, news stories, web content, talking points, and correspondence and social media posts.
  • Work together with key researchers and media relations to develop strategies and tactics for facilitating effective communications.
  • Maintain professional relationships with key press and community leaders.
  • Lead the preparation of quarterly external newsletters and oversee email and digital content distribution.
  • Identify individuals/groups to attend and/or speak at public meetings or other events.
  • Coordinate media, community or government relations, and ensure logistics and preparations are handled.
  • Drive project communications strategy, management, and evaluation from start to finish.

Specifically, this role will be engaged in the following:

  • Strategy: Designing initiative-specific communications strategies, including social, earned and owned media, in coordination with key partners; managing relationships and projects with vendors including graphic designers, copyeditors, videographers and printers.
  • Publicity & Promotion: Developing, executing and overseeing written communications, including presentations, speeches, news stories, web content, talking points, correspondence and social media posts; managing the COS editorial calendar and collaborating with Woods and Stanford communications teams; and building and maintaining relationships with internal and external partners.
  • Internal Communications: Managing and mentoring Stanford undergraduate and graduate student assistants; participating in regular meetings of key researchers with media relations needs to develop strategies and tactics for facilitating effective communications; and drafting reports for internal and external audiences.
  • Branding & Messaging: Managing quarterly external newsletter design, distribution and metrics; understanding email and digital content distribution; and managing brand assets including branding framework, logo, boilerplate language and overall messaging strategy.
  • Donor Relations: Work with COS leadership and others to design pitches, presentations, reports and other strategic collateral.


Required Qualifications
Education & Experience
Bachelor's degree and at least three years of relevant experience are required. Preference will be given to candidates with more experience and those with a master’s degree in communications, international relations, or another related field. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent written communication skills, reporting skills, and skills in conceptual editing, copy editing, and proof reading.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with internal communications groups across campus.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills in working with a variety of people.
  • Capacity to write and synthesize materials and communicate information in a manner easily understood.
  • Solid working knowledge of science communications with an emphasis on conservation and ocean sciences and related policy challenges and issues. 
  • Possess a strong media relations background with experience cultivating media contacts, building targeted media lists, and conceiving, writing, and editing news releases as well as short-form pitches.
  • Experience in internal communications – cascading sensitive information, proven experience facilitating internal meetings and events.
  • Familiarity supporting donor relations.
  • Contacts and/or collaborators in different disciplines across academia, NGOs, and government.

Hours, Location, and Compensation

This is a full-time, continuing position. The Communications Manager will be based at our Palo Alto office at Stanford University. The salary and benefits are competitive within the field and are based on candidate experience.  

To be considered, interested candidates will provide a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references.



Applications will be reviewed beginning on December 7th, 2020. The position will remain open until filled.

A background check and writing test will be required for all final candidates.


The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Previous Job Searches

My Submissions

Track your opportunities.

My Submissions