Senior Communications Manager

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on  

Job Description


West Harlem Environmental Action a/k/a WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a non profit, community-based advocacy organization that works to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT is a nationally recognized leader in the environmental justice (EJ) movement and is known for its work in the areas of children’s environmental health; government accountability; and climate, energy and environmental justice. WE ACT’s deep roots in the community, track record of policy impact, integrity and reputation are driving exponential growth over the next year, including in our federal policy office.

WE ACT is the only national EJ organization with a permanent presence in Washington, DC. Our newly minted five-year strategic plan outlines a federal policy strategy that includes advancing and reforming new national policy, practices and regulations; supporting policy implementation and regulatory efforts of existing policy to ensure accountability; convening coalitions, organizations and researchers to drive a shared national EJ agenda; building a powerful narrative to catalyze a national EJ movement; and serving as a connector, regrantor and technical assistance provider to build the capacity of EJ organizations into a powerful, cohesive national movement.

WE ACT prioritizes the voices of longstanding community members, communities of color, lower- income communities and, most importantly, those who have been historically marginalized and subjected to environmental and other forms of racism and exclusion. In accordance with the Jemez Principles, we believe that communities must speak for themselves.We work at the intersection of community engagement and activation, policy, research and education. WE ACT leverages our place at the table to push system actors, including elected officials, Big Greens, coalitions and allies to center racial justice and equity.


WE ACT is seeking a Senior Communications Manager with a demonstrated passion for justice and equity issues for our Federal Policy Office. This individual reports to the Director of the Federal Policy Office, with a dotted line relationship to the Communications Director in WE ACT’s New York headquarters, and is a key player in the development, implementation and evaluation of traditional and digital communications programs and campaigns.

The EJ narrative has shifted dramatically in the last few years due to the racial reckoning and inequity raised by the COVID 19 global pandemic. WE ACT aims to take a proactive role in shaping the national and international narrative of EJ and climate change commitments. By centering and amplifying the voices of Black, Brown, and low-wealth communities, WE ACT will heighten EJ awareness to spur federal, state, and local policy wins. The Senior Communications Manager will execute a national communications strategy designed to support these objectives. Key Responsibilities include:

Strategic Implementation

● Co-create and implement a comprehensive communications plan in support of the policy priorities of the Federal Policy Office and to define short- and long-term goals and objectives related to WE ACT’s visibility, credibility and growth.

● Ensure that our brand value and position are clear, compelling and consistent across platforms and that they resonate with and inspire increased engagement.

● Identify opportunities to enhance the organization’s position in the landscape among relevant constituents, including advocates, public policymakers, funders and the media.

● Liaise with partner organizations on coordinated communications campaigns and rapid response programs to drive a national EJ narrative.

Content Creation

● Create and distribute WE ACT’s communications to external stakeholders, ensuring that the team develops and maintains an editorial calendar of targeted correspondence, regular website updates, newsletter content, social media posts and reporter pitches.

● Craft external communications tools such as talking points, press releases, opinion pieces, reports, blog posts, infographics, case studies and other materials.

● Test, evaluate and iterate new communications technologies, platforms and email marketing techniques, using analytics to improve strategy.

● Ensuring the regular maintenance of WE ACT’s federal policy office website content and social media identities, leveraging these platforms for campaigns and ongoing community engagement and movement building efforts.

Media Relations

● Enhance current and build new relationships with journalists, bloggers and other media influencers and opinion makers in order to promote WE ACT’s expertise.

● Identify opportunities to boost WE ACT’s visibility and thought leadership through writing and speaking opportunities such as opinion editorials, keynotes and expert panel participation.

● Field and manage day-to-day media and speaking requests for the Federal Policy Office.

● Plan and execute rapid response media and digital actions that center environmental justice.

● Track environmental justice news that is related to the priorities of the Federal Policy Office and proactively identify engagement opportunities.

● Coordinate events hosted by the Federal Policy Office including press conferences.


The incoming Senior Communications Manager is driven by their belief in and commitment to WE ACT’s vision and mission. Through their track record as a communications professional, the successful candidate manages critical aspects of the communications strategy to advance our goals. The Senior Communications Manager builds authentic and lasting relationships inside and outside the organization with coalition members and the media, engaging with them as partners in WE ACT’s mission and vision.

The successful candidate is entrepreneurial and self-directed, bringing creativity and outstanding project management capabilities to prioritize an ambitious agenda for maximum impact. This role requires a deep commitment to the principles of environmental justice and the ability to tell compelling stories of community-based advocacy. The optimal candidate has worked in an advocacy environment and understands the movement context, possessing a strong grasp of the economic, social and political forces that shape environmental policy in the U.S. The selected candidate will also possess most of the following Core and Preferred qualifications:


● Strong commitment to the mission and goals of WE ACT and a strong passion for solving the climate crisis through environmental justice.

● At least 5 years of increasing responsibility in communications, with a proven track record of accomplishments designing and executing communications strategies that generate visibility, credibility and thought leadership.

● Demonstrated experience working across lines of race, class, gender and geography and an analysis of how climate change and energy-related issues intersect with historically marginalized communities.

● Demonstrated understanding of how organized movements create change and accomplish policy objectives.

● Outstanding oral and written communications skills that demonstrate an ability to:

○ Convey a compelling story about WE ACT’s mission and impact;

○ Translate complex data and analysis into persuasive narratives;

○ Communicate WE ACT strategies without jargon;

○ Write, copyedit and proofread, often within a short turnaround time.

● Strong project management abilities to ensure effective collaboration and projects that advance on time and on budget.

● Social media savvy with understanding of how to integrate social into comprehensive communications and movement building strategies.

● Strong relationship-building skills with a wide range of diverse external constituencies, diplomatic abilities and authentic leadership skills that build the trust-based relationships necessary for stakeholders to buy in and share accountability for our collective work.

● Demonstrated ability to prioritize and be flexible in a fast-paced, constantly evolving and collaborative environment, where working on a team and working individually are required.

● High fluency with Microsoft Office software, including PowerPoint, and proficiency with digital communications platforms and media management tools such as Canva, Cision, Hootsuite, Mailchimp and Wordpress.

● Ability to lead through influence in a matrixed environment.


● Background in journalism, public relations, public affairs and/or campaign communications experience; recent media/journalism experience a plus.

● Local and national media connections including reporters and outlets; preference for experience working with and pitching reporters in the climate, environmental justice and energy spaces.

● Prior experience and content knowledge in climate, clean energy and/or public policy.

● Experience managing contractors such as graphic designers.

● Experience with graphic design tools such as Audition and Photoshop.


WE ACT offers competitive nonprofit compensation and is committed to justice in salary transparency and wage equity. The salary range for this position is $85,000 - $100,000, based on experience and qualifications. WE ACT offers a generous suite of benefits, including comprehensive health care (medical, dental and vision), flexible spending account, life insurance, pre-tax transit program, retirement programs and paid holidays and vacation, along with onsite HR support for your benefit needs. WE ACT follows a 3-2 hybrid work policy, requiring 3 days in the office per week. All staff are fully vaccinated.


WE ACT is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, women, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ communities. We are committed to transparent and equitable recruitment, hiring and promotion processes that foster inclusion and belonging. If you’ve read this job description, are excited by it and can see yourself in this role, we hope you apply. If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process, please email David Hudson at


To apply or nominate a candidate, please send to with “Senior Communications Manager” in the subject line a resume, one brief writing sample and cover email or letter answering the following:

1) Why are you passionate about environmental justice?

2) Briefly share a communications effort you played a key role in, particularly a lesson learned that you would apply to WE ACT’s national policy goals.

Submission in a combined PDF or Microsoft Word file is preferred. This position is open until filled and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.