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Sr. Director, Public Outreach and Communications job in Alexandria at Water Environment Federation

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Sr. Director, Public Outreach and Communications at Water Environment Federation

Sr. Director, Public Outreach and Communications

Water Environment Federation Alexandria, VA (On Site) Full-Time

Who We Are

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 30,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. Since 1928, WEF and its members have protected public health and the environment. As a global water sector leader, our mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water; and provide a platform for water sector innovation.

How This Position Contributes To The Team

Develops and directs omnichannel strategies for all WEF public outreach and communications programs to build measurable public awareness of the value of water and WEF’s leadership role in driving water solutions in alignment with WEF’s Strategic Plan objectives and organizational priorities. Directs and executes overall communications strategy, positioning, media relations, audience development, KPIs and analytics, social media, messaging, and multimedia content, including video, podcasts, blogs, and live broadcast. Manages WEF’s communications department of two full-time communications managers as well as all outside communications consultants. Works closely with WEF executive leadership, volunteer leaders, staff, and other stakeholders to implement communications strategies and campaigns.

NOTE: This position is currently 80% remote work, 20% work in office as of April 2022. The level of remote work is subject to change up to 100%.

Principal Functions:

  • Sets the strategic direction for the Communications department at WEF and leads WEF’s efforts to raise awareness about the value of water and the contributions of water professionals to public health, the environment, and community vitality and WEF’s leadership role in convening, training, and informing water sector professionals, and shaping water solutions
  • Works with WEF volunteer leaders, stakeholders, and staff to design, develop, and execute a comprehensive multichannel communications and public outreach strategies to support WEF’s critical objectives and organization priorities
  • Works with internal WEF program stakeholders to help set communications goals and requirements, advising on strategy, media, messaging, audience, and performance metrics
  • Directs strategy and use of digital, multimedia, and social media tools in communications activities
  • Creates innovative communications resources and materials, as well as high-impact speeches and presentations, for WEF leadership and staff
  • Creates innovative communications resources and materials, as well as high-impact speeches and presentations, for WEF leadership and staff
  • Serves as primary WEF spokesperson with the media and elevates WEF’s profile as the go-to source of information on water sector initiatives for journalists and public policy makers
  • Supervises and directs Communications staff in execution of communications activities and manages and mentors Communications staff to promote a culture of collaboration, high performance, independent thinking, risk-taking, and continuous improvement
  • Works with Marketing and Membership departments to help develop, manage, and implement WEF brand (and key sub-brand) strategies
  • Uses data and analytics to determine optimal approaches and establish, track, and report on key performance metrics
  • Develops and manages methodologies and workflow processes to optimize communications operations and ensure alignment and consistency across channels
  • Manages ongoing and incidental professional services relationships with vendors and consultants, including contract negotiation and management
  • Develops and manages all budgets and financial objectives related to the Communications department
  • Serves as liaison with Public Outreach and Communications Committee


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, or related area or commensurate experience
  • 15+ years’ experience in a similar role, preferably with a public utility, water service provider or educational association, or government/regulatory agency
  • Water sector background strongly preferred; an understanding of public health and environmental issues a plus
  • Strong background in developing and implementing innovative communications strategies, using relevant tools in multi-channel campaign-driven environments within a complex and rapidly changing environment
  • Demonstrated experience with digital communications channels and technology including social media, video, podcasts, and live broadcast media
  • Successful track record using analytics and metrics to improve performance
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Experience in developing and managing communications budgets
  • A keen eye for operational efficiency and optimal use of resources
  • Successful track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans, high functioning teams, and results
  • Experience working with executive management, volunteer boards, and other high-level leadership
  • Experience building, leading, and mentoring a team
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced, deadline-driven team environment
  • Excellent overall written and verbal communication skills, including demonstrated ability to draft messages, press releases, blogs, social media posts, speeches, and interviews, as well as the ability to use standard tools for distributing that content
  • Experience as a media spokesperson

This person will work primarily in an office environment using standard office equipment.

WEF requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

WEF is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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