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Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships - North American Forest Partnership

Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships - North American Forest Partnership

Job ID 
US-DC-Washington, DC

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Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships - NAFP


Organization Overview

The North American Forest Partnership (NAFP) is an extremely diverse partnership of over 110 partners, charged with increasing the forest sector’s social license to manage, harvest, and conserve North American forests in ways that address key societal challenges.


Investors in the partnership range from individual and company landowners, lumber producers, government agencies, foresters, pulp and paper manufacturers, bio-energy producers, professional associations, universities, conservation organizations, tribes, first nations, and recreation groups, among many other formal and informal participants that manage, work in, and enjoy our forests. All these interests and their constituencies have a say in how forests are managed and inform critical decisions that will shape the future of the sector and North America’s forests.


By engaging, activating, and aligning this diverse membership, aggregating their stories, and arming them with unique, compelling content, we will work together to “own the narrative”  and reintroduce the forest sector, moving the needle with target audiences on the following key themes: 

  1. Forests and forest products make our lives better in myriad ways.
  2. We’re responsible, innovative stewards of a renewable resource.
  3. Different forests are managed for diverse benefits and outcomes.
  4. We keep forests as forests by ensuring they are valued and supported by thriving markets. 

In sum - NAFP provides a unique and essential “toolbox” for our diverse sector partners to better tell their stories to the public, working with those partners to align and implement targeted communications strategies.


Position Overview

In this newly created position as Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, you will establish and maintain critically important relationships with executive leaders and C-suite communications professionals


Your success will stem from: 

  1. Your ability to identify and develop strategic opportunities to partner with investors in this initiative while navigating highly nuanced positions and issues.
  2. Developing, deploying, and managing a communications strategy that effectively blends content produced by NAFP and our partners, “moving the needle” in measurable ways with our key target audiences.
  3. Production of accurate, clear, and compelling written products with relatively short lead time.
  4. Managing a suite of specialist vendors (animation, social, design, film, and copy) to deliver on time and on message, with the support of the executive director and a dedicated project manager. 

Reporting directly to the executive director, you will be at the very forefront of emerging dialogue and strategic communications efforts designed to improve trust in the forest community, building a “context narrative” for the sector upon which individual members can tailor and layer their individual communications and engagement efforts. You will be supported by an extremely talented suite of external vendors who can provide fast turnaround for content (in traditional and multimedia formats), including print materia , website updates, blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, videos, and white board animations.


You will stay on top of trends, refine and monitor metrics, and propose adjustments to our communications strategy to ensure defined and measurable impact. Through your efforts, NAFP will emerge as a trusted voice, an innovator modeling the path forwards, and the go-to resource for effective and efficient strategic communications in the forestry sector.


Additional Responsibilities of the Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships 

  • Collaborate with partners to create, aggregate, and share content for communications.
  • Develop cohesive messaging and branding with a compelling narrative that aligns a diverse and sometimes competing set of investor-partners.
  • Oversee our multimedia communications strategy, monitoring and promoting third-party content as well as creating and promoting original content and building out our social media channels.
  • Work with partner organizations to ensure our products are “plug and play” and that key partners increasingly engage with NAFP to produce and disseminate our content.
  • Monitor campaign metrics and data, test campaign effectiveness (e.g., A/B testing), recommending appropriate adjustments to improve results.
  • Present our communications strategy to key stakeholders.
  • Work with outside vendors to help plan events.
  • Travel to meet with partners, up to 35 percent of the time. (You can expect extensive travel during your first few months as you develop relationships across the sector.)


Qualifications of the Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, science, public policy, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in communications or public policy.
  • Strong written and verbal communication; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal skills. Strong experience with social media tools. You can produce quality written work under time pressure.
  • Multimedia campaign experience.
  • Ability to serve in an outward-facing/public persona role, as you will be representing NAFP and its membership through presentations to C-suite representatives.
  • Experience working with coalitions or teams holding diverse points of view. An ability to provide superior customer service and rapidly establish a credible, professional rapport with diverse stakeholders will be vital to your success.
  • Familiarity with forests, forestry, forest products, and/or science policy, regulatory, and environmental issues is preferred, but not essential.


Attributes of the Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships

  • Relationship builder. You are adept at understanding the issues and constraints groups face and have an intuitive sense of how to find common ground among stakeholders and zero in on priorities and possibilities. Your collaborative nature allows you to build consensus within any group, bringing a strong sense of respect and inclusiveness.
  • Strong communicator. You have an exceptional ability to communicate with staff and donors and build confidence at all levels. You are able to deliver critical and complex information to a variety of audiences in a credible and presentable way and can challenge and be challenged in intellectual debate. You are able to effectively represent and hold a position while openly exploring possibilities in a complex negotiation.
  • Builder. You are comfortable working through ambiguity and can operate with little structure, charting your own path when no rules exist. You have a head for triage and are confident and steadfast in a crisis or the face of uncertainty; you identify what needs to be done first, anticipate needs down the line, and can carefully steward resources to create grand impact.
  • Entrepreneurial. You are a self-starter with an innovative style. You intuitively recognize opportunity and have a bias for action. You are invigorated by change, embrace risks, and welcome shifts in an environment to what works best.
  • Collaborative. You will be working with a wide range of external stakeholders and internally across the organization. This requires a flexible style that both complements their efforts and supports the needs of others.
  • Project manager. You allocate and optimize resources, assign responsibility, manage timelines, reduce risks, and get the project done, you have a demonstrated ability to plan ahead and anticipate project requirements.
  • Metrics-driven. You see the big picture, monitor your key performance metrics, and have the proven ability and experience to take the action necessary to bring about change.
  • Respectful. You value different points of view and are able to listen, digest, and synthesize information, even when you disagree. You work effectively with people at every level of the organization and every kind of background. You consistently treat customers, members, stakeholders, partners, and the board with dignity and respect.
  • Mission-driven. You are results-driven and service-oriented. You provide support for stakeholder needs, both internally and externally. You are relational with a purpose, willing to do anything to elevate the unheard messaging of members.
  • Self-aware. You know how you are perceived, understand the impact of your actions, take full responsibility, and are comfortable both giving and receiving candid feedback on performance.


What’s Attractive to the Right Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships Candidate?

  • You will be working at an elite level with some of the most respected leaders in the forest sector, leading and growing a new organization without hierarchical bureaucracy.
  • Interacting with a variety of Fortune 500, 1000, and 2500 corporations, nonprofits, agencies, and private companies, you will quickly build strong partnerships with C-suite executives across all segments of the sector.
  • You will have the opportunity to shape a highly innovative and results-based strategic communications campaign working with award winning vendors and recognized leaders in brand strategy, public engagement, video, animation, and social strategy.
  • This position has the potential to telecommute – the NAFP has a contemporary team culture that is exclusively focused on performance. You will be joining a team that truly values work/life balance and appreciates team members with passionate pursuits beyond the office.
  • If you care about the conservation and sustainable future of our nation’s forests, then this is a uniquely innovative organization that you need to be a part of.


To Apply for the Director of Communications and Strategic Partnerships position with NAFP:

Use the “Apply” button on this page, or email your resume to Gina Schurman at with “NAFP – Director of Communications / 2017-2279 SA” as the subject of the email.

Alternative Titles:  Director of Marketing, Senior Manager of Marketing Communication, Senior Manager of Marketing, Marketing Communications Director

Staffing Advisors is committed to helping our clients create a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Some positions may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.