Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ARM Facility Communications Manager in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 310497

Directorate: Communications and Information Technology

Division: Communications

Group: S&T Communications

Job Description

The Invitation

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Dynamic, adaptable people come to PNNL to work smarter and work together on high-impact projects and initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy and many other sponsors. They focus on meaningful work, innovation, and outcomes. At PNNL, you’ll find a positive, fast-paced environment and excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), tuition reimbursement plans, health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. This position is located at PNNL’s main campus in eastern Washington State, an area known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry, and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity

PNNL’s Communications Division is focused on delivering stellar customer service, counsel, and communications strategy to leaders across the lab. We’re currently seeking a highly proactive and strategic facility Communications Manager to guide and oversee the communications strategy, coordination, and production of deliverables for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facilty. ARM is a multi-laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientific user facility, and a key contributor to national and international climate research efforts. ARM data are currently collected from three atmospheric observatories—Southern Great Plains, North Slope of Alaska, and Eastern North Atlantic—which represent the broad range of global climate conditions, as well as from the three ARM mobile facilities and ARM aerial facilities. More than 25 years of data from these atmospheric observatories, as well as past research campaigns, are used by researchers from around the world.

As the ARM Facility Communications Manager, you will form and nurture collaborative relationships with ARM and DOE leadership (the “client”) to develop a keen understanding of their audiences and goals and better understand the importance and impact of their work. Working with your client, you’ll ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with ARM and DOE’s mission, vision, and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets your client’s budget, goals, and expectations. You will also suggest strategies, objectives, and tactics that continually evolve the quality and impact of the client’s communications efforts, including branding, content, development, and effectiveness of external and internal websites, and social media channels.

Nine DOE national laboratories at share the responsibility of managing and operating ARM. ARM also collaborates with many national and international partners. The ARM Facility Communications Manager works directly with communications staff and others at these organizations to develop collaborative communications plans and help amplify messaging through press conferences and media relations, social media, web articles, etc.

This position also provides communications strategy and leadership for two other DOE programs—Atmospheric System Research (ASR) and Earth and Environmental System Modeling (EESM).

The goal of ASR is to improve the understanding of scientists around the world of the key cloud, aerosol, precipitation, and radiation processes that affect the Earth’s radiative balance and hydrological cycle, especially processes that limit the predictive ability of regional and global weather and climate models. ASR coordinates closely with ARM, utilizing the facility’s measurements of radiation, aerosols, clouds, precipitation, thermodynamics, turbulence, and state variables. In this role, you would work closely with the DOE program managers to develop branding, communications strategy and metrics, and manage development of quality communications tactics, including a website.

EESM at focuses on the development, evaluation, and use of regional and global integrated Earth system models, to understand the interactions between climate and energy-related activities, and to inform adaptation to shifts in climate and societal requirements. You would work with DOE program managers to develop branding, inform communications strategy and metrics, and manage development of quality communications tactics, including a website.

The Ideal Candidate

If you are known for excellent customer service and have extensive experience building and implementing communications strategies—particularly related to atmospheric science—we want to connect with you! Specifically, we’re looking for candidates who will combine and leverage their knowledge of communications and science to develop and implement creative and compelling approaches that will resonate with our audiences. Ideal candidates will also be excellent planners and project managers who enjoy collaborating with researchers. The position requires strong skills in executive communications, writing about technical topics for non-technical audiences, social media, media relations, as well as extensive interpersonal and group leadership skills. Providing regular metrics and reports on the effectiveness of communications tactics is expected. Experience with government communications and communications work across national boundaries is desired. Travel (approximately 1x per quarter) is required to conferences and meetings, and potentially to remote campaign sites.


(Percentage splits are approximate)

As the ARM Facility Communications Manager and Primary POC aligned to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility (90%):

  • Serve as the main Communications Division POC for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility.

  • Provide communications support to the Atmospheric System Research (ASR), and Earth and Environmental System Modeling (EESM) programs

  • Leverage and maintain subject matter familiarity in atmospheric and climate sciences; use this to inform communications planning and to identify and put forward best stories about the facility and its scientific impact

  • Maintain a keen understanding of audiences and stakeholders including funding sponsors, researchers, scientific associations, external collaborators, national and trade media, and others with whom we want to amplify our impact

  • Provide executive communications support to the ARM technical director

  • Manage ARM, ASR, and EESM branding

  • Provide communications planning and campaign development, often in collaboration with researchers and their national and international organizations

  • Work with ARM national and international partners on press conferences, media relations, and pitching news articles to targeted media

  • Work with ARM national and international partners on community outreach events and engagement

  • Provide communications project management, including fulfillment of communications collateral, campaigns, storytelling efforts, etc.

  • Using project management/workflow software, originate work and collaborate with Communications Division managers to ensure that resources are allocated to complete the project or product

  • Oversee day-to-day production details, ensuring quality and on-time delivery of all components

  • Take the lead in problem solving to expedite the work

  • Accept accountability for final signoff of communications materials, approving quality and fit-for-purpose of each deliverable

  • As needed, provide high-level tactical support (writing columns and letters, drafting presentations, etc.)

  • Lead ARM communications working group meetings to assess communications needs and opportunities; facilitate conversation/brainstorming, and ensure deliverables are progressing in a timely manner

  • Build relationships with ARM leadership and researchers and DOE managers; integrate successfully to assure a healthy relationship and ongoing collaboration between Communications and ARM

  • Set strategy for and see that ARM subject matter is represented on ARM and, as applicable, PNNL and other ARM partner social media channels

  • Continually review and improve content for ARM’s internal and external ( ) websites. Work with ARM developers at PNNL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to initiate the production of new pages or content; manage updates in accordance with DOE, ARM and Communications Division practices

  • Continually review and improve websites for ASR ( ) and EESM ( ) Work with developers at PNNL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to initiate the production of new pages or content; manage updates in accordance with DOE and Communications Division practices

  • Assess and report on the effectiveness of communications tactics and campaigns

  • As required, submit materials through processes required for external release

As a Member of PNNL’s Communications Division (10%):

  • Serve as the primary liaison between ARM and the Communications Division and demonstrate exemplary customer service

  • Report regularly to PNNL’s S&T Communications Manager and PNNL’s Director of Communications on the communications projects, priorities, and initiatives related to ARM

  • Collaborate with colleagues throughout the Communications Division to develop and deliver impactful, strategic, and measurable work

  • Attend and contribute to Communications Division staff meetings

  • Recommend new approaches, policies, and procedures to effect continual improvement

  • Advocate for strategic communications processes and results-oriented tactics

  • Other duties as assigned by manager

The hiring level will be determined based on the education, experience and skill set of the successful candidate based on the following:

Level IV: Works on complex problems and provides solutions which are innovative and ingenious. Skilled at working crossfunctionally to understand problems and develop and implement solutions. Identifies improvement/efficiency opportunities both within and outside of area where assigned as SME. Having wide-ranging experience, uses professional concepts and organization objectives to resolve complex issues in creative and effective ways. Works independently, has growing responsibility, no oversight required.

Level V: Influences policy, strategy and sets direction across organization in area of expertise. Develops and can sell and implement innovative ideas to enhance business results. Anticipates trends and impacts. Educates and prepares organization for impact. Often serves as consultant to senior management. Recognized as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and as someone who has a solid grasp on several primary functions/organizations within the lab. Provides oversight of other staff. Leads mentoring and training of senior staff succession candidates.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, advertising, public relations, business, or similar plus seven (7) years of related experience; or advanced degree plus four (4) years of related experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, advertising, public relations, business, or similar plus eleven (11) years of related experience; or advanced degree plus eight (8) years of related experience

  • Strong customer service orientation with exceptional attention to detail and follow through

  • Proven excellent written, oral, interpersonal, and project management skills

  • Proven track record of effective collaboration with and strategic support for researchers that includes offering counsel and building strategic communications plans

  • Subject matter familiarity and a natural interest in atmospheric sciences

  • Familiarity with the needs and mission relevance of ARM’s sponsor, the DOE Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research program

  • Established contacts with major scientific publications, editors, bloggers, and influencers covering the scientific field of atmospheric science

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. If you are offered a position at PNNL and are currently a participant in a foreign government talent recruitment program you will be required to disclose this information before your first day of employment.

Directorate: Comm & Information Technology

Job Category: HR/Legal/Communications

Group: S&T Communications

Opening Date: 2020-02-13

Closing Date: 2020-03-12