Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Chief Communications Officer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311430

Directorate: Communications & Information Technology

Division: Communications / Publications

Group: Communications / Publications

Job Description

  • Consistently works with abstract ideas or situations across all functional areas of the business.

  • Identifies and evaluates fundamental issues, providing strategy and direction to achieve critical outcomes.

  • Requires in-depth knowledge of the functional area, proven business strategies, and the organization's long-range goals.

  • Interacts internally and externally with executive level management, requiring negotiation of extremely critical matters. Establishes and implements policies in area of expertise.

  • Directs and controls the activities of several functional areas or service areas through subordinate managers who have overall responsibility for the successful operation.,

Discipline, principal job duties/expectations, and qualitative and quantitative measures of performance that exceed the Functional Descriptor:

  • Stewards, leads, and manages a professional and highly impactful communications and publications function for PNNL.

  • Sets policies, procedures, standards, and staffing to drive the production of high-quality, fit-for-purpose communications products across a broad spectrum of deliverable types.

  • Establishes effective methods, processes, and technical tools to support communications and scholarly publishing; recommends new approaches and procedures to effect continual improvement.

  • Sets communications and divisional business strategies at the Lab, Directorate, and Division level that effectively reinforce PNNL’s institutional goals.

THE POSITION: Director of Communications

This role is a strategic communications leader who brings an understanding of science and technology, as well as the vision and management skills to develop and implement an overarching, multiplatform communications strategy for external and internal audiences. The Chief Communications Officer (CCO) will develop and execute a communications strategy that aligns with PNNL’s mission and vision, while elevating the external recognition of PNNL as a world-class research institution. As a dynamic leader and change agent, the CCO will oversee a large staff of communicators and technical publishing experts.


  • Lead the Communications organization in the development of an overarching, mission-specific strategic communications plan, including a compelling thought leadership strategy to increase the visibility of and support for PNNL locally, regionally, nationally, and beyond.

  • Direct media and outreach strategies that target federal agencies, academia, science, and policy makers in the scientific discovery, energy, and national security sectors.

  • Direct internal staff communications efforts designed to generate awareness of and advocacy for PNNL’s mission among Laboratory staff.

  • Shape and strengthen PNNL’s brand and employer value proposition by aligning messaging and communication activities with strong, consistent design and Lab-wide standards for branding and visual identity.

  • Mentor and develop communications staff using a supportive and collaborative approach.

  • Build and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with key internal and external stakeholders.

  • Advise and regularly interact with Lab executive leaders and senior managers.

  • Create and implement an ongoing reputational and external awareness assessment program and establish the means for measuring the overall success of communications.

  • Develop innovative approaches to engage researchers in communication activities.

  • Provide vision and leadership that inspires a team of six+ managers who are directly accountable for nearly 100 communications and technical publishing professionals across multiple functions: external communications, internal communications, digital communications, media relations, creative services, branding, scholarly publishing, writing, and editing.

  • Ability to build and retain exceptional, engaged teams (team builder), appreciating staff at all stages of their career and tenure.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree with 15 plus years of relevant experience OR a Master´s degree with 12 plus years of relevant experience.

  • Superb written and verbal communications skills and demonstrated experience in managing complex communications functions during crisis situations.

  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing strategic communications plans, in both traditional and new media, for internal and external audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proven experience in influencing leaders and key stakeholders.

  • Proven organizational development skills in leveraging strengths of an organization while also developing and implementing strategies for continuous improvement and increased impact.

  • Proven management skills, including the ability to attract, build, lead, mentor, and motivate a strong and collaborative team. Must have managed significantly sized teams.

  • Experience providing strategic communications counsel to senior leadership.

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 having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Directorate: Comm & Information Technology

Job Category: HR/Legal/Communications

Group: Comm & Information Technology

Opening Date: 2020-12-04

Closing Date: 2021-09-29