Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Communications Partner: National Security Mission in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308099

Directorate: Communications and Information Technology

Division: Communications

Group: Science and Technical 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. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State, an area known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity:

Help build and implement a strategy that improves the communication of PNNL’s extraordinary work in National Security. The team of S&T Senior Communications Partners – within PNNL’s Communications Division – is a newly formed group focused on delivering stellar customer service, counsel and communication strategies to leaders across the Lab’s Science and Technology mission areas. We’re currently seeking a highly proactive and strategic S&T Communications Partner with experience in campaign and project management to guide and oversee communication strategies and coordination of deliverables for PNNL’s National Security mission. This is a unique role for a strong communicator who also has extensive experience leading scientific or technical communication strategies, particularly related to national security, cybersecurity, nuclear sciences, technology solutions, or similar topics.

As an S&T Communications Partner, you will form and nurture collaborative relationships with senior executives to develop a keen understanding of their audiences and goals. Working with your partners’ and fellow communications staff, you’ll ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets the partners’ budget, goals and expectations. You will also suggest strategies, objectives and tactics that continually evolve the quality and impact of the Laboratory’s communications efforts.

The Ideal Candidate:

If you are a strong communicator who also has extensive experience leading scientific or technical communication strategies – particularly related to national security – we want to connect with you! Specifically, we’re looking for candidates who will combine and leverage their knowledge of communications strategy and national security to develop and implement creative and compelling approaches that will resonate with our audiences. Ideal candidates will also be excellent planners and project managers that can work effectively in a matrixed organization to move ideas from concept to implementation.

Authority and Accountability:

As a Counselor, Strategist and Primary Point-of-Contact:

-Build and maintain outstanding relationships with researchers and leaders within the Lab’s National Security mission area, including its portfolio of research, projects and initiatives.

-Leverage and build resources to stay knowledgeable in a variety of subjects and trends in diverse fields including chemical and biological signature science, cybersecurity, data science and analytics, explosives detection, nonproliferation and arms control, radiological and nuclear detection, and systems engineering and integration.

-Maintain a keen understanding of the audiences related to the Lab’s National Security portfolio of research/projects/initiatives including funding sponsors, scientific associations, external collaborators and other stakeholders with whom we want to amplify our impact.

-Understand, convey and further the Lab’s National Security mission by developing and managing integrated communications campaigns for National Security research and achievements.

-Serve as a Communications Division point person for inquiries pertaining to the National Security mission, particularly the representation of mission information on digital channels.

-Create and maintain editorial calendars; anticipate major events and achievements and proactively propose, plan, and execute communications activities for the Lab’s National Security portfolio of research/projects/initiatives.

-Develop communications strategies with internal partners and communications colleagues; identify opportunities, define audiences, develop messages, outline activities and channels, and organize teams to fulfill the goals, objectives and tactics of the communications plan(s).

-Define, vet, and implement an appropriate digital strategy for Lab’s National Security mission and its portfolio of research/projects/initiatives; advise on the creation of digital content and grow the use of visual storytelling.

-Prepare and/or lead presentations.

-Maintain a high-level of discretion and demonstrate good judgement in handling sensitive information.

As a Communications Professional and Project Manager:

-Provide substantial communications support to the National Security mission space—this includes writing or collaborating with Communications Division peers on content for campaigns, highlights, documents and letters; drafting presentations; writing and staging content on websites; tracking/reporting the impact of National Security related communications efforts, etc.

-Team with Digital Media specialists to utilize multiple social media platforms as well as social media management tools to convey impact and publicize the Lab’s National Security mission.

-Develop a strategy for curating National Security’s S&T highlights; build and administer a tracking system; develop content, and implement identified tactics.

-Work with partners and internal teams to ensure that each communications project or product is aligned with the Laboratory’s mission, vision and communications strategy; is appropriate for the intended audience; stimulates a preferred action; and meets the partners’ goals and expectations.

-Using project management/workflow software, originate projects and collaborate with Communications Division managers to ensure that resources are allocated to complete the project or product. Oversee day-to-day production details related to each project or product as needed, ensuring quality and on-time delivery of all components.

-Organize and review any currently available content at the start of each project or product.

-Work with partners to vet and approve developed content, making changes as required. Accept accountability for final signoff of communications materials, approving quality and fit-for-purpose of each deliverable.

-Take the lead in problem solving with partners and fellow communications staff. Look for opportunities to improve and enhance communication and service to partners.

-Lead and participate in team meetings at key points during production.

As Member of the Communications Division:

-In collaboration with the other National Security Partners, report regularly to the Science and Technology Communications Manager and Director of Communications on the communications activities related to the Lab’s National Security mission.

-Represent the Communications Division at researchers’ team meetings.

-Attend and contribute to Communications staff meetings.

-Recommend new approaches, policies and procedures to effect continual improvement.

-Advocate for strategic communications processes and results-oriented tactics.

-Demonstrate exemplary customer service.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree plus 5 years of expeirence; or advanced degree plus 2 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

-Current and valid security clearance.

-Familiarity with project management software.

-Understanding of and experience in communicating in a national security domain.

-Ability to understand and support a scientific mission for U.S. Government agencies, including Homeland Security, Defense, and Nuclear Security.

-Ability to comfortably interact with understand the need and mission relevance of sponsoring agencies, including the ability to integrate their wants, needs and preferences into a communications strategy.

-Proven track record of effective collaboration with and strategic support for senior executives that includes offering counsel and building action-oriented communications strategies.

-Demonstrated success developing and implementing strategic communications plans and principles.

-Strong customer service orientation and comfort and familiarity working with scientists, engineers, programmers and researchers.

-Excellent written, oral, interpersonal and project management skills with the creative talent to refine complex technical scientific content into short, crisp, clear and impactful messages; experience leading, overseeing and/or editing the work of other communicators.

-Ability to obtain a security clearance.

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

Directorate: Comm & Information Technology

Job Category: HR/Legal/Communications

Group: S&T Communications

Opening Date: 2018-07-13

Closing Date: 2018-09-11