Pacific Northwest National Laboratory S&T Communications Partner, National Security Mission in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308294

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 communicates PNNL’s extraordinary work in National Security! The S&T Communications group – within PNNL’s Communications Division – is a newly formed team focused on delivering stellar customer service, counsel and communications strategy 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 project management to guide and oversee the communications strategy and coordination of deliverables for the Lab’s National Security Directorate. This is a unique role for a strong communicator who also has extensive experience building comprehensive communication strategies, particularly related to national security, cyber security, 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 building comprehensive 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 Communications Counselor, Strategist and Primary Point-of-Contact:

-Provide substantial communications counsel and support to the Associate Lab Director for National Security and the National Security leadership team.

-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, cyber security, data science and analytics, explosives detection, nonproliferation and arms control, radiological and nuclear detection, and systems engineering and integration.

-Maintain a keen understanding of target audiences in the National Security domain including funding sponsors, scientific associations, external collaborators, trade media 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.

-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.

-Define, vet, and implement a comprehensive communications strategy for the Lab’s National Security mission and its portfolio of research/projects/initiatives, including a digital and social media strategy.

-Prepare and/or lead presentations.

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

As a Communications Project Manager:

-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 exceeds the partners’ goals and expectations.

-Using project management/workflow software, originate projects and collaborate with Communications Division staff to ensure resources are allocated appropriately. 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. Serves as facilitator and scheduler of the project.

-Present drafts or proofs to partners, negotiate changes while adhering to best practices, mark up proofs using appropriate notations and pass along feedback to appropriate team members. Clearly convey feedback respectfully, in writing and orally.

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

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

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

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

As a Senior Communicator in PNNL’s Communications Division:

-Report regularly to the Associate Lab Director, Science and Technology Communications Manager and Director of Communications on the communications efforts related to the Lab’s National Security work; propose new, bold ideas to elevate our reach and impact.

-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 7 years of expeirence; or advanced degree plus 4 years of experience.

Preferred Qualifications

-Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, public relations, English, journalism, cyber security, computer engineering, computer networking and security, computer science, information technology, or similar.

-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 overarching communications strategy, and implementing strategic 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.

-A track record of proposing and implementing bold ideas to further communications impact and reach, particularly in the National Security domain.

-Established contacts with major scientific publications, editors, bloggers and influencers covering national security-related topics.

-Active professional society membership and roles.

-Experience formulating media outreach plans and social media plans.

-Familiarity with project management software.

-Familiarity with project management software.

-Current and valid 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

Other Information

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Directorate: Comm & Information Technology

Job Category: HR/Legal/Communications

Group: S&T Communications

Opening Date: 2018-09-10

Closing Date: 2019-03-28