Director of Science Communications

The Health Effects Institute seeks to hire a Director of Science Communications to manage and enhance communication of HEI-funded science research on the health effects of air pollution and unconventional oil and gas development to U.S. and global audiences, advancing HEI’s reputation as a trusted source of science.

Reporting directly to the President, the individual will oversee in-house and consulting communications and publications staff and work closely with HEI science staff and outside funded investigators to manage communications in a variety of forms aimed at scientists, policy makers, sponsors, journalists, NGOs, and the broader interested public, through digital and print platforms. The individual will be responsible for communications strategy, brand management, and content development across HEI’s air pollution, energy, and global health programs.

Media will include HEI’s websites, social media, the press, published scientific reports, webinars, annual conference promotion, factsheets, and other avenues to be developed by the Director.

The Director has the following responsibilities:

• Oversee development and management of the overall communications plan for the three HEI programs — HEI’s core air pollution and health efforts, HEI-Energy, and Global Health — while maintaining brand consistency. Develop strategies to improve and build on current communication channels and priorities using best practices, while ensuring that the appropriate levels of quality and timeliness are maintained.

• Oversee management of the design and implementation — working with the Digital Communications Manager and other staff — of the three main HEI websites (www.healtheffects.org, www.stateofglobalair.org, and www.hei-energy.org).

• Oversee development of the content calendar and implementation of mass e-mail, newsletters, social media, and videos, in coordination with program staff and the Digital Communications Manager.

• Collaborate with the Director of Science, Managing Scientist, and Senior Editorial Manager to improve prioritizing, forecasting, and monitoring of the production timeline for HEI’s scientific reports (Research Reports, Special Reports, Communications, HEI-Energy reports, and Global Health reports including State of Global Air annual report, among other documents).

• Oversee development and publication of broader audience communications such as HEI’s Update newsletter and the Annual Report, working with the Editorial Project Manager. Identify other strategies for brand promotion and audience engagement.

• Manage applications for copyright of HEI publications and websites and coordinate with the Senior Editorial Manager to maintain HEI’s relationship with the National Library of Medicine, including PubMed and PubMed Central.

• Consult with the Director of Finance and Administration on personnel concerns and major operation and financial policy matters.

• Lead and mentor the Communications team, including the Digital Communications Manager, Editorial Project Manager, and Senior Editorial Manager.

• Hire and manage outside consultants and in-house communications and publications staff as needed.

Requisite Skills and Knowledge

Position requires in-depth knowledge of science communications; excellent expository and technical writing skills; familiarity with biological and medical science and terminology; and knowledge of the production and publication process.

Extensive experience in digital communications necessary (including mass e-mail, social media, video, and web-based communications). Demonstrated public communication, supervisory, and time management skills required. Experience working with people from diverse technical backgrounds and in highly collaborative settings desired.

Completion of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with graduate degree preferred. Seven to ten years of progressively responsible communications experience, including project and employee management experience.

HEI offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits, including HEI contributions to a retirement savings plan, health insurance coverage, and family-friendly leave policies.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit their applications via email to HEI Human Resources (HR@healtheffects.org) and include a cover letter (including salary expectations and citizenship/immigration status), resume, 3 writing samples, and names of 3 references (who will not be contacted without advance notice to you). Please include “Director of Science Communications 2021 Position” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin on May 5, 2021, with interviews starting in the following weeks, but the position will be open until a suitable candidate is found. Interviews will be conducted virtually.

Please send your materials to:
HR@healtheffects.org


The Health Effects Institute (HEI), a leading independent, nonprofit research institute, has provided rigorous, impartial, and important science to the national and global public debate on the health effects of air pollution over nearly four decades. In recent years, HEI’s work has expanded beyond air pollution to include potential exposures and health effects associated with oil and natural gas development in the United States. Supported jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry (the motor vehicle industry and the oil and gas industry), and by domestic and international foundations and other partners, HEI provides science to inform key national and international regulatory decisions and other actions that are directly relevant to improving air quality and health. HEI’s approach is centered on funding high-quality, independent scientific studies that are strategically selected and carefully designed to inform upcoming decisions about air quality policy. HEI funds research at leading institutions throughout the world through competitive selection processes, oversees this research attentively, and publishes its findings broadly, enabling policymakers to apply it in their actions to protect the public health. Periodically, HEI also reviews various bodies of literature to reach overarching conclusions about the state of the science. Information on HEI is available at www.healtheffects.org.


Health Effects Institute is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff.