Communications Officer - Heising-Simons Foundation

About the Heising-Simons Foundation

Established in 2007 by husband and wife Board Members Mark Heising and Liz Simons, the Heising-Simons Foundation is dedicated to sustainable solutions in environment, supporting groundbreaking research in science, and enhancing the education of the nation’s youngest learners. The Foundation makes grants at the local, state, and national levels.

The Foundation’s grantmaking is guided by the following values:

• We believe education is the route to opportunity.

• We are committed to promoting sustainability.

• We believe in research-driven solutions.

• We are committed to engaging and uniting stakeholders.

Position Summary

The Communications Officer reports to the Director of Communication and works with the full Communications team to advance Foundation and programmatic goals through the use of strategic communications. This includes work related to organizational communications, programmatic communications, and work with grantees. The Communications Officer is responsible for helping design and implement approaches and tactics that 1) achieve and further programmatic goals, and 2) develop grantees’ use of communications. Additionally, the Communications Officer will be responsible for drafting and editing content, helping manage consultants, and will serve as an active thought partner to the rest of the Communications team and to the Foundation’s program officers. This is an exciting opportunity for a talented and intellectually curious team-oriented individual to serve as an integral member of a new and developing team, and help define opportunities for the department and Foundation.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities

1. Contribute to the design, implementation, and management of communication approaches and tactics for select program areas, with an understanding of determinants of impact and success.

2. Design, develop, and execute programs to help grantees use communications to further their goals and grow their capacity including through trainings, the sharing of opportunities and tools, and connecting grantees to each other.

3. Under the guidance of the Director, serve as a thought-partner to program officers and to grantees, helping them think through communications goals, audiences, tactics, and message development.

4. Contribute to Foundation written materials that help achieve programmatic and organizational goals and that encourage transparency.

5. Edit Foundation materials as needed.

6. Identify external relationships that help achieve programmatic and organizational goals.

7. Effectively manage consultants and relationships with partners.

8. Serve as supportive, creative, and flexible team member on projects and initiatives.

Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities

  • A bachelor’s degree is required, with preferably at least seven years of demonstrated work experience
  • Proven track record developing communication strategies and campaigns
  • Excellent analytic abilities and critical thinking skills, with ability to both see the bigger picture and map a road towards achieving goals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with proven ability to translate complex concepts into digestible language for multiple audiences
  • Ability to manage projects and balance multiple priorities
  • A high degree of flexibility
  • Ability to plan and prioritize work and meet deadlines
  • Intellectual curiosity, passion, and hunger to develop, learn, and try new things
  • Track record of working with a high-functioning team
  • Foundation experience a plus
  • Technologically savvy with, at a minimum, proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, including PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook, and social media platforms
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including being articulate, collegial, energetic, and the ability to develop strong relationships with colleagues, partners, and consultants
  • Highly organized, creative, and flexible
  • Sense of teamwork, community, and humor

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, welcomes a diverse pool of applicants, and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Foundation policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, military service, legally protected medical condition, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.

Applicants with Disabilities

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with disabilities may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Benefits and Compensation

The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with education and experience. This nonexempt, full-time position is located in Los Altos, California.

Application Instructions

To apply for this position, please send cover letter, resume, and salary history to hr@heisingsimons.org with “Communications Officer” in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.