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Job ID: 2022-14335 Type: Full-Time # of Openings: 1 Category: Communications and Public Relations
The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a U.S. Department of Energy’s collaborative national laboratory, operated by Princeton University for the advancement of fusion energy research. PPPL staff are dedicated to developing the scientific and technological knowledge base for fusion energy as a safe, economical, and environmentally attractive energy source for the world’s long-term energy requirements. The Laboratory advances the coupled fields of fusion energy and plasms physics research, and with collaborators, is developing the scientific understanding and key innovations. An associated mission is providing the highest quality of scientific education and contributions to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pipeline development.
The Laboratory is managed by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States sitting on 91 acres on Princeton University’s James Forrestral Campus, about three miles from Princeton University main campus. For more information, please visit:
IF YOU WISH TO BE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED FOR THIS POSITION, PLEASE SEND RESUME/CV, COVER LETTER with SALARY REQUIREMENTS TO:PPPL-HOC@dhrglobal.com
PPPL is seeking a highly motivated Head of Communications to join the leadership team of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The selected candidate will be responsible for providing strategic leadership to deliver outstanding external and internal communication to advance the Laboratory’s identity, reputation, and mission on a national and international scale. As the organization expands over the next five years, the selected candidate will assist the Laboratory in developing familiarity and reputation in new sectors with new partners while strengthening internal messaging and communication to enhance alignment and mission success.
The role reports to the Laboratory’s Executive Management Team under direct supervision by the Chief Operating Officer and will work collaboratively with internal constituents such as the Laboratory Leadership Council, department heads, staff, and senior administrators throughout the Lab to develop strategies and practices that: build public understanding and support for PPPL’s research mission; cultivate awareness of PPPL’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and build mutually beneficial relations between PPPL and its stakeholders including the U.S. Department of Energy, other federal agencies, Princeton University, and selected partnering organizations.
The Head of Communications will be called upon to offer communications advice, provide messaging on major institutional decisions, and give guidance on selected initiatives. The role is also responsible for developing and maintaining a broad set of external relationships with the media, both locally and nationally in conventional, digital, and social-media formats. The role oversees a team of content developers who source from across the organization.
Directs the Laboratory’s external communication activities on a wide range of platforms: web-based and print publications, social media, media relations, and press releases; ensures strategic, well-written, and consistent messaging and content across platforms; ensures that external communication activities are proactive, accurate and effective, and that they help the Laboratory carry out its mission with support from stakeholders.
Directs PPPL’s internal communication activities on varying platforms to ensure alignment and efficient functioning and engagement across the Laboratory in support of the mission.
Develop and lead an institutional strategy for publicly communicating and advocating the goals and priorities of PPPL especially to new audiences.
Collaborate with and serve as a resource for senior Laboratory leaders with specific communications-related strategies and initiatives.
Ensure that PPPL is proactive and strategic in the media and that it leverages its ability to advocate for broader issues facing the Lab and fusion energy science and technology.
Collaborate with PPPL leaders to devise swift responses to unexpected events and issues; serve as a valued contributor to any crisis management effort.
Lead PPPL’s communications efforts by overseeing communications products including graphics, photography, videos, websites, and so on.
Direct and manage the Communications team and, at times, engage external freelance specialists.
Produce written content aimed at external audiences: Collaborate with PPPL’s world class researchers to translate research results into real-world impact.
Evaluate and steward the Laboratory’s inventory of existing content. Benchmark peer websites, newsletters, printed materials, and social media. Create workflows that efficiently harness other internal research and policy content generated at PPPL.
Manage PPPL’s communication strategy to make PPPL’s research and policy work widely accessible to students, policy makers, media, and peer researchers. This includes managing PPPL’s social media strategy and disseminating news about research and policy work in a timely manner.
Represent the Laboratory as part of the National Laboratories Chief Communications Officers working group.
Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree required/Master’s degree preferred in physics, communications, or a related discipline.
10 - 15 or more years of experience in academic, corporate, or federal government communications or technology environments, including progressively responsible leadership roles, overseeing innovative communications, content, and technological solutions for managing visual information, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Willingness to be in the office ~3 days/week.
Knowledge of Drupal, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and/or Hootsuite is a plus.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Demonstrated ability to lead and effectively manage a communications program from needs analysis to conception, design, writing and production.
Strong preference for experience with a communications program in a scientific context.
Deep appreciation of and belief in PPPL’s mission and the role it plays within its community and the world.
Vision and insight relevant to the design and implementation of a communications strategy that advances PPPL’s long-term mission and enables it to respond effectively to crises and other immediate challenges.
A highly communicative and collaborative leadership style that fosters an environment of trust among a broad stakeholder community.
Proven track record as a people manager that builds and enhances strong and diverse teams.
Skillful advocate and practitioner, as well as an exceptional leader and manager of people; proven ability to develop and nurture talent.
Strong commitment to diversity and inclusion; demonstrated ability to build relationships with people having a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to serve as a Laboratory representative and spokesperson in a variety of settings.
Significant experience and success in working with the media.
Extraordinary judgment and the highest degree of personal integrity and ethical standard.
Demonstrated ability to write about science and technology is a plus, but ability and willingness to learn about PPPL’s expertise is a must (interviewed candidates will be asked to provide a portfolio of their work).
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to manage the work of external writers, graphic artists, web specialists and photographers.
Critical Competencies / Critical Success Factors:
5+ years in communications leadership.
Ability to translate science and technical advancements into a coherent organizational communications plan that advances engagement of internal and external constituents
Proficient with digital and traditional communication channels advancing organizational brand and stakeholder awareness
Precision with managing communications in the public sector and mitigating reputational risk from adverse events
Experienced building a team delivering impactful communications to internal and external constituents
Experience translating organization strategy into effective execution capabilities while informing strategy
Experience broadening organizational reach to new audiences
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW
Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. All PPPL employees are required to disclose any participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program and may be required to withdraw from such programs to remain employed under the DOE Contract.
Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering.As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching.Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,200 undergraduate students and 2,600 graduate students. The University's generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.
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