Communications Manager, Energy

Communications Manager, Energy

Application deadline closed.

Job Description



The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many backgrounds.

This position is based within IISD’s Energy Program (, a diverse and dynamic team of more than 40 experts based in IISD’s Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto offices as well as remotely in India, Indonesia, South Africa, and other countries supporting governments in clean and just energy transitions.

The Position

The Communications Manager will develop and oversee the implementation of the communications strategy for the Energy Program. They will lead a team of communications experts working on a diverse range of energy issues, including shifting financial flows from fossil fuels to renewables, supporting oil and gas phase-out, and advocating for a just energy transition. The Communications Manager will spearhead IISD Energy's communication efforts across Canada, South Africa, Indonesia, India, and globally.

With a talent for impact-focused storytelling and making complex ideas accessible, the successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, collaborative leader, and multitasker. A proven track record of contributing to climate mitigation and energy transition initiatives is essential.


Leadership and Management

  • Develop program communication and advocacy capacity, including line management and recruitment of communications staff and consultants
  • Oversee a communications pipeline and staff time commitments; liaise with program leadership to ensure coverage of communications needs in business development and budgeting
  • Set quality expectations for communications staff and ensure appropriate quality assurance and control measures
  • Serve as communications advisor to IISD senior staff.

Strategy and Creative Content

  • Develop and execute implementation of the communications strategy for the Energy Program
  • Ensure the delivery of program-wide and project-specific communication activities seeking impact against strategic goals in coordination with program leads and external partners and networks
  • Support fundraising efforts as appropriate by leading or contributing to communication-specific project proposals and reporting on impact
  • Ensure and contribute to the timely delivery of content, editing various copy, such as press releases, newsletters, funder updates, articles, presentations, and other outreach materials
  • Identify areas for improvement in both editorial approach and process.

Public Engagement and Social Media

  • Stay on the cusp of new developments in industry best practice for social media and lead strategy on how we engage in collaborations, conversations, and promotions on social media platforms
  • Cultivate and nourish relationships with key stakeholders and external partners, ranging from contacts in the media to collaborators at civil society organizations.

Media Outreach

  • Secure targeted coverage for IISD research and initiatives in key outlets, working with program-based and core communications teams on a strategy to engage regularly with members of the media.

Digital Strategy

  • Lead website updates and refreshes as part of a broader, SEO-driven digital strategy.

Internal Processes

  • Work closely with the core communications team to advance IISD’s institute-wide strategy and regularly collaborate with other members of the broader communications team;
  • Lead the development of a program-level communications strategy in cooperation with the Energy Program directors; and
  • Maintain strong relationships with all program staff to gain deeper understanding of their research and policy objectives in order to translate their work into communications products that resonate with priority audiences.


  • A university-level degree in journalism, communications, public relations, or other related social science discipline. Alternatively, a degree in international relations, public policy, sustainable development, or a related discipline combined with communications experience could be considered.
  • Ability to travel internationally for communications support as needed (potentially one or two times a year).

Knowledge and Experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience in policy-focused journalism, public relations, or organizational communications
  • At least 5 years working on communications related to international development, climate change, clean energy transition, and/or sustainable development, with a strong preference for substantial experience in the Global South
  • Experience leading communication planning and strategy, involving the development and execution of key messages, social media campaigns, media outreach, etc.
  • Proven track record of managing communications for research products such as reports, policy briefs, etc.
  • Experience and comfort working with digital communication tools such as Drupal, Mailchimp, Google Analytics 4, etc.
  • Demonstrated competence in management and leadership.


  • Strong writing and editing skills for different purposes, including social media posts, long-form articles, op-eds, report summaries, and promotional material
  • Ability to understand and clearly communicate complex, technical information around the major themes within the Energy Program and execute on strategic communications priorities
  • Proficiency in tailoring communication products to diverse audiences, spanning from the general public to highly specific stakeholders
  • Adept at monitoring communication metrics and enhancing processes to drive improved performance
  • Familiarity with project management software such as Asana, Monday, or SharePoint
  • Experience with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other virtual meeting platforms
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. Additional language would be a strong asset.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Results-focused: able to work quickly and accurately to meet tight deadlines and deliver high-impact communications campaigns without compromising on quality
  • Strong leadership skills: able to think critically, plan strategically, seek guidance from peers, and mentor junior staff on the communications team
  • Strong interpersonal skills: able to work comfortably across different cultures, be inclusive and positive, and communicate effectively, both with internal staff and external partners or vendors
  • Strong problem-solving and organizational skills
  • Strong attention to detail, especially in written work

Ability to work independently and with a team.

Position Details

Location: Geneva or Remote within the European Time Zone

**Candidates must have the authorization to work in Geneva during the time of their employment with IISD. IISD is not able to sponsor work permits.**

Salary:CHF96,568- CHF113,848 annually (based on experience and location)

Term: Full-time

Application deadline: October 22, 2023, by 10 p.m. EST.

Start Date: immediate opportunity

Application Procedure

Applications will only be accepted through Bamboo HR. Please include the following:

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumes will be kept on file for one year.

IISD has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy that requires employees who are required or choose to be at an office or participate in in-person team events or in-person meetings/events to be fully vaccinated. Anyone unable to be fully vaccinated, either because of a sincerely held religious belief or a medical condition or disability that prevents them from being fully vaccinated, can request a reasonable accommodation.

IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQIA+ to apply for this position. Preference will be given to the equity-deserving groups during the hiring process. We offer reasonable accommodations in our recruitment process and seek applicants’ advice on how best to accommodate their needs. Please self-identify and answer our employment equity questionnaire on our applicant tracking system when you apply.

IISD does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, caste, ethnicity, religion, colour, disability, marital status, pregnancy, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.