Sustainability Clinic Communications and Engagement Deputy Director 224238

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI, USA Remote / WFH

Full time

Higher Education

Environmental Social and Governance ESG Policy

Nov 21


There is no greater challenge facing our planet than that of the climate crisis. Now is the time for Michigan to show real leadership and take bold action to facilitate the State’s transition to an equitable and just clean energy economy. As a state, Michigan is at a critical point as it works toward carbon neutrality, accelerates climate action, and seeks a sustainable future. In this role, the successful candidate will work to develop effective engagement and communications strategies to build support for game-changing sustainability-related climate actions, technology, programs, and policies that will create systemic, equitable, and lasting change. Achieving this is going to take widespread support across all sectors of society to ensure that solutions prioritize impacted communities and workers. Frontline communities and environmental justice groups must also play an important role throughout the process.

We are looking for a skilled strategic communicator who will help develop a statewide communications strategy for advancing sustainability-related transitions across the state of Michigan through the University of Michigan’s new Michigan Sustainability Clinic hosted by the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS).

This position will leverage the power of effective network building and storytelling to cultivate relationships with partners, decision-makers, and the public in key regions through social media, op-eds, press releases, articles, and website content, focus groups, symposia and colloquia, newsletters, direct one-on-one and multiparty in-person engagement, and other tactics. It will also work to inform the public about the economic and business opportunities, jobs, and other overarching benefits of transitioning to a carbon-neutral future.

What You'll Do

  • In partnership with SEAS Executive Director of Communications and the Sustainability Clinic Director, develop and execute a strategic communications plan and marketing tactics to advance climate action in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.
  • Coalition building and collaboration: Bring communications skills and strategy to build collaborations between allies in the climate, social justice, environmental, business, civil rights, community, university, and public policy space.
  • Develop a network of experts and influencers across universities and other partners to serve as spokespeople and trusted community advocates.
  • Spearhead and oversee email list outreach, management, and message development
  • Create written and digital communications, press outreach, social and digital content, videos, and other creative tactics that convey the benefits of the transition to a clean energy future.
  • Digital Organizing: Use digital tools to educate the community around climate action and the clinic’s impact goals.
  • Events: Support planning and promotions for a wide variety of engagement events
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of various communications and engagement strategies by establishing metrics.
  • Media Outreach: Maintain media lists and relationships with reporters in key regions, and pitch news stories, events, and op-eds to advance our campaigns and goals.
  • Represent SEAS Sustainability Clinic in meetings, and at events, and offer capacity and support for partners’ priorities, campaigns, and events;

Mission Statement

The School for Environment and Sustainability ( is a collaborative and interdisciplinary school. Our mission includes contributing to the protection of environmental resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. We accomplish this by generating and sharing knowledge, contributing to policy and engaging managers and stakeholders. The University of Michigan is a top-ranked public university with excellence in research and teaching. Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, is a town known for arts, culture, parks and restaurants.

SEAS is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and equitable environment that respects diverse experiences, promotes generous listening and communications, and discourages and restoratively respond to acts of discrimination, harassment, or injustice. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is deeply rooted in our values for a sustainable and just society.

Why Work at Michigan?

Benefits Include

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future.

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses

Required Qualifications*

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience in journalism, communications, marketing, public policy, English, environmental studies and advocacy, public relations, community organizing or a related field
  • Top-notch writing, editing, content creation and verbal communication skills.
  • Professional training and experience in developing press releases, news stories or op-eds, media pitches, talking points, presentations, and social media campaigns;
  • Proven track record for writing and leading the execution of strategic communications and engagement plans
  • Ability to take the initiative to develop new strategies and outside-the-box ideas for social media, engagement, and other platforms.
  • A proven ability to work independently and be self-directed while collaborating well with others in a creative team setting;
  • Organized, motivated, and capable of managing deadlines and fluctuating priorities for an array of projects in a fast-paced environment, while maintaining extreme attention to detail.
  • Passionate about advancing climate action, carbon neutrality, and justice, and a firm understanding of issue advocacy.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to cultivate relationships with a variety of people, including community activists, volunteers, decision-makers, and organization leaders;
  • Experience developing partnerships or building coalitions with socioeconomically diverse groups

Desired Qualifications*

  • Understanding of the climate and sustainability action and advocacy landscape in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Experience in digital marketing or working with creative vendors/a creative team

Additional Information

Salary will be determined based on experience. Flexible/Hybrid work arrangements may be available.

Application Deadline

This job posting will remain open until the position has been filled.

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine. This includes those working remotely and temporary workers. More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.

Apply for this position Back to job

You must be logged in to to apply to this job.


Your application has been successfully submitted.

Please fix the errors below and resubmit.

Something went wrong. Please try again later or contact us.

Personal Information


View resume