America and the world have reached a tipping point. Climate change is destroying and burning our most treasured forested landscapes while turning our cities into ovens, aided by lack of trees and the urban heat island effect. Climate impacts are hitting our most vulnerable communities the hardest, worsening already searing inequities along income and racial lines. The natural assets provided by our forests are being diminished, from supplying clean drinking water and habitats for fish and wildlife, to flood protection, to delivering key physical and mental benefits for communities.
This is why on the brink of its 150th Anniversary, American Forests (“AF”) is entering a new, more critical era, one in which we are laser-focused on meeting two most pressing imperatives of this moment — slowing climate change and advancing social and racial equity — with forests and trees at the center. In a time when green spaces have proven their value for people and the planet, our movement has taken flight, which is why we are aiming for a number of bold new goals by 2030 — from reforesting 20 million acres of public land to supporting 100 cities in achieving “tree equity” in their highest-need neighborhoods to helping 100,000 people from our most marginalized communities thrive in the “green jobs” sector.
The Tree Equity program is focused on ensuring that all Americans have access to the health, employment and climate resiliency benefits that trees can provide. Trees help fulfill our basic needs, such as breathing fresh air and drinking clean water. Trees also cool neighborhoods, which reduces heat-related illnesses, utility costs and also generate wealth by creating tree-related career opportunities. Much like buildings, streets and sewer lines, trees are critical infrastructure that improve our quality of life.
But a map of tree cover in America’s cities is too often a map of income and race. That’s because, due to decades of redlining and other discriminatory policies, trees are often sparse in neighborhoods with more low-income families and people of color. Studies show that the neighborhoods that were redlined have fewer trees, preventing the people living there from reaping the benefits trees provide. For more information on our Tree Equity program visit: www.americanforests.org/our-programs/tree-equity
AF now seeks a strategist to lead the development and implementation of all communications and brand activities for Tree Equity, a critical part of our movement to address deep health, social and economic inequities in U.S. cities. The strategies that our new Senior Brand Manager, Urban Forestry and Environmental Justice will design and implement will help AF reach its programmatic, marketing and fundraising goals, alongside AF’s Urban Forestry, Policy & Advocacy, and Philanthropy teams. The Senior Brand Manager will be a critical team member who will serve as a “small business owner” of our Tree Equity communications strategy and campaign. This person is 25% visionary and 75% in the day-to-day but always seeing around the corner for new opportunities to elevate AF’s leadership in the Tree Equity movement as well as take advantage of events, new initiatives, partnerships, grants and other opportunities with the purpose of connecting with target audiences, increasing support and furthering our and our partners’ work around Tree Equity. We are looking for an individual that is equal parts proactive, creative and analytic. S/he should have the ability to strategize around acquiring new audiences, tell stories in an interesting and creative way, dig into data and technical research to unearth the best statistics and manage up and across the organization to share information, spot trends in the Tree Equity movement, identify and engage validators, partners and funders, and help connect these dots across AF’s whole enterprise.
- Serve as a key expert Marketing and Communications resource to around AF’s work on urban forestry and environmental justice (Tree Equity). The Senior Brand Manager will ensure all communication plans and tactics are well informed, data-driven and connected to larger organizational goals and priorities.
- Ability to “see around the corner” and have a clear understanding of the technical side of our Tree Equity work, including understanding audience opportunity and gathering insights to inform short and long term marketing plans and campaigns to promote and engage actors around Tree Equity.
- Develop and execute a brand strategy for the Tree Equity program and communications strategies related to AF’s specific products and tools in our urban forestry practice, such as Tree Equity Score and our Vibrant Cities Lab, as well as its broader Tree Equity campaign to engage influencers, political leaders and mayors, and advocacy groups around the expansion of urban canopy.
- Ensure a consistent and high-quality look and feel for AF’s Tree Equity brand across a variety of internal and external channels including owned and earned, digital and physical.
- Maintain subject matter expertise on the latest urban forestry, climate change, and social justice science, research and policy; stay informed on the environmental justice zeitgeist.
- Represent the Tree Equity program at events and conferences; in partnership with the VP of Marketing and Communications, help prepare American Forests’ CEO and other AF leaders for events and interviews and other public appearances related to Tree Equity.
- Build relationships with AF’s senior leadership and regional staff to develop a clear understanding of program activities and optimize communication strategies; communicate program results and key trends to AF’s executive-level and management teams and external partners in the form of reports, presentations, briefings, road shows and the like.
- Hire, train, manage and develop cross-disciplinary teams, beginning with one project manager, to define and activate all key components of brand integration; hire and manage consultants and agencies as needed.
- Form and manage new strategic external partnerships, including with private corporations, peer organizations, media outlets, influencers and thought leaders, government agencies and officials.
- Design and execute crisis management strategies, as needed; track and manage Tree Equity communications budget, as needed.
DESIRED SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Bachelor’s degree and 6 – 8 years of demonstrated success in conceptualizing, developing and implementing communications strategies.
- Experience working in communications at a conservation or environmental organization.
- Proven interest and expertise on latest environmental justice research and policy; education or professional background in climate science or social justice a major plus.
- Demonstrated excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills, including in managing and developing staff.
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills, as well as organizational and project management skills.
- Strong creative thinker and proactive problem ‘solver.
LOCATION & WORKING CONDITIONS
This position will initially be remote, with later possibilities for working in American Forests’ Washington, DC office. Occasional travel to American Forests projects and events will be required.
This position does not have any supervisory requirements.
To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, resume, and two communications campaigns/projects examples to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Forests is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.
If you are unable to submit your resume due to a disability, contact American Forests to request an accommodation or alternative application process.