The Senior Director, External Affairs, is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with civic, government and political stakeholders to advance the mission of Georgia Aquarium. The role requires the ability to cultivate partnerships and organize initiatives that support the Aquarium’s business, conservation, education, and community-engagement goals.
The senior director will work closely with the CEO and other senior leaders of the organization to assess opportunities and risks and develop appropriate strategies and priorities. Based on this direction, the senior director will engage elected officials at the local, state, and federal level, governmental agencies, NGOs, industry coalitions, community groups and other partners to generate results.
The ideal candidate will be able to work with diverse external audiences, employing creative approaches to find common ground to effect change. Internally, the senior director will collaborate closely with numerous teams, notably Marketing, Communications, Research & Conservation, Development, Education and Business Affairs. As a highly visible representative of Georgia Aquarium, the senior director must possess strong community awareness, sensitivity, and sound judgment.
- Develop and execute Georgia Aquarium’s comprehensive government relations, legislative and policy agenda.
- Manage the activities of the Aquarium’s lobbying and government relations firms and other consultants.
- Represent Georgia Aquarium as required with agencies, legislative bodies, and community groups, either alone or alongside relevant subject-matter experts or leaders.
- In collaboration with the Communications team, identify significant public policy issues related to the Aquarium’s activities and help develop comprehensive media and public communication strategies.
- Elevate Georgia Aquarium’s profile in the Atlanta region as an inclusive, community-focused non-profit. Spearhead initiatives to increase community impact.
- Identify and engage key opinion leaders at the local, state, and national level in order to build mutually beneficial relationships.
- Organize one-on-one meetings, tours, advocacy days and other activities with Aquarium leaders and experts to engage officials, civic leaders, and other stakeholders on matters of importance to the organization.
- Partner with colleagues at other aquariums and zoos to promote causes and issues of vital interest to the industry. Serve on relevant industry committees and task forces.
- Actively seek innovative opportunities for Georgia Aquarium to be a leader in the community in areas aligned with its mission and purpose.
- Through formal and informal means, keep senior leadership informed of key issues, opportunities and threats and related action plans.
- Ensure adherence to GAI brand standards and guidelines in all internal and external communications.
- Perform other duties as needed.
- Bachelor’s degree in communications, political science, or a related field.
- Minimum 8 years’ experience in community engagement, government affairs and/or public policy.
- Strong working knowledge of political, regulatory, and legislative processes and effective means of influencing policy.
- Experience in developing successful public/private partnerships and community-based initiatives.
- Understanding of Atlanta community and political landscape is highly desired.
- Experience working to advance the mission of a non-profit organization is a plus.
- Experience with issues related to aquariums, zoos or conservation organizations is a plus.
- Strong executive presence in an approachable and collaborative style.
- Effective problem analysis and resolution skills.
- Above average ability to organize, manage time and set priorities while meeting deadlines.
- Superior verbal, written and visual communication skills.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
- Strong interpersonal and management skills with the ability to interact positively at all levels within the organization, community and with business and political leaders who influence the Aquarium’s success.
Physical Demands & Work Environment:
- The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
- Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell.
- The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
- While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.
- The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
- I commit to Georgia Aquarium, Inc. to be a part of the following:
- Mission: Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit committed to inspiring awareness and preservation of our ocean and Aquatic animals worldwide.
- Vision: To be the Premier Aquarium in the World for Science, Entertainment, Education and Conservation.
- Values: Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, Innovation, Leadership, Excellence, Appreciation & Inclusion
Minimum 8 years experience