Communications Specialist - NAM Office of Communications

Washington D.C.
Feb 13, 2018
Mar 17, 2018
Full Time

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.


Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is one of three Academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) in the United States. Operating under the 1863 Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health. Studies from the National Academies are often congressionally mandated or commissioned by government agencies, and their recommendations can have lasting impact on domestic and global policy.


The NAM Office of Communications oversees the NAM website and social media channels; manages its publications, including the Perspectives platform; and plans and executes integrated communications strategies to maximize the impact of NAM programs.




Under general guidance and direction, the Communications Specialist plans, develops, and coordinates internal and external communications and media projects, programs, events, outreach and dissemination activities, and/or media relations. Establishes, designs, and oversees implementation of communication, media, and dissemination projects, using various media such as print, electronic, video, and web-based products. Advises staff on communication and dissemination strategies and develops strategies for public release and media activities. Negotiates, plans, and implements communication and media strategies. Expands the National Academies' presence and product awareness through communication and media efforts through a variety of media.


Incumbents in this job perform more complex writing and oversight activities than that performed at the Associate level and work more independently and autonomously. This job supports managers and supervisors by assisting with supervision of staff and may be responsible for full supervision of nonexempt staff, but typically is not responsible for managing a unit's media or communications group.




1. Manages production and publication of Perspectives, the NAM's online discussion paper and commentary series (approx. 50 papers per year). Coordinates editorial oversight and review; permissions, copyright, conflict-of interest and other requirements; and copyediting. Establishes and adheres to publication schedules. Lays out print and digital versions of papers. Liaises with internal and external stakeholders to develop and execute promotion plans.


2. Manages production and publication of NAM special publications (book-length reports) (approx. 5 per year). Coordinates editorial oversight and review; permissions, copyright, conflict-of-interest and other requirements; cover design, copyediting, layout, and proofreading; and distribution and marketing. Establishes and adheres to production budgets and publication schedules. Liaises with external publishing contractor. Works with internal and external stakeholders to develop and execute promotion plans.


3. Independently writes articles, columns, information pieces, news releases, publication announcements, and media advisories relating to complex scientific and engineering topics for various mediums, including online and print newsletters, journals, and magazines.


4. Composes and/or edits report summaries, briefs, flyers, postcards, CDs, videos, and other special dissemination products. Provides advice and technical assistance or directly assists in the production of popular or specialized audience versions of products.


5. Explores and develops new ways to communicate activities and to disseminate reports and information and to expand the audience for these products. Keeps abreast of science policy and relevant science news stories.


6. Works with staff and committees in developing publication, distribution, and implementation strategies and to identify appropriate vehicles for reaching target audiences.


7. Creates and maintains online content, including web sites and social media channels. Provides technical and strategic expertise in the use of online technologies.


8. Collaborates with appropriate units and staff to maintain and expand effective internal communications.


9. Develops and maintains a network of stakeholder and interested public contacts (e.g., nongovernmental organizations), worldwide media contacts, outside experts and service providers. Maintains an ongoing dialogue with outside audiences.


10. Organizes and conducts news conferences and public briefings, both in-person events and on the Web. Promotes and publicizes events, public meetings, and other programs and activities.


11. Provides oversight of production of online products and services for authors, journalists, and the general public, such as electronic newsletters and other web-based and email outreach tools. May oversee the report production function.


12. Trains and mentors staff. May assign and review the work of junior staff. Offers technical training to program staff on communications initiatives and tools (e.g. web content management software).


13. May identify donors for core dissemination efforts and help write proposal text for budgets. May coordinate event fundraising efforts, in collaboration with the Office of Development.




Ability to solve problems of appreciable variety and complexity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate independently, and exercise appreciable latitude for independent judgment, discretion, and action. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop effective working relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.

If you already have an account created with the Academies, to apply to this position, click “Add to my Jobs” with your login information. If this is your first time applying with the Academies, please click “Apply for this position” below.