Communications Sections Chief (information Officer Iii)

Fairfax, Virginia
$68,720.08 - $114,533.12 Annually
Aug 25, 2020
Sep 05, 2020
Full Time
Job Announcement

Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) is seeking a Communications Section Chief who will serve as the primary media spokesperson for the department. The position directs internal and external communication, supports outreach and education activities for the department's four business areas: Solid Waste Management, Wastewater Management, Stormwater Management, and Capital Facilities, and supervises communications and information professionals.

The successful candidate will be able to:
  • Develop a high volume of time sensitive written, graphic, audio, and video deliverables.
  • Develop strong partnerships with the DPWES Web Team, outreach and education teams, project management teams as well as the County's Office of Public Affairs.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive internal and external DPWES communication strategy for employees, residents, news media, elected officials, private sector, regional partners, and other important stakeholders.
  • Be on call during emergency events (after hours when needed) to coordinate emergency messaging and address urgent, time sensitive issues.
  • Work shifts in the Emergency Operations Center as needed during emergency incidents.

Illustrative Duties

  • Serves on 24-hour call, with responsibility for notifying County officials of significant incidents;
  • Makes decisions under pressure and deadlines regarding information that may be released to the press;
  • Coordinates and provides information regarding emergency incidents and other sensitive matters to the news media;
  • Supervises the work of subordinates engaged, in public information activities;
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with members of the media;
  • Responds to requests for information regarding agency/County programs;
  • Provides assistance to agency/County staff as to the most effective means of communicating information to the general public, government employees, and other target groups;
  • Coordinates electronic FOIA issues;

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Detailed knowledge of the requirements of the media regarding content, format, and timing of official releases;
  • Knowledge of new media and its applications;
  • Ability to adapt broadly defined policy guidance to specific situations with a minimal amount of supervision;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Ability to participate in meaningful interchange of views on matters of critical importance to the County;
  • Ability to plan and review the work of others;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with the public, the press, and County employees.

Employment Standards


Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following: (Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for “Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to”) Bachelor’s degree in journalism, government, public administration, or a related field; plus six years of progressively responsible experience in public information, broadcasting, or

publications editing.

Valid driver's license.

The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, credit check, and driving record check to the satisfaction of the employer.

  • At least seven years of progressively responsible experience in areas of public communication, information and education, community outreach and engagement, and internal and external communication.
  • Demonstrated experience and results in establishing relationships and collaborating with diverse groups within and external to a large organization to accomplish work assignments.
  • Professional public communications and outreach experience working in federal, state, or local government or non-profit organizations.
  • At least two years of supervisory or team lead experience.
  • Demonstrated communication skills to clearly communicate orally and in writing so that the message is understood by target audience.
  • Demonstrated experience providing advice and counsel on strategic and/or critical organizational communications issues.
  • Demonstrated experience using varied communications tools (including e-based applications) to promote and inform stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience that reveals personal organizational skills to effectively work on several projects at the same time and achieve project objectives.

Ability to communicate clearly and effectively orally and in writing. Ability to lift up to 15 pounds. Ability to operate keyboard driven equipment. Ability to travel and transport material to meetings and gatherings throughout the county. Job is generally sedentary. Sufficient mobility to prepare and setup supporting material and equipment, attend, participate, and visually capture and facilitate meetings/events throughout the County. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel interview and may include exercise.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or status as a veteran in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.