Maryland Sea Grant’s (MDSG) Assistant Director (AD) for Communications will report to the Director and serve as a member of MDSG’s senior management team that reports to both the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the University of Maryland, College Park.

In collaboration with MDSG leadership, the AD will develop and implement a communication strategy for Maryland Sea Grant. In addition, the AD will oversee communications products and programming, manage the communications team, including contractual workers and student interns, and work closely with MDSG’s IT group.

The AD will be MDSG’s liaison with a wide range of internal and external clients and constituents, including marine-related industry groups, academic and research institutions, and others in the marine science and policy arena. They will develop strategies for earned media (TV, radio, news reporting) and owned media (website, social media, etc.). The AD will seek grant opportunities to help carry out the organization’s communication vision.

We are looking for an individual with proven leadership and organizational skills, strong writing and editorial skills, and an enthusiasm for engaging with external partners. This person should work to make MDSG’s communications inclusive, positive, respectful, welcoming, and diverse.


Program Leadership and Staff Development

  • Lead the development and implementation of a MDSG communication strategy in consultation with the communication’s team and senior MDSG leadership and consistent with MDSG’s strategic plan.
  • Lead the communications team in developing innovative products and creating timely content on a variety of communication platforms.
  • Set clear expectations, provide timely feedback and evaluation (both formal and informal), and assure the team’s workload is equitably balanced. This requires a strong ability to manage projects, grants, personnel, budgets, and reporting.
  • Supervise and mentor a team of science communications professionals, including interns and contractors.
  • Support professional development opportunities to strengthen communication skillsets for team members.
  • Work with other senior staff to plan and contribute to reporting, visioning, strategic planning, program organization, grant development, and time management of staff and projects.

Production Oversight

  • Manage communications projects, including production and review of Chesapeake Quarterly magazine articles, blogs, reports, web content, press releases, and other products.
  • Oversee project workflow from conception to completion, ensuring projects are high quality and timely.
  • Oversee dissemination and promotion of MDSG products in a variety of venues and to specific, appropriate audiences, including the media.
  • Measure and report on product performance and program accomplishments.

Program and Project Development

  • Coordinate communication work across MDSG’s core areas of research, extension, education, and administrative teams.
  • Write and manage grants for products and projects relevant to communications and advancing Maryland Sea Grant’s mission.
  • Serve as managing editor for the communications team and occasionally produce original content for MDSG.
  • Work closely with MDSG’s IT team on website development and web content publication.

Strategic Engagement

  • Engage directly with the Chesapeake and coastal bays communities by facilitating meetings and workshops among diverse audiences and different academic disciplines.
  • Coordinate closely with MDSG’s academic partners, in particular communication specialists within the University System of Maryland, to pursue service and strategic opportunities.
  • Maintain contact and coordination with the national network of Sea Grant programs and other Chesapeake Bay groups and stakeholders.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with local, regional, and national journalists/media outlets, and build and maintain a media list.
  • Work with leadership to manage MDSG communications for unexpected events.

A bachelor’s degree in a communication field or relevant science field. At least five years of management and communications experience. Personnel management experience, strong writing and editorial skills, organizational talent, and proven track record of working with external partners.

Demonstrated experience in streamlining workflow and program management. Familiarity with current coastal science and policy issues in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay region is a plus. Experience working in a university setting, and familiarity with grant writing and budgeting are highly desirable.