The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a Senior Writer for Communications to be based at its Philip Merrill Environmental Center headquarters located in Annapolis, MD.

About the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Established in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest regional nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to saving the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams, and the wildlife that call it home through education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration. Since 2010, CBF has engaged in a focused effort to defend and implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, a binding federal and state collaborative agreement aimed at reducing pollution to the science-based, legally-affirmed levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Blueprint is expected to be fully implemented by 2025. If the states and the federal government achieve Blueprint goals, the Bay will finally—after decades of failed efforts—be removed from the Clean Water Act’s impaired waters list. Successfully implementing the Blueprint depends on a well-informed, engaged, active, and diverse constituency of members, advocates, and volunteers who speak up and take action to save the Bay.

CBF has a staff of approximately 190 employees working in offices in Annapolis, Maryland; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. as well as 15 field education program locations. Our staff and volunteer corps work throughout the region educating students and adults, advocating for clean water policies, restoring waterways, and litigating when necessary.

CBF’s headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland is the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, the world’s first U.S. Green Build Council’s LEED platinum building. In 2014, CBF opened the Brock Environmental Center—one of the world’s most energy efficient, environmentally smart buildings—in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

CBF has an annual budget of approximately $26 million and is supported by more than 275,000 members and e-subscribers. For more information on CBF, please visit

CBF’s Communications Department is one of four operating program areas within CBF. The others are Environmental Restoration and Protection (policy, science, and restoration), Environmental Education (outdoor field experiences for students and teachers, environmental literacy, and student leadership), and Litigation.

Communications’ charge is to market CBF and its policy agenda, educate and engage the public, and mobilize support for organizational priorities. Communications also manages internal communications and public opinion research.

Communications’ tactics are to develop well-researched messages and deliver them through integrated channels, including: publications such as CBF’s member magazine, brochures, and regular (annual, milestones, State of the Bay) and special reports (“Bad Waters,” “Human Health,” “Crabs,” “Oysters,” etc.); all aspects of earned, paid, or donated media; all aspects of digital media, including our website, social media, outbound e-mails; and any other forms of direct or indirect communications with the public at large or a subset of the public including our members and staff.

The Communications Department is organized around four primary functional areas: creative services; media (earned, paid, and public service); digital communications, and marketing/community engagement.

Context of the Position

The Senior Writer collaborates with each of the teams and is the primary writer for key institutional program and policy pieces as well as talking points, blogs, and magazine articles, thus, works closely with other departments. The Senior Writer reports to the Senior Director of Communications and will work closely with others on a project-by-project basis.

The primary responsibilities of this position are to provide clear, compelling, and original editorial content (regular and special reports, white papers, etc.), to serve as the chief copy editor for the Communications department, and to develop other written content in support of all Communications products and channels. This content should be of interest to the man in the street, written in lay language consistent with CBF’s style guide, and bring alive our primary initiatives.

Essential Functions

  • Collaborate with other Communications team members as well as subject matter experts in other departments to execute a content marketing strategy taking the lead on producing the required written content for both earned media (op-eds, letters to the editor, etc.) and CBF-owned media (website, magazines, social media, e-mails).
  • Contribute to other communications products, including, but not limited to, developing talking point memos for staff, drafting speeches and editorial content for leadership, as well as writing features for our Save the Bay member magazine, blog, and e-newsletters.
  • In close collaboration with organizational subject matter experts and Communications Department colleagues, have primary responsibility for the development of special reports like our biennial State of the Bay report and white papers in support of organizational priorities.
    • Have a clear outcome goal for each report, which is shared with and approved by key programmatic leadership,
    • Conduct research by reviewing primary research, interviewing experts, and conferring with internal experts,
    • Ensure impeccable citation of research as well as internal and external review of content and citation,
    • Serve as the primary writer for content to be used in regular and special reports, white papers, or other products, and
    • Collaborate with the digital and traditional media teams as well as with other program staff to ensure strategic release, dissemination, and shelf life plans for these products.
  • Serve as chief copy editor for, and provide editorial assistance to, all Communications staff to include reviewing highly visible written content such as annual reports, magazines, direct mail and digital fundraising copy, and action alerts.
  • Develop Making History campaign content for the media, print, electronic publications, and other points of distribution; and support campaign activity as needed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Professional Experience and Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in a related field required. Eight years professional experience required. Must have exceptional, documented content development experience, as well as a firm grasp of the issues facing the Chesapeake Bay and the solutions proposed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills in a high pressure, fast-paced, deadline-driven environment is desired. Must be able to multi-task and balance changing priorities due to external pressures as directed by Vice President of Communications or other CBF staff member(s).

A background in journalism or related field preferred. Ability to write quickly and accurately and vary writing voice for audience critical. Outstanding editing and proofreading skills also required. Familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style preferred. Ability to work in teams and with diverse personalities critical. Attention to detail, organization, respect for deadlines as well as roles and responsibilities, and creativity also essential.  Must be proficient in computer applications, including MS Office software. Multimedia/video production and script writing experience would be a plus. Proficiency in Spanish also a plus, but not required.

The successful candidate will have a fervent love of language and the desire to reach and motivate audiences through informative, creative, and emotional stories. He/she will also have skills translating sometimes technical and remote topics into engaging, educational, inspiring, and persuasive material. Environmental writing experience, especially about Chesapeake Bay issues, is essential. Must be available for some travel and off-site work.

How to Apply

Using the link below, please submit a cover letter and resume no later than January 11, 2019.

CBF offers a comprehensive benefits package to include: 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, health, vision, dental, life insurance, and a tax deferred retirement plan. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.