Head of Strategic Communications

Global Fishing Watch

Global Fishing Watch

Marketing & Communications
Posted on Thursday, February 8, 2024

Background: Global Fishing Watch is an international, nonprofit organization committed to advancing ocean governance through increased transparency. We create and publicly share knowledge about human activity at sea to enable fair and sustainable use of our ocean. Founded in 2015 through a collaboration between Oceana, SkyTruth, and Google, Global Fishing Watch became an independent nonprofit organization in June 2017.

Using cutting-edge technology, we create and publicly share map visualizations, data and analysis tools to enable scientific research and drive a transformation in how we manage our ocean. Our major focus is on commercial fishing because it is the most widespread human activity at sea, the most impactful on ocean health, and the most crucial for global livelihoods and food security. By 2030, we aim to monitor and visualize the impact of ocean-going vessels, both industrial and small-scale, that are responsible for the vast majority of the global seafood catch. We believe human activity at sea should be common knowledge in order to safeguard the global ocean commons for the common good of all.

The communications function is a core strategic component of Global Fishing Watch’s work, integral to

generating public visibility, building political will, and harnessing its growing international constituency to generate greater transparency in global fisheries. Global Fishing Watch’s communications is built upon impactful messaging, targeted media coverage and engagement at the regional and international levels. Sitting at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and policy, the organization seeks to promote transparency in support of better ocean governance.

Head of Strategic Communications

The head of strategic communications is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing communications plans that advance Global Fishing Watch’s objectives and ensure effective delivery of its goals against the organization’s strategy.

Reporting to the director of communications, the successful candidate will manage a growing team of three staff to guide and execute communications strategies that support engagement with countries and at key fora, demonstrate our science and innovation, and reflect the integration of activities outlined in the organization’s strategic pillars.

The post-holder will work closely with the global delivery and international policy teams to develop and oversee communications plans that further transparency objectives, build international momentum and influence change. He/she will also maintain oversight of communications efforts that support Global Fishing Watch’s research, innovation and tools to ensure strategic alignment and consistency across materials.

Working collaboratively with the director of communications, the successful candidate will help set priorities for the communications team, craft PR and conduct outreach, and identify future communications opportunities aligned with the organization’s mission.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design and implement comprehensive communications strategies to support programmatic goals and priorities, including engagement with core countries and international policy work.
  • Lead, guide and support team of managers in the development and execution of their work, ensuring a comprehensive, integrated and consistent approach to strategies and work plans in support of 2030 organizational objectives.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with program leads through proactive engagement; develop key messaging and identify/maximize opportunities to provide strategic communications support.
  • Develop written materials in support of programmatic work—including web articles, issue/policy briefs and fact sheets, op-eds—and lead the design process for creatives and multimedia pieces; coordinate with colleagues to develop and manage a timeline for effective release and distribution of materials.
  • Support the development of written materials generated by program communications, providing reviews, input and approvals before sending for director sign-off.
  • Work closely with social media manager and media relations manager to profile the organization’s work, milestones and achievements; support the creation, development and implementation of effective strategies that contribute to a well-defined media presence for Global Fishing Watch.
  • Maintain knowledge and oversight of various projects and timelines, identifying priorities and organizing capacity and resources to deliver effective and efficient communications.
  • Manage working relationships with communications consultants to ensure the highest degree of quality across materials and outreach.
  • Serve as an advisor to the director of communications, providing strategic counsel and support in coordinating delivery of program communications.
  • Develop and enforce policies, procedures and best practices to better govern coordination across teams and streamline communications processes.
  • Critically evaluate and report on the success of communications strategies and make recommendations to enhance future performance.
  • Develop and maintain an informed awareness of relevant projects to internal/external stakeholders; contribute to management of communications planning calendar.
  • Deputize for the director of communications as required for team coordination and strategic planning.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Candidate description


  • Bachelor’s degree required with 7-10 years of professional experience directly responsible for developing and implementing strategic communications on a global level.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong writer/editor familiar with Associated Press style.
  • Effective strategic communicator that is highly organized, analytical and self-motivated; maintains ability to present information in a diplomatic and compelling manner.
  • Creative storyteller with the ability to summarize and synthesize large amounts of information and quickly focus on the essence of an issue or finding, addressing policy perspectives at play.
  • Able to work swiftly, efficiently and independently with little supervision as part of a high-functioning team.
  • Able to manage multiple priorities under tight deadlines while delivering high-quality materials across a variety of subject matter.
  • Demonstrates operational excellence and a commitment to detail in a fast-paced, collaborative work environment.
  • Takes full ownership of projects and communicates updates to stakeholders in a transparent and proactive manner.
  • Maintains an understanding of the complexities surrounding collaboration and internal communications in a global matrix and remote organization.
  • Experience in the field(s) of environment, ocean conservation, fisheries, or policy.
  • Native proficiency in English.


  • Languages: Working/Professional proficiency in Spanish, French and/or Portuguese.
  • Proven experience in harnessing digital communications and multimedia to advance causes and disseminate information.
  • Experience in content/copy editing and proofing.
  • Experience working in journalism, broadcast or at international organizations.
  • Experience in managing crisis communications.

The successful candidate will meet most, but not necessarily all, of the criteria above. If you don’t think you check all the boxes, but believe you have unique skills that make you a great fit for the role, we want to hear from you!

Please submit a CV with your relevant experiences and a cover letter conveying your interest in the position and how your previous experiences would support you to be successful in this role. We look forward to getting to know more about you!

Additional Information

Reporting to: Director of communications


  • Communications manager (Latam)
  • Communications manager (research and product)
  • Communications manager (policy)

Location: Remote; United States, United Kingdom, or Europe. Other locations to be considered within GMT +/- 1 and CST +/-1

Recruiting process

Select candidates will be invited for a short screening call to confirm adequacy between their skills and the needs of the role. This will be followed by a formal interview with the communications team. Candidates selected to move forward in the recruitment process will be asked to participate in an administrative call to discuss compensation and benefits, followed by a panel interview with relevant staff across the organization. Final candidates may be asked to meet with the senior director of communications and partnerships.

A pre-work exercise will be required, for presentation and discussion during that interview. The amount of time needed to complete this exercise should be no more than 1.5 hours.

Successful candidates will have a final interview with the senior director, communications and partnerships.

Finally, the preferred candidate will be invited to an informal group discussion, to present Global Fishing Watch’s culture and answer any remaining question.

Working Hours: Global Fishing Watch supports flexible working, so the pattern of hours may vary according to operational and personal needs. The position will be part of a global team spanning many different time zones and so the candidate must be able to accommodate regular early/late meetings to be able to work effectively. Weekend work may be required on occasion. The post holder may be required to undertake regional and international travel. No overtime is payable.

Compensation: A compensation range for this position is USD 120,000 - 135,000 for US-based employees. For applicants located outside of the US, the pay range will be adjusted to the country of hire. Compensation is commensurate with experience and will vary depending on the hired candidate’s country of residence, in accordance with local laws and regulations. While we are unable to provide a compensation range here, we will be happy to discuss a range when we know the desired location of our active candidates. GFW offers pension/retirement, health and other benefits commensurate with similar level GFW employees in the country of employment. The position may be a GFW employee or consultant, depending on the country of residence.

Equal opportunities: Global Fishing Watch is an equal opportunities employer. We believe that our mission is best advanced when welcoming the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures and are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all employees of Global Fishing Watch and our partners, vendors, suppliers, and contractors. We welcome the application of all qualified professionals and especially encourage those that have been historically marginalized or underrepresented because of their actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.