Director of Marketing and Brand

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Marketing & Communications
Silver Spring, MD, USA
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2024

Location: Silver Spring, MD (based in Washington DC or surrounding areas)

Supervisor: Senior Vice President, External Affairs

Supervisory Role: Yes

Status: Full Time, Exempt

What We Need

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is a leading voice for U.S. protected waters, is seeking a Director of Marketing and Brand, a position that will play a pivotal role in positioning, raising awareness and engagement, and spearheading strategic initiatives with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation's mission to support our national marine sanctuaries. This position offers a unique opportunity to lead impactful campaigns driving visibility, awareness, revenue, and collective support for the conservation and stewardship of national marine sanctuaries.

Reporting directly to the SVP for External Affairs, this role collaborates closely with the President and CEO, VP of Development, and Director of Creative Strategy and Services to craft marketing campaigns and innovative brand initiatives that drive both revenue, awareness, and activations in support of sanctuaries. Additionally, the Director will leverage audience marketing research skills, the use of innovative communications tools, and product development to inform strategic decision-making.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a leading voice and advocate for the United States' national marine sanctuaries. We are dedicated to the conservation and protection of these vital underwater parks, fostering public engagement in their exploration and preservation, telling the stories of our sanctuaries, and uplifting diverse champions. Our national marine sanctuaries are sources for solutions. Our mission is to connect people with the beauty and significance of these sanctuaries while working with communities to champion marine conservation efforts.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is committed to a culture of inclusion, equity, and belonging. We are dedicated to attracting and retaining a diverse staff. We honor experiences, perspectives, and unique identities, and welcome the contributions that you can bring to the dedicated team. With a diverse team of employees, we can grow and learn better together and achieve our mission to protect the health of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes for current and future generations.

What You’ll Do

  • Marketing and Brand Strategy: Develop and implement a comprehensive brand strategy to complement the Foundation’s Communications and Visibility Strategy that will elevate the Foundation’s presence, visibility, reputation, and impact.
    • Foster strong relationships with key Foundation and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries leadership and forge strategic partnerships to expand the reach and influence of the Foundation and sanctuaries.
    • Position the Foundation as a leader in the ocean and Great Lakes conservation movement
    • Support the Foundation’s business strategies by growing fundraising and philanthropic endeavors
    • Utilize the Foundation’s and sanctuaries’ major Foundation events, including Capitol Hill Ocean Week, the Ocean Awards Gala, the Blue Beacon Series, Get Into Your Sanctuary, National Marine Sanctuary Day, and new designations to advance our Communications goals

  • Strategic Campaign Leadership: Plan and drive campaigns to effectively communicate the Foundation's mission and initiatives across multiple marketing channels and audiences and in a manner that aligns and coordinates the implementation of marketing plans and tactics across all functional departments.
    • Strong Market Research: Oversee market research and incorporate results to ensure strategies are targeting the key audiences and constituencies.
    • Use stakeholder persona research and audience analysis to ensure key messages are compelling, authentic, culturally respectful, and illustrative to the value of sanctuaries.
    • Incorporate brand equity research to evaluate the strategies and tactics captured in an annual marketing plan.
    • Test new tools to increase the efficacy and impact of strategies
    • Use CRM and social listening data to benchmark and evaluate the effectiveness of communications and adjust strategies as necessary.

  • Content Marketing: Lead pioneering multimedia content initiatives showcasing the significance of marine sanctuaries.
    • Identify opportunities to raise the profile of the Foundation and its mission among thought leaders, donors, and government officials.
    • Collaborate with the Impact Story Producer to craft compelling narratives and story tellers that resonate with diverse audiences.
    • Support audience activations to support the Foundation and sanctuaries from growing membership to calls to action, increasing giving to reaching out to their networks
    • Oversee the planning and execution for Foundation impact at conferences, symposiums, and events focused on marine conservation.
    • Develop and implement a broad, balanced range of public and media relations functions that results in high-level placements and distribution in print, broadcast, advertising, and online media.

  • Brand Integrity: Ensure the Foundation brand, story, and values are consistently incorporated through plans and strategies, including within Foundation staff and through external partners.
    • Work closely with the Director of Creative Services to ensure cohesive and impactful creative executions aligned with brand objectives.
    • Expand and maintain the visibility and brand of sanctuaries and the Foundation through omni-channel marketing platforms and products, including merchandising.
    • Position for and prepare staff and Foundation representatives for interviews with press and or speaking engagements.

  • Fundraising Campaigns and Brand Initiatives: Work with the Development Team to conceive and execute fundraising campaigns and brand initiatives that enhance revenue streams and amplify awareness of national marine sanctuaries.
    • Support fundraising activities and solicitation of sponsorships, including preparation of marketing materials and assistance with outreach activities and fulfilling sponsorship activations.

  • Data-Driven Approach: Advocate for and implement a data-driven approach, employing appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), metrics, and attribution models to drive informed business decisions and measure campaign effectiveness.

  • Internal Team Communications:
    • Coordinate with the Human Resources Department to support strong internal communications and brand to re-enforce and strengthen an inclusive culture of belonging and excellence.

  • Budget Development and Management: Influence and execute the annual budget process for the department working with other directors as applicable. Support mid-year budget reviews and continuous budget implementation with the Finance Department.


  • Supervise Foundation project employees working in partner agency locations and/or Foundation HQ Program Operations Coordinator(s) and build an inclusive environment.
  • Supervise and mentor marketing team members, provide guidance, support, and feedback to foster professional development and ensure high performance.
  • Assist in the development of annual SMARTIE performance and professional development goals, support and monitor progress towards goals, and conduct annual performance evaluations.
  • Approve travel requests, timecards, expense reports, and time off requests.

Who You Are

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree and 8-10 years of professional experience in Marketing, Brand Management, Media Planning and Buying, Communications, or related field. Proven track
  • record of leadership in strategic brand campaigns and management for complex organizations across multiple marketing channels and audiences.
  • Hands-on experience in managing e-commerce websites, email marketing programs, digital advertising, and social media marketing.
  • Ability to lead and execute innovative projects driving awareness and engagement.
  • Strong leadership and collaboration skills, effectively working across diverse teams and stakeholders.
  • Experience in fundraising within nonprofit conservation communications.
  • Fluency in computer software programs (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Gmail, Asana, and databases) required.
  • Strong oral and written communication abilities.
  • Experience building and managing a diverse, high performing team and fostering a culture of inclusion, creativity, and accountability.
  • Genuine passion for marine conservation and a commitment to the Foundation's mission.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Focus in marine and Great Lakes fields.
  • Creative Software and Marketing tools for collaboration, video and design, presentations, and content marketing (Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, Canva, Prezi, WordPress, Brandfolder).

Why You Will Love Us

  • Dedicated and passionate staff committed to marine and Great Lakes conservation.
  • Generous leave policy, plus paid time off the week between December 25 and January 1 and 12 paid holidays
  • Health benefits: Medical with an FSA option; dental and vision
  • Foundation paid Life and Disability Insurance
  • Preparing for the Future: 403(B) with employer contribution after one year of service
  • Commuter benefits

Compensation and Benefits: Salary based on experience. The range is $90,000-$115,000/year. The Foundation offers a competitive benefits package.

Apply through the Foundation’s online portal. A cover letter, resume, three professional references, and three professional communications products are required. Applications received by July 12th will be preferred.

Location: Ability to work in-person or hybrid remotely at the Foundation’s Headquarters office in Silver Spring, Md. is required.


The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is an equal-opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic outlined by federal, state, or local laws. This commitment applies to all employment practices within our organization, including hiring, recruiting, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, leave of absence, compensation, benefits, and training. The Foundation makes hiring decisions based solely on qualifications, merit, and business needs at the time.