The Breakthrough Institute is an energy and environmental research center based in Oakland, California. Our work is premised on the belief that humans can protect nature by using technology to limit the negative impacts on the environment. Basically, we envision a world that is good for both people and nature. We achieve this goal through our three focus areas: energy, conservation, and food and farming. Check out our open positions below:

Communications Director

The Breakthrough Institute is seeking a Communications Director. Excellent applicants will be passionate about the role of technology in solving environmental problems and have a strong familiarity with debates around energy, climate, agriculture, and the environment. We are seeking someone with 5-10 years minimum of experience in strategic communications, marketing, and/or journalism.

This is a senior position at the Breakthrough Institute. The Communications Director will work closely with the executive director, the deputy director, events director, and research directors, in addition to managing a communications team.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Communications Strategy

  • Crafting and executing engagement, release, and promotion of Breakthrough’s work
  • Collaborating with research teams to develop pitches

Internal Communications

  • Developing and reinforcing Breakthrough’s mission, positioning, and brand among staff
  • Providing high-level and targeted media training for research staff

External Communications

  • Promoting Breakthrough’s work and brand to our core audiences
  • Working with key partners and stakeholders to expand the impact of
    Breakthrough’s work
  • Overseeing Breakthrough’s digital communications strategy: email, social media,
    multimedia production
  • Collaborating with Director of Events to plan content and strategy for
    Breakthrough Dialogues, other national and international in-person convenings,
    and online events

Media Relations

  • Cultivating and stewarding staff relationships with journalists
  • Monitoring and responding to changing demands and needs of reporters and

Team Management

  • Manage and ensure the professional development of a team of 2-3 direct reports

Skills, Qualities, and Experience:

The Breakthrough Institute seeks candidates who bring varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds, and who are eager to learn about many ways of viewing the world. Our goal is to create a community that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity.

  • Interest in and understanding of climate change, energy technologies, agriculture, and key environmental issues and debates
  • Intuitive ability to identify and distill what resonates and connects with audiences and stay ahead of the beat
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to supervise and work across teams
  • Excellent judgment and capacity to build and maintain relationships with a wide
    variety of stakeholders and partners in an environment with political and
    ideological cross-pressures
  • Demonstrated experience in brand strategy, enforcement, and promotion
  • Undergraduate or graduate education in energy, environmental studies, STEM,
    and/or communications, marketing, or journalism


Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent health insurance, paid leave, cell phone reimbursement, and commuter benefits. We are currently working remotely and conducting a real estate search for our new physical office. We hope to move back into a physical office by April 2021.

Does this sound like you?

If so, please send your resume and cover letter to Ann Wang, our Operations Director, at jobs[at]thebreakthrough[dot]org. Use the subject line “[Your Name] - Communications Director.” No phone calls, please, and incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The Breakthrough Institute is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation & gender identity.