Communications Director

Great Plains Institute
Organization Summary


A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) is accelerating the transition to net-zero carbon emissions for the benefit of people, the economy, and the environment. Increased demand for GPI’s unique blend of energy expertise and consensus-derived solutions has driven organizational and programmatic growth. With headquarters in Minnesota, GPI’s operations are national in scope while retaining a core competency in the Midcontinent region. GPI is powered by more than 60 professionals and is supported by some of the nation’s most respected philanthropies.

The following values inform the way we work both inside and outside of GPI. It is important to us to be trusted, inclusive, equitable, pragmatic, and transformative: 

Trusted. We base our approach and actions on trust, mutual respect, and accountability.

Inclusive. We achieve impact through inclusive and deliberate collaboration with a diversity of interests. 

Equitable. We strive for equity in our approach and outcomes. 

Pragmatic. We take a clear-eyed view of the world as it is, even as we seek to improve it.  

Transformative. We are a bold and passionate catalyst for change. 

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
work remotely
Job type

Salary range: $110,000K-$128,000K, commensurate with experience. Benefits include a health plan, 401(k) retirement plan, LTD, STD, life, vision, dental, FSA/HSA, paid time off, professional development allowance, and a communication stipend. 

Primary Duties


GPI seeks to hire an experienced Communications Director who can help elevate and position GPI and its programs locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and create content that translates GPI’s complicated work and creates a compelling narrative about our mission for a variety of audiences.  

The Communications Director is responsible for developing and executing GPI’s overall engagement and communications plan as part of GPI’s strategic plan. The Communications Director is responsible for developing and executing a communications plan for GPI’s CEO, EVP, vice presidents, and other emerging leaders within GPI to increase our impact. The Communications Director is GPI’s lead media contact and spokesperson for organizational media opportunities and is responsible for developing the organization’s media relations strategy, talking points, and messaging that supports GPI’s strategic goals. 

This position requires the ability to exercise good judgment in a variety of situations, quick decision-making, a balance among multiple priorities, effective methods for time management and prioritization of tasks, and the ability to identify and address urgent and important needs in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.  

This person must possess excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication and organizational skills, the ability to work independently on projects from conception to completion, and the ability to work under pressure at times to handle a wide variety of activities and confidential matters with discretion.  

Hours may be flexible and are typically Monday through Friday during the business day; some nights and weekends will be required.  



  • Develop and coordinate the execution of an annual communications work plan, including goals and success metrics by key audience, and regularly reporting on progress.  
  • Help elevate and position GPI, its staff, and its programs locally, nationally, and internationally. 
  • Ensure that GPI’s communications are coordinated and aligned across the organization in a way that supports our strategic goals. 
  • Maintain a global view of GPI’s communications, development, fundraising, research, and programmatic accomplishments and progress on Impact Measures. 
  • Maintain a global view of GPI’s engagement with key audiences. 
  • Oversee the operations of the Communications team. 
  • Oversee the CEO’s external communications to position them and GPI as a national thought leader. 
  • Ensure that GPI's Communications team is developing, analyzing, and regularly reporting on key communications success metrics and adjust strategies and tactics to meet goals, in collaboration with the Communications team and program leads. 
  • Lead and manage public relations activities in coordination with GPI staff and external consultants. 
  • Work with the EVP and CEO to proactively identify strategic public speaking and media opportunities to build out organizational thought leadership. 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key reporters and outlets covering the clean energy and climate space. 


  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, or related field.  
  • Eight+ years progressive experience in public relations, media relations, digital communications, or strategic communications, preferably some in the nonprofit sector.  
  • Background in energy, climate, and environmental policy. 
  • Demonstrated skills, knowledge, and experience in the design and execution of marketing, communications, and public relations activities using both conventional and new media.  
  • Demonstrated successful experience writing press releases, making presentations, and interacting with the media.  
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. Strong command of the English language and demonstrated ability to produce and finalize communications materials requiring little to no copyediting. 
  • Demonstrated strength and experience in public speaking and editing skills. 
  • Highly organized and strong attention to detail.  
  • Experience developing and managing budgets and hiring, training, developing, supervising, and evaluating personnel.  
  • Demonstrated experience with developing strategic communications plans and training staff on strategic communications planning and tactics. 
  • Ability to do the following:  
  • Identify and address urgent and important needs in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;  
  • Meet deadlines while balancing multiple priorities;  
  • Work collaboratively across disciplines with professionalism and integrity; and  
  • Discern the GPI voice and positioning and reflect that in our communications. 
  • Quick decision-making and execution of day-to-day public relations and communications activities. 
  • Ability to implement and maintain project management software platforms to ensure coordination. 
  • Working knowledge of various communication and project management platforms, including Word Press, Adobe software, MailChimp, Pardot, Grammarly, Monday, and social media. 
  • Working knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. 
  • Flexibility to work in a highly creative, multidisciplinary environment. 


  • Master’s degree or commensurate experience in public relations, journalism, communications, or related field. 
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and navigate complex political dynamics. 
  • Existing relationships with energy and climate reporters. 
  • Experience overseeing the design and production of print materials and publications along with other media platforms, such as video. 
  • Working knowledge of various communication and project management platforms, including Word Press, Adobe software, MailChimp, Pardot, Grammarly, Monday, and social media. 

The Great Plains Institute is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages candidates from all backgrounds to apply. 



This position involves use of a desktop computer and/or laptop, copier, fax machine, calculator, printer, and telephone. 



This position requires working at a desk (either sitting or standing) for extended periods and extensive use of devices (e.g., keyboard, mouse), as well as usage of telephone/headset. 

How to Apply


Apply here. Required application materials include a resume, one-page cover letter, and a writing sample. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.  



GPI has a fast-paced entrepreneurial culture in which people enjoy both great freedom and great responsibility. People who thrive in this culture take personal responsibility for seeing what needs doing and getting it done. They are initiative-takers, problem-solvers, and quick to help others. They work hard because they believe in the mission and get to spend most of their time at the intersection of what they love to do and are good at. It’s a working environment in which performance is judged more on results than on time spent in a chair. We aspire to make this the best job anyone has ever had. 

The Great Plains Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes a wide diversity of applicants. 

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