Senior Vice President, External Affairs

Organization: Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Member)
Location: Silver Spring, MD, us
Job or Internship: Job

Reports to: President  & CEO


The Senior Vice President, External Affairs will design and implement communications, public affairs and government-targeted strategies that advance the goals of AZA’s strategic plan and provides support and member services in these key areas to the AZA membership.

Essential Job Functions

  • Develop, coordinate, implement and direct communications strategies, public affairs campaigns and issues management plans that characterize, define and enhance the profile and impact of AZA and its members; communicate their accomplishments, expertise and vision; and communicate their essential role in wildlife conservation.
  • Develop, implement and direct strategies and communications to raise the visibility of AZA and its member institutions;
  • Serve as senior media representative and spokesperson for the Association;
  • Provide direct assistance, advice and counsel to member organizations with regards to crisis communications,  media and public affairs issues;
  • Design and oversee public opinion research;
  • Design and implement strategies to compare and draw contrasts between animal welfare and animal rights, and other accrediting bodies;
  • Work with AZA Senior Staff on the preparation of remarks, speeches, talking points, media coaching and communications to the AZA Board and membership;
  • Work collaboratively with AZA staff and members to improve quality, usefulness, accuracy, timeliness and value of information, communications, publications, meetings, conferences, surveys, etc.
  • Set annual work plan goals and develop and manage departmental  budget;
  • Serve as staff liaison to the PR Committee, Trends Committee and other Committees as assigned;
  • Provide management and supervision to Public Relations Coordinator;
  •  Other duties and opportunities as assigned by the President & CEO, Executive Director, or Chief Operating Officer.

Knowledge, Skills and other Characteristics

  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Continual attention to detail, establishing priorities and meeting deadlines;
  • Experience managing staff;
  • Experience utilizing cutting-edge communications tools and technologies.

Minimum Training and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required and Master’s degree preferred
  • 8+ years as Senior Communications/Public Affairs professional  (preferably with Association experience);
  • Track record of success implementing communications plans and government targeted strategies
  • Demonstrated experience with media relations, crisis communications and issues management

Interested candidates should submit their resume and cover letter to