Communications Coordinator for Latin America, Environmental Issues

Burness, rated by Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington Post as one of the best places to work in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, is seeking a communications coordinator to join its global practice, supporting our Latin America and environment team on human rights and land rights issues of Indigenous Peoples and deforestation and environmental issues. We are looking for a creative, detail-oriented person who is passionate about communications and global development.

Burness is a public relations firm serving nonprofit organizations around the world. Since 1986, we have sought to empower people with information that can be used to improve the human condition and advance social change. We do so recognizing that caring for others starts with modeling our own caring environment—one where all employees are valued and respected for their particular talents and contributions, welcomed into the process of company decision-making, and supported in their personal and professional dreams.


Education, experience, technical skills and competencies:

  • BA/BS (communications, international relations or international development preferred)
  • One-to-two years’ work experience in journalism, communications or with a global NGO or development agency
  • International travel, living experience and knowledge of Latin America issues
  • Fluency in Spanish required
  • Communications and/or media skills, with examples of successful media engagement and/or short-form writing available
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, are necessary)
  • Experience using social media for communications outreach efforts including Facebook, Twitter, and/or other platforms
  • Knowledge of MailChimp a plus

Personal attributes and competencies:

  • Interest in journalism and the news-making process
  • Self-motivated, problem-solver who thrives in a team environment
  • Excellent analytical skills combined with humility and curiosity
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Fast learner of new content on substantive issues and new skills without much coaching
  • Able to juggle multiple assignments simultaneously, manage priorities, and meet tight deadlines
  • Able to work irregular hours at times to accommodate different time zones
  • Goes above and beyond the task at hand


  • Landscape tracking to see how an issue or organization is covered, in addition to fast-acting research on news stories, journalists and issues in the news related to the environment and Indigenous Peoples issues
  • Daily production of accurate notes from meetings under deadline
  • Writing short-form documents, including emails directed to journalists, and proposals
  • Finding the right journalists to cover our stories through solid media list research using phone calls, web searches, media databases and social media
  • Supporting team members in planning events and field visits in Latin America
  • Media monitoring to track coverage and social media pick-up of client work and writing and compiling reports on impact of press outreach efforts
  • Contacting journalists for media promotions through email, phone and twitter
  • Supporting team members in researching and fact-checking media outreach materials
  • Coordinating and conducting electronic distributions of press releases, media advisories and other written materials
  • Providing administrative support to the team as necessary. This includes scheduling meetings, researching travel, updating media data bases and processing travel expenses.

Over more than two years, we’ve carefully built the trust of indigenous leaders and traditional communities in Indonesia, Mexico, Central America and the Amazon, with the goal of supporting their political asks, including respect for their rights to their lands and natural resources. We work with them on preparatory strategic communications work, including identifying stories, crafting media plans and strategies, identifying events and research that can serve as media hooks, crafting op-eds and press releases, pitching stories to journalists, and organizing journalist field visits. Through direct work with Indigenous Peoples at large events, smaller meetings and site visits, our goal is to put Indigenous Peoples’ voices directly in the media.

In the forestry-environment arena, we’ve helped to elevate the issue of deforestation and stopping deforestation as a key solution to climate change through the release of dozens of reports, organizing events at the major climate change meetings, and op-eds.

Burness offers excellent benefits, competitive salary and a friendly, collegial working environment. Send resumes and a cover letter (one-page each max) ASAP to Katy Lenard at No phone calls please.