Public Affairs Specialist

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Archive Date: 
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
United States of America
Job Announcement Text: 

Public Affairs Specialist


The Public Affairs Specialist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian will lead the effort to share the research of our scientists and engineers, who are asking, testing, and ultimately answering some of the biggest questions about the nature of the universe.


Develops, manages and measures the success of media plans, press releases, and press conferences for all CfA science, working with scientists and partner organizations as necessary. They will maintain and develop relationships with top-tier media outlets and proactively seek out new media partnership opportunities.


Evaluates the impact and effectiveness of communication plans and advises management of recommended changes.


Counsels CfA researchers regarding appropriate public relations strategies and effective communication methods, including speaker training for news conferences and other media coverage. Provides internal training and education for public speaking and presentations.


Proactively develops new and existing relationships with reporters and other media representatives from major media outlets, maintaining regular contact with science journalists in print, web, and broadcast media.


Writes, edits and disseminates news releases to local, regional, national and international media representatives.


Advises CfA Director and senior leadership on handling problems and incidents related to the organization’s programs and research. Coordinates closely with Harvard and Smithsonian headquarters at times of heightened media attention.


Manages internal communications, serving as liaison with Office of Public Affairs for both Harvard  and Smithsonian headquarters, and internal audiences at the CfA. This requires traveling to Washington, DC to attend meetings with colleagues across the Smithsonian, as well as occasional visits to other observatory locations, including Hawaii and Arizona.


Develops policy in coordination with Harvard and Smithsonian headquarters and contracting office for fielding filming and image permission requests.


Works with outside contractors and CfA staff, in conjunction with the Marketing Manager, to evaluate, create and expand organizational web and video presence.


Oversees outsourcing of artwork/illustration and video production services in concert with Marketing Manager.


Creates and manages a centralized, internal image and video media library from across the Center for Astrophysics, in conjunction with Marketing Manager.


Oversees the preparation and distribution of information in response to inquiries from the general public concerning CfA programs, astronomy and astrophysics with External Affairs Associate.


For further information and requirements, view the complete Job Vacancy Announcement at


To apply please go to USAJOBS link:


The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.


Application Deadline: 
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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