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Senior Communications Specialist - Office of the Laboratory Director

Date: Jun 10, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 6000 

The Communications Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks an experienced communications professional to support the Office of the Laboratory Director through compelling communications that convey the Laboratory’s plans, priorities, and vision to multiple audiences.


Major Duties/Responsibilities

This position’s primary purpose is to support the Laboratory Director through communications activities and products best suited to the Director’s goals and stakeholder interests. Products may include written materials (white papers, correspondence, essays), videos, speeches, presentations, media responses, social media interactions, and internal communications to Lab leadership and staff.


The successful candidate will also produce executive summaries of strategic documents such as the ORNL Annual Report and provide guidance on official documents to ensure they align with the Lab Director’s priorities and vision. The successful candidate will also demonstrate strategic acumen and the ability to take in complex, ambiguous information and to synthesize it to articulate a clear, compelling and persuasive message.


Specific activities include:

  • Recommending activities, products, and media best suited for reaching priority audiences in a competitive environment
  • Coordinating special projects including the Annual Lab Plan and related presentations through development, writing, and editing of content, as well as coordination with other internal communication specialists and vendors.
  • Performing due diligence, sourcing data and compiling information from subject matter experts to be used by the Lab Director and other Leadership Team members for speaking events, panel discussions and interviews, including Congressional testimony.
  • Providing guidance and feedback on the editorial content of company publications, videos and other external and internal communications.
  • Contributing articles to company publications on strategic initiatives, corporate plans and other key topics.
  • Collaborating with senior leaders to distill complex technical and organizational information for non-technical audiences without compromising accuracy or precision.


Qualifications Required

Minimum of a bachelor’s degree and 8 years of progressive experience in communications-related positions. Candidate must be self-motivated and self-directed while integrating direction and preferences from the Laboratory Director, Deputy for Science and Technology, Deputy for Operations, and Chief of Staff into the execution of all tasks. Excellent written and oral communications skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills are required. Experience working with senior leaders or executives and the confidence to fulfill urgent requests in a timely and professional manner are essential.


Must possess the ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and lead others in a deadline-driven environment. Must have the ability to work both independently and with all levels of staff in a team-based environment. Must possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to develop and implement solutions.


Note: This position may require the ability to obtain and maintain a Department of Energy Security Clearance. 


Qualifications Preferred

Demonstrated experience working in a research or scientific project environment and ability to translate complex technical concepts in language appropriate for technical audiences as well as language easily comprehensible to non-specialists. Previous experience working at high levels within a large institution is preferred. Previous experience in science writing or technical editing is beneficial, as is demonstrated experience in building narratives that underscore the value and importance of research and development to US economic, environmental, or national security.


Work Directions and Interfaces

This position will report to the Director of the ORNL Communications Division; it will be matrixed to the Office of the Laboratory Director and will engage directly with the Lab Director, Deputy for Science and Technology, Deputy for Operations, Chief of Staff, and other members of the ORNL Leadership Team.


Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, and fitness facilities.   


Relocation:  Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at



This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville