News and Public Information Manager

Education and Outreach Charlottesville, Virginia


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is seeking to recruit a News and Public Information Manager to join the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team in Charlottesville, Virginia. The News and Public Information Manager will oversee and guide the NRAO’s efforts to promote the research produced using its facilities, with the goal of increasing awareness of NRAO as a leading NSF research and development facility.


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has enabled forefront research into the Universe at radio wavelengths for more than sixty years. We provide state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community. The position will be based at our NRAO headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

  • Manages the EPO’s Public Information staff.  Works with staff to identify compelling research stories, edit their written work, and strategically identify media opportunities.  Leads the coordination with EPO’s multimedia group to identify appropriate visual or other multimedia components. 
  • Covers research as a beat reporter for NRAO, ALMA, VLA, VLBA, CDL and additional facilities if under service level agreements.  Researches, develops, writes, and coordinates media materials, including press releases, brochures, fact sheets, and backgrounders. 
  • Assists management and other staff in preparing lectures and public presentation.
  • Serves as the primary contact for the news media contacting NRAO.  Assesses media needs and coordinates with members of the EPO team to respond appropriately.  For assigned site(s), provides logistical and on-site support for reporters and others coming to NRAO facilities.
  • Develops and coordinates collaborative media relations programs between NRAO and ALMA partners to promote research published in peer-reviewed journals, internet publications and media workshops. 
  • Works closely with the EPO AD and Director’s office to identify research communications risks, and develops plans to mitigate negative impacts.
  • Manages office accounts for Newswise, EurkekAlert, Meltwater and other news distribution and monitoring systems.
  • Serves as primary communications representative at various major science meetings and assists with press conferences


Duties Percentages:

40 %Manage production of research-related stories that support NRAO EPO goals.

40 %Write research stories that highlight the NRAO’s best work.

10 %Manage communications related to research risks.

10 %Assist news media.


Physical Conditions

Typical office environment with occasional outside work with potential exposure to environmental extremes.  Will be required to stand and sit, and operate a personal computer.  Will be required to lift 25 pounds or more occasionally and have the ability to assemble/disassemble convention display units and similar equipment. Moderate to extensive travel is required.  Must possess a valid driver’s license.  Must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.  Specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, and depth perception. 


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

Bachelor’s degree in science, education, journalism, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.


Minimum Experience

Minimum of seven years of experience in science, education or journalism and/or public relations with at least 2 years of experience managing a team. Demonstrated experience at planning and executing media relations strategies, and pitching story ideas to the media. Experience at providing strategic communications counsel to senior leadership.


Competency Summary

  • An understanding of space science and the complexities of the scientific landscape
  • Be able to clarify and simplify complicated scientific discoveries
  • Ability to identify critical issues in the public perception of space astronomy
  • Skill at managing complex projects and teams
  • Extensive knowledge of public and media relations
  • Proven ability to interact successfully with the media and the general public
  • High degree of initiative, judgement, and tact
  • Ability to administer projects, especially public information and education programs in science
  • Ability to present ideas very effectively both orally and in writing
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships both internally and externally
  • Proven management skills, including the ability to attract, build, lead, mentor, and motivate staff to function as a strong and collaborative team
  • Demonstrated experience at planning and executing media relations strategies, and pitching story ideas to the media
  • Experience at providing strategic communications counsel to senior leadership
  • Demonstrated media experience with crisis management


Computer Skills

Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and use of web apps such as Newswise, Eureka Alert, and Meltwater.


Application Instructions:


Select the "Apply" button below. Applicants are required to upload a current CV/Resume and a cover letter describing interest and suitability for the position. Applications will be reviewed beginning July 29, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer.  Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.  To view our complete statement, please visit  If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.