Cooke USA is seeking a Director of Public Affairs to support our company’s growth and investment in the State of Maine. The Director of Public Affairs will be part of Cooke’s Corporate Communications team and will support Cooke’s overall corporate mission and values as a global seafood leader. Cooke’s core purpose is "To cultivate the ocean with care, nourish the world, provide for our families, and build stronger communities."
The successful candidate will have an interest in environmentally sustainable seafood production, promoting the benefits of aquaculture in the local food system, and preserving Maine’s heritage of a vibrant working waterfront.
They will be responsible for working with the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA), the lead trade group connecting fishing and aquaculture seafood communities which contributes over $3.2 billion a year to the Maine economy. The Director will work collaboratively with Cooke employees, area residents and stakeholders on municipal, state and federal policy and opportunities to support Cooke’s growing workforce, local marine supply chain and to maximize social and economic benefits of the Maine salmon aquaculture industry.
In this role, you will represent Cooke in Maine, and will work in a fast-paced environment with Cooke colleagues throughout the state and beyond. You are a strategic communicator and exceptional writer with experience in communications or government relations, and a network of community and media contacts.
As the only ocean-raised Atlantic salmon producer in America, Cooke Aquaculture USA has been raising salmon off the pristine seacoast of Maine for two decades. The cold crisp waters and high tides of the Gulf of Maine provide ideal conditions for raising salmon for supermarkets, restaurants and the hospitality sector.
You will be responsible for:
- Developing and overseeing the execution of government and community relations strategies, working across departments and seeking support for public affairs initiatives.
- Relationship building with key stakeholders, including municipal, state and federal elected officials, political staff, community leaders, organizations, and industry associations.
- Preparing all aspects of corporate communications content including planning events and drafting materials (e.g. speaking remarks, briefing notes, company newsletter, social media content, memos, presentations).
- Acting as a trusted advisor to Cooke colleagues on state government, regulatory and industry affairs matters by providing expertise and/or developing content. Track and prepare regular briefings, advocacy planning and coordination on various programs, policies, ordinances or legislative bills.
- Managing relationships with local communities and communicating Cooke's positions to elected officials and residents; oversee the coordination of tours to Cooke facilities in the state.
- Developing an understanding of the aquaculture industry and network internally among various Cooke departments to support proactive issues management.
- Providing advice on community sponsorships and donations and act as the public face of Cooke at sponsored events.
- Representing Cooke on industry and community groups and committees, as necessary.
The role has standard working conditions with a regular work week from Monday to Friday. The successful candidate must be available to work weekends, when necessary, for activities like Cooke sponsored community events, stakeholder meetings and to respond to incidents. The role requires the person to respond to inquiries which may be outside regular working hours. You will leverage your media contacts and build strong relations acting as a media spokesperson when required.
Regular travel is required of the role, mostly within the state with some international.
- Between 7-10 years of communications, public relations, government advocacy or stakeholder engagement experience.
- Experience in project management, change management or aquaculture industry is considered an asset.
- Bachelor's Degree in Communications, Journalism, Business, Political Science, Law, or an equivalent combination of alternate education and experience may be considered.
- Valid Driver's License.
- Aquaculture knowledge (or a related field) is an asset.
- Government/political experience is an asset.
- Demonstrates strong autonomy and the ability to take calculated risks in decision making.
- Collaborates with colleagues to enable productive engagements with stakeholders.
- Inspires others with impactful communications and adapts to the audience.
- Deals with urgent situations by calmly and quickly adapting to changes.
- Ability to strategically assess situations and develop plans for resolution/action.
- Initiates and drives organizational change to enable business transformation.
- Shares information within and across functions to get things done effectively.
- Makes informed and timely decisions.
- Promotes and supports a safety culture across the organization.
- Very strong writing and presentation skills.
- Microsoft Office computer skills.