Managing Editor, Internal Communications and Engagement at JPL

January 31, 2022
Pasadena, CA

Job Details 

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL. 

Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence. 

Join NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and cover the people and projects behind legendary missions like Voyager, Perseverance and Cassini.

Our Internal Communications and Engagement group discovers and tells most of the Lab’s people stories: features, profiles and videos that show the humans behind the robots we send into space. As manager of our in-house editorial group, you will guide your team in capturing the ingenuity, diversity and creativity of the JPL community.

The group’s stories appear on the internal JPL website and on our employee discussion boards. Stories with strong public appeal also post on JPL’s flagship external website. In addition, the group and its manager support executive communications, and post news and event notices from internal organizations, clubs and individuals. As the group’s leader, you engage frequently and collegially with stakeholders and customers across Lab.

As a manager, you can demonstrate a history of inspirational leadership, scrupulous fairness and adherence to the same high standards you set for your team. You keep an open mind, try new things and welcome ideas from your colleagues and customers.

As editor, you have a proven record of sensitivity, insight and sound judgment. You have the experience to edit for structure and narrative flow, and the respect to leave alone a well-written passage. You and your other writers (you set a collegial tone by writing yourself, and by inviting edits from your team) work together in the service of expert storytelling. You can write on deadline, and you can give a challenging intro or transition the time they deserve.

While a technical background is not required, you must be curious and interested in the craft of the engineer, the scientist, and the explorer of space.

Because our mission attracts brilliant minds from all over the world, and from all backgrounds, you must be able to approach each individual and situation with an empathetic heart, an open mind, and a commitment to careful listening. Inclusion is a core value at JPL. The Lab depends on our internal communications team to reflect the range of lived experiences among our approximately 10,000 colleagues. 

Responsibilities 

  • Lead a team of three full-time writers and storytellers, a webmaster and a contributing writer in enterprising and developing story ideas, managing the editorial calendar and maintaining a healthy inventory of content
  • Collaboratively edit web and multimedia stories about the JPL community
  • Write stories and executive all-personnel messages as needed
  • Foster and monitor employee engagement on the Lab’s Slack channels
  • Support senior leadership in management of issues affecting employees
  • Partner with communications colleagues across Lab in support of the JPL brand
  • Ensure consistency and clarity of editorial priorities across the Lab’s many audiences and stakeholders

Qualifications 

This position typically requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in any of the following disciplines: journalism, communications, English literature, science writing or a scientific discipline with the equivalent of a minor in journalism -- along with more than 10 years of related experience including at least two years leading communications teams.

  • News and feature writing experience (samples required, at least one over 2,000 words)
  • At least five years of editing experience
  • Interest in and appreciation for the worlds of science and engineering
  • A diplomatic touch – with audiences, with stakeholders, with writers
  • Proven experience working in an often fast-paced environment, juggling multiple projects at any given time and meeting deadlines
  • Flawless grammar, a keen eye and thorough knowledge of AP style 

Ability to learn technical platforms and tools quickly (i.e. basic HTML, mass email distribution and content management systems, employee chat forums) 

JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law. 

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. 

EEO is the Law.

EEO is the Law Supplement

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision 

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.

For more information, or to apply, click here.