Director, Marketing and Communications

Director, Marketing and Communications

Job Title: Director, Communications and Marketing
Division: Marketing and Communications
Reports to:
Chief Executive Officer
Contract: Permanent
Salary: Competitive
Location: Any major Climate-KIC office (Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin, or Zurich)
Apply By: 7 January 2018

Business Background

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation. Our community consists of over 250 leading partners from business, academia, the public sector and NGOs. Our purpose is to help create a prosperous, inclusive, climate resilient society founded on a circular, zero-carbon economy.

We focus on levers of systemic change, looking for where innovation is most needed to accelerate deep decarbonisation (elimination of fossil fuels and negative carbon) and effective adaptation. We act as a platform in order to work across boundaries and across sectors, fostering innovation as a catalyst for transformation. We provide funding, we facilitate the creation of innovation consortia, we work together with our partners to take a portfolio approach to innovation options, we challenge and seek to enrich business model design, we offer tailored support for experimentation, implementation and scaling, and we incubate very early stage ideation and pre-seed innovation.

In order to make ourselves accessible to key actors and ‘challenge owners’, we work along four priority themes: urban transitions, sustainable land use, sustainable production systems, and decision metrics and climate finance. In all four areas, we place an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation design, on education as a driver of behavioural change through new skills and capabilities and on policy innovation. We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities and regions, convening a community of excellence in people and organisations.

We balance strategic innovation, aimed at renewing core business models, with a significant portfolio of bottom-up innovation – e.g. through our start-up accelerators – in order to learn, evaluate and continuously adjust our efforts to impact climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial metabolism to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Purpose of Role

The Director, Communications and Marketing is accountable for both external and internal communications, marketing strategy and marketing operations at Climate-KIC. The role is responsible for leading communications and marketing activities to raise the profile of Climate-KIC, highlighting the organisation’s contribution to creating a zero-carbon economy and climate-resilient society, and to contribute to the effectiveness and impact of climate innovation itself through powerful storytelling that engages key stakeholders, decision makers and citizens in a sense of relevance, meaningfulness and practical possibility.

The Director will demonstrate an understanding of Climate-KIC’s varied target audiences and how to tailor communications for them:

  • organisations in the private & public sector who are members of Climate-KIC’s community (stakeholders include Boards of Directors, Financial Directors, Marketing, Communications and CSR Directors, R&D teams, researchers and Department Heads in academic institutions, small and medium business owners);
  • entrepreneurs, start-up incubator and accelerator professionals;
  • students, graduate, post-graduate and school age;
  • European Commission stakeholders;
  • city and regional governments and public institutions;
  • institutional and private funders;
  • European and global citizens.

The Director is responsible for building a compelling brand position for Climate-KIC that is appealing to current partners and to potential new partners, accessible and engaging for citizens and local communities and attractive to national and global funders of climate innovation. The position will play an essential role in promoting Climate-KIC’s business strategy and achievements.

The Director leads on corporate communications and sets direction for local communications. S/he manages communications specialists in the country offices and provides general marketing communications support for both theme and geography activities. Internal communications for each location and theme also form part of this role’s overall responsibilities and will entail skill and experience in complex change management.

A focus on narrative and storytelling is essential for this role, positioning with the media and communicating key messages through copy writing for digital channels, marketing materials and publication of research and impact results. Web presence, social media and interaction with a broad base of stakeholders, communities and citizens through innovative and conventional digital channels is a core component of the role.

As a member of the Executive Board, the Director Marketing and Communications will play a critical strategic leadership role in charting the future course of Climate-KIC, collaborating closely with colleagues from all functions and country offices as well as with partners. At the same time, she/he will also be expected to take a hands-on approach, deploying empathy, systems thinking and technology savvy in service of instilling confidence, solving problems, ensuring buy-in, and promoting collaboration and employee well-being.

Key Responsibilities

Set direction

  • Evolve the current marketing and communications strategy and ensure its timely and effective implementation, including editorial plans and messaging frameworks
  • Develop a content and thought leadership strategy to turn the Climate KIC knowledge into publishable material
  • Develop a world class communications and marketing function and provide leadership to the distributed team

Develop the brand

  • Develop the Climate-KIC brand proposition into a global brand;
  • Ensure consistency of the brand across all media and the entire network
  • Recruit, develop and maintain a cohort of brand ambassadors across the Climate-KIC community – people, partners, entrepreneurs, students, institutional stakeholders.

Develop meaningful content

  • Provide direction for content development for all communications and marketing materials, including brochures, flyers, success stories, Annual Report
  • Oversee development of website and constant upgrades of web content
  • Lead on the development of high quality thought leadership, opinion pieces and publications and ensure consistency across the organisation.

Develop and mobilise the network

  • Develop and maintain the network of key media, taking end responsibility for the production of press releases, press conferences, PR campaigns and article placement;
  • Lead the development of interactive online communities of influencers and opinion leaders in relevant areas
  • Create and shape events and campaigns that convene and expand the Climate KIC community, support strategic alliances, build greater understanding of climate innovation and catalyse action
  • Select, commission and manage creative agencies to ensure that Climate-KIC has the right specialist partnerships

Drive outreach

  • Promote the Climate KIC offering in education, start-up programs and innovation initiatives to get the best students, academics, entrepreneurs and climate change agents into the Climate KIC programs
  • Support business development through marketing collateral, campaigns and sponsorship concepts to attract new funders and sponsors
  • In close collaboration with the Community Manager, promote active engagement with citizens and communities to explain the relevance and meaning of climate innovation, demonstrate and shape possibilities to contribute and co-create, and use powerful storytelling to lower barriers to action and participation.

Set the standard

  • Lead by example with internal and external stakeholders and act as a spokesperson for Climate-KIC;
  • Work as principal advisor on communications and marketing matters to the CEO, directors and Governing Board and Assembly;
  • Ensure that Climate-KIC is benchmarking with other entities for this function and adapting and evolving as a result
  • Play a leadership role in the EIT communications taskforce with the other KICs.

Build and develop an effective team

  • Build a strong and effective team across Climate-KIC
  • Manage the performance of the team and provide timely feedback and set development goals for team members.
  • Take the lead for financial planning and budgeting for this function;

Key Working Relationships

  • CEO Climate-KIC
  • CSO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • Community Manager
  • Governing Board, Supervisory Board and Assembly members
  • Geography & Theme Directors,
  • Head of Investment and Investor Relations
  • Communications officers of Core and Affiliate Partners
  • Marketing and Communication Leads in each geography
  • External creative suppliers, Journalists and representatives of the media

Required Background & Qualifications


  • Relevant academic degree or qualification


  • Senior communicator with at least 15 years of experience in strategic marketing communications, relationship management and internal communication;
  • Proven track record of providing clear, balanced advice and professional leadership at board and senior management level on a wide range of strategic, operational, sensitive and complex communication issues;
  • Proven track record of successfully developing high-performing teams, leading, managing and motivating others, especially during periods of change, and driving continuous improvement within the communications function;
  • Experience of successful management of internal communications and support of employee engagement;
  • Experience of using effective communication and engagement techniques in respect of media relations, reputation management, corporate communications, branding and marketing;
  • Experience creating innovative communication strategies using digital channels and new media;
  • Experience and proven success of management skills in complex governance structures;


  • Fluency in English language combined with outstanding written and verbal communication skills; knowledge of other European languages highly desirable;
  • Ability to work with an international team and community in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural context – cross-cultural competence essential
  • Proven success in working with board members and other senior management to deliver strategic objectives;
  • Highly effective engagement with internal and external stakeholders
  • Familiarity and proficiency in systems thinking and in working with complexity
  • Familiarity and proficiency in coaching others; able to build capacity by investing in the development of others
  • Empathetic and innovative thinker, familiar with human-centred design thinking, and able to translate a deep curiosity and understanding of needs into dynamic and entrepreneurial action.


  • Aware and sympathetic to the mission and purpose of addressing climate change
  • Confidence to encourage creativity in others;
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills, and the ability to develop effective long-term relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Articulate and dynamic with highly developed interpersonal skills.

Application Process

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Application is by CV and a cover letter explaining why the role is of interest, and outlining how you meet the person specification.

To apply, please send your application to .

Your application should consist of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter describing briefly how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.