RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow: Communications

POSITION TITLE: RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow: Communications

DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM: Content Team            

REPORTS TO: Editorial Director        

STATUS: Regular, Full-Time                 

LOCATION: NRDC - New York, NY                                  


Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Conservation Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate conservation-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation sector—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana, and Beijing.


NRDC’s Communications team is seeking an editorial and digital storyteller with a passion for environmental issues to join its Content team and help create fresh, compelling content that conveys the organization’s mission, delivers on its advocacy goals, and engages youth and people of color.

The RAY Fellow will work with NRDC’s editors to craft high-quality stories, articles, videos, and social content for NRDC.org and the organization’s social media platforms, using their perspective to enrich our content and inspire our audiences.

The Fellow will join editorial meetings, monitor breaking environmental news, write bylined articles, and will be encouraged to pitch stories and videos relevant to NRDC’s work and mission. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to assist in video scriptwriting or production to enhance their digital and multimedia storytelling skills.

The Fellow will also have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with NRDC experts, partners, and advocates working across different program areas, such as climate change, health, energy, food, and nature.


  • Generate story, article, and video ideas for NRDC.org and social platforms that engage youth and people of color
  • Write stories and scripts in close collaboration with other writers and editors
  • Participate in editorial meetings to brainstorm ideas for special projects or features
  • Collaborate with editorial team to execute existing and new projects
  • Edit, proofread, and prepare various articles for digital or print as required
  • Monitor news relevant to NRDC issue areas to identify topics for stories
  • Use data tools/analytics to help inform content ideas and angles
  • Assist with the coordination of the editorial and production process


In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-ins calls (including 1-on-1 check-ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in August 2020.
  • A 3-day Leadership Retreat in August 2021.
  • At least one other in-person training or workshop with their RAY Fellow cohort.


Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be less than one (1) year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2020 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment (Journalism, Communications, or related discipline preferred but not required)
  • An interest in and passion for environmental and public health issues
  • Excellent storytelling with familiarity across mediums and platforms
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, collaborative and creative spirit


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one-year renewal) starting on or after July 15, 2020.


The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by NRDC, who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities.


To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: https://rayfellowship.org/apply.
Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a curriculum vitae or a resume, two essay and one short answer responses, and a letter of support.

 Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 22, 2020. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. Questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Coordinator, Guilu Murphy, via email at guilu@elpnet.org.

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. Consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.