Director, External Affairs

31 Jul, 2020


Director, External Affairs

Smithfield Foods
Smithfield, VA

Your Opportunity

Headquartered in Smithfield, Va., since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. employees are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly. ®” and have made us one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich®, and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.


The Director of External Affairs is responsible for developing and implementing an external affairs strategy in support of our public policy and state/local engagement. This role will drive strategy, coordinate efforts across their team and the organization, and build relationships with foundations, corporations, and organizations. This person will engage with local business organizations, councils, chambers, education organizations, and other stakeholders to establish and foster relationships and partnerships in support of Smithfield’s expanding footprint.

Core Responsibilities

  • Researches, develops, plans, designs, maintains and implements policies and programs that enhance the organization’s relations with the community, the public, government and regulatory authorities, shareholders and employees. Delivers communications through various media.
  • Coordinates dissemination of the organization’s communications with news or trade media contacts, through special events, public speaking or other means to reach defined audiences and meet specific program objectives.
  • Oversees all media relations, community publications and events, and communications between the organization and the community.
  • Develops strategies to effectively communicate organizational information to various public audiences. Directs the creation of the organization’s public image/identity.
  • Reviews materials intended for public release to ensure that they represent the best interest of the company and are consistent with public affairs objectives and policies.
  • Serves as a key member of the policy team, supporting and driving engagement with local stakeholders and civic associations.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university and 10+ years of professional experience in communications, marketing, public relations or related field, required.
  • Minimum of 8+ years’ experience in a position of leadership to include team development and management, required.
  • Experience with local public policy and engagement efforts and/or experience with local / municipal policymaking.
  • Strong public speaking skills.
  • Flexible and action-oriented, with an ability to adapt to changing situations.
  • A demonstrated ability to juggle multiple projects while working effectively under the pressure of changing priorities.
  • High energy style, flexible and adaptive, with the ability to work well at all levels in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills with the ability to communicate complex information to a wide variety of audiences.
  • Strong organizational skills with a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work well with others in fast paced, dynamic environment.
  • Ability to be respectful, approachable and team oriented while building strong working relationships and a positive work environment.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership and guidance to employees within the Corporate Affairs function.
  • Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and assisting in providing appropriate resolutions.

EEO/AA Information

Smithfield, is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, gender identity, protected veterans status or status as a disabled individual or any other protected group status or non-job related characteristic as directed by law.

Careers and Benefits

To learn more about Smithfield’s benefits, visit

Job posted: 2020-07-31