Joel Finkelstein

Senior Communications Advisor

Joel Finkelstein

Joel Finkelstein

Joel Finkelstein has 20 years of experience using creative communications for good. As Chief Strategist at Brightstone Strategy, he focuses on long-term consulting engagements with nonprofits and firm seeking capacity building, creative campaign design and breakthrough strategies on climate, energy and the environment.

Joel has extensive background in organizational positioning and branding, and is a proven innovator in online outreach to elite audiences and target constituencies. He brings extensive expertise and a strong reputation with the national environmental media corps.

Before starting Brightstone, Joel was a Managing Director at Climate Advisers, a consulting firm that works to deliver a strong low-carbon economy. He designed and implemented the communications strategy for the campaign that is transforming the commodity agriculture sector – the source of a third of global climate pollution. He focused on communicating with global elites in media, government and civil society about climate diplomacy going into the Paris Agreement, and designed a message strategy focused on changing the realm of the politically possible. Also at Climate Advisers, Joel conducted a comprehensive strategic analysis of how the environmental community could leverage sophisticated data and analytics; and he created messaging and conducted outreach around the 2014 U.N. Secretary General’s Summit on Climate Change.

Joel spent six years at Fenton Communications. As a Senior Vice President and head of the firm’s energy and environment practice, he led the nationwide roll-out of the Pew Charitable Trust’s 50-state analysis of the clean energy economy – which has permanently changed the discussion over green jobs. He worked with clients and projects such as the the National Geographic Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, the American Forest Foundation, Greenpeace and the Green Group; as well as with the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Community Health Centers, among many others.

Prior to joining Fenton, Joel worked at the National Environmental Trust, where he ran national media relations for high-visibility campaigns on air pollution, global warming and toxic waste. He developed expertise in Clean Air Act communications, leading outreach to national media around soot and smog rules, clean air in the national parks, and toxic emission limits. He helped create and execute the organization’s increased rapid-response capability.

Joel spent the 2000 election cycle in Michigan, where he ran a rapid-response and tracking operation for the state Democratic Party that helped defeat an incumbent U.S. senator. Before that, he served as press secretary for Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). He received a Master’s in Campaign Management from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Joel makes jokes on twitter about the politics of the environment, and the environment of politics, at @joelfinkelstein