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Vice President of Climate & Energy

San Francisco, CA

Earthjustice is the premier non-profit environmental law organization.  They take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. They wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. The organization partners with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of the time, and bring about positive change. They are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections.  They achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.  With a current operating budget of $65MM and a committed staff of 300, Earthjustice is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Alaska, California, Florida, Mid-Pacific, Northeast, Northern Rockies, Northwest, Rocky Mountain, and Washington DC.


The Vice President (VP) of Climate & Energy is a unique global role that will enable the ideal candidate to affect our environment in a positive way while working with and leading some of the best set of passionate litigators and talent that exists. The Vice President develops and oversees the strategic direction and effectiveness of Earthjustice’s Climate and Energy program. This program encompasses our work on fossil fuel energy (on both the supply and demand sides), clean energy, greenhouse gas controls, and related domestic and international climate and energy issues. 

The VP reports to the Senior Vice President of Program and is a member of the organization’s Program Leadership Team (PLT), which includes three other program VPs, the VP of Policy and Legislation, the VP of Communications & Marketing and the Senior Director, Program Communications.  In partnership with the PLT, the VP works with staff across all regional offices, programs, and departments to coordinate our climate and energy work and maximize its impact.

The VP directly oversees dedicated Coal and Clean Energy Programs, and the Earthjustice International Program, which is focused principally on replacing fossil fuels with clean energy globally.  In these programs and the litigation department more broadly, the VP plays a key role in ensuring manager effectiveness and maintaining litigation excellence. As a member of the Program Leadership Team, the VP is responsible for contributing to the institution’s overall programmatic direction and decision-making.

The VP is well-grounded in the work of the whole organization both factually and legally, and seeks to maximize funding opportunities.  In practice, this means significant time and attention to fundraising and donor relations, client relations and networking, keeping current on external developments legally, politically, and environmentally, engaging with the Board including with frequent reporting, being an Earthjustice “ambassador” or media spokesperson as needed.

Specific Responsibilities:

Strategic Direction and Vision for Climate and Energy Program and High-Quality, Effective Litigation

  • Provides strategic leadership to ensure the development and effective prosecution of far-reaching, high impact litigation.
  • Collaborates with managing attorneys and other relevant staff, to ensure that Earthjustice climate and energy advocacy achieves strategic program goals.
  • In conjunction with managing attorneys, other relevant staff, and the organization’s program leadership team, ensures that associated communications and policy/legislative advocacy strategies are in place (managed internally or by clients or allies) to move toward achieving identified goals and outcomes.
  • Helps identify gaps, weaknesses, and lessons learned as the climate and energy program grows and changes.
  • Oversees the direction of the Coal, Clean Energy, and International Programs, to ensure effective, high-quality litigation and advocacy with the highest ethical standards.
  • Effectively manages and develops staff, creates a productive and rewarding work environment, and in collaboration with managing attorneys, effectively recruits and retains the highest quality legal staff.
  • Pursues opportunities to diversify program and staff with a focus on (a) fostering an inclusive work environment that is hospitable to, respectful of, and conducive to success of staff from all backgrounds; and, (b) identifying and pursuing opportunities to diversify our client base to include communities of color and/or economically disadvantage communities that experience disproportionate environmental impact.  Partners with our VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to advance our goals internally and externally/programmatically.
  • Integration, Coordination, and Intra-Organization Communication

  • Works closely and collaboratively with the SVP of Program and other three litigation VP(s) in leading the litigation department and ensuring a well-integrated litigation program for the entire organization; to achieve this goal, the VP must also be generally knowledgeable about the objectives and work of the entire litigation program.
  • Facilitates collaboration among regional offices and between litigation staff and Communications, Policy and Legislation, and Development staff on climate and energy issues.
  • Works closely with the VPs of Policy and Legislation and Communications in aligning vision and prioritizing allocation of cross-departmental resources to advance climate and energy program objectives.
  • Effective Member of Leadership Team

  • Reports to, supports and is an effective partner for the SVP.
  • Keeps organizational leadership informed about the climate and energy program.
  • Maintains the trust and confidence of the President and colleagues.
  • Participates effectively in organizational decision-making, including priority-setting, planning and budget.
  • Board Relations, Education, and Inspiration

  • Responsible for the Board litigation approval process on climate and energy issues.
  • Provides updates to the Board on the climate and energy program and litigation updates more broadly.
  • Inspires and earns the confidence of the Board.
  • Educates and keeps the Board apprised about developments of the climate and energy program and our unique mission.
  • External Presence and Voice for Climate and Energy Program

  • Helps Earthjustice articulate its vision for the climate and energy program and serves as the ambassador for Earthjustice to the outside world (e.g., funders, supporters, media and policy makers) as necessary.
  • Ensures that he/she or other litigators are recognized experts and visionaries in spheres that matter for our work.
  • May include participation in high level policy discussions at a national level.
  • Works with fundraising staff to identify and capitalize on funding opportunities; builds positive relationships with major donors and foundations via effective communications; provides program leadership on climate and energy issues for Development department.
  • Works with litigation staff and others to provides program information to the other departments so that they can be as effective as possible.
  • Identifies and capitalizes on media opportunities.
  • Engages in direct advocacy work on select issues.
  • Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Managing Attorneys of designated regional offices and dedicated program staff.
  • Management (Essential Functions)

  • Recruits and hires qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment. 
  • Promotes change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles.
  • Sets clear team direction that aligns with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Develops staff by providing career development opportunities with appropriate training, encouragement, and supervision.
  • Provides staff with performance feedback and acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Promotes inclusive work environment for team and models inclusive behavior.

  • Experience with a diverse range of environmental issues; significant experience with climate and energy issues.
  • Excellent litigation skills.
  • Experience leading, designing and participating in regional and/or national environmental campaigns.
  • Proven leadership skills.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent people management skills; experience managing lawyers.
  • Demonstrated success in managing and working with teams.
  • Formal and informal advocacy skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills.
  • Strong public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Excellent computer skills (e.g. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • 25% or more travel time.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Management (Essential Skills)

    • Ability to manage and lead a diverse team in a diverse environment with emotional intelligence and cultural competency.
    • Has self-awareness and understands the impact of behaviors and emotional intelligence in the workplace. Also understands team’s strengths and areas for development. 
    • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.


  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.   
  • Experience successfully managing a creative and diverse staff.
  • Experience managing large department budget in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and implement projects and work plans.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience with public speaking.
  • Ability to think strategically.
  • Knowledge of information technologies.
  • Excellent computer skills.  Ability to use a variety of computer and online systems.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.

  • JD degree.
  • Attorney with 10 or more years’ experience in environmental litigation and/or legal advocacy.

    Earthjustice offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package.


    Earthjustice has retained the services of DHR International Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to

    Please reach out to if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

    Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

    For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco:  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment-qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

    For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:  We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.




    If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview or some other portion of the selection process for a job at Earthjustice, please contact Human Resources at

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    About Earthjustice

    Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.