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Senior Vice President of Program

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 Senior Vice President (SVP) of Program reports to the President and has responsibility for developing and overseeing the overall strategy and effectiveness of Earthjustice’s program, leading implementation of the organization’s strategic plan and evolving the most impactful work going forward.  The SVP convenes and manages our Program Leadership Team, developing and advancing institutional priorities, aligning work and teams, and directing resource investments across our Litigation, Communications, and Policy and Legislation Departments.  The SVP directly supervises four Vice Presidents of our program areas, the Vice President of Policy and Legislation, and a Program Leadership Team manager, to be hired by the SVP.  The SVP of Program also serves on the Executive Team, providing institutional leadership on policy, risk management and financial decisions, and serves as a key voice on internal culture and communications.

Specific Responsibilities:

Program Leadership Team Management

  • Leads the Program Leadership Team.
  • Directs the functioning of the group, setting agendas, designing and driving team processes and decision-making.
  • Identifies and clarifies roles and responsibilities within the team and in relation to other key staff.
  • Ensures timely decisions are made and communicated effectively throughout the organization.

Leads Organization-Wide Setting of Program Priorities, Goals & Strategies

  • Works with members of the Program Leadership Team to set programmatic direction across departments, ensuring high impact work within and across program areas.
  • Ensures effective implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  • Ensures appropriate input processes to engage Managing Attorneys, Department directors, program area experts, and staff more broadly.

Resources Programmatic Needs

  • Ensures appropriate staffing, including multi-departmental, multi-office teams as appropriate to achieve top-level goals.
  • Works with other members of the Program Leadership Team to identify budgetary priorities and determine the budget needed for successful program implementation.
  • Works with Program Leadership Team Manager to provide tracking and other resources as requested for the board, finance department, and other staff members as needed.

Program Evaluation & Benchmarking

  • Directs program evaluation against goals and benchmarks, with the goals of maximizing impact and developing a “learning culture”.
  • Performs periodic audits and analysis to ensure priorities, goals and strategies are in line with the strategic plan and Earthjustice’s vision and values.
  • Models a learning culture by engaging program staff in periodic case studies/program reviews.

Track Internal & External Landscape

  • Working with the Program Leadership Team, tracks developments in the field, including the competitive landscape.
  • Develop means for a “horizon watching” function/discipline within each program area.
  • Identify key institutional relationships within each program area and ensure strategic engagement.

Executive Team

  • Serves on the Executive Team, providing institutional leadership on policy, risk management and financial decisions, and internal culture and communications.
  • Helps support President on CEO-level program activities.
  • Contributes to functional leadership team dynamics.
  • Contributes to successful completion of a year’s budget cycle and risk management.

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.

Other Duties

  • The SVP of Program is conversant with and adept at communicating all areas of Earthjustice program.
  • Less than 10% of SVP time is devoted to fundraising and to serving as a “one-stop-shop” for program information and sign-off.


An ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Strong knowledge of environmental law and key issues.
  • Excellent organization and planning abilities.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills. 
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences. 
  • Demonstrated ability to create and implement projects and work plans.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience and proficiency with public speaking.
  • Ability to think strategically.
  • Ability to see the big picture, anticipate emerging issues, envision growth and change, and develop programs that support the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Experience working with a board and staff to focus an organization on the right trajectory.
  • A leadership style that is collaborative and inclusive with good listening skills, high emotional intelligence, and the ability to interact effectively with people from different backgrounds.
  • High levels of energy and personal resilience.  Open to feedback and improvement.

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 teams’ strengths and areas for development. 
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.
  • Ability to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays as business operations demand.
  • The employee occasionally works in a variety of environments including outdoor events, public and private indoor spaces and may be exposed to elements consistent with these environments.


  • 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.


  • Bachelor’s /Master’s/ JD required (or preferred).
  • 10+ years’ experience working in a law firm, non-profit experience preferred.
  • Experience managing programs in a law firm environment.
  • Experience managing a budget cycle.
  • Risk management experience preferred.
  • Experience working with and/or managing large, diverse teams.


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.