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Senior Operations Director

San Francisco, CA

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country.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 partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

The substantial growth in size and complexity at Earthjustice has created a significant demand for project management, coordinated meeting and event planning, metrics and evaluation, and the adoption of effective processes for executing these. This growth has also stressed the need to enhance cross-functional collaboration, alignment, and communication.

Reporting to the SVP of Operations, the Senior Operations Director is a new position that will collaborate with key team members to lead the creation and implementation of project management, cross-functional processes, meeting planning and execution practices and to leverage these for ambitious organizational goals. The Senior Operations Director will be driven by overarching goals of optimizing systems, work flows, and cross-functional relationships to support a growing Earthjustice. They will design and support critical path identification, risk management practices, process improvements and contingencies. They will supervise high-performing project management, facilities, and meeting planning teams and their activities, including development of milestones, budgets, communication plans, reporting, and resource plan development.

The Senior Director will set clear and accountable goals for self and their teams and ensure alignment with Earthjustice and Operations department strategic goals. This role is highly cross-functional and will involve collaboration with many internal partners, including Operations team members and regional office administrators.


The Senior Operations Director’s essential duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Operations Management & Evaluation (Approximately 40%)

  • Manage the effectiveness of internal people-related functions and overseeing, fostering and deepening staff and volunteer relations.
  • Serve on Operations management team and partner with the SVP to develop and execute an Operations strategic plan and goals.
  • Set operational and strategic objectives and priorities for project management, facilities, and meeting planning functions that are in alignment with Earthjustice and Operations strategic plan and goals.
  • Partner with the Operations & Facilities Director to support their work in organizational space planning, facilities management, moves and changes, and cross-functional work flows.
  • Align team functions in accordance with key Operational imperatives that support the current and future scale of Earthjustice, including: optimizing work flows for efficiency; leveraging technology; designing processes and projects that scale effectively; mitigating organizational risk; and adapting to the changing needs of the organization.
  • Maintain dotted line partnership with Deputy Director of Operations based in Washington DC. Build relationships with regional office administrative staff, with a focus on assessing successes and opportunities for improvement in the Operations functions. Contribute to the professional development and engagement of the administrative staff in regional offices.
  • Contribute to the design of systems, work flows and processes that align with the Operational imperatives above and are responsive to the needs of staff across the organization.
  • Collaborate with Operations leadership to develop, define and monitor key metrics and evaluation methods for all Operations teams and functions.
  • Maintain and enhance Earthjustice presence on third-party validator sites (i.e. Charity Navigator, Guidestar, BBB) and monitor ratings and information.
  • Serve as project manager for overall risk management plan, working closely with General Counsel as project lead.
  • Maintain a focus on practices that reduce Earthjustice’s environmental impact and contribute to a vendor selection practice that chooses vendors and venues that align with Earthjustice values and treat their employees fairly and equitably.
  • Cultivate awareness in self and teams of the current standards and best practices in the project management, facilities, and meeting planning disciplines. Attend networking events to expand database of vendors, venues and contractors.
  • Ensure project and event risk management practices are attended to by team managers and followed.
  • Other projects, as assigned.

Project Management (Approximately 20%)

  • Develop and support the effective operating of a “Project Management Office,” optimizing project management processes, tools, templates and building project management capabilities throughout the organization.
  • Initially maintain dotted line oversight of the PMO. Assess effectiveness of maintaining PMO as a nested team within Information Technology, and make any structural changes necessary to ensure the effectiveness of that team as a resource for all of Operations.
  • Collaborate with team to develop immediate and longer-term vision and goals of the project management PMO, and advance same.
  • Identify and implement systems, processes, and resources necessary to support current and anticipated future project management activities.
  • Build department-wide (and eventually organization-wide) capability in project management standards, best practices, systems, and methods to support delivery of realistic, relevant, project timelines and deliverables.
  • Promote effective project management practices across Operations and Earthjustice.
  • Work with the internal communications team and other colleagues to maximize staff awareness of and engagement with (as appropriate) organizational projects, meetings and events.
  • Responsible for ensuring budgets are created, tracked and reported on in accordance with organizational guidelines.
  • Create with team a set of metrics for evaluating projects, a learning culture practice for conducting post project reviews, and a mechanism for reviewing implemented projects for any needed improvements.

Meeting & Event (Approximately 10%)

  • Develop and oversee the effective launch and operations of an internal events program focused on staff meetings, retreats and large-scale trainings.
  • Ensure team is leveraging effective processes, tools, templates and is promoting same throughout the organization.
  • Collaborate with team to develop immediate and longer-term vision and goals of the internal meeting and events team, and advance same.
  • Ensure the application of project management best practices in planning and execution of meetings and events.
  • Collaborate with team manager to design an effective stakeholder engagement strategy for larger scale events (i.e. All Staff Meeting, Legal Training Conference), with a focus on meeting objectives, agendas and other goals.
  • Create with team a set of metrics for evaluating performance and success of meetings and events, and a feedback methodology for ensuring meetings evolve to best meet the needs of the organization.
  • Work with the internal communications team and other colleagues to maximize staff awareness of and engagement with (as appropriate) organizational projects, meetings and events.
  • Responsible for ensuring budgets are created, tracked and reported on in accordance with organizational guidelines.

Management (Approximately 30%)

  • 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 identifying and encouraging training and professional development opportunities appropriate to role and creating development plans for all staff.
  • Provides staff with consistent performance feedback – both positive and constructive -- and acts as a coach and mentor.
  • Creates a learning culture, by encouraging debriefing after completion of significant stages of projects.
  • Ensures that any direct reports who have supervisory responsibility are properly executing those functions.
  • Creates a respectful and inclusive work environment for team and models respectful and inclusive behavior.
  • Promptly addresses micro-aggressions and other concerns brought to their attention.
  • Resolves interpersonal conflict among team members and brings in outside facilitators as needed.
  • Communicates regularly with existing employees and encourages staff to raise concerns and to provide ongoing feedback.
  • Creates or identifies strategic opportunities for team building and individual and overall staff engagement with one another in order to strengthen teamwork, interaction and collaboration.
  • Values and uses individual differences and talents to improve employee satisfaction and the quality of collective work.
  • Celebrates successes and helps team members to understand and manage setbacks. 


The ideal candidate will have the following professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

  • Ability to supervise the work of others, and to delegate effectively; and experience training staff on new skills and procedures.
  • Ability to motivate and lead self and others.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; able to build strong relationships across departments and levels within an organization and able to collaborate effectively with others.
  • Strong communications skills; ability to persuasively convey, both verbally and in writing, goals, objectives, and business cases.
  • Exceptional project management skills; practiced in leading project management functions in complex organizational settings.
  • Ability to prioritize, manage multiple deadlines, and respond quickly to new opportunities.
  • Strong computer skills, and experience with project management tools and platforms.
  • A willingness and ability to work on fast-paced projects in strong collaboration with other Earthjustice staff members.
  • Negotiation skills, and vendor management skills; ability to achieve organizational goals through contract negotiations.
  • Detail-oriented with ability to manage multiple requests; strong organization skills.
  • Team-oriented, driven by a passion for strengthening organizational culture and connectedness.
  • Creativity and an ability to bring new ideas and approaches to Earthjustice Operations.
  • Safety and security oriented; experience working with risk management plans and developing back up and emergency plans.
  • 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.

Strong candidates will also bring the following essential management skills:

  • Ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse team with emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understating of the impact of their behavior) and cultural competence (an understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientation and implementation of that learning daily management practices).
  • Ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s operations.
  • Strong team mentorship and communication skills
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization

Desired Education and/or Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required; MBA or similar advanced degree a plus
  • 6-8 years of relevant professional experience
  • A minimum of 4 years of supervisory experience required
  • Demonstrated experience leading cross functional project teams
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) or Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification or a strong background in leading and managing a project management function required.

Earthjustice offers a very competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. They also offer an extremely congenial work environment and a casual dress code.

Application Procedure:

Earthjustice has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Kara Teising by the July 10, 2019 deadline. Please apply online here:

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.