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Posted on October 1, 2021

Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing

San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC


The accelerating climate crisis has captured the attention of the nation. Its impact on communities is increasingly swift and unpredictable and has laid bare years of environmental injustice. Among the most powerful tools we have in the fight for a healthier, more sustainable world are strong environmental laws.

For 50 years, Earthjustice has strategically used the power of the 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 inspiration for Earthjustice, previously named the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, was in many ways the impact litigation pioneered by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the brilliant ways that lawyers and courageous clients used lawsuits to build power and force progress in a resistant and divided country.

Of course, legal strategies are most powerful when they work in tandem with great organizing, policy, and communications that build a groundswell of support. Earthjustice marries great lawyering with great in-house communications and policy work and deep partnership with clients who bring the full suite of skills to make change.

Earthjustice has grown rapidly in the last five years, tripling its budget to $135mm and increasing staff to nearly 500. The Communications and Marketing team has grown to over 50 and has become a force for influencing, deploying media strategy to complement and strengthen litigation and policy strategies. The team also plays an integral role in building Earthjustice’s organizational visibility and influence. To ensure that communications and marketing keep up with Earthjustice’s growth and fast evolution within the communications space, Earthjustice is creating a new leadership role, Senior Vice President (SVP) of Communications and Marketing. To fill this role, Earthjustice seeks an accomplished executive with depth in communications and marketing to drive impact through strategic communications advocacy and brand strategy.

The Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing will be a member of the Executive Leadership Team, responsible for the long-term vision and governance of the entire organization. In addition to advancing core programmatic initiatives, the SVP will lend their expertise to three critical opportunities for growth:

  • Increase the awareness and visibility of Earthjustice and its issues in key halls of power to drive programmatic change;
  • Expand public consciousness and appreciation of the courts as a critical means for advancing environmental safeguards;
  • Publicly position Earthjustice as the world’s leading player in environmental law.

There are few issues as universally impactful and urgent as climate change and protecting the environment. The role of SVP of Communications and Marketing provides an exciting opportunity for a skilled executive to join forces with the premier nonprofit environmental law organization and elevate the critical work of Earthjustice and its clients and partners during this most pressing of times.

Earthjustice was founded in 1971 and has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. It has the largest public interest environmental litigation team in the country (and in the world) with over 170 attorneys.

The tenacious, high-impact litigation team takes the most significant, most precedent-setting cases across the country and delivers impactful, far- reaching results. Attorneys work out of 15 offices across the U.S. They represent more than 500 client groups every year, free of charge, ranging from small grassroots groups to national organizations.

Earthjustice lawyers use their legal expertise to face down law-breaking polluters and government agencies. Many cases take years to resolve, but Earthjustice has the scale to make the long-term investments necessary to achieve success on the ground. Earthjustice has also built a broad network of partnerships with hundreds of organizations that work alongside it to fight for their local communities and wildlands. Whether working with farmworker groups to challenge EPA’s refusal to block harmful pesticides like chlorpyrifos or with community groups to clean up polluting refineries, Earthjustice lawyers stay on the case.

Earthjustice litigators work in concert with policy and communications teams to achieve success not only in court, but with government decision makers and in the court of public opinion. Earthjustice pursues three key goals to secure a just and flourishing world:

  • Fighting for healthy communities
  • Preserving the wild
  • Advancing clean energy and a healthy climate

As a highly respected, mission-driven legal organization, Earthjustice values intellectual curiosity, rigor, and a passion for justice. The culture is heavily input-driven and the team is guided by their values:

Earthjustice has been a leader in the environmental movement regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The staff is one of the most diverse among highly resourced groups, and the Executive Leadership Team is over 60% staff of color. Earthjustice is serious about centering equity and justice as a mission-critical programmatic imperative, and also in all of its policies and practices internally.

The SVP of Communications & Marketing has an amazing opportunity to advance the work of this highly successful organization and partner with an exceptionally strong staff, including some of the most talented and skilled environmental litigators and advocates in the world.

The SVP will manage an operating budget of approximately $6mm and a talented, diverse communications and marketing team that has a solid foundation  in campaign advocacy, content development, digital outreach, and marketing.

The SVP will rally and align these various disciplines around shared organizational objectives in program and marketing, providing leadership and guidance on how to integrate the two functions to better marry public affairs goals with brand communications. The SVP will also spearhead ambitious new efforts to grow the Earthjustice reputation and share of mind among key audiences, while maintaining its value of partnership with clients and partners.

The preferred location for the SVP of Communications and Marketing is either San Francisco or Washington D.C.

Specific responsibilities include:

External Communications Leadership

  • Cultivate relationships between Earthjustice thought leaders and key decision makers on the Hill, White House, and other halls of power to strengthen advocacy prowess
  • Spearhead the development of an Executive Thought Leadership program for the President and various senior leaders to promote the organization, its issues, and its unique theory of change around using the power of law for good
  • Manage crisis communications and
  • reputational risk management; serve as strategic counselor to the President and other members of Senior Leadership on sensitive issues and help develop high-level external and internal messaging as needed
  • Oversee teams focused on major external communications initiatives, including:
  • High-profile advocacy campaigns that support program objectives, enabling Earthjustice issues to break through in a crowded landscape
  • Media partnership-building efforts with influential outlets to increase visibility of Earthjustice spokespeople, clients, and issues
  • Integrated marketing strategies and high visibility partnerships with prominent values-aligned organizations that expand share of mind among key audiences

Strategic Planning and Alignment

  • Lead the annual strategic planning process for Communications & Marketing to align the department’s focus with broader, long-term organizational objectives:
  • Partner with VP of Communications and Marketing and leadership in Program and Development to identify and properly resource shared programmatic and marketing priorities; lead the Communications Leadership Team in better integrating individual team strategies and resources into broader department goals
  • Work with Communications Leadership Team to optimize team structure and processes and improve overall efficacy and cohesion of the department
  • Promote Communications’ Theory of Change to the rest of the organization; partner with members of Program Leadership to solidify the department’s transition from the historic service model of communications to a proactive strategic partner model
  • Oversee efforts to execute, track and measure progress on meeting strategic objectives of the department; regularly report out progress to major stakeholders, including Senior Leadership and Board

Management and Operations

  • Serve as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team to lead the overall direction, management, and operations of the organization; keep Leadership and the Board of Trustees apprised of and engaged with major developments in the department
  • Co-lead the overall management and operations of the department with the VP of Communications and Marketing and members of the Communications Leadership Team; help
  • spearhead best-in-class management and operations within the department, including performance and change management, recruiting and hiring, professional training and development, and budgeting
  • Foster a high-morale, diverse and inclusive department that enables staff to grow and thrive, consistent with the organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles and people management goals
  • Recruit and hire highly qualified candidates from diverse pools to fill key functions;
  • provide regular feedback and mentorship to direct reports; conduct annual performance reviews and support professional development opportunities

The ideal candidate will have a passion for the mission of Earthjustice, the intellectual curiosity and willingness to dig deep to understand the issues, and the depth of communications advocacy and marketing expertise to elevate the work of Earthjustice. Other assets include:

  • Robust experience successfully managing large, diverse teams spread across different offices and regions; ability to strategically design, grow, and manage teams at scale
  • Exceptional knowledge of communications advocacy and brand marketing, with experience bridging the two; direct campaign experience and strong familiarity with content strategy and digital strategies a plus
  • Proven track record in raising organizational profile and developing executive thought leadership from the ground up
  • Expertise in strategic planning, business planning, plan implementation, and evaluation
  • Collaborative work style; ready and energized to work with stakeholders in various teams and departments to integrate strategies and work plans and break down silos
  • Strong leader with the ability to inspire confidence and unite staff around a shared vision; proven track record of successfully implementing change management
  • Creative thinker and problem solver; good judgment and able to move forward expeditiously on initiatives following adequate evaluation
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Keen emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills; active listener
  • Interest in and support for the environmental mission and other justice- centered causes; knowledge of environmental issues and the legal field a plus
  • Commitment to the values of justice, partnership, inclusion, and excellence
  • 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

Salary and Benefits

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive.

Salary is based on number of years of experience and location.

Salary range in San Francisco, CA: $346,200 - $384,700

Salary range in Washington, DC: $329,000 - $365,500

To Apply

Earthjustice has retained the services of BoardWalk Consulting. For potential consideration, or to suggest a prospect email: Earthjustice@BoardWalkConsulting.com or call Crystal Stephens, or Diane Westmore at 404-262-7392.

No 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.

Accommodation

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 jobs@earthjustice.org.

What You Should Know About Earthjustice

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