In 2017, Earthjustice created Earthjustice Action, its affiliated 501(c)(4) advocacy partner. While Earthjustice wields the power of the law, Earthjustice Action unleashes the power of the people through advocacy, education, and electoral work. Earthjustice Action serves a much-needed role in ensuring that our courts are front and center in environmental politics and in defending and strengthening the environmental laws that Earthjustice litigators depend on to win their cases. Earthjustice Action organizes phone banks, runs digital advocacy campaigns, mobilizes voters, and helps fly constituents of Members of Congress to Washington, D.C., so lawmakers can meet directly with the people most affected by their decisions.
Earthjustice is the nation’s largest, oldest, and most active public-interest environmental law organization. Our team of 550 staff wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect public health, address environmental injustice, defend magnificent places and irreplaceable ecosystems, transition our economy to 100% clean energy, and combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, tribes, individuals, and communities to address the environmental crises of our time. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.
For fifty years, Earthjustice has served as the legal backbone of the environmental movement. Our $135M annual budget supports over 550 staff in 16 offices, including litigators, federal lobbyists, state lobbyists, scientists, and communications professionals. Together, we have achieved a distinguished record of advocacy successes in our core issue areas: protecting lands, waters, and the web of life; defending community health and addressing environmental injustice; transitioning our economy to 100% clean energy; and defending the power of our environmental laws and the integrity of our judicial system.
Earthjustice’s advocacy success stems in large part from our broad network of relationships with clients and partner groups. We have represented over 1,000 different communities, tribal organizations, and NGOs in lobbying and litigation efforts and have helped elevate the voices of communities and groups that have not historically been included in the mainstream environmental movement. Our staff also serve in leadership positions on many coalitions, including the Climate Action Campaign, NAAQS Coalition, Equitable and Justice National Climate Forum, Partnership Project, Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign, and Combined Defense Campaign.
Earthjustice has embarked on a transformational effort to diversify its staff, address internal inclusion and equity, and increase attention to racial justice in our programmatic work and in our movement. We are committed to improving who we are, what we do, and how we do it, both internally (by creating an inclusive and equitable workplace) and externally (by fighting for justice through our advocacy work). While numbers don’t tell the whole story, they do illustrate it: 44% of our staff—and 67% of our senior leadership team—are people of color, 35% of our clients work on environmental justice matters, and nearly a quarter of our clients are community-based organizations.
The Earthjustice Action Political Director (“Political Director”) is responsible for the overall leadership, strategy, and management of Earthjustice Action’s growing electoral work and other key areas of Earthjustice Action’s program work. Reporting to Earthjustice’s Vice President of Policy and Legislation, the Policy Director will craft and execute a long-term strategic vision for scaling Earthjustice Action’s political influence and electoral impact and will set clear and achievable goals, develop consistent metrics for evaluating performance, and build financial resources and organizational systems to achieve the outcomes we seek.
The Political Director will work closely with staff across both organizations, in particular, Earthjustice’s Policy and Legislation (PAL) Department, and Earthjustice leadership, including those who serve as Officers of Earthjustice Action. The person in this role will also coordinate, supervise, and implement projects and organizational initiatives on behalf of Earthjustice Action in partnership with Communications, Development, and Operations departments.
Strategic Leadership (30%)
• Work with the Earthjustice Action’s President, Board of Directors, and Earthjustice staff to build the organization’s political influence and electoral work and refresh plans and tactics in response to changing political circumstances.
•In coordination with leadership and Earthjustice Action Board of Directors, explore needs and create recommendations around launching additional entities to grow Earthjustice Action’s electoral work — a traditional connected Political Action Committee (PAC) and/or a SuperPAC. As needed, lead a cross-departmental team to implement approved recommendations.
• Partner with Communications staff to amplify Earthjustice Action’s electoral work for its supporters and others.
• Partner with Earthjustice Action Deputy Director and Development staff to fundraise for Earthjustice Action’s work.
• Provide strategic support to Earthjustice Action’s President, the Chair of Earthjustice Action’s Board of Directors, and Earthjustice’s Vice President of Policy and Legislation.
• Develop a strong relationship with Earthjustice Action Board members and support Board recruitment efforts.
Program Implementation (50%)
• Serve as spokesperson for Earthjustice Action internally and externally.
• Lead and conduct all aspects of Earthjustice Action’s electoral campaigns, including partnering with in-state/in-district organizations on shared tactics whenever strategic and feasible.
• Lead and staff Earthjustice Action’s affiliated PAC(s), if/when created.
• Work with Earthjustice’s Policy and Legislation and Communications teams to design and implement non-electoral advocacy initiatives to influence priority legislation per Earthjustice Action’s strategic plan. These initiatives may involve phone banking, digital ads, and other paid tactics.
• Develop, maintain, and expand trusting relationships with key Members of Congress and other important decision-makers.
• Represent Earthjustice Action at appropriate national and state 501(c)(4) coalitions and at any campaign-specific coalitions for better collaboration across key races and campaigns that Earthjustice Action has prioritized.
• Retain and supervise vendors as necessary to implement Earthjustice Action’s electoral and other programmatic goals.
Organizational Leadership and Administration (15%)
Working as necessary with Earthjustice Action’s President, Board Chair, General Counsel, and other staff, as well as Earthjustice Action staff, the Political Director will:
• Write program reports for Board members and supporters.
• Recruit, hire, and supervise additional staff when necessary and appropriate.
• Ensure legal compliance with Earthjustice Action’s campaigns and other activities.
Advancement of Equity and Inclusion (5%)
• Assist in cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization and the broader environmental movement.
• Contribute to Earthjustice’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mission through involvement in trainings and internal working groups.
• Ability to work with populations with diverse backgrounds and promote equity and inclusion for staff, donors, and coalition members
• Demonstrable leadership skills
• Deep understanding of 501(c)(4) organizations and robust political campaign experience.
• Experience developing and implementing successful electoral and/or advocacy campaigns involving traditional, digital, and social media, both earned and paid. (examples)
• Fundraising experience, especially for 501(c)(4) / 501(c)(3) or political organizations (examples)
• Experience formulating and tracking budgets
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills
• Proven ability to build, work with, and deepen relationships with coalitions
Experience and Education
• Eight years’ experience working on political campaigns and/or with 501(c)(4) organizations.
• Bachelor’s, Master’s, or J.D.
Personal Traits and Attributes
• Passion for the position and Earthjustice and Earthjustice Action’s mission, including our commitment to furthering racial and social justice through our programmatic agenda.
• Strong emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and cultural humility.
• Comfort with communicating with and through the media and supporters.
• Awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
• Ability to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse workforce and build an equitable and inclusive workplace and culture.
• Willingness to travel and work evenings, weekends and/or holidays as operations demand.
• Approachable attitude, sense of humor, and interest in contributing to a fun and fulfilling work environment.
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:
• The ability to create and articulate an inspiring vision for the organization, not only for the areas they are directly responsible for, but the organization as a whole.
• The inclination to seek and analyze data from various sources to support decisions and align others with the organization’s overall strategy.
• An entrepreneurial and creative approach to developing new, innovative ideas that will stretch the organization and push the boundaries within the industry.
• The ability to effectively balance the desire/need for broad change with an understanding of how much change the organization is capable of handling, to create realistic goals and implementation plans that are achievable and successful.
Executing for Results
• The ability to set clear and challenging goals while committing the organization to improved performance; tenacious and accountable in driving results.
• Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; the ability to adapt nimbly and lead others through complex situations.
• A risk-taker who seeks data and input from others to foresee possible threats or unintended circumstances from decisions; someone who takes smart risks.
• A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in their approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always taking into account what is best for the organization.
• The ability to lead and motivate the team, delegate effectively, celebrate diversity within the team, and manage performance; widely viewed as a strong developer of others.
• The ability to persevere in the face of challenges and exhibit a steadfast resolve and relentless commitment to higher standards that commands respect from followers.
• A leader who is self-reflective and aware of their limitations; leads by example and drives the organization’s performance with an attitude of continuous improvement by being open to feedback and self-improvement.
Relationships and Influence
• Naturally connects and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.
• An ability to inspire trust and followership in others through compelling influence, powerful charisma, passion in their beliefs, and active drive.
• Encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the team’s success.
• Creates a sense of purpose/meaning for the team that generates followership beyond their own personality and engages others to the greater purpose for the organization.
Salary & Benefits
The annual salary range for this position is $197,600 – $219,600. This salary range is reflective of a position based in Washington, D.C.