Posted on November 9, 2022 Full Time Policy and Legislation

Vice President of Policy and Legislation

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Vice President of Policy and Legislation

Washington, D.C.

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.

Earthjustice’s Vice President of Policy and Legislation oversees all our legislative and administrative advocacy strategies, and partners with our senior leaders to create a vision for addressing the environmental crises of our time and building the environmental movement of the future. The Vice President will directly supervise our 25-member Policy and Legislation team and the staff of Earthjustice Action, Earthjustice’s 501(c)(4) affiliate. As a member of Earthjustice’s Program Leadership Team, the Vice President will collaborate in the development and evaluation of Earthjustice’s policy positions as well as our entire body of advocacy and communications work. This work includes lobbying and administrative advocacy strategies at the state, regional, and local level, many of which are developed and carried out by region- and/or issue-specific legal teams. Together with other members of the Program Leadership Team, the Vice President is responsible for the coordination of those strategies and their consistency with the organization’s broader policy positions and advocacy objectives.

The position will report to Earthjustice’s Senior Vice President for Programs and will be based in Washington D.C.

Experience: A minimum of 10 years of federal legislative development, lobbying and/or administrative advocacy experience, and a minimum of 3 years of management experience.

More on the organization

For fifty years, Earthjustice has served as the legal backbone of the environmental movement. Our $135M annual budget supports over 550 staff in sixteen 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 1000 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 well over 50% 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.


Program leadership (40%)

  • Develop and deploy strategies to broaden and strengthen the environmental movement and increase its power and influence through federal and state-based advocacy, community partnerships, and issue advocacy campaigns.
  • Develop and supervise Earthjustice’s federal legislative lobbying strategies, and collaborate in the development, coordination, and evaluation of federal administrative advocacy strategies.
  • As a member of the Program Leadership Team, develop Earthjustice’s broader strategic vision and goals, and supervise the entire body of Earthjustice’s advocacy work, with a particular focus on federal, state, and local legislative advocacy efforts.
  • Strengthen the voice, presence, and influence of Earthjustice in Washington D.C. and in political circles at state and federal levels to advance our shared agenda.
  • Develop and manage the budget of the Policy and Legislation department, and, as a member of the Program Leadership Team, Earthjustice’s overall programmatic budget.
  • Work in partnership with the Communications Department to design and execute political communications strategies, including strategies that target relevant constituencies to influence elected officials.
  • Work with the Executive Director of Earthjustice Action to develop the goals and strategies of Earthjustice’s allied 501(c)(4) organization.
  • Ensure that equity, racial, and social justice considerations inform every aspect of our programmatic work.

Team management and leadership (30%)

  • Develop, empower, and support a high-functioning and collaborative Policy and Legislation team. Provide the coaching and feedback they need to succeed, and the management structures and processes the team needs to achieve its potential.
  • Directly supervise Earthjustice’s Legislative Directors and Lobbying & Project Manager, the Executive Director of Earthjustice Action, and other PAL staff as appropriate.
  • Help Earthjustice achieve its goals for staff diversity, workplace equity, and inclusivity.
  • Foster a positive, respectful, fun, and inclusive work environment.
  • Build a learning culture in which teams celebrate victories, rigorously evaluate progress, learn from setbacks, and share experiences to help each other succeed.
  • Recruits and hires qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.

Coalition and Partnership Building (10%)

  • Work to build and maintain Earthjustice’s relationships with partner organizations and their leadership through work on mutual policy and legislative priorities.
  • Represent Earthjustice and Earthjustice President Abigail Dillen at high-level meetings among NGO groups, congressional leadership, federal agency leadership, and White House staff.
  • Serve as Earthjustice’s representative on boards and other leadership bodies of critical advocacy coalitions, e.g. Partnership Project.

External engagement, including policy advocacy, board relations, and fundraising (15%)

  • Communicate with policymakers to influence policy at a state, local, and/or national level. This may include approaches ranging from face-to-face communications to social media campaigns, and from personal outreach to the behind-the-scenes development and coordination of partner-led outreach campaigns.
  • In partnership with Earthjustice’s communications team, educate and influence supporters and partners to achieve our programmatic and fundraising objectives.
  • Build Earthjustice’s brand and external profile through public speaking, thought leadership, and media relations.
  • Participate in all aspects of board relations, including regular reporting on program work and working with board members who are personally engaged in influencing federal policy.
  • Work with Earthjustice’s Development staff to support fundraising efforts.

Organizational Leadership (5%)

  • Serve as a member of Earthjustice’s Senior Leadership Team, which works with Earthjustice’s President and Board of Trustees to set organizational policies and strategy (including financial strategy) and drive organizational change.
  • Work with Earthjustice’s General Counsel and her team to ensure compliance with federal lobbying restrictions.
  • Build organizational culture by modeling Earthjustice’s values of justice, partnership, inclusion, and excellence.



  • A minimum of 10 years of lobbying and/or administrative advocacy experience.
  • A minimum of 3 years of management experience.
  • Experience developing and managing a substantial budget, as well as third-party contracts.
  • A record of success in developing advocacy campaigns that secure meaningful policy change, with a preference for candidates with experience using litigation as part of those strategies.
  • Professional relationships and an advocacy track record that further elevate Earthjustice’s profile and help Earthjustice achieve its goals. These might include relationships with allied environmental NGOs and social justice organizations, with federal legislative staff, or with administration staff at the White House and regulatory agencies.


  • Excellent management skills, including the ability to coach leaders, mentor staff, provide effective feedback, delegate responsibility, lead change in a large organization, and foster communication, collaboration, and mutual respect.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, preferably including experience as a media spokesperson.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and maintain coalitions and partnerships, understand and influence stakeholders, listen to and learn from others, and motivate and inspire co-workers.
  • An awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Ability to contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences. 

Personal Traits and Attributes:

  • Passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission, including our commitment to furthering racial and social justice through our programmatic agenda.
  • High 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.
  • A positive attitude, a sense of humor and a willingness to have fun.

Salary & Benefits

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.

Compensation: Salary is based on experience. Salary range based in Washington, D.C.: $275,300 – $305,900.

How to Apply

Interested, qualified applicants should submit an electronic copy of their resume and cover letter to the search consultants listed below:

  • Resume
  • One- to two-page cover letter that explains why you are drawn to this position and what prior -experience of yours lends itself to this role.

Earthjustice has retained the services of Russell Reynolds Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to the Russell Reynolds Associates team at

Working at Earthjustice

Hybrid Work

Earthjustice employs a “team-centered” approach to hybrid work, where teams collaboratively shape their unique workflow, including what work location — virtual or in-office — is best for them and the tasks at hand.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Earthjustice recognizes the vital role COVID-19 vaccines play in keeping staff safe. The importance of in-person activities (travel, court appearances, staff meetings, etc.) underscore the need for staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As a result, Earthjustice requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment consistent with applicable law. Earthjustice defines being fully vaccinated as having received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible, per CDC guidance.

Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer

As an equal opportunity employer, Earthjustice is 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, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

Fair Chance Hiring

Earthjustice will consider qualified applicants with a criminal history pursuant to the California Fair Chance Act, and any applicable local ordinance, such as the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, the Los Angeles County Fair Chance Act, or the Los Angeles City Fair Chance Initiative. You do not need to disclose your criminal history or participate in a background check until a conditional job offer is made to you.

After making a conditional offer and running a background check, if Earthjustice is concerned about conviction that is directly related to the job, you will be given the chance to explain the circumstances surrounding the conviction, provide mitigating evidence, or challenge the accuracy of the background report.

Our Values

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, inclusion, 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.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Green 2.0 Pay Equity Pledge

As part of Green 2.0’s Transparency Report Card, Earthjustice is committed to ensuring pay equity for people of color.

Live Well, Work Well

Earthjustice offers a competitive compensation plan, as well as a comprehensive benefits package. We pay 100% of all health and welfare benefits premiums for the employee.

Our health coverage includes medical, dental, prescription, vision and alternative care. We are proud to offer a generous vacation, sick leave, and disability benefit package. Additional benefits include retirement plan, flexible spending account, company sponsored life insurance, and more.

Earthjustice also offers six weeks of fully paid sabbatical leave, following 10 years of continuous employment.

As a 501(c)3 organization, Earthjustice is a qualifying employer for purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.