Chief Legal Officer

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

Overall Function


Reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer, the Chief Legal Officer is responsible for directing the legal priorities of the organization. The Chief Legal Officer will design, direct, and develop the organization’s legal core direction and strategy. They will also oversee, plan, and coordinate the legal framework to guide organization policy and testimony development. As a subject matter expert, the Chief Legal Officer interfaces with executives on the highest level functional issues, providing recommendations and solutions with full understanding of cross-organizational impact and needs. They will be recognized outside the organization as a thought leader in all area(s) of expertise. The Chief Legal Officer serves as EDF’s General Counsel as well as a key strategy and policy advisor to the Program Heads and senior leadership team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Set overall strategy for EDF’s regulatory intervention/engagement efforts.
  • Develop and manage the legal resources, budget, staff and outside counsel to accelerate strong environmental policy at the state, regional, and national level
  • Allocate legal resources to accomplish EDF goals
  • Establish and maintain a litigation/intervention calendar and inventory of all existing legal engagements/interventions
  • Train and mentor legal staff
  • Lead in particularly challenging cases and complex negotiations. 
  • Identify near-term leverage points and opportunities in the policy and political landscape of each state for advancing rules on key environmental policy issues, including business models and performance incentives


  • Juris Doctorate required and licensed to practice law in at least one state
  • Demonstrated success of twenty years’ legal success in litigating positive environmental outcomes
  • Demonstrated management experience
  • Results-oriented, self-starter with the ability to think strategically and work on fast-paced, dynamic issues. Ability to recognize and build on political opportunities for progress.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a leader or member of teams in a dynamic and creative environment with colleagues and partners of varied background and experience. 
  • Able to prioritize and be flexible. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.  

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.