Director Chemical Policy

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 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 our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

EDF is dedicated to protecting people’s rights to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems. Guided by science, EDF evaluates environmental problems and forges innovative solutions that win lasting political, economic, and social support because they are nonpartisan, cost-efficient, and fair.


Program Overview


EDF’s Health Program is committed to improving the public’s health by dramatically reducing exposures to and health impacts of toxic chemicals and air pollution among communities and individuals that bear the greatest burden of exposure and/or health risk. By advancing scientific insights, policies, and market-based leadership and working with diverse partners and collaborators from companies, researchers, and community-based groups to government agencies and elected officials, we seek to make evident inequities in chemical and pollution-related health impacts, and to develop and implement equitable solutions that support healthy communities and individuals.  


Overall Function


The Director, Chemicals Policy is responsible for directing and managing the execution of the Health Program’s chemical policy priorities to drive significant reductions in the use of and exposure to toxics across the supply chain using the Toxic Substances Control Act, with a particular focus on protecting high-risk populations and communities such as those living near polluting facilities or sources of contamination. The Director will be responsible for integrating equity across the toxic substances control objectives and strategies and will lead efforts to cultivate and expand collaborations and relationships with policy-makers, academics, community experts, other environmental and public health NGOs, companies and government officials.  The Director will interact regularly with leaders within the Health Program, and coordinate across programs and departments in the organization. This position will report to the Senior Director (Chemicals Policy), Health. 


Key Responsibilities


• Lead the strategic development and implementation of the Health program’s efforts to secure strong implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act in order to reduce uses of and exposures to toxic chemicals with a focus on populations and communities disproportionately impacted. 

• Coordinate effectively with the project team to deliver results, uphold scientific and policy integrity, and build trust with partners and allies. 

• Identify strategic opportunities to use the Toxic Substances Control Act to strengthen and advance efforts to reduce inequities in chemical exposures and associated health impacts. 

• Identify and cultivate partnerships through which we can conduct our work, including with government, health and environmental NGOs, community-based and environmental justice organizations, the private sector, and academic institutions. 

• Support efforts to fundraise for the work, including drafting proposals and budgets, meeting with prospective or current donors, and preparing strategic documents and other fundraising materials.

• Manage the project budget and reporting requirements.  

• Manage and develop a team of staff and consultants.

• Coordinate and collaborate with EDF’s program leadership across the organization and with regional leaders as needed.  

• Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.




• 8 or more years of experience and an advanced degree in law, environmental science, or public health policy with experience in working on environmental justice and equity issues. Knowledge of federal toxic substance control policy preferred.  

• Demonstrated ability to forge collaborations and work in effective partnerships.

• Ability to exercise the highest level of professional, scientific and technical judgment on a regular basis.

• Experience with legislation and regulation in chemical or other environmental policy areas.

• Understanding of policy making and political processes at state and federal level.

• Demonstrated negotiation and persuasion skills with the ability to garner consensus between disparate groups with conflicting priorities.

• Commitment to advancing environmental justice and equity and cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace and external relationships. 

• Creative and strategic thinker with a track record of successful implementation of projects. 

• Excellent oral and written communication skills.

• Strong record of working collaboratively, managing conflicts, and overcoming challenges to solving complex problems. 

• Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.



EDF’s Washington D.C. office preferred (with option for geographic flexibility for the right candidate). Initially, due to Covid-19, the position will operate remotely until EDF deems it is safe to return to working in-person.

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.