Director & Senior Counsel - Ethics & Compliance

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.  

Lead Counsel - Ethics & Compliance 


Overall Function


The Senior Counsel, Ethics & Compliance role is a subject matter expert in global ethics, anti-corruption, social safeguards and other elements of a robust compliance program.  The Environmental Defense Fund Legal & Compliance team is looking for an experienced, motivated, and highly qualified Senior Counsel to join us in Washington, DC or New York City. In this role, you will assist in the development, management and continuous improvement of EDF’s global ethics, anti-corruption, and compliance programs. Reporting to the Chief Legal Officer, you will work in close partnership with other key leaders in Programs, Development, Finance, HR, Internal Audit, Procurement, to increase global consistency in our critical mission. In addition, you will develop and deliver training to advance these objectives. 


The role requires you to have the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, challenging, and constantly evolving environment. As a key member of EDF’s Legal & Compliance team, you’ll interact directly with business unit leaders and executives. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to be capable of managing multiple complex matters at the same time, developing highly organized and well-thought-out plans, and providing nuanced advice and guidance to an entrepreneurial and rapidly expanding organization across geographies, cultures, and functions. A passion for working collaboratively with others is critical to success. 


The EDF Legal & Compliance team takes great pride is being a strategic partner to the EDF mission at large. In this role, you will have the opportunity to gain meaningful experience with EDF’s global operations, political activities, and programmatic areas and quickly become a strategic partner and integral member of the Legal team. 


Key responsibilities


  • Provide strategic and tactical ethics and compliance advice across the organization; 
  • Collaborate with EDF’s global operations teams to develop strategies, operationalize and track robust and globally consistent policies, procedures, controls, and systems to assure ongoing effectiveness of EDF’s global ethics and compliance program; 
  • Assessments, implement appropriate risk mitigation and training strategies; 
  • Work with other EDF Legal counsel and stakeholders to interpret local laws, regulation and cultural requirements; 
  • Develop and implement training initiatives in collaboration with other stakeholders;  
  • Develop and maintain internal controls capable of preventing and detecting patterns of behavior of employees and others working with EDF globally; 
  • Participate in periodic internal investigations and external audits (and coordinate as appropriate with outside counsel); 
  • Promote the importance of a solid ethical culture and awareness of the EDF’s ethics and compliance program, provide regular updates to senior management.
  • Participates in advancing EDF diversity, equity and inclusion 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.




  • JD degree from an accredited law school strongly preferred; 
  • 10+ years of experience in a law firm or in-house, with in-depth exposure to global ethics standards, anti-bribery/corruption laws and regulations, social safeguards, third party risk and audit response.  
  • Track record of translating complex compliance concepts into operational practices; 
  • Ability to make sound judgment calls and communicate complex concepts in a straightforward manner;
  • Experience developing, maintaining, implementing, promoting and managing an ethics and compliance program and code of conduct;
  • Demonstrated ability to work cross functionally and effectively in a fast paced,  professional team environment;
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds;
  • Excellent writing, analytical, organization and interpersonal skills, with sound judgment and ability to influence and work with others in a growing, global operation
  • CCEP status a plus; 
  • Non-profit business and compliance experience a plus;
  • Optimism and sense of humor required. 

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.