Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.
We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.
The California State Director is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of political and advocacy strategies that support Environmental Defense Fund’s program efforts, and Environmental Defense Action Fund’s supportive efforts in California. These duties will be executed in coordination with EDF’s national political team’s efforts to implement EDF’s overall strategic goals, including federal policy goals. Director’s responsibilities may also include managing consultants/lobbyists, identifying internal and external synergies and conflicts, coordinating with NGO partners, and advocacy and relationship development with influential decision makers. The Director will also hire and manage any Political Affairs staff and political consultants hired for California and will work collaboratively and closely with the senior EDF program staff working in California. The Director will also be responsible for managing key environmental NGO relationships. The position is based in California, preferably Sacramento and San Francisco, and reports to the AVP for State Affairs at EDF.
- Provide leadership in organizational planning, fundraising, political strategy, and communications that will influence internal EDF goal setting and then advance those goals across multiple programs in California and nationally.
- Identify political and policy objectives and design and implement strategies for effective state and federal policy engagement in California.
- Lead collaborative efforts across EDF programs and departments to implement specific strategies and outcomes that support and inform program efforts in California – e.g., federal and state policy on climate and energy, transportation, agriculture and water.
- Engage in collaborative efforts across EDF that support equity and justice in policies and strategies that impact California.
- Develop and manage strategies to enhance EDF relationships and advocacy with decision-makers (e.g., governors, state and federal legislators, media) to advance EDF goals.
- Serve as spokesperson for EDF in California, and develop and manage the execution of strategic communications, in partnership with Marketing and Communications staff and CO-based consultant(s), where applicable.
- Cultivate support for EDF priorities within the California congressional delegation, working in conjunction with EDF’s national Political Affairs team.
- Serve as liaison to EDF Action leadership, identifying timely opportunities for federal accountability and electoral work.
- Work closely with EDF Action’s Senior Political Director to design and execute “down ballot” electoral investment and engagement strategies.
- Manage the development of new political constituencies and oversee implementation of outreach and advocacy strategies, including the deployment of EDF staff experts and important/influential allies.
- Partner with senior Program and Development staff to identify and cultivate donors who are passionate about helping EDF advance its priorities in California.
- Represent EDF on essential committees, workgroups and coalitions in support of priority policy goals.
- 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.
- Engage with EDF lobby legislative team and program policy staff to provide political and policy perspective from California, identify potential opportunities and challenges to EDF policy objectives in California, and coordinate regional activities in support of national policy efforts.
- Collaborate with EDF legal team/s to monitor and direct the federal and state lobbying compliance activities for all EDF programs active in California.
- Provide guidance and support for EDAF’s efforts in California.
- Entrepreneurial individual with a demonstrated track record as an innovative leader with the necessary professional experience to direct a distinctive program for an internationally prominent environmental organization.
- Bachelor’s required; advanced degree preferred. At least ten years of relevant professional experience that provide evidence of strategic vision, managerial skills and a commitment to EDF’s mission and approach.
- Successful candidates will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of California culture, and politics; experience working with people, communities, constituencies and elected officials across the political spectrum; and familiarity with relevant subject matter.
- The ability to work effectively with diverse stakeholders, from business leaders to academic institutions and community organizations. A collaborative leadership style, with proven ability to inspire and manage diverse teams.
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write well, experience with public speaking and media relations.
- A strong understanding of public policy with a proven track record of building alliances and working with policymakers.
- Comfort with and enthusiasm for nurturing donor relationships.
- Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.
The pay range for this role is 130,000 - 145,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.
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.Apply