We are looking for a strategic, highly-relational leader who is skilled at moving a justice-oriented agenda in collaboration with a wide range of partners and colleagues to serve as Climate & Clean Energy Director.
The Climate & Clean Energy Director is a values-driven programs leader who brings subject area expertise and political savvy to WCA’s strategy for climate justice. The Director will lead through visioning, strategizing, doing, learning, collaborating, and managing to ensure that WCA continues to strengthen its capacity to make transformative climate and energy policy change. Reporting to our VP of Programs, and serving as a critical thought partner to her and other leaders across the organization, this position manages a team that includes a: Climate & Clean Energy Campaign Senior Manager and Fossil Fuels Manager. The Climate & Clean Energy Director also works closely with other Directors in the organization, collaborating across teams to connect the dots between our programmatic work and our organization-wide strategic framework grounded in racial justice.
The Director will lead an evolving body of work that focuses on decarbonization and a just transition for Washington across a complex system of fields, technologies, communities, partners, and coalitions. Current priorities are:
- Fossil Fuels The Pacific Northwest has been in the bullseye of the fossil fuel industry’s push to access Pacific markets. Together, we will continue to stop new oil, coal and gas terminals.
- Clean Energy Washington must ensure an equitable and just transition to clean energy that centers the priorities and concerns of tribal nations and marginalized communities and creates good, living-wage jobs.
- Clean Transportation Transportation is the largest source of air and climate pollution in Washington, and durable policies are needed to reduce emissions in this sector.
- Built Environment The built environment is the fastest growing source of climate pollution in Washington, and the state can lead on better approaches.
- Climate Justice Movement There is no climate justice without racial justice. We must grow and deepen an equitable climate movement for change.
About Washington Conservation Action
Washington Conservation Action is a statewide environmental advocacy organization that connects people together to respond to our environmental challenges with policies and actions that equitably address climate pollution, restore Puget Sound and clean water, sustain our state’s forests, and protect our democracy. For Washington to remain a national leader on environmental issues, we need responsive environmental champions in elected office and to hold our leaders accountable. To keep our environment protected, healthy, and vibrant, we are committed to supporting Native candidates, candidates of color, and environmental leaders seeking election.
With the leadership of our visionary CEO, Alyssa Macy, a citizen of the Confederated Tribe of Warm Springs, Oregon, the highly-talented team at WCA is activating our Strategic Framework. Together, we advance a shared vision for a Washington state where nature and people live in balance for the flourishing of all.
We have a staff of 44 and work in a LEED-certified building in downtown Seattle with a view of Elliott Bay. We work in a flexible hybrid model, with staff in the office two or three days a week for collaboration or celebration. Our teams have access to a variety of online tools and systems that support the hybrid working model.
Roles & Responsibilities
The Climate & Clean Energy Director designs and oversees the Climate & Clean Energy program’s strategic directions and core work areas to: reduce climate pollution in an equitable manner; transition to low carbon fuels and clean energy in ways that prioritize frontline communities; stop new fossil fuel terminals and expansions; and build community and coalition power for durable change. This position represents and guides programmatic engagement with WCA (our c3) and WCA Education Fund (our c4) in a variety of coalitions, represents the organizations in the media, and with funders.
In close partnership with the VP of Programs, the Director will develop and implement an annual strategic vision for the Climate & Clean Energy program and an operational plan that includes a budget and a work/staffing plan. The Director will manage the Climate & Clean Energy team and lead in a way that exemplifies WCA’s organizational culture and values. They will guide and oversee all Climate & Clean Energy program work in deep collaboration across our organization and across the legislative and movement ecosystem. These activities will include:
Strategic Leadership & Program Management
- Lead on the strategic focus, development, advocacy, coalition building, and administrative management work of the program, working with staff, board, partner organizations, and other entities to research, identify, and select campaigns, coalitions, projects, and legislative priorities to further WCA/WCA Education Fund’s Climate & Clean Energy programmatic goals.
- With guidance from the VP of Programs and our finance team, propose, implement, and monitor the Climate & Clean Energy program’s annual program budget, adjusting as needed to make best use of our resources.
- Represent WCA’s positions to external audiences, communicating WCA/WCA Education Fund’s policy positions in administrative, legislative, and other decision-making bodies. Serve as the WCA/WCA Education Fund spokesperson for Climate & Clean Energy-related issues to the media.
- Deepen our connections to existing partners and build new relationships with community-based organizations and coalitions with the goal of building power with Tribal Nations, rural, and other overburdened and/or underrepresented communities.
- Provide oversight of WCA participation in litigation in areas that touch on Climate & Clean Energy issue areas.
- Contribute subject matter expertise and strategic input into the ongoing operationalization and assessment of our organization-wide strategic framework, helping bring tools and analysis to our evolving work of implementing a set of measurable outcomes that can guide us in our work to center racial justice in our climate and clean energy strategies.
- Work across WCA/WCA Education Fund program areas to align and maximize the connections between the organization’s Puget Sound, Forest, and Political programs and to strengthen the work of the Climate & Clean Energy program through collaboration with our Field, Government Affairs, Tribal Nations, and Communication teams. Contribute to our regular Program Director meetings with expertise and insights in order to build shared understanding and goals.
- Work with the Government Affairs Director and Political Director to engage with WCA -endorsed elected officials as part of organizational accountability work. Support and collaborate with WCA’s political and electoral work as needed including providing candidates with issue information and giving input into the WCA endorsement process.
- Work with the Tribal Relations Program Director to engage Tribal Nations in shared priorities, following the lead of tribal nations under the principal of free prior informed consent (FPIC).
- Collaborate with field team staff, drawing from their expertise to strengthen the climate movement by engaging with activists across various issues.
- Partner with Communications team staff to develop program-related materials including social media, paid media, earned media, e-news and website materials, and other communications pieces as needed, and to serve as an expert voice to journalists.
- Support the Development team on the production of grant proposals and reports and fundraising appeals, participate in donor and foundation meetings, and support fundraising events as needed.
Team Management & Organizational Culture
- Be a leader in shaping WCA’s organizational culture in our recently unionized workplace, modeling a productive and collaborative leadership approach that centers anti-racist practice and supports colleagues to do their best work.
- Act as a supervisor and team leader for all Climate & Clean Energy team members. Hire, manage, support, and provide management, coaching, and direction to team staff, overseeing work planning and outcomes on an ongoing basis.
- In close partnership with the VP of Programs, support WCA’s process of implementing our newly-adopted Community Bargaining Agreement and its related policies and practices for the Climate & Clean Energy team.
Learning & Evaluation
- Maintain a practice of continuous learning across all areas of work and practice. Participate in ongoing professional development, management training, racial equity organizational committees, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills, seeking growth as a leader and manager.
- Serve as an internal expert on an evolving set of climate-related issues, maintaining a commitment to continuous learning in a rapidly-changing field. Seek out knowledge to deepen subject area expertise on various existing and emerging energy-related technologies, maintaining an informed position around “greenwashing” and other strategies. As new issues emerge, seek and center ongoing input from Tribal Nations and other overburdened communities to integrate historical, contemporary, and potential future impacts of climate change into our positions on various issues, e.g. clean energy generation site locations.
- Conduct ongoing evaluation of the program and revise strategy and implementation as needed based on changing political conditions, access to resources, and/or emergent opportunities. Share program successes and opportunities for enhancement with others who may benefit from these learnings.
Qualifications & Attributes
- 8+ years of relevant leadership experience that includes experience moving a progressive policy agenda in a field directly connected to climate justice and with deep subject area knowledge in one or more of our strategic priority areas (i.e. transportation, built environment, natural climate solutions, clean energy, fossil fuels, carbon pricing, carbon sequestration and storage, emissions reduction, climate justice etc.)
- Enthusiasm for WCA’s mission and a heartfelt connection to the natural beauty, abundance, and diversity of the Pacific Northwest: its people, cultures, and environments.
- Demonstrated application of racial equity frameworks and practices applicable in an environmental justice setting.
- Experience in successful program planning, implementation, and funding, including budget management and operationalizing strategies to achieve priorities and goals.
- Strong people management experience overseeing direct reports in a team setting, evaluating and supporting performance with a genuine desire to coach and mentor. Experience providing direct supervisor support to bargaining unit members will be helpful but is not required.
- Experience working collaboratively on complex initiatives and building trusting relationships effectively across different communities and with people of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures. Ideally, experience engaging with Tribal Nations.
- Creative and flexible with an orientation towards problem-solving; able to maintain a sense of hope and possibility that provides direction and inspiration for others, building momentum and moving initiatives forward despite ambiguity or obstacles.
- Strong facilitation, public speaking, and written communication skills, including writing and editing reports, summary memoranda, correspondence, etc. and experience with the use of communications as a tool to support advocacy work and/or electoral campaigns and/or fundraising and/or public education and/or power building.
- Technologically adept – comfort, familiarity and/or ability to learn and utilize a variety of computer applications (e.g., Microsoft Office, Google suite) as well as project management systems (e.g., Asana, Salesforce).
- A commitment to an ongoing anti-racist learning journey, both personally and professionally, and a strong desire to be a productive member of a team that is deeply engaged in the work of building power with Black, Brown, and Indigenous people.
- An interest in participating in a unionized workplace and willingness to engage with staff and leadership as we build policy and practice around our recently developed Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Compensation & Working Conditions
Compensation & Benefits
This is a full time, exempt position with an annual salary of $95K. We also offer a generous benefits package including 100% employer paid medical, vision and dental insurance for FTE employees, 401k plan and organizational match of up to 3% of your annual salary, a Flexible Spending Account, paid vacation and sick leave, 13 paid holidays per year, an unlimited ORCA transit pass, $1000 per year for professional development funds, and if you work for five consecutive years you are eligible for a two-month paid sabbatical. Staff at WCA are members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), Local 7800, excluding supervisors and certain other categories. This position is supervisory.
This position is hybrid with a minimum of 40% of time in the Seattle office. A hybrid remote agreement is required. Our teams have access to a variety of online tools and systems that support remote work and supervision. The position requires travel to other parts of Washington state and occasional travel elsewhere in the US. Travel is estimated to be 20% or less of the time.
For remote and hybrid work, employees must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work during scheduled work hours. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform functions essential to the duties of the position.
The organization follows all requirements of local health authorities. We are currently working in a hybrid work model with staff working from home in addition to in-office time for collaboration and celebration. We maintain strict safety protocols while in our office. All staff who come to the office must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by law.
Application Instructions & Hiring Process
This position is open until filled, and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
APPLY AT THIS LINK by uploading these items:
- A resume
- A cover letter that thoughtfully addresses your alignment with the position
- A writing sample of any kind or length
Submission of additional relevant samples of previous work—written reports, links to web-based publications, curriculum, meeting agendas, grant proposals, event invitations, podcasts, pitch letters, press releases, videos—and any other materials demonstrating communication skills or subject matter expertise are welcome, but not required at this stage.
Nonprofit talent agency People Power is the search partner for this hire. We appreciate your time and interest in contributing your talents to Washington Conservation Action’s mission. Thank you! You will receive an email auto-reply to your application. We wish we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those chosen to interview will be contacted. Please do not contact WCA directly to inquire about the status of your application.
Selected applicants will be invited to an initial brief screening interview with People Power via phone. Those who continue in the process will ultimately participate in two longer format interviews with leadership and staff teams.
We welcome your interest and feedback. If you would like to make a confidential inquiry and/or have questions regarding your qualifications for this position, compensation or benefits, our process or internal timeline for hiring, or suggestions for how to improve this announcement or the opportunity itself, please email Kate Brumage at People Power: firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Conservation Action is an equal opportunity employer committed to dismantling structural racism and creating a welcoming work environment. WCA does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. People of color, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are especially encouraged to apply.