at Climate Justice Alliance

Policy Director – Applications due November 18, 2019

The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) 

Background: The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is seeking a full-time Policy Director to support the alignment of local organizations with CJA’s overall Just Transition framework, goals and 4 year strategy. This is a full-time position, one-year contract with the possibility of being extended. Location is flexible – preference will be given to candidates in the US Midwest and the South/Southeast.

CJA’s mission is to forge a socially and economically just transition away from an extractive economy and towards healthy, resilient local communities, to address the root causes of climate change. In 2012, CJA developed the Our Power Campaign engaging 40 member organizations to create a vision that supports local and national campaign goals rooted in frontline, community-based struggles, including those of Indigenous peoples, people of color, new immigrants, and working class peoples. CJA seeks to catalyze a broad-based, scalable campaign for transitioning away from industries that undermine the well-being of human communities and environmental systems – like dirty energy , industrial-scale manufacturing and agribusiness – and transform local economies into models of sustainability, equity, and resilience.  The Campaign supports translocal organizing through peer-exchange, trainings and direct action, campaigns, and coalition work to advance policies to end extreme energy and promote climate-protecting jobs.

Job Description  –  Policy Director

The Policy Director is a key leader of CJA.  Serving on CJA’s Leadership Team, Policy Director will scale the power of the Alliance in advancing policy and civic engagement goals, including within the context of the Green New Deal and the 2020 elections. CJA Leadership Team is responsible for making decisions impacting CJA’s ability to further its mission, including strategy, budget and programs.  The position requires policy advocacy experience, leadership, and visionary qualities, the ability to develop intersectional strategy, and a commitment to environmental, racial, social, and economic justice. The Policy Director partners closely with the Executive Director, Programs Director, and the rest of the CJA lateral leadership team to develop and implement an integrated power-building strategy for systemic change through grassroots-informed policy interventions.

The ideal Policy Director is someone with significant experience with policymaking, analysis, and strategic policy advocacy campaigns who will be a trusted, reliable, and respected representative of CJA with decision-makers and partners. If you are a strategic thinker, planner and implementer, who is an effective communicator with the ability to guide multi-disciplinary program and policy priorities, then you will be a good fit for this position. 

Responsibilities include:

1.  Direct, Design, Lead, and Implement CJA’s political and policy work    (Approx. 60% FTE)  

  • Serve as CJA’s primary policy and political strategist and expert, identifying opportunities to further CJA’s 4-Year Strategy. Representing CJA, advocate before local, state, and national legislature, executive branch, and regulatory agencies, as necessary.
  • Represent CJA externally and further relationships with a variety of decision makers and stakeholders including, but not limited to, elected officials, unions, environmental and social justice organizations, funders, media, and key political tables.
  • Guide development of strategic activities to advance policy goals, including developing reports; identifying needed research; power mapping, and helping to identify and address key targets.
  • Direct and conduct policy analyses of regulatory and legislative proposals, and develop strategy, as necessary.
  • Participate in meetings and networks to advance policy and civic engagement goals.
  • Partner with the Programs Director to leverage connections across different programs, including intersecting projects, campaigns, and policies, to align program priorities with overall organizational goals and mission.
  • Provide high-level strategic advice to Executive Director, Lateral Leadership, and Steering Committee on political moment including long-term strategy, growth, and opportunities for policy interventions.
  • Manage long-term strategic thinking on how CJA and our members can use political and civic engagement to build sustainable power in environmental justice communities.

2. Oversee Policy Leadership Development             (Approx. 20% FTE)

  • Serve as lead thought partner, mentor, and supervisor for Policy staff to guide and support policy and political objectives, strategies, and activities.
  • Identify, develop, and implement training tools for membership to strengthen their analyses and advocacy skills.
  • In partnership with the Programs Director, strengthen annual program evaluation and planning with guiding framework and processes to ensure consistency and overall coherence across program areas.
  • Oversee budget development and administration for Energy Democracy, Building the Bigger We, and Policy program areas.
  • Work with Communications teams to integrate strategic communications to advance policy goals and strengthen CJA’s capacity to execute timely, consistent, impactful and aligned narrative interventions.
  • In partnership with lateral leadership team, develop and manage systems for communication, coordination, and strategizing within and between programs, policy, operations, fundraising, and communications.
  • Implement and oversee staff performance evaluations and development.

3. Organizational Leadership and Coordination                       (Approx. 20% FTE)

  • Work closely with the Lateral Leadership team to ensure radical operations, comms, and fundraising support and infrastructure for programs successful execution. Includes overseeing consultant agreements for the three programmatic areas. 
  • Serve on the lateral leadership team of CJA, which makes joint decisions around political strategy, program development, and program budgets.
  • Participate in regular staff calls and in-person meetings 
  • Utilize CJA tech platforms to ensure flow of information and completion of task, accuracy of records (including contact records in Powerbase), reporting requirements are met, and usage of systems that support the development goals of CJA.
  • Maintain and manage personal and CJA’s main calendar in coordination with project calendars to support the coordination of organization-wide operations.
  • Maintain confidentiality of all organizational and personnel matters.
  • Provide quarterly and annual project reports for steering committee, funder briefings, and membership. 
  • Engage members and funders in creative ways that include online and offline organizing.
  • Collectively work on internal/external events, conferences, trainings and meetings as required.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • This position will supervise a Policy & Communications Associate and Policy Organizer (both to be hired.

Required Qualifications:

  • At least 6-8 years’ successful experience in policymaking, advocating through the legislative process, and political strategy development.
  • Strong research skills and general Internet fluency.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with the ability to engage with diverse audiences.
  • Excellent understanding and analysis of political moment and national political landscape and relation to community-based and advocacy groups.
  • Significant experience in building grassroots and political power through base-building, civic engagement, and movement building.
  • Familiarity with climate policy, environmental justice and social justice issues, as well as concepts pertaining to self-determination, liberation, decolonization, and the political & social conditions of oppression.
  • Background and policy or program expertise in environmental justice issues.
  • Ability to work remotely, manage multiple work tasks, maintain attention to detail and accuracy, and meet the pressure of deadlines in a fast-paced, collaborative work environment.
  • Experience with communication and online media for campaigns.
  • Flexibility and positive attitude, solution-oriented and ability to move forward.
  • Effective strategic planning, program evaluation and project management skills.
  • Ability to support a team-oriented environment; commitment to democratic participation.
  • Demonstrated experience working within coalitions.
  • Flexibility and positive attitude, solution-oriented and ability to move forward
  • National travel required – approximately 3-4 weeks per quarter
  • Ability to work flexible hours to respond to position needs.

CJA is a fiscally-sponsored project of Movement Strategy Center (MSC). CJA values-based alliance with a deep commitment to building transformative culture and challenging racism, sexism, homophobia, and oppression in all its forms. CJA is committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds and challenging patterns of political marginalization and oppression. 

CJA/MSC is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. People of Color, working-class people, differently-abled people, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary range: $65-80,000/year depending on experience and location. Generous benefits offered. Please send a brief cover letter, resume, and three to five references to with the Subject Line: “Policy Director Application”.  Please send your application as either a Word doc or pdf. DEADLINE TO APPLY IS NOVEMBER 18, 2019

For more information on the Climate Justice Alliance and the Our Power Campaign 

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