Executive Director

Position Description (PDF format available here)

About Our Climate 

Our Climate empowers young people to advocate for science-based and equitable climate solutions that build a livable world. Young people are overwhelmingly supportive of climate action and eager to work for an equitable transition to clean energy; over the past year, millions of young people across the world have taken to the streets to demand action from elected officials. Our Climate provides young leaders with the education, tools, and experience to advocate for concrete policy solutions to mitigate the climate crisis and protect our shared future.

Our Climate is committed to passing policies that will limit pollution and ensure a just transition to clean energy. We focus on winning state-level policies that will measurably reduce emissions and lay the groundwork for federal action, and we partner closely with state coalitions to strategically engage youth in efforts to advance these policies. Our Climate's leadership development programs train youth leaders to become informed, confident, and capable advocates. Our curriculum comprehensively covers climate policy topics, challenging students to make connections between other movements for social and environmental justice, as well as training on how to engage the media, meet with decision-makers, and organize their communities. By combining targeted climate advocacy with youth leadership development, we work to win concrete climate policies while empowering the next generation of leaders. 

Currently, Our Climate has 5 full-time and 4 part-time staff members, most of whom work remotely in Our Climate’s target states. While the majority of our funding comes from family foundations, our individual donor base has grown significantly over the past three years; our 2020 combined budget is $600,000. To learn more about Our Climate’s vision and approach, see our Strategic Framework and 2019 Annual Report. 

Position Overview & Key Responsibilities 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for organizational leadership, staff supervision, fundraising, board development and engagement, operations, and fiscal and legal oversight. The Executive Director is tasked with leading Our Climate, a 501(c)(4) organization, and its 501(c)(3) sister organization, Our Climate Education Fund. You can access a pdf version of this posting here. Key responsibilities include:

ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP

  • Ensure Our Climate’s programs are focused, cohesive, and aligned with our mission of empowering the next generation of climate leaders to advocate for climate policy.
  • Strategically support staff and youth leaders to meaningfully advance strong and equitable climate policy, in collaboration with state and national partners. 
  • Manage staff and board members in the creation of robust strategic and annual plans that outline the organization’s goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes. 
  • Develop organizational and campaign goals through a participatory, inclusive process that fosters a culture of shared leadership and continued learning. Incorporate feedback and evaluation into every aspect of the organization to ensure programs are continuously improving.

STAFF SUPERVISION

  • Hire, manage, and support qualified and diverse staff to achieve successful implementation of short and long term goals.
  • Support the Deputy Director in creating and implementing an inclusive workplace that celebrates cultural differences, identities, and backgrounds, and approach all levels of work through an anti-racist lens. 
  • Foster a work environment that encourages growth, learning, collaboration and empowerment. 
  • Identify and pursue opportunities for staff to participate in relevant training, workshops, and networks for professional development. 
  • Embody a grassroots ethic by seeking intel from the field and empowering field staff to respond to what they and their student leaders see and need on the ground.
  • Actively engage and energize Our Climate’s volunteers, donors, committees, and partners. 

FUNDRAISING

  • Create and implement a robust fundraising plan that supports existing programs and the organization’s continued growth. 
  • Actively engage staff, Boards of Directors, and Development Committee members in fundraising activities. 
  • Initiate and cultivate strong relationships with foundations, major donors, and organizational stakeholders, while serving as the primary advocate for the organization.
  • Ensure that all grant proposals, applications, and reports are completed within a timely manner, well written, and accurately represent the organization’s work and potential. 

BOARD DEVELOPMENT & ENGAGEMENT 

  • Provide board members with information and tools necessary to govern the organization and make informed decisions. 
  • Support the board in the creation and facilitation of Fundraising; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Board Development; and other task forces. 
  • Serve as the primary conduit between the 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 boards, staff, volunteers, and donors; ensure healthy and productive communication between staff and board members. 
  • Meet with the Boards of Directors once a month and as needed to provide organizational updates; raise pertinent questions for the boards’ consideration.  
  • Recruit, engage, and grow the Advisory Council, ensuring that an impressive group of individuals with diverse backgrounds are actively contributing to the organization and advocating on our behalf.  

OPERATIONS AND FISCAL & LEGAL OVERSIGHT 

  • Ensure the financial health of the organization and apply best practices to secure adequate cash reserves and other safety protocols. 
  • Develop and manage annual budgets with input and leadership from staff and board members.
  • Ensure compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations; this includes insurance procurement, labor laws, reporting lobbying hours, and taxes.  

Desired Qualifications

A strong candidate will have the following characteristics and experience:

CHAMPION OF OUR CLIMATE’S MISSION

  • Strong commitment to passing science-based and equitable climate policy on the state and federal level.
  • Values leadership development and advocacy and understands this pairing is what makes Our Climate special.
  • Creates and leverages strategic and creative opportunities to advance Our Climate’s work by centering our impact.

COLLABORATIVE AND ENERGIZING LEADER 

  • Positive attitude, with a strong sense of optimism, collaboration, and teamwork.
  • Proven willingness to embody mindsets of curiosity, generosity, and generative thinking.
  • Demonstrated experience as a compelling, mature, self-aware leader, with a sense of humor, humility, and the ability to maintain perspective in the face of uncertainty.
  • Resourceful, capable, takes initiative without being prompted and works with team members and stakeholders in those initiatives.
  • Demonstrated history of developing leaders and centering those most impacted by the work in decision making and execution of organizational missions.
  • Ability to develop organizational structures and processes that seize new opportunities and proactively address challenges.
  • Demonstrates strong listening skills and responds well to people; takes others seriously regardless of status or position and makes an effort to build bridges. Remains calm in tough situations and doesn’t allow their perspective to influence decisions unjustly. 

EXPERIENCED FUNDRAISER AND DEDICATED TO FINANCIAL EXCELLENCE 

  • Understands the foremost role of the Executive Director is fundraising and the financial health of the organization, and expresses enthusiasm for raising money and engaging donors.
  • Previous experience building relationships with foundation staff, major donors, and grassroots supporters; willing to ask, chase, and organize for money, while keeping the mission front and center.
  • Demonstrated ability to create, manage, and fundraise for organizational budgets with diversity of funding streams.  
  • Ability to share Our Climate’s work in a compelling, creative, strategic manner.
  • Strong writer, able to ensure that all grant proposals, applications, and reports are well written and accurately represent the organization’s work and potential. 
  • Extremely organized and comfortable navigating dozens of spreadsheets and paying attention to detail in every step of the fundraising process.
  • Values collaboration and demonstrates experience engaging staff, Board of Directors, and Development Committee members in fundraising activities.

PROVEN ABILITY TO DEVELOP, MANAGE, AND LEAD STRONG TEAMS 

  • Experience managing diversity of stakeholders to set and reach agreed-upon goals, and ability to manage work planning, budgeting, and evaluating results. 
  • Experience developing organizational and campaign goals through a participatory, inclusive process that fosters a culture of shared leadership and continued learning.
  • Able to incorporate feedback and evaluation into every aspect of the organization to ensure programs are continuously improving.
  • History of creating robust strategic and annual plans, with input from staff and board members, that outline the organization’s goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes
  • Committed to inclusive decision-making processes, such as with the Board of Directors and coalitions, while being mindful of power dynamics. 

DEMONSTRATED UNDERSTANDING OF THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY AND EQUITY 

  • Proficient in the lens of racial and gender equity and able to confidently discuss race, class, and gender.
  • Committed to the notion that the diversity of the youth we serve should be reflected in our staff and board.

Preferred Qualifications

Candidates who meet the desired qualifications above will be considered even stronger if they demonstrate the following: 

  • Demonstrated success in implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plans.
  • Familiarity with climate policy, youth organizing, and/or legislative advocacy.
  • Proficient with social media platforms, website development, and other communication platforms. 
  • Experience serving on or working closely with a Board of Directors.
  • Experience with developing and streamlining budgeting and staff financing tools.
  • Understanding of coalition politics within the climate movement ecosystem. 

Location

The Executive Director and the rest of Our Climate’s staff largely work remotely. Though ideally this position will be based in Washington, D.C. or New York, NY, location is flexible for the right candidate. The Executive Director will be expected to travel across the country to visit with foundations, donors, partners, and program staff, as well as serve as the spokesperson for a national organization. 

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

 Our Climate is a historically white-led organization working to mobilize young people around an issue that disproportionately effects non-white communities. We understand that racism is a part of the very institutions we’re a part of and that bias and unintentional harm will be perpetuated if we do not make an explicit effort to incorporate DEI into our organization and throughout our programs. We’re dedicated to climate justice and are committed to prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

We encourage all applicants to review our DEI Action Plan to better understand our commitment. Additionally, we encourage applicants to review our Organizational Culture Memorandum to better understand how we hold our team members accountable to being the best team we can be.

Compensation & Benefits

This is a full-time exempt position. The salary range for this role is $60,000-$72,000 annually, depending on prior experience and local cost of living. Benefits include 20 days of paid time off, cell phone reimbursements, healthcare premium reimbursements, and subsidized public transit. Our Climate provides a 3% match for a Simple IRA, which employees are eligible for after 6 months of employment. 

To Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume to EDSearchCommittee@ourclimate.us. Applications are due May 10th, with interviews held on a rolling basis beginning April 20th. Desired start date is June 1st, but this can be extended for the right candidate. 

Learn more:

A webinar sharing goals and expectations, and to answer candidate questions about the position, will be held on April 6th at 8:00pm Eastern time. It is not required to attend this webinar to be considered for the position and it will be recorded. Please email cassidy@ourclimate.us with the subject line “Executive Director Webinar” to receive details about joining or receiving this webinar.

We welcome all applications, and strongly encourage black, indigenous, and people of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community to apply for this role. Read our full hiring policy here.