Climate & Energy Program Director

Climate & Energy Program Director


Reports to: VP of Programs
Position Location: Washington, DC

Friends of the Earth is working for a more healthy and just world. We work at the nexus of environmental protection, economic justice and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and world value people and the environment. We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy. This hard-hitting advocacy has been the key to our successful campaigns over our four-plus decades in operation. Our current programs focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change; ensuring a healthy, just and resilient food system where organic is for all; protecting marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them; and transforming our financial, economic and political systems.

We are seeking a Director to lead our Climate and Energy Program. The Program is focused on laying the groundwork for ambitious federal climate policy by supporting grassroots campaigns to resist fossil fuels, building political power for climate action from the bottom up, and promoting new models of renewable energy production that support energy democracy. This intersectional program of work seeks to advance economic and racial justice, and includes campaigns at the national level as well as locally in Tennessee and North Carolina. You will be responsible for the overall performance of the projects undertaken by your team, which consists of program managers and their staffs.  You will develop strategy, provide direction and supervision to staff, and be expected to develop adequate funding for the program’s campaigns. You will work with other program team leaders to shape, support, and ensure alignment of and with the climate-related work occurring on other teams. You will also work with FoE’s leadership and other FoE staff to achieve the overall goals of Friends of the Earth.


Your responsibilities fall into four broad categories – developing strategic direction, managing a staff, fundraising, and public representation. The specifics are as follows:

  • Strategic Direction – FoE’s Climate and Energy team is one of our most strategic assets. As such, you will be expected to not only keep abreast of developments in the climate policy and advocacy arenas, but also actively engage in policy advocacy and campaigning on specific issues. As our leader, it will be your responsibility to support and guide the work of this team, which will include overseeing the preparation of strategic and task-oriented plans for programs, campaigns, and activities. Additionally, you will work with other Friends of the Earth program teams to guide and support climate-related campaigns that you may or may not manage directly. This will include working with Programs, Communications, Development, Membership and Organizing, to develop complementary strategies.
  • Management – Your team is growing! Currently, your team includes campaigners as well as managers and their direct reports. In addition to supervising and guiding this group, you will also be hiring new people for upcoming projects. The professional development of your team is a priority and a commitment FoE makes to all its employees. You will be responsible for evaluating the performance of this team at regular intervals dictated by FoE HR. Additionally, you will serve as a part of FoE’s Management Team, the body that assists with the overall management of the organization.
  • Fundraising – Although the work of this team is funded in 2019-2020, you are expected to lead the team’s foundation fundraising. You will be identifying potential foundation support, cultivating relationships with new and existing funders, and preparing funding proposals and reports. You will be asked to support and participate in other fundraising activities as needed. It will also be up to you to manage the team finances and develop the annual budget.
  • Relationships and Representation – Through your work, you will be called upon to represent publicly Friends of the Earth, and build and maintain relationships with key allies and coalitions. This will include media appearances, public events, and meetings with funders, allied organizations, and policymakers.



We are looking for someone with the following background:

  • A demonstrated commitment to the environment and social justice.
  • At least five years of experience in issue campaigning and policy advocacy relating to climate and energy issues.
  • Experience managing projects, campaigns and people.
  • Proven ability to develop a team.
  • Ability to work well with internal staff in a team setting and with partners in other organizations, including across lines of difference.
  • Proven skills in advocacy, fundraising, and media.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong organizational skills including an attention to detail.
  • Have a high degree of initiative.


We welcome specific experience in the following areas:

  • Demonstrated experience as a creative and strategic thinker with regard to both policy and politics
  • Articulated desire to have a major impact on policy debates through hard-hitting advocacy.
  • Ability to prioritize and complete a wide range of campaign activities including advocacy, convening/organizing, policy development, and research.
  • Ability to oversee consultants.
  • Coordinate with media, development, and legislative staff.


But above all, you have a passion for the environment and progressive politics . . . and it shows through. If this sounds like you, please apply here.

Friends of the Earth is an equal opportunity employer who encourages applications from women, people of color and other members of underrepresented groups who will contribute to the diversity of its staff. Also, please note that references will be requested during the screening process and final candidates will undergo a writing exercise.