Advocacy Communications Director

The Opportunity

Earthjustice is the nation’s premier environmental law organization, built on the belief that everyone has the right to a healthy environment. Since its founding in 1971, Earthjustice has tirelessly defended that right by using the power of the law to protect people’s health, preserve wildlife and wild places, advance clean energy, and combat climate change.

In 1965, the attorneys who founded Earthjustice (then known as the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund), created a groundbreaking foundation for environmental law by taking on Walt Disney in a landmark case to defend California’s stunning Mineral King Valley from destructive development. Since then, Earthjustice has filed thousands of lawsuits on behalf of the environment and all the life that depends on it. Earthjustice partners with hundreds of organizations and thousands of passionate supporters to take on the most pressing environmental challenges of the day, such as climate change, fracking, air pollution and oil drilling in the Arctic. The organization focuses on bringing cases with the greatest possible impact – in order to set precedents for generations to come.

Over time, as the organization’s work has continued to grow and expand, Earthjustice has created a communications team to build a groundswell of public support for the issues and cases it takes on; a policy and legislative team to craft laws that support and extend the organization’s gains and to prevent legislative efforts that undermine environmental progress; and an international program to address human rights, trade and environmental issues. With a staff of 224, including 93 attorneys; more than 370 currently-active cases; a budget of $45 million; and 12 offices in 10 states, Earthjustice stands poised to expand and deepen its mission well into the future. As Trip Van Noppen, Earthjustice’s President has said, “We must lead by example so our younger generation understand that when we protect our environment, we help ensure a better quality of life for ourselves and future generations.”

Learn more about Earthjustice at

Position Responsibilities

The Communications team works in strategic partnership with every department at the organization, including lawyers, legislative advocates, development, and other staff. The department has three teams: Advocacy Communications, Creative, and Online. The Advocacy Communications team oversees all strategic communications efforts related to the three major programs at Earthjustice – Climate and Energy, Healthy Communities, and Lands and Wildlife. The Advocacy Communications team is composed of communications experts with experience in campaigning, media relations, and storytelling, with staff located at Earthjustice’s headquarters in San Francisco and on the East Coast. The team works closely with Earthjustice’s attorneys to frame issues that are the heart of Earthjustice’s cases and engage key audiences in fighting these challenges.

Reporting to the Vice President of Communications, the Advocacy Communications Director supervises a highly talented team of communications strategists and press secretaries and associates, overseeing development and implementation of major advocacy campaigns, media relations, and special projects like Earthjustice’s work to diversify its audiences and media networks.

Specifically, the Advocacy Communications Director will be responsible for:

Messaging, Press, and Content Development

• Managing the broad array of strategies and tactics deployed by the advocacy communications team in support of their goals, such as: community organizing, earned media outreach, online advocacy, digital storytelling, and thought leadership from individual attorneys

• Managing the tempo of specific advocacy efforts (e.g., an attack on a federal environmental law) to keep and build momentum for maximum impact

• Understanding, connecting with and organizing coalitions, and integrating online and offline communications and organizing

• Partnering with the Online Team to activate Earthjustice’s online community to gain support for top priority issues

• Partnering with Diversity and Inclusion to ensure diversity in client identification, advocacy and storytelling

Strategy & Research

• In concert with other Earthjustice professionals, developing and coordinating national, regional, or localized communication plans, strategies, and goals with key messages on Earthjustice’s highest-priority issue areas

• Using market research/polls and contracts or conducting focus groups/quantitative studies to help determine message strategies and to target optimal audiences efficiently for program outreach

• Developing creative strategies, both online and offline, aimed at broader movement-building opportunities to increase awareness of and strategic support for Earthjustice’s programs and goals

Team Leadership

• Managing a team spread across multiple regional offices; ensuring staff work in strategic partnership with attorneys and legislative outreach staff to meet advocacy goals

• Managing the efforts of a team of communications experts who handle media opportunities which cut across multiple issue areas

• Determining appropriate staffing, budget oversight, tracking, measurements of success, and internal/external reporting

• Hiring, managing, and assessing performance of team members; providing ongoing coaching and mentoring

• Managing, tracking and reporting on advocacy team progress and project budgets

• Working closely with the Vice President of Communications in cultivating a positive, diverse and welcoming culture within a geographically dispersed department and ensuring effective staff and project coordination, and leading by example

Profile of the Successful Candidate

Earthjustice is seeking a visionary leader with strong communication and management skills and experience to oversee the development and implementation of communications and advocacy efforts aimed at engaging multiple audiences (media, policy leaders, citizen leaders, donors) on the organization’s highest-priority issues. Along with the Creative and Online directors, the Director serves on the Communications leadership team, collaborating with the Vice President of Communications and other directors on organization-wide communications plans, implementation and evaluation, and collaborating with staff across the organization to achieve shared organizational goals.

More specifically, Earthjustice seeks a professional who reflects the following:

• Bachelor’s Degree required; concentration in communications, marketing, political science, or environmental studies preferred; advanced degree is a plus

• Eight or more years of experience in for profit, nonprofit or political communications management, with an emphasis in nonprofit/advocacy, organizing and media; experience in developing and managing advocacy or political campaigns with a broad range of internal or external partners

• Track record of developing and implementing successful advocacy campaign plans. Experience setting strategy and goals, working with and organizing coalitions, press outreach, managing advertising/public relations programs, writing and producing publications, coordinating team efforts, and managing and executing outreach projects

• Exceptional interpersonal and management skills, with an understanding of the difference between leadership and management -- and the ability to exercise both

• The ability to make decisions in a dynamic environment, with an appreciation for how future needs may affect those decisions: a willingness to iterate a strategy and approach, with the ability to recognize the need to course-correct as necessary

• The ability to work effectively with a broad range of diverse groups as evidenced by excellent listening and communication skills, balanced and reasoned approaches to problems, ability to inspire trust and confidence, and flexibility and openness to differing points of view

• A persuasive oral and written communication style, rooted in keen interpersonal sensitivity and openness

• High tolerance for experimentation, and the ability to learn from failure

• Outstanding organizational skills with demonstrated ability to maintain oversight of the range of communication activities

• Positive, energetic, team-oriented leadership style and approach

• Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce

• Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations

Start Timeframe

We seek to have the successful candidate in place by Summer 2016.


This position offers competitive compensation and excellent benefits.

To Apply

All applications are held in strict confidence. Please submit your credentials and a letter of interest via email to The 360 Group at: [email protected] Applications should be directed to the attention of Vincent Robinson, Managing Partner. No calls, please. To be considered, The 360 Group must receive applications no later than 5:00pm Pacific time on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016.

At The 360 Group, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizations more effective. As such, we make demographic and experiential diversity a hallmark of all our work, including search engagements.

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