Executive Director (RAN)

About the Organization

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) preserves forests, protects the climate, and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power and systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns. With a budget of approximately $9 million and an international staff of roughly 50 (based from San Francisco to New York to London to Jakarta), RAN works toward a world where the rights and dignity of all communities are respected and where healthy forests, a stable climate, and wild biodiversity are protected and celebrated.

RAN accomplishes this through:

  • Peaceful, direct action
  • High-profile, direct communication
  • Coordinated media and social media campaigns
  • Highly researched and detailed reports
  • Activist organizing
  • Collaborative partnerships with allies and grassroots organizations
  • High-level corporate negotiations
  • Relentless follow-up to ensure promises are kept

RAN values diversity in race, class, gender, culture, and religion, and implements programs internally to ensure that staff, board, and activists understand and adopt anti-oppression principles. Additionally, RAN adheres to a policy of nonviolence. For more information about RAN’s history, culture, and philosophy, please visit RAN’s website.

Executive Director

RAN seeks a proven, passionate, and dynamic leader to advance its mission. The ideal candidate is a movement-oriented activist who is visionary, strategic, and able to expand upon RAN's strong reputation and successful history of real-world impact. This is a highly influential position in both the national and international environmental and human rights communities.

Primary Responsibilities

The Executive Director will perform the following and other duties as assigned:

  • Oversee the planning, implementation, management, and evaluation of all aspects of RAN to drive the organization’s overall strategic direction toward achieving RAN’s mission.
  • Effectively communicate RAN's values, achievements, and impact to internal and external audiences, including stakeholders, media, Board members, staff, and other organizations.
  • Set and achieve fundraising targets by developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with major donors and philanthropic institutions that support RAN’s work.
  • Develop and maintain effective, authentic, and respectful partnerships with key programmatic allies across the globe.
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to sustain an organizational culture and structure that promotes highly effective work by fostering cooperation, communication, trust, equity, fairness, and inclusivity through direct feedback, transparent practices, collaborative workspaces, and choice points.
  • Contribute to an inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Ensure implementation of Board directives, attend Board meetings as a non-voting member, provide timely reporting of organizational activities to the Board, advise the Board on strategic decisions, and lead Board development efforts.
  • Direct the preparation of the annual budget and ensure that the organization operates within budget guidelines. Oversee the development and maintenance of sound financial practices.
  • Ensure RAN meets all its legal obligations and oversee all legal matters.

Profile and Qualifications

The successful candidate will have the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • A demonstrated record indicating a passion for, and alignment with, RAN’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Demonstrated success in managing complex organizations as a CEO or senior leader in a nonprofit setting.
  • A strong communicator who is skilled in media and public relations strategy and comfortable with enthusiastically and persuasively representing RAN to external audiences.
  • Exceptional visionary and strategic thinking skills to chart programmatic directions that result in clear operational goals. Leadership skills to facilitate and motivate the organization through intense multi-program, and multi-team planning processes.
  • A nuanced understanding and experience with the dynamics of working with local, frontline, and indigenous groups and developing campaigns that create alliances with a variety of stakeholders.
  • A record of commitment to racial justice and equity and an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and identities.
  • Demonstrated success in raising at least $1 million annually from a variety of sources and a commitment to helping raise an $8–10 million annual budget, including cultivating and soliciting major institutional and individual donors.
  • Proven experience in financial and operations management, including the preparation and presentation of organizational budgets.
  • An inspiring and collaborative leadership style that leads by example and fosters creativity and high-quality work from staff.


Compensation and Location

RAN offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. The target salary range for this position is $165,000–180,000 based off a competitive San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit. The final salary will be determined based on candidate experience and overall qualifications.

Benefits include full health coverage for the employee and their partner/family (plus an employer-funded Health Savings Account), vision and dental insurance, four weeks paid time off (increases to five weeks after two years), and a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a 3% fully vesting employer match. Additionally, after five years, staff becomes eligible for a three-month, fully paid sabbatical.

This position will be located in San Francisco, CA. International travel on a regular basis is expected.

To Apply

CEA Recruiting is assisting RAN with this search. To be considered for this position, interested candidates must follow the link below to submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements through CEA’s job portal. Please direct all applications and inquiries to CEA Recruiting. This position will remain open until filled.


RAN provides all people with equal employment and volunteer opportunities and is committed to providing accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. We encourage applicants of color to apply for this position.  

CEA Recruiting works with leading environmental nonprofits, foundations, and businesses to recruit top talent and design effective organizational staffing strategies. For more information, visit www.cearecruiting.com.


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