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Climate & Energy Program Director

Job Title: Climate & Energy Program Director

Job Type: Full Time Exempt

Location: Hybrid Remote – Preferred Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or Denver.
Will consider other locations in the US West for the right candidate

Reports To: Conservation Director, Greg Dyson

Position Summary
The Climate and Energy Program Director is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that will achieve the goals and visions of WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program, namely of achieving a just, equitable, and speedy transition from fossil fuels in the American West and beyond. To this end, the Director works to identify opportunities to meaningfully advance a fossil fuel-free future using bold tactics, and adapts as necessary to ensure durable progress. The Director ensures that principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion guide the Climate and Energy Program’s advocacy for change. The Director will be expected to be creative, critical, passionate, committed to a better world, and driven to succeed.

The Director is primarily responsible for communicating the work, success, and vision of the Program to the public, the media, the organization, and to allied organizations and individuals. The Director is also primarily responsible for ensuring that the success of the Program translates into success for WildEarth Guardians by demonstrating measurable advances that lead to systemic change. Within the Program, the Director is responsible for supervising staff and contractor(s), managing projects, developing and managing the Program budget, fundraising, collaborating with other WildEarth Guardians staff, and assisting in other administrative duties as needed. The Director’s responsibilities are carried out with direct oversight and insight from the Conservation Director, as well as in collaboration with other staff within the organization. As with all Program Directors, the Director plays an important leadership role in the organization.

Qualifications & Required Skills

Education: Advanced degree in science or law preferred, with consideration given for experience in lieu of a degree.

Programmatic Experience: Three years experience in Climate & Energy work or in a closely related climate advocacy field. One year experience running a program or department in a related field is also required.

Management Experience: Three years experience in management is required.

  • Strong knowledge about the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations,
  • Experience in working with coalitions,
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills,
  • Experience with media, including press releases and social media.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:


  • The Director is responsible for directing the campaign advocacy of the Program.
  • The Director is responsible for direct advocacy, such as writing comment letters.
  • In addition, the Director is primarily responsible for collaborating with Program staff to ensure effective implementation of SMARTIE goals and objectives.
  • Other Program duties include;
    • identifying legal and other handles to slow or stop fossil fuel development proposals;
    • developing legal strategies against fossil fuel development proposals;
    • working with our legal staff and outside attorneys to litigate proposals;
    • coordinating with organizers to advance effective public outreach and power-building;
    • developing and implementing proactive policies; preparing work plans and strategy guides for ensuring effective advocacy;
    • meeting with key allies and opponents; networking with like-minded individuals and organizations;
    • lobbying agency and elected officials; and
    • serving as a strategic resource to other organizations and individuals.
  • The Director is expected to travel regularly to ensure familiarity with issues, partners, and places related to the Program work.
  • Other skills include;
    • an understanding of environmental laws and their application, especially the Clean Air Act;
    • a general understanding of organizing tactics;
    • proficiency in campaign planning and implementation;
    • an understanding of how to advance social change; an understanding of principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion;
    • writing and word processing skills;
    • a high degree of communications skills; an ability to critically analyze proposals and policies;
    • an ability to manage multiple projects;
    • an ability to plan and to measure progress in implementing projects; and
    • a commitment to the vision of WildEarth Guardians.
  • The Director will also collaborate with other staff as needed to advance other program and organizational goals and objectives, such as participating in hiring committees and other organizational committees, including the Conservation Team.
  • Where necessary, the Director will provide leadership in coalitions, regularly engage allied organizations, and ensure that any collaboration ultimately advances the Program’s and Guardians’ objectives.
  • In addition, the Director will work cross-functionally and innovatively with other Guardians’ programs to achieve broad strategic goals.


  • The Director is responsible for hiring and supervising staff and may be responsible for supervising a contractor(s).
  • Supervisory responsibilities include;
    • regular communication with staff to ensure progress to monitor work production,
    • developing and maintaining work plans,
    • managing staff to ensure key tasks and projects are implemented,
    • reviewing and managing the performance of staff,
    • professional and leadership development of the staff, and
    • making recommendations regarding new or additional personnel needs to the Conservation Director, Deputy Director, and/or Executive Director.
  • For contractors, the Director may be responsible for drafting contracts, ensuring payments are entered, reviewing and managing performance of the contractor, and utilizing the work produced by contractors.


  • In collaboration with the Communications Team, the Director is responsible for;
    • preparing press releases and other media outreach materials,
    • regularly engaging in social media,
    • preparing organizational communication materials relevant to the Program (e.g., photographs, alerts, news articles, blog posts, etc.), and
    • fulfilling any other Climate and Energy-specific communications needs to advance the Program and the organization (e.g., giving presentations, participating in panels, etc.).
  • The Director is the principal spokesperson for the Program and therefore is primarily responsible for communicating directly to the media, to members, and to other parties interested in the Program.


  • The Director is responsible for engaging in fundraising for the Program. This responsibility includes;
    • assisting the Development Team as necessary,
    • identifying and playing a role in cultivating donors, and
    • communicating news and other information to the Development Team and donors as needed.
  • The Director will occasionally be required to participate in fundraising events, to meet with donors and solicit donations, and to prepare fundraising materials.


  • The Director is responsible for managing the online and physical files of the Climate and Energy Program, managing budgets for the Program, participating in staff meetings and retreats, managing a credit card, ensuring Program staff have adequate equipment to perform their job, and performing office development and maintenance tasks as necessary.
  • The Director will oversee Program staff expenses and review and approve requests for expenditures and reimbursements from staff.


  • In the work of the Program, the Director will be expected to provide leadership to the Program, at times provide leadership for the organization, and set a model for leadership within and outside the organization.
  • The Director is an ambassador for WildEarth Guardians and in all settings, will ensure the organization is respected, understood to be legitimate and genuine, understood to be expert and effective in its work, and relied upon to drive big change.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

  • The Program Director will lead efforts to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all the work of the Program.
  • The Director will ensure that campaign plans, goals, objectives, and strategies reflect full consideration and implementation of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion concepts.

Salary Range
$88,000 – $93,000 DOE

WildEarth Guardians offers a flexible and generous benefits package for staff. Benefits for full-time staff include 100% medical and dental employee coverage paid for by the employer, vision, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan with a 3% match after 2 years of full-time employment, paid and unpaid health and family leave, a sabbatical policy, sick leave, three weeks paid vacation to start, and fourteen holidays including 5 floating holidays to be taken at any time. Benefits are prorated for part-time employees to correspond to the employee’s schedule: holiday, vacation, sick time, 403(b) retirement plan with a 3% match after 2 years of full-time employment. Part-time employees are not eligible for health coverage or sabbatical leave.

Equal Opportunity Employer
WildEarth Guardians is an Equal Opportunity Organization and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family/marital status, religion or other protected classes. We strongly encourage applications from historically excluded communities.

ADA Statement
WildEarth Guardians committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. In keeping with
our commitment, WildEarth Guardians, will take the steps to assure that people with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. Accordingly, if reasonable accommodation is required to fully participate in the job application or interview process, to perform the essential functions of the position, and/or to receive all other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact apply@wildearthguardians.org.

About WildEarth Guardians
Founded in 1989, WildEarth Guardians is a west-wide environmental advocacy organization headquartered in Santa Fe, NM. The organization has offices in Denver, CO, Missoula, MT, Boise, ID, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Tucson, AZ, as well as several remote staff. We have a 33-year history of securing durable environmental protections that preserve endangered species and other wildlife, advance pioneering supply-side climate policy, ensure living rivers and protect public lands. We do this by pursuing innovative and sustained legal campaigns, bold and creative policy and legislative solutions at both the state and federal levels and by mobilizing grassroots and grasstops constituencies. All this work is in service of our mission to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health in the western U.S.

For more information, please visit www.wildearthguardians.org/about-us

To Apply
Please apply to the link on this page. You will need to fill out our online application and upload your resume and cover letter.

Please no telephone calls or emails. Only if you require assistance applying to this opportunity, please email apply@wildearthguardians.org

Deadline to Apply
The Hiring manager/committee will begin reviewing applications on October 2, 2023, and will contact you if they would like to schedule an interview to further discuss your application.