Director, Labor and Economic Justice Program

Director, Labor and Economic Justice Program

Sierra Club

Washington, DC   |   January 10, 2019

About Sierra Club:

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.5+ million members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.

Today, there’s a serious set of challenges ahead: a warming climate, unprecedented levels of pollution, and powerful special interests undermining basic protections. There’s no time to waste in coming together for new solutions – which is why the Sierra Club is bringing people together to build the most powerful and effective environmental movement the world has ever seen.

We know actions speak louder than words. That’s why we’ve built a national community of volunteers, advocates, and grassroots activists who show up when and where it counts. Our supporters have the tools and resources to make themselves heard in nearly every district in every state across the country. From securing protection for 439 parks and monuments, to winning passage of the Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts, to putting over 274 coal plants on the path to replacement with clean energy, to securing the right of every kid in America to visit a national park, we have an unmatched record of success and impact.

We work with other partner organizations, nonprofits, and campaigns to build a diverse, inclusive movement that represents today’s American public. We know that environmental issues can’t be separated from social justice – because we all breathe the same air and share the same land. The Sierra Club also works with and supports companies who know that strong values are part of smart business.

John Muir and a group of friends banded together in 1892 to ensure that the Pacific coast was protected and accessible to everyone. Since then, our scope has evolved to ensure that we’re protecting the natural and human environment, but our purpose is unchanged: to bring people together to defend our natural resources and everyone’s right to enjoy them.

For more information on Sierra Club, please visit

The Opportunity:

Building and deepening Sierra Club’s work with worker organizations and labor unions is a top priority for the organization and essential in our strategy to build an intersectional movement capable of tackling climate change and creating a sustainable and equitable economy. The Director, Labor and Economic Justice Program will report to a Deputy National Program Director and be part of a group of senior managers leading the Program Department. The Director will work closely with other senior staff in developing and executing an overall strategy for our relationships and campaigns with worker organizations and labor unions  as well as with economic justice partners. The Director will identify opportunities for deeper long term internal and external collaboration ensuring that the program reflects Sierra Club’s commitment to equity and justice.

The Director will also be responsible for continuing the internal education of Sierra Club staff and volunteers around issues related to worker organizations and labor unions in general, the challenges facing working people, the lack of access to collective bargaining and the need for a sound economic transition in order to create a more equitable and sustainable economy with a focus on low-income and communities of color.

The Director will work closely with the Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Program as well as the Healthy Communities program, Federal policy team, Living Economy Program the Communications department, as well as Sierra Club Clean Energy for All (CEFA) campaigns, chapter staff and volunteers to design national, regional and localized strategies and campaigns to constructively engage the labor community.

Candidate Profile:

The Director has overall program responsibility, and provides experienced leadership and strategic planning, for the Sierra Club’s work with worker organizations and labor unions. Manages and monitors expenses, assigns priorities and timetables, plans and develops strategies, evaluates campaign/ program effectiveness.  Represents the Sierra Club to labor unions and external allies, government officials, the media and other organizations.

The primary functions of the Director, Labor and Economic Justice Program include, but are not limited to:

  • Directs the Sierra Club’s overall work with worker organizations, labor unions, economic justice partners and the BlueGreen Alliance. Works with national staff and volunteers to develop the campaign plan, oversee implementation of the plan, coordinate fundraising efforts and oversee program budget and expenses.
  • Program supervision responsibility which includes supervising employee performance, developing/managing campaign activities, developing fundraising proposals, raising funds, and overseeing program budget.
  • Acts as a senior advisor to staff colleagues and volunteers.
  • Serves as key point person within the Sierra Club on issues impacting worker organizations, labor unions and economic justice partners and is a strategic advisor within the Sierra Club on communicating these priorities.
  • Seeks opportunities to develop strategic campaign activities with worker organizations, labor unions and economic justice partners on joint priorities and works across the Sierra Club to develop effective planning and execution of these priorities.
  • Coordinates internal training, communication and strategies to successfully execute and expand the campaign goals and to ensure effective communication/coordination across the organization on economic justice issues.
  • Directs the development and preparation of campaign issues information. This may include the writing, editing and distribution of fact sheets, newsletters, political and educational materials.  It may also include the writing, editing and reviewing of articles for conservation related publications.
  • Works to develop and insure that volunteers assume meaningful roles in the program/campaign.
  • Plans and develops projects for grant funding, handles personal contacts, solicitation and ongoing relationships with specific foundations involved with the projects.
  • In cooperation with the major gift fundraising staff, participates in major donor personal solicitation and cultivation, and foundation solicitation and relations.
  • Represents the Sierra Club to the general public.
  • Supports and provides senior level professional, strategic and tactical expertise to staff and volunteers.
  • Develops relationships with elected public officials and their staffs. Develops and conducts lobby campaigns associated with the assigned national program and strategic partners that is in alignment with the Jemez Principles in order to take delivery on the Justice Indicators .
  • Introduces creative and intersectional ideas and approaches for consideration.


As the incoming Director, Labor and Economic Justice Program you will also possess many, though perhaps not all of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • A./B.S. degree in Environmental Studies, Political Science, or a closely related field.
  • Expert knowledge with the specific program field. Experience in working with worker organizations, labor unions and economic justice issues.
  • 3-5 years’ experience as a Washington D.C. representative, or in a comparable position in another organization which includes substantial experience planning and managing a national level legislative campaign, including strategy, coalition building, organizing, lobbying , media, fundraising, program/employee management, budget planning and management, and work with senior level elected officials and staff from outside organizations.
  • Strong understanding of issues affecting worker organizations, labor unions and working families in the United States
  • Valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and proof of auto insurance required.
  • Substantial experience in the strategic planning and direction of campaigns and programs.
  • Excellent demonstrated written and oral communication skills. Demonstrated public speaking and media presentation ability.
  • Prior experience in fundraising that includes foundation relations, individual solicitation of major gifts, and grant funded project development and oversight.
  • Substantial experience, demonstrated skill and ability, in national media relations. Includes effective television and radio presence, knowledge of media technologies including video, radio and print production processes.
  • Expert lobbying and networking ability.
  • Substantial experience and demonstrated ability and effectiveness working with volunteers.

Compensation & Benefits:

The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package that is commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental and vision coverage and a retirement savings 401(K) plan. This is a category 3 exempt position.


The Sierra Club has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan and Shelby Woods here.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse workforce and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit