Lead Attorney, Clean Air

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Environmental Defense Fund

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Washington, DC, United States

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30+ days ago

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our
Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity .
Responsibilities :


EDF's U.S. Clean Air team envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. Directors on the U.S. Clean Air team work on highly complex legal and regulatory proceedings and lead external partnerships to reduce climate and health-harming air pollution.


The Lead Attorney will develop and implement strategies on complex legal and policy matters to (i) reduce climate and health-harming air pollution from stationary sources with a primary focus on the power sector and (ii) promote the use of rigorous economic analysis in federal rulemakings. The Lead Attorney will manage a team of EDF attorneys, legal fellows, externs and interns, and/or other experts and partner with colleagues across EDF and at other organizations to drive progress on key priorities. The Lead Attorney will draft fundraising materials and donor reports and engage with the media to build support for public health and environmental protections.


  • Represent EDF in litigation to secure and defend protections against climate and health-harming pollution.
  • Lead EDF's engagement on federal rulemakings, including by submitting administrative comments and meeting with high-level government officials.
  • Manage a team made up of legal fellows, other experts, and legal interns and externs to coordinate progress on legal and administrative priorities.
  • Manage external consultants performing legal and technical analysis in support of the team's objectives.
  • Facilitate the team's partnerships with other NGOs on key legal and technical matters.
  • Drive cross-cutting analyses to promote the use of rigorous economic principles in public health and environmental rulemakings, including through partnerships with academic institutions and other experts.
  • Coordinate with EDF colleagues on other teams to implement a coherent strategy across federal regulatory, federal legislative, and state-level advocacy.
  • Strengthen progress on DEIJ and environmental justice.
  • Prepare press materials and engage with the media to build support for policies among the general public and target audiences.
  • Draft and contribute to fundraising materials, outreach to members, and donor reports.
  • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF Values


  • A legal degree from an accredited university.
  • Active Bar membership.
  • At least 8 years professional experience in the practice area and a history of achieving policy reforms through litigation, administrative advocacy, and legislative efforts.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the Clean Air Act and administrative law.
  • Ability to represent EDF in litigation, before senior government officials, and in external partnerships.
  • Strong commitment and demonstrated ability to enhance the team's and EDF's DEIJ and environmental justice efforts, including experience working in diverse partnerships.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Experience and interest in managing and mentoring law students and early-career attorneys.
  • Excellent legal research and analytical skills and ability to convey complex ideas in written and oral communication.
  • Results-oriented self-starter with ability to work on fast-paced, deadline-driven, dynamic issues.
  • Ability to adapt plans and strategies in response to new events and information.

Interested candidates should attach a cover letter and writing sample to the application.

EEO Information:
Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.