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NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

NRDC is seeking a Director, Community Access and Engagement to work with the Science Office team in our Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Santa Monica, or San Francisco office.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief Science Officer (with possible secondary reporting to the Environment, Equity, and Justice Center), the Director of Community Access & Engagement will play a critical role in creating and maintaining structures and activities that provide access to NRDCs scientific knowledge and resources for communities that are disproportionately burdened by environmental harms. This is primarily a service-oriented position, designed to leverage scientific tools and resources in support of the goals and objectives of community-led and/or -directed organizations. The ideal candidate for this role thrives in collaborative environments, embraces solving complex and nuanced problems, and is recognized within the environmental and/or social justice movement as a compassionate partner, strategic thinker, and clear communicator. The Director will have opportunities to represent the Science Office internally and externally and will help develop and articulate our strategy for sharing knowledge and supporting community-based work.
  • Lead the development of an institutional strategy that assesses the science-based needs of community-based organizations and identifies opportunities to fill resource gaps via knowledge and resource sharing pathways.
  • Work in close collaboration with the Environment, Equity, and Justice Center Director of Community Science to build and leverage scientific and technical capacity, resources, and skills to achieve the equity and justice goals of NRDC and disproportionately impacted communities.
  • Develop strong and collaborative relationships with community-based leaders and academic institutions to advance both shared and unique goals.
  • Provide very high level subject matter expertise in area of specialization to advance the goals of community-based partners, the Science Office, and NRDC.
  • Directly manage and oversee staff within the Science Office, ensuring that staff are supported and coached to increasing levels of performance and that projects are aligned with organizational mission and goals.
  • Work closely with Science Office staff to ensure that the Office’s priorities and activities are integrated and mutually supporting.
  • Work as a member of the Science Office leadership team and perform other tasks as requested by the Chief Science Officer including but not limited to supporting the Office’s fundraising, grant writing, communications, budget and strategic planning processes.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • Strong dedication to incorporating and growing the use of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging principles in NRDC’s work.
  • Master’s degree or equivalent required; with training and/or experience in social justice, environmental education, sustainability, climate change, and/or related challenges.
  • Senior-level project management experience with a minimum of 7 – 10 years of experience in environmental, social justice, or related scientific fields.
  • At least 5 years of experience providing scientific, policy, technical, and/or educational tools and support to overburdened and/or resource-deprived communities.
  • Demonstrated track record of creating linkages between communities and research-based entities (including universities, non-profit organizations, etc.).
  • Visionary, forward-looking, and strategic thinker with strong interpersonal and active listening skills.
  • Exceptional communication and organizational skills; team player with a proven ability to develop collaborative strategies within and between organizations.
  • Extensive experience and demonstrated success working in partnership with community groups, particularly those with histories of disinvestment.
  • Experience with engaging the public on technical and non-technical topics, with an ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to incorporating and growing the use of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in NRDC’s work.
  • Familiarity with grant writing and fundraising, particularly with foundations and individual donors.
  • PhD or equivalent preferred.
  • Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries,
excellent benefits , and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $ 125,000 to $ 140,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit