Senior Advocate, California

Organization icon

Natural Resources Defense Council

Location icon

San Francisco, CA, United States

Clock icon

16 days ago

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.

Position Summary

NRDC is seeking a Senior Advocate to join the Western regional team of the Climate and Clean Energy program. Our team is committed to transitioning our economy to clean energy, combatting climate change, and addressing environmental and energy inequities. This position will be an integral part of the program’s advocacy success. The ideal candidate will have policy and legal analysis and development expertise, a passion for equity-centered climate and clean energy advocacy, experience working collaboratively with a range of diverse partners, and interest in developing and advocating for clean energy and climate policies with elected officials and other decisionmakers in California and elsewhere in the western U.S.
  • Serve in a leadership role to develop, build support for, and advance a broad portfolio of equitable climate and clean energy policies, including the power sector and decarbonizing industry and buildings.
  • Serve as California lead for NRDC’s industrial decarbonization advocacy, in partnership with the Climate and Clean Energy program’s Industrial Policy Director and team.
  • Develop and nurture durable partnerships with state clean energy coalitions and a wide network of allies, including the environmental community, frontline and environmental justice groups, consumer and low-income advocates, labor, the faith community, clean energy businesses, utilities, state and local decision makers and elected officials.
  • Provide written and oral advocacy at the California PUC, Energy Commission, ARB, legislature and Governor’s office.
  • Serve as a key spokesperson in the press for NRDC’s climate and clean energy mission in California.
  • Collaborate with a multi-faceted internal team of campaign, communications, public engagement, and policy experts to advance a diverse portfolio of policy initiatives.
  • In partnership with the Climate and Clean Energy program’s Western Region Director and other members of the team, set strategic goals and priorities, budgets, and timelines, and deploy consultants and partners to meet project timelines and objectives.
  • Is a central part of a strong and collegial team that is focused on collaboration, approaches advocacy with innovation and optimism, and is committed to leveraging the full range of expertise within NRDC and among its partners to drive change.
  • 8+ years of work experience related to environment, climate, energy policy, and related fields.
  • Experience in state-level clean energy and climate advocacy in California and/or the western U.S.
  • Either a graduate level degree in a related discipline(s) including law, or demonstrated experience engaging in policy advocacy.
  • Experience navigating diverse stakeholders, building consensus on policy issues, and driving toward positive outcomes within a team, in a coalition, and with other external partners, in particular partners that reach beyond the traditional environmental community.
  • Strong oral and written advocacy skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team setting.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission, and passion for advocating for the public interest.
  • Flexibility to travel, once it is safe to do so, around California, the West, to NRDC’s regional offices, and to other U.S. locations as needed (approximately 10-30% of the time).
  • A resident of California, with a preference for the Bay Area or Sacramento.

  • A law degree and admission to the California Bar is a plus but not required.

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