Federal Associate Director - Sierra Club Outdoors for All Campaign

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Sierra Club

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Washington, DC, United States

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30 days ago

Job Title: Federal Associate Director - Sierra Club Outdoors for All Campaign
Department: Program
Location: Washington, D.C. preferred. This position requires an ability to travel.
Reports to: Director, Sierra Club Outdoors for All Campaign
Supervises: 1 to 3 Campaign Unit Staff


Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of togetherness. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel inequity, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our democracy. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it.

Sierra Club is comprised of staff across the country and a network of volunteer leaders and local chapters that support our grassroots engagement. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with two labor unions representing more than half of our employees.


Scope: Sierra Club’s Outdoors for All campaign seeks to advance a just, equitable and inclusive movement that ensures access to the outdoors for all people. The campaign believes that access to nature, such as public parks and open spaces, should be respected as a basic human right. Barriers to entry are extensive, and include a legacy of racism that has and continues to shape land-use policies and attitudes. By 2030, the Outdoors for All campaign seeks to reduce the nature equity gap by ensuring an additional 50 million people can exercise their human right to connect with the outdoors.

The Sierra Club is seeking a strategic, collaborative, equity-driven Federal Associate Director to help lead federal legislative and administrative opportunities that support the organization’s goal to expand access to the outdoors for all. Specifically, the Federal Associate Director will assist in the development and implementation of Outdoors for All campaign strategies, as well as collaborating and partnering with Sierra Club’s federal policy, legal, organizing, digital, and communications teams, to achieve administrative and legislative victories that accelerate outdoor access and equity across the U.S. The Federal Associate Director will develop new and help oversee existing national internal and external partnerships for the campaign and will utilize Sierra Club’s extensive network of national and chapter staff and volunteers to secure federal policies that support local, state and regional outcomes, such as the protection and activation of urban and local parks, the advancement of public transit to trails projects, the removal and replacement of racist and derogatory monuments, markers and place names in our public lands, and the expansion of public outdoor programming for youth, veterans and communities that have been historically excluded from the outdoors. Closing the nature equity gap is a key pillar in Sierra Club’s overall efforts to protect 30% of public lands and waters by 2030, alongside addressing the climate crisis and preventing mass extinction.


Job activities include but are not limited to:

  • Identify and evaluate federal policy opportunities across Sierra Club’s Outdoors for All campaign, and set and align priorities that are consistent with the organization’s vision to protect 30% of public lands and waters by 2030 and close the nature equity gap by expanding access to the outdoors for all.
  • Coordinate the Sierra Club’s federal policy, digital strategies, communications, legal, analyst, and organizing teams and utilize the organization’s grassroots power and state-based campaign model to secure the goals of Sierra Club’s Outdoors for All campaign.
  • Build powerful federal campaign strategies to advance a just, equitable and inclusive outdoors agenda through the adoption of new or updated administrative initiatives, the passage of new federal legislation, and the implementation of recently enacted federal laws such as the Great American Outdoors Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Works across government agencies and sectors.
  • Provide expert policy advice on federal outdoors-related legislation, rules and regulations, in close coordination with the Federal Policy Team; serves as an advocate for the Outdoors for All campaign’s federal priorities with the White House, federal agencies, congress, partners and the media. Additionally, provide expert policy guidance and support to Outdoors for All campaign-hosted alliances and coalitions, such as the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) and the Veterans and Military Outdoors Coalition, and work with campaign managers and staff to build transformational partnerships in pursuit of shared policy objectives. Apply an equity lens when making policy recommendations for the campaign.
  • Apply equity, inclusion and justice (Equity) values to all campaign activities. Ensures all staff and lead volunteers in the campaign are supporting Sierra Club’s Multi-Year Equity Plan, including operationalizing the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing throughout campaign activities. Ensures team members are working to actively pivot away from white supremacist culture and behaviour and towards racial equity at the individual and interpersonal levels. Ensures that external campaign outcomes demonstrate a commitment to justice and equity.
  • Provide guidance and oversight to direct reports:
    • Assigns work, establishes clear performance standards and work priorities;
    • Ensures staff receive the necessary professional training and support to successfully carry out their jobs;
    • Provides ongoing performance feedback, prepares and conducts formal performance planning and evaluation;
    • Makes recommendations regarding salary, hiring, and promotion decisions.
  • Supports and assists the Director in leading the campaign’s internal communications plan, informing and engaging Sierra Club staff, boards and volunteers.
  • Advances special projects and miscellaneous duties.
  • Travels as needed especially for candidates outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • Operationalizing Equity. You model effective equity analysis and practice and demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of how group dynamics impact supervisory relationships, organizational culture, partnerships, campaigns, and coalition work. Your decision-making is consistent, intentional, and committed to creating equitable outcomes at all levels. You have led high-performing and leaderful teams across group identities. You intervene when challenging group dynamics play out, in ways that build understanding, trust, and deeper self-awareness of team members.
  • Campaign Leadership and Management. Track record of successful campaign leadership. Demonstrated ability to build, implement and win strategic campaigns or initiatives, including operating in environments that require building alignment among a range of internal and external constituencies. Can identify a theory of change, leverage resources, set tangible outcomes, maintain priorities and create a team culture that supports success. Experience managing, coaching, inspiring and holding accountable staff and volunteers, including outside of a direct management chain.
  • Policy Expertise and Thought Leadership. Experience with federal administrative and legislative policy making and venues, including with the agencies charged with implementing outdoors-related provisions in the Great American Outdoors and Inflation Reduction acts. Provide thought leadership, regularly generating policy ideas that will advance the vision and goals of the campaign; ability to navigate an ever changing landscape and effectively problem-solve while keeping the big picture in mind.
  • Project Management. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects, develop and communicate clear and strategic campaign and project work expectations across the campaign team, matrix-managed staff, partners and volunteers.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills. High emotional intelligence and resilience, ability to engage in courageous conversations, ability to tend to impact; ability to engage, inspire, activate and maintain strong transformational partnerships around shared values, purpose, and goals. Highly developed communication and writing skills, and the ability to represent the organization in media and in venues with key decision makers (including elected officials at all levels, their senior staff, movement leaders, etc.)

The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following experience, skills and competencies:

  • Experience in the outdoors, lands and/or climate sectors, as well as an understanding of outdoors and conservation movements. Collaboration across sectors including environment, conservation, health, education, labor, transportation, youth, veterans/military families.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment, across geographies and with different types of volunteer and staff structures, building buy-in across a complex organization, exercising effective judgment in challenging situations and remaining calm under pressure.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $95,000 - $ 100,000 based on Region/Location.

The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package 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, non-represented, supervisory position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.


To Apply

This position does not have an undergraduate education requirement. If you choose to include your education history, please remove your schools from your resume. You may leave your degree (e.g., “B.A. Philosophy”), but please remove any undergraduate and graduate school names.

This anonymous process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments and mitigating bias in the decision-making process.

Lastly, we are intentionally not asking for a cover letter, so please do not send one in with your application.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.