Managing Director, People & Communities

3 months ago
Full time role


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

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Job Description


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 Managing Director, People & Communities to work with the Executive team from any of our US offices. 


Position Summary


The Managing Director will be the chief visionary and strategist for the People & Communities (P&C) program; charged with leading, scaling, and operationalizing the people, structures, partnerships, and programs needed to execute the program’s strategy for maximum impact. Reporting directly to the Chief Programs Officer (CPO) and serving on the Advocacy Leadership Team, the Managing Director will be externally and internally focused, representing NRDC and the People & Communities program at various external events as well as internal forums, acting as a spokesperson for our strategic vision and helping elevate the reputation and profile of the organization. The Managing Director will seek out and build strategic partnerships and develop and support fundraising efforts for the program in partnership with Development. The Managing Director will be expected and will be supported to build this program even further to help meet the urgency of the moment.   


This is an exceptional opportunity for a dynamic, expert, and inspirational leader. The P&C team are highly capable, and the next Managing Director will be an empowering and collaborative individual who furthers high performance and innovation and can champion equity, diversity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will be flexible, thrive in collaborative environments, embrace solving complex and nuanced problems, and is recognized within the climate movement as a strategic leader with excellent communications skills and the ability to tell compelling stories to diverse audiences. Most importantly, you will demonstrate a genuine alignment with the values of NRDC and seek to apply your passion and skills to work to tackle the most important challenges humanity has ever faced.  


Strategy, Institutional Leadership, Partnerships and External Relations (60%): 

  • Serves as chief strategist and advocate with NRDC’s People & Communities program and accountable for delivering major outcomes in pursuit of our goal. 
  • Serves as an external expert and spokesperson for NRDC’s People & Communities program.   
  • Cultivates and manages strategic relationships and partnerships with businesses, NGOs, labor, government, local government, and community groups to maximize impact and achieve major outcomes.  
  • Serves as a strategic advisor to Chief Program Officer and a member of the Program Leadership Team.  
  • Works with the Development department to develop and implement a vision and strategy to maximize funding opportunities; helps develop foundation proposals, meets with donors, and cultivates philanthropic relationships, etc. 
  • Works with the Communications department to develop effective external communication strategies and formulate opportunities to increase NRDC’s visibility and name recognition as a leader in climate science.  
  • Embeds equity and justice in NRDC’s people and communities’ work; champions community advocacy and helps build expertise and capacity among underserved communities.

Program Management (40%):

  • Leads the People and Communities department, including strategic planning, people management, and administration. 
  • Sets program’s strategic goals in alignment with organizational priorities, develops key performance indicators and robust work plans to achieve outcomes, and sets high performance expectations. 
  • Oversees and has ultimate responsibility for the financial management of the program’s budget, aiming to make the most strategic and effective use of program funds by rigorously prioritizing and allocating resources to maximize opportunities and outcomes. 
  • Collaborate internally with leadership across Programs and other functions to ensure that department initiatives are integrated, and staff are in alignment.  


  • Minimum 15 years’ directly related experience in the field of environmental policy, health, or sustainable cities, including at least 5 years successfully managing large teams toward a common vision and purpose.  
  • Demonstrable alignment and deep commitment to NRDC’s mission and purpose with an ability to communicate this passion to others with a positive and high-energy attitude, integrity, and a commitment to working collaboratively with peers and colleagues. 
  • Visionary, forward-looking, and strategic thinker with a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving.   
  • Substantial experience in leading development and execution of strategic goals.   
  • Proven ability to manage large teams of people, large-scale projects, and relationships in a complex and matrixed organizational structure. 
  • Substantial experience and demonstrated success working with BIPOC-led groups to advance a common goal.  
  • Deep experience and commitment of incorporating and growing the use of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles in our work and in team culture and operations.  
  • Experience with public speaking on technical and non-technical topics, with an ability to communicate successfully with a wide variety of audiences. 


NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of 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 commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $275,000 to $325,000. Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range 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

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

View Company Profile