Midwest Clean Vehicles Advocate

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 Midwest Clean Vehicles Advocate to work with the Clean Vehicles & Fuels team in our Chicago office. 


Position Summary 

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and a major source of health-harming pollution. Accelerating the transition to a zero-emission transportation future in an equitable manner is a key strategy to reduce climate pollution and improve air quality, to improve affordability for people and businesses, and to enhance good jobs and the economy. 


The Midwest is poised for progress on climate action and the transition to clean transportation. In 2021, Illinois passed a landmark climate law that is one of the most ambitious and equitable clean energy policies in the nation. The Midwest also has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strategically invest federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act to facilitate the clean energy transition, in particular on clean vehicles and EV charging infrastructure.   


The Midwest Clean Vehicles Advocate will leverage these opportunities and build on recent progress by managing and coordinating NRDC’s advocacy on clean transportation policy and campaigns. More specifically, the Advocate will be responsible for engaging with the NRDC team and external partners on state-level clean car and clean truck rules to equitably transition the Midwest to clean, electric vehicles; on policies to accelerate EV charging infrastructure deployment; and to secure the investments needed for the transition. The advocate will have an initial focus on Illinois and Michigan with the potential to expand engagement in other NRDC priority states in the Midwest. 


A successful candidate for this position will have: 

  • A passion for equity-centered climate and clean energy advocacy; 
  • Experience working collaboratively and in a team-based setting with a range of diverse partners; 
  • Interest developing and advocating for clean energy policies with state and local officials, the executive branch and agencies; 
  • The ability to represent NRDC in the media and other public forums with credibility and enthusiasm; and  
  • A willingness and ability to travel throughout the Midwest and elsewhere.


  • Serve in a leadership role by managing and coordinating NRDC’s work in the Midwest (with an initial focus on Illinois and Michigan) to build support at the state-level for regional clean vehicle priorities including, but not limited to: clean car and clean truck standards, EV consumer and fleet purchase incentives, and charging infrastructure policies including utility-EV rates and other grid issues; 
  • Work with subject matter experts within the Clean Vehicle & Fuels Group, the Climate & Clean Energy Program’s Midwest Region team, and other programs and team members, as appropriate to set strategic goals and priorities on clean transportation, develop work- and campaign- plans including budgets and timelines, and effectively work with external partners to meet project timelines and objectives. 
  • Develop and nurture durable partnerships with state clean energy coalitions and a wide network of state and local stakeholders, including: environmental groups, frontline communities and environmental justice groups, consumer and low-income advocates, organized labor, and industry stakeholders (charging station/network providers, automakers, utilities).  
  • Develop relationships with state and local decision makers and elected officials, including the executive branch, relevant agencies, and regulators such as public utilities commissioners;  
  • Represent NRDC with written and oral advocacy in a variety of forums and in other advocacy spaces and develop written materials (including blogs, policy memos, etc.) to amplify NRDC’s priorities;   
  • Collaborate with a multi-faceted internal team of campaign, communications, public engagement, and policy experts at NRDC to develop internal and external campaign strategies furthering clean vehicles policy in the Midwest and in other regions, as priorities require;  
  • Be 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. 


  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • At least 2 years of work experience related to clean vehicles, climate, energy policy, or a related field; 
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline. A master’s degree is a plus, though demonstrated experience engaging in policy advocacy and advancing campaigns can substitute for graduate-level education; 
  • Experience with project management, navigating diverse stakeholders and coalitions, 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), and advancing campaigns; 
  • The ability to pivot between and navigate a range of different topic areas, forums, stakeholder groups, and states on short notice;
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills, especially communicating technical and analytical information in a clear and persuasive manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as collaboratively in a team setting;  
  • Ability to represent NRDC with maturity, judgment and professionalism; 
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission and passion for advocating for the public interest, including commitment to advancing equity and justice alongside community partners; 
  • Flexibility to travel, within Illinois and the Midwest region, to NRDC’s regional offices, and to other U.S. locations as needed (approximately 20 of the time). 


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 $83,500 to $95,000. 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

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

View Company Profile