Director, Drought & Water Scarcity

about 1 month 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 Director, Drought & Water Scarcity Resilience to work with Water team in our Santa Monica or San Francisco office.

Position SummaryNRDC’s People & Communities Program seeks to hire a Director, Drought & Water Scarcity for its Water Team. The position will be based in NRDC’s Santa Monica or San Francisco Office. We are open to remote candidates located in the broader Southwest (e.g., NV, CO, AZ). Our Water Team is an important voice for much-needed policy changes in the way our nation prepares for and responds to the impacts of climate change on our water resources. One of the team’s primary goals is to slow down the water-related impacts of climate change while accelerating climate preparedness. The Water Team’s efforts focus on addressing the impacts of climate change, including drought and water scarcity in the American West, while ensuring local, state, and federal water policy allows us to be more resilient to future water conditions. The Drought and Water Scarcity Team currently comprises one Senior Policy Analyst, one vacant position, and one Program Assistant. This position will lead that team and also work closely with related climate resilience teams focused on Flood policy and Heat & Health policy. The Director will play a key role in setting and executing goals for the team; developing policy proposals; working with partner organizations around the country; and conducting advocacy. The Water Team’s work places a priority on solutions that are developed in partnership with impacted communities and that benefit low-income individuals and communities, who often lack the financial resources to invest in the long-term solutions they will eventually need to adapt to climate change.


The Director, Drought & Water Scarcity must have exceptional planning, management, and advocacy skills. The Water Team will rely on the person in this position to stay well-informed on current scientific research and policy developments regarding the impacts of climate change and rapidly evolving understanding of water scarcity and potential solutions, including a strong focus on impacts and opportunities to support communities of color and low-income communities. This position will substantively contribute to the Team’s efforts to analyze legislation, regulations, and agency guidance; prepare public comments and testimony; issue memoranda explaining NRDC’s positions and goals; and communicate findings to the public and decision makers. Recognizing the importance of government investment in climate preparedness, the Director will also be responsible for assessing state and federal budget proposals from the Executive branch and Congress, tracking trends in funding from year to year, and advocating for state and federal agency funding in the arenas of risk management and disaster response.



  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • 15 years of experience with policy analysis, scientific research, quantitative analysis, and/or public policy advocacy.
  • Deep intellectual interest in the impacts of climate change and potential solutions for addressing these impacts, particularly as they relate to water conservation and efficiency, water reuse, or stormwater management.
  • Deep understanding and demonstrated commitment to and competency in racial equity, diversity, and inclusion principles, including contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment and experience with advancing DEI.
  • An affinity for creative thinking that can advance NRDC’s climate preparedness agenda.
  • The ability to communicate complex issues involving scientific and legal findings and matters of public policy.
  • Exceptional communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences through written documents, oral and multimedia presentations, and social media.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to supervise staff while working as a member of a team to build upon the strengths of the program.
  • Successful development/fundraising experience.
  • Highly motivated to affect positive change in the nation’s policies and achieve tangible results.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service as well as environmental and social justice issues.


  • Advanced degree in water resources, public policy, climate, law, or a related subject or equivalent experience preferred.

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 $153,000 to $175,000. 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