Director, Plastics and Petrochemicals Advocacy

San Francisco, CA, US
17 days 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 Beijing; Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New Delhi; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; and Washington, D.C.


NRDC is seeking a Director, Plastics and Petrochemicals Advocacy to work with the Toxics team in our San Francsico, Santa Monica, New York, or Washington, D.C. office.

Position Summary

NRDC seeks a scientist (PhD, MD, DrPH, ScD, MS) and team leader to join the Toxics sector. The individual in this position leads a team focused on reducing the harmful impacts of plastics and petrochemicals and serves as a senior scientist on issues related to the impact of toxic chemical exposures on human health. Work is focused on reducing exposures to toxic chemicals through policy, litigation, legislation, and corporate campaigns, particularly toxic chemicals and harmful impacts from plastics and petrochemicals. The work entails travel to Sacramento, CA: Washington D.C.; and other locations.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the following essential functions:

  •  Lead and manage work to reduce the health and other impacts of plastics and petrochemicals, including setting goals and priorities for work
  • Manage 2-3 people, including senior staff, and providing mentorship and being responsible for goal setting, performance evaluation, and oversight
  • Collaborate and interface with internal and external teams to advance work and address institutional and team priorities
  • Provide scientific expertise to the toxics team to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals, particularly on those related to plastics and petrochemicals, by reforming the regulation and oversight of toxic chemicals through:
    • State and federal legislation;
    • administrative regulation and policy;
    • consumer campaigns; and
    • litigation
  • Identify new advocacy issues and opportunities based on emerging scientific research and/or contaminants of concern, particularly around plastics and petrochemicals.
  • Develop and strengthen NRDC relationships with scientists and experts in related fields.
  • Contribute to the creation of clear and compelling written and visual communications to scientists, policymakers and the general public to advance advocacy priorities, including blogs, fact sheets, comments for public hearings, reports and presentations.
  • Serve as a general environmental health policy expert, advocate, and spokesperson as needed for the Toxics sector.
  • Participate in fundraising activities including meeting with donors and foundation staff, speaking at donor events, and contributing to proposals and reports to funders.

The above list of duties is not comprehensive but generally demonstrates the types of matters under this position’s responsibility. Other duties may be assigned.


Minimum Education & Experience 

  • A minimum of seven years of experience in a related field.
  • Experience leading work and managing a team and individuals.
  • Experience in applying science to policy decision-making.
  • Experience with developing and advancing policies to address the health harms of plastics and petrochemicals preferred.
  • Expertise in the following areas highly desirable: health impacts from plastics and petrochemicals; harmful chemicals in consumer products; risk assessment; and green chemistry and alternatives analysis.
  • A doctorate, or equivalent degree, in medicine, public health, toxicology, or a related field; or a master’s degree with significant experience.

Skills, Abilities, Competencies

  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize scientific studies and data.
  • Ability to work with other environmental, health-affected and community groups and people from a wide array of cultures, backgrounds and scientific and technical understanding.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in teams and interest in working with lawyers and policy advocates to critically review and draft regulatory language, legislation, or other policies.
  • Demonstrated commitment to nonprofit/public interest advocacy and environmental public health.
  • Commitment to building and maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture.
  • Ability to travel to NRDC U.S. based offices, approximately 20% annually
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission, values, and DEI principles

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. Internal equity will be reviewed and considered to determine a final offer. For this position, the salary range is $131,000 to $150,000.


Our offices are open and we are operating in a hybrid model. We offer NRDCers flexibility, and we ask them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues. We call this purposeful presence.


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

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