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15 Dec 2022

Full-Time Climate Initiative Leader

Southern Environmental Law Center – Posted by hoverstreet Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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Job Description

This job can be based in any SELC office: Asheville, NC; Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Chapel Hill, NC; Charleston, SC; Charlottesville, VA – Headquarters; Nashville, TN; Richmond, VA; Washington, DC.

The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking a dedicated professional to lead our multifaceted work to control atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases by advancing multi-sector policies to dramatically reduce emissions and by preserving and advancing nature-based carbon sequestration, while also influencing adaptation of the South’s natural systems and communities to the impacts of climate change. The Climate Initiative Leader reports to the Program Director and can be based in any SELC office. This is an excellent opportunity to join a highly successful, nationally recognized organization that is effectively addressing some of the most pressing and challenging environmental issues throughout the South and the nation.

The path for meaningful climate action in this country runs through the South. SELC’s six-state region is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas pollution globally and our ecologically rich and biologically diverse region is among the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. SELC is focusing our high-quality legal and policy work, strategic vision and pragmatic problem solving, and deep understanding of the places, politics, and culture of the South to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate change goals. As we have shown throughout our history, the progress we achieve here consistently influences protections and policies nationally. That’s why we say: Solutions start in the South.

SELC currently has a hybrid work model that offers employees the flexibility to work at home two days per week. We require all staff to be vaccinated and boosted and to provide proof of vaccination to work in our offices. This is a full-time position.

Primary Responsibilities:
• Serve as SELC’s representative and principal spokesperson on climate change and climate policy.
• Build SELC’s profile and reputation as a climate change leader and expand SELC’s network with climate change advocates at the regional, national, and global level.
• Work in close collaboration with the Director of Programs, Director of Communications, and Program and Initiative Leaders to refine and regularly update SELC’s multifaceted climate change strategy; oversee the implementation of this strategy.
• Lead a regular process to update SELC’s understanding of the science and policy related to climate change and to reassess our efforts to achieve our climate change goals.
• Identify opportunities for SELC to lead regional and national progress related to climate change.
• Coordinate with Office Directors and Program Leaders to integrate climate change priorities into annual office and program work plans, identify priority projects, and coordinate implementation of climate change priorities with staff across SELC’s offices.
• Work with the Director of Program Communications to coordinate climate change-related communications across SELC’s offices and identify communications opportunities to advance SELC’s regional strategy, complement SELC’s legal and policy work, bridge political and urban/rural divides, and win new allies.
• Serve as a sounding board and strategic advisor to program leaders, attorneys, and communications professionals on work related to climate change.
• Serve as an active partner with the development team on issues related to climate change, working to cultivate, maintain, and expand major donor and foundation support focused on climate change and take primary responsibility for managing relationships with key funders of SELC’s climate change work.

Required Qualifications:
We are seeking an individual with 10 or more years of experience working on climate policy. This includes:
• A deep understanding of climate science and the causes and consequences of climate change.
• Significant experience advancing effective climate policies.
• Excellent management skills, including the ability to manage and lead a diverse team and to foster and strengthen the collegiality, trust, compassion, passion for our shared mission, integrity, and excellence that define SELC’s culture.
• The ability to design and implement goal-oriented strategies and tactical approaches to consistently obtain high-quality results.
• A strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission.
• A genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC create and foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.

About SELC:
The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South. With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of over 200, including more than 100 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, DC.

At our core, we are place-based, rooted in our region, and connected with the communities and clients we serve. We believe in an equitable and inclusive workplace that reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of our region and allows diverse perspectives to come to the forefront. We approach our work with the highest level of integrity, holding ourselves to high standards with an emphasis on honesty, accountability, and thoughtfulness. We value collaboration and camaraderie, realizing we are strongest when we work together and knowing that everyone has a critical role to play. We strive for impact through a strategic, bold, pragmatic, and ambitious outlook that is dedicated to achieving powerful results. We believe in these values and in the power of SELC. We hope you consider joining us. Learn more at

SELC offers salaries competitive with other leading environmental nonprofits nationally and provides an excellent benefits package. The starting salary range for this position is $143,000-$172,000, commensurate with experience. For more details about our benefits package, please visit our Careers page.

How to Apply

  • To apply, click here to be directed to an online application where you may upload your application materials. Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and one writing sample. Interested persons should apply immediately.
  • SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering an inclusive workplace environment. We are eager to welcome new team members who share this commitment. We still have much progress to make, but our goal is to create and maintain a staff that, at every level, reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of the communities where we work and the clients that we serve. Persons of all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly encouraged to apply.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: climate. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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