Climate Program Director

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Make a difference for the environment and Oregon’s future by joining the dynamic team at Oregon Environmental Council (OEC)!


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Who We Are:

We’re a nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental organization with deep roots dating back to 1968. Our work is grounded in fostering equitable, forward-thinking solutions to the environmental challenges facing us today – and tomorrow. We envision a future where every Oregonian enjoys equitable access to the healthy air, water, climate and community needed to thrive. To realize this vision, we’ve built a team of tireless champions to support policies and practices centered in environmental protection and justice.

We’re in it for the long haul — but we’re not in it alone. We partner with coalitions and organizations across the state to actualize real change. Together, we’re charting a course toward a world where our environment is protected, communities flourish, and the planet is cherished for generations to come. Join us in our mission to safeguard Oregon’s natural legacy, and create a more sustainable future for all. We build teams, celebrate successes, launch impactful campaigns and have fun along the way.

Position Summary:

Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) is seeking a Climate Program Director to lead in developing, delivering, and implementing ambitious climate policies and programs in Oregon. The Climate Program Director sets the strategic direction for OEC’s climate work, which includes a cross-cutting portfolio focused on advancing the equitable, rapid decarbonization of buildings, transportation, electricity, and industry in Oregon and promoting community resilience and adaptation in the face of ever-worsening climate impacts. This includes policy research and development, analyzing data, extensive relationship building, advocacy, coalition management, grassroots mobilization, and strategic communications. The Climate Program Director manages broad coalitions and works closely with diverse partners to provide policy expertise and guide policy advocacy campaign strategy. This position facilitates effective coordination with other program staff around intersections between climate and transportation, public health, and water quantity and quality issues. The Climate Program Director also leads development of additional, innovative climate mitigation strategies and projects that suit the organization’s strengths and promote equitable outcomes. 

Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate is a policy-smart, people person who is excited about advocacy to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support community resilience, and accelerate the transition to an equitable clean energy economy. You are a creative campaigner who understands coalitions and how to build bridges to get things done. You don’t shy away from technical conversations and you are ready to be creative about climate policy mitigation and adaptation strategies. You are a strong communicator who is excited to testify, write comments, and activate partners to positively influence statewide climate policy proposals. You understand how climate interacts with transportation, public health, housing, and economic opportunity. You are passionate about ensuring Oregon stays on track to achieve its climate goals and helping Oregon communities and local economies thrive. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Policy/Project Development and Implementation; Advocacy (~40%)

  • Develops policy proposals and recommendations to advance program goals; crafts and implements campaign strategy plans to achieve strong policy outcomes
  • Ensures strong implementation and defense of existing climate policies through regulatory advocacy and oversight, strategic communications and outreach, and (where needed) defense against legal challenges
  • Formulates projects to advance program goals; develops and executes project implementation
  • Ensures that policies and projects are evaluated for equity implications
  • Investigates and analyzes issues germane to program; reviews relevant professional materials and communications on a continuing basis
  • Prepares and presents public comments and testimony; lobbies Oregon Legislature and other elected officials; coordinates with legislative director to inform advocacy strategy
  • Monitors and weighs in on administrative and regulatory processes that relate to program goals; serves on statewide advisory councils, including agency rule-making committees
  • Determines and communicates the organization’s position on external policy proposals that relate to our goals

Relationship and Coalition Building (~30%)

  • Cultivates and maintains collaborative relationships with key interest groups and individuals, including policymakers and agency staff
  • Engages authentically with culturally specific and community-of-color led organizations, organizations representing rural interests, and other organizations that bring a social and environmental justice perspective
  • Fosters alliances; develops, manages, and participates in diverse and influential stakeholder coalitions and networks in support of program goals
  • Maintains and expands relationships with regional and national organizations

Outreach and Education (~20%)

  • Builds broad public support for program goals and project objectives
  • Produces reports, fact sheets, opinion pieces, toolkits, and other communication tools to advance program objectives, with support from our marketing and communications team
  • Engages in public speaking to diverse audiences
  • Represents OEC in the media, with support from our Communications Director
  • Serves as an ambassador for OEC, building OEC’s public presence
  • Educates and engages OEC members and supporters through website communications, electronic and written communications, and personal interactions
  • Occasionally develops and implements public education and “things you can do” campaigns

Fundraising and Organizational Health (~10%)

  • In collaboration with our development team, writes and reviews program-related grant proposals and progress reports
  • Occasionally participates in fundraising meetings and events with donors and foundations
  • Participates in organizational budget setting, staff meetings and retreats
  • Actively supports co-workers


Required Experience or Education

  • Minimum three years of professional experience in public policy development and/or advocacy
  • Experience promoting and/or working knowledge of climate science, mitigation, and resilience
  • Bachelor’s degree

Required Skills, Abilities and Qualities

  • Proven ability to conduct policy research and analysis, bring together diverse stakeholders, and develop strategic campaigns to secure policy and other programmatic goals
  • Keen problem-solving skills and ability to conduct long-term visioning and planning
  • Strong organizational and time management skills; ability to work under pressure and manage multiple projects and deadlines while keeping a “big picture” strategic view
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills; persuasive public speaking and presentation skills; ability to clearly translate complex policy issues and tailor messages to specific audiences
  • Demonstrated commitment to expanding cultural awareness and advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization and as part of programmatic work; a commitment to continued learning and working against institutional and structural racism
  • Entrepreneurial approach; ethic of continuous improvement, self-motivation and initiative
  • Detail-oriented with high standards for accuracy
  • Ability to work independently
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills; an eagerness to work collaboratively in a dynamic team environment; flexible attitude
  • A passion for OEC’s mission and the environment
  • Energized to support Oregon Environmental Council’s Values and Beliefs and workplace culture as described in our Team Charter
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality of sensitive information
  • Ability to travel to Salem and occasionally statewide

Desirable Additional Qualifications

  • Expertise in climate and clean energy policy
  • Existing relationships with Oregon decision-makers and stakeholders, including elected officials, businesses, state agencies, community leaders, and advocacy organizations
  • Experience working in a nonprofit setting with a mission-driven staff and board
  • Relevant advanced degree or equivalent work experience
  • Valid driver’s license (for statewide travel)

Other Details:

Travel: This position requires some travel around the state. OEC encourages travel by sustainable modes, e.g., walking, bicycling, taking transit, and carpooling.

Work Schedule: Our office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM, however this role requires the ability to be flexible about one’s schedule and work hours. This role may occasionally require excess hours in order to achieve deliverables.

Physical: This job operates in a professional open-floor office environment with a moderate level of noise associated with personal conversations and office machinery. The employee must be able to see, hear and talk and have the physical ability to move around, lift light objects, and use standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers and filing cabinets.

Salary and Employment Benefits:

The full salary range for this position is currently $70,000 – $93,000 per year.  Starting salaries are usually in the first half of the full range. Offers are made based on an assessment of the candidate’s skills, experience, and abilities in relation to the job description, and also in relation to peer roles in the organization.

OEC endeavors to increase all staff wages annually to account for cost of living as well as to recognize and honor experience gained over time. We review and adjust the organizational pay scale every 2-3 years. Employees can expect to move up in the range for their position’s pay grade as they gain more experience in their roles.

OEC offers a collaborative, team-oriented, flexible, family-friendly workplace. Excellent benefits include:

  • Generous paid leave, including 4 weeks of vacation (3 in first year), Fridays off in August, 11 fixed holidays, 4 personal days, and 12 sick days annually
  • 401k contribution (up to 6% after the first year)
  • Employer-paid medical and dental coverage for employee, with significant employer support for dependents’ coverage

At OEC, you will learn a lot, laugh a lot, and feel great about helping Oregon communities become better, healthier places to live.

To Apply:

You will be asked for a cover letter & resume, our simple intake form usually takes less than two minutes to complete. Applications are reviewed on a two week rolling basis, and this position will remain open until filled. 

ADA Accommodations:

If you identify as a person with a disability and would like to request a reasonable accommodation when applying for this job, please email or call 503-222-1963 x100 for assistance

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Oregon Environmental Council provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender assignment, gender identity or expression, national origin, (dis)ability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training. 

Job Posting Summary:

Title:   Climate Program Director
Status: Regular
FLSA Classification: Exempt
Hours: 1.0 full-time equivalent (.8 or .9 negotiable)
Location:  Portland, OR
Work type:  Hybrid (at least two days per week in our Portland, OR office)
Reports to: Director of Programs
Supervisory Responsibilities: Up to one direct report
Opening Date: April 16, 2024
Salary: $70,000 – $93,000 per year (starting salaries are usually in first half of range)

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