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Circular Economy Campaign Director | Climate Strategies Lab | Flexible location

Reports to: Co-founder and Partner Nachy Kanfer 

Salary: $125,000 – $140,000 

Heavy industry is the foundation of modern society — literally. From steel and cement to paper, glass and more, these globally traded goods are essential to modern life. Unlike fossil fuels, we don’t want to stop using steel and cement; we need these materials more than ever. But we need them to be cleaner in order to ensure community health and safety and to get industrial emissions on a 1.5 C-aligned trajectory. 

Achieving a circular economy – or at least, a much more circular economy than we have today – is foundational to decarbonizing the industrial sector and preventing the worst effects of climate change. Our vision is to transform how the U.S. manages solid waste into a system that prioritizes waste reduction, recirculates valuable materials back into use and emits almost no greenhouse gas. This system does not rely on incineration, nor does it require siting of new landfills. Further, we see a path forward in which toxic air emissions and water pollution are dramatically reduced, and communities are in control of local waste-management decisions. 

We have a short-term opportunity to reduce direct methane emissions from landfills – which, if successful, represents a giant step toward broader change and a circular economy. In late 2021, along with 105 other nations, President Biden committed the U.S. at COP 26 in Glasgow to reduce methane by 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030. We are not on track to achieve these reductions. And while investments in methane abatement are increasing, there is no national policy, movement or philanthropic momentum to tackle fugitive methane emissions from landfills. 

Who We Are

Climate Strategies Lab (placeholder name while “CSL” works through a branding process) aims to decarbonize heavy industry around the globe by 2045. Three seasoned Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaigners – Victoria Chu, Evan Gillespie and Nachy Kanfer – have joined forces to build an organization focused on cleaning up heavy industry and remaking the sector to be a better partner to communities, workers, and the environment. 

CSL provides open-source advocacy-focused data, communications, campaign strategy and execution while building a global network of strategists, advocates, community leaders and foundations to drive campaigns necessary to influence national and international policies that shape corporate and public procurement, redirect financial markets and drive investments in zero-emission industrial production. 

Our comprehensive services are designed to build a coordinated field of advocates, workers and industry partners that are co-creating and executing efforts to transform the aluminum, steel, solid waste and

other sub-sectors into models for zero-emission industrial activity. In doing so, this community will restore union jobs and leverage U.S. progress to clean up heavy industry around the world. 

CSL is a financially strong start-up rooted in and being built through our shared values and what it looks like when we are living those values, namely: 

  • Determination – Big change is possible. When everyone else is saying “that’s too hard,” we dig deeper. We pay attention to the details because accuracy matters in our work. We set high standards for ourselves and are committed to meeting them, even when it takes a few tries. 
  • Creativity – We’re seeking out and developing new approaches to the climate crisis. We aren’t afraid of asking questions, and we’re not stuck in analysis paralysis; we keep moving toward results. We look for a way to make an idea work, rather than assuming it won’t. 
  • Justice – We see and call out systems of oppression to build a more just future. Everyone working with us, from staff to partners to clients to frontline organizations, feels safe as an active collaborator in working with us. We maintain honest conversations about oppression and our own biases, and where they show up in our work. We view anti-oppression work as an ongoing practice, knowing we can always get better at it. 
  • Collaboration – We build inclusive spaces. As new staff join the team, they are enhancing our organizational culture. We rarely – if ever – work alone; we invite divergent perspectives and dismantle barriers to participation in order to collectively leverage our shared learning to meet the challenges and opportunities of our work. We do the work we say we will do, so partners know they can rely on us. We don’t hoard resources. 
  • Healthy Humans – We practice self care and healthy lifestyles. We’re balancing the urgency of the work with the ability to prioritize the other parts of our lives with flexible and accommodating schedules. Our compensation package provides staff with financial security through a living wage and health insurance. We take time to unplug and recharge, both planned and spontaneous. We hold honest conversations with each other, with kindness and compassion. 
  • Growth & Learning – We take risks and are open to change. We are prepared and curious, keeping up with innovations in science and campaigning and learning as we do the work. We support each other’s growth through dedicated professional development opportunities. We do work that challenges and motivates us, while holding each other accountable through constructive praise. Our team shares feedback in many directions, geared toward individual and collective improvement. We trust each other to hold difficult conversations. We celebrate wins and work done well together. We believe in each other and our team, and we show it. 

Campaign Goals & Position Scope

The solution to landfill methane emissions is straightforward: keep all of the organic waste (food and yard waste) out of landfills. At scale, this requires investment in the systems, technologies, policies and community power building at the local and state level that can also restrict single-use plastics and other wasteful products; increase diversion and reuse of almost all recyclable goods; and achieve the climate, health and other benefits of a circular economy. Incineration is no solution to landfill methane. And we

don’t just want to better capture methane emissions, though requiring stricter pollution controls at landfills is almost certainly a key strategic driver of broader change. We will support the diversion of organic waste from landfills entirely, which will require deploying technology, creating local and regional solutions, and galvanizing partners to support other critical parts of the circular economy. 

Building on the decades of experience, relationships and technical knowledge that live within the environmental justice, zero-waste and climate movements, we believe over the next three years that we can secure the policies that lead to a 51 percent reduction in methane emissions from landfills by 2050, making a down payment on the circular economy by requiring the solid waste industry to internalize the cost of its pollution. 

In this newly-created position, the Circular Economy Campaign Director will develop and drive a strategy to promote a policy package that connects advocates and policy makers; unite the breadth of community concerns, impacts and motivations; and bring dedicated climate funding to the table. With coalition partners, the Campaign Director will create an open-source campaign where interested groups can bring their strengths to the debate and come together to develop skills, share technical expertise, contribute to a joint vision and build a national network. 

This is a role for an experienced campaigner who has led successful coalitions involving diverse stakeholders, won key fights to improve community health and well-being and built effective networks rooted in trust and collaboration across sector, geography and community. In this capacity, the Circular Economy Campaign Director drives strategy generation and implementation, policy analysis and advocacy and coalition development. The Campaign Director will draw on dedicated communications and analyst staff to help partners implement campaign strategies. 

Strategy Development & Implementation 

  • Work with partners to identify and implement new campaign strategies that accelerate decarbonization of the solid waste industry in line with the values we share with our partners.
  • Build new organizational relationships and alliances that reflect our values and priorities around equity, diversity and climate justice. 
  • Engage key leaders, organizations and industry partners in strategy development to build institutional and community buy-in for the campaign. 
  • Stay apprised of industry trends, policy developments and technology innovations that will inform the trajectory of the campaign.
  • Provide briefs and unvarnished analysis of these developments for partner organizations, including funders/investors.

Coalition Building & Capacity Building 

  • Assess the national solid waste industry landscape, identifying strengths, current players and gaps in preparation for investment, engaging key leaders, organizations and industry partners.
  • Collaborate in the development of comprehensive campaign plans, ensuring tight coordination and cohesion between convening, analytics, communications and policy advocacy.
  • Recruit and build an aligned and powerful coalition around the vision of cleaning up landfills and the solid waste industry. 
  • Facilitate, manage relationships and support coalition members. 
  • Design and implement an intensive training program and other opportunities for stakeholders to collaborate, train each other and build the foundational knowledge to develop and refine campaigns. 
  • Identify partners with aligned efforts to accelerate action and leverage resources, relationships and research. 

Budget, Organizational & Team Management 

  • Determine, help raise and manage the campaign budget (estimated at $5M/three years), leading funder engagement, ensuring cost effectiveness and accurate reporting to funders/investors.
  • Build and manage staff and consultant corps (#TBD), including establishing annual objectives (to support overall goals established in strategic plans), provide regular feedback and appropriate recognition, conduct annual performance reviews and support ongoing professional development.
  • Manage campaign-related contractor relationships. 
  • Oversee the learning and impact evaluation of the campaign, developing dashboards to track progress and benchmarks against strategic plans and proactively producing reports and analyses to inform strategies and improve results. 

Who You Are

The incoming Circular Economy Campaign Director is driven by their belief in and commitment to Climate Strategies Lab’s vision and mission. Through their track record and expertise as a successful campaigner, coalition and capacity builder, the successful candidate builds authentic and lasting relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including coalition members and funders, engaging with them as partners in CSL’s broader vision. They effectively communicate this vision and inspire engagement because of their keen understanding of how organized movements create change and accomplish policy objectives. 

The Campaign Director joins a deeply committed team that brings a track record of success in campaign strategy, data analysis and communications, with a particular focus on climate and clean energy. The successful candidate is entrepreneurial, excited about the prospect of building something new in the climate movement from the ground up. They have the experience of setting vision, establishing and growing successful programs with creativity, humility and an expectation of continual learning. 

This role requires a deep commitment to the principles of environmental and climate justice, proven collaboration skills and the ability to design and execute coordinated strategies that will generate change in a deeply entrenched and seemingly intractable aspect of the climate movement. The Campaign Director demonstrates initiative by diving right in to take a concept from idea to implementation, navigating through internal and external barriers as they arise without getting stuck and finding and deploying resources creatively to solve problems. The successful candidate has worked in an advocacy

environment and understands the movement context – including building movements that do not yet exist or bringing new resources to existing movements – possessing a strong grasp of the economic, social and political forces that shape industrial production, consumption and broader policy in the U.S. 

In spite of enormous obstacles involved in cleaning up heavy industry, the Climate Strategies Lab team operates with a spirit of possibilities and seeks a Campaign Director who shares the belief that we can all do things we’ve never done before and can stretch ourselves to achieve incredible results. The Campaign Director maintains a resilient outlook and looks for ways to make ideas work before assuming they won’t. The selected candidate will also possess most of the following Core and Preferred qualifications: 

Core 

  • Strong commitment to the mission and goals of Climate Strategies Lab and a strong passion for solving the climate crisis. 
  • At least 7 years of increasing responsibility in campaigns, coalition- and/or capacity building, with a proven track record of accomplishment. 
  • Proven leadership and strategy development skills with clarity of vision, familiarity with power and community mapping processes and the ability to articulate and drive strategies to win.
  • Experience developing and delivering strategies in a campaign context, demonstrating resilience and resourcefulness in the face of obstacles and bringing a keen understanding of how organized movements create change and accomplish policy objectives.
  • Proven ability to raise and manage funds to ensure successful program/campaign execution.
  • Exceptional training and facilitation skills with experience designing and executing inspiring and impactful convenings that build trusting relationships, individual skills and collective power.
  • Outstanding people and project management abilities to ensure strong collaboration of campaigns and projects that advance on time and on budget. 
  • Mastery of relationship-building skills with a wide range of diverse external constituencies with the diplomatic abilities and authentic leadership skills that build the trust-based relationships necessary for stakeholders to buy in and share accountability for our collective work. 
  • Outstanding oral and written communications skills with the ability to break down a complex issue into manageable and clear decision points that drive the desired campaign outcome.
  • Ability and flexibility to manage a small and growing team with competing demands; excited to build a strategy, team and systems from the ground-up. 
  • Experience working across lines of race, class, gender and geography and an analysis of how climate change intersects with historically oppressed and marginalized communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and be flexible in a fast-paced, constantly evolving and collaborative environment, where leading a team, working on a team and working individually are all required.
  • Commitment to continuous learning, hunger for knowledge and willingness to ask questions and self-correct.
  • An approach that is curious, self-directed and entrepreneurial.
  • Openness to giving and receiving direct, compassionate feedback.

Preferred 

  • Prior start-up experience as an early team member in a growing organization.
  • Ability to lead through influence in a matrixed campaign environment. 
  • Prior experience in and content knowledge in climate, clean energy and/or the industrial sector, including manufacturing, labor and public policy. 
  • Prior global experience with high cultural competence and diplomacy skills. 

Salary and Benefits: 

The salary range for this position is $125,000 – $140,000, based on experience and qualifications as outlined above. Climate Strategies Lab offers a competitive set of benefits, including 100% of comprehensive health care coverage for employees (medical, dental and vision), work from home stipend, up to 5% employer match to 401k and 11 paid holidays plus unlimited vacation, starting with a minimum of 15 business days. 

Our Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Climate Justice: 

We believe that diversity in our team isn’t just a value but brings different lived experience and perspective that is essential to solving the climate crisis. If you’ve read this job description and are excited by it, if you can see yourself happily filling this role and making a difference on climate change, we really hope you apply. Climate Strategies Lab is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to transparent and equitable recruitment, hiring and promotion processes that foster inclusion and belonging. If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process, please email Cathy Schreiber at cathy@climatestrategieslab.com. 

Application Procedure

To apply or nominate a candidate, please send to search consultant Cathy Schreiber at cathy@climatestrategieslab.com with “Circular Economy Campaign Director” in the subject line a resume and cover email or letter answering the following: 

1) Why are you passionate about climate change? 

2) Briefly share a campaign you led or played a leadership role in, particularly a key lesson learned that you would apply to the Circular Economy Campaign. 

Submission in a combined PDF or Microsoft Word file is preferred. This position is open until filled, with an initial application deadline of 5PM PT on Monday, May 30, 2022. Candidate review and phone screens begin immediately and will be conducted throughout the search period.

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