Managing Attorney or Managing Director, International Program

International Program San Francisco, California New York, New York Washington, District Of Columbia International, United States

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. Our team of more than 550 staff — including more than 200 lawyers — wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect public health, address environmental injustice, defend and restore magnificent places and irreplaceable ecosystems, and transition our economy to 100% clean energy while working to protect people and the planet from climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, tribes, individuals, and communities to address the environmental crises of our time. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring excellent staff who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco, with offices in Anchorage, Bozeman, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tallahassee, and Washington, D.C. 

Earthjustice seeks a Managing Attorney or Managing Director to lead its International Program, which works across borders to use U.S., non-U.S., and international law to protect the global environment. Drawing on deep experience in environmental, human rights, and energy law across jurisdictions around the world, and in litigation and regulatory reform, we work with partners in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America, and elsewhere to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and advance clean energy, defend biodiversity and the natural world, and protect human health. Most International Program team members are currently based in Earthjustice’s office in San Francisco, with others based elsewhere in the United States.  We also work with partners in some locations outside the United States.

The Managing Attorney/Director is the leader of the International Program. They provide collaborative leadership for the program’s advocacy, strategy development, partnership building, and other work.  They oversee the day-to-day operations of the program, develop and maintain relationships with clients, partners, and funders, and serve as a primary public face for Earthjustice’s international work. Within Earthjustice, they work closely with the Vice President of Litigation on substantive strategy and management, engage with other offices and programs and with the communications and policy departments, and represent the International Program on internal advisory bodies and in organizational strategic planning.

Earthjustice is a legal advocacy organization with a particular focus on litigation, so the successful candidate for this position is likely to be an experienced attorney with expertise in litigation. We invite applications from extraordinary candidates with alternative credentials if they can show (a) strong experience involving the use of legal advocacy as a strategic tool for making change, ideally outside the United States, and (b) an exemplary record of accomplishment in a field directly relevant to the work of the program, such as using relevant policy, scientific or technical expertise as an advocacy tool outside the United States or in an international forum. 

We expect the Managing Attorney/Director to be based in Earthjustice’s offices in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or New York, working on a hybrid basis. For an extraordinary candidate, we might consider a request to be based in selected other Earthjustice offices in the United States or in selected locations outside the United States. Earthjustice may provide sponsorship for this position for candidates who need a visa to work legally in the United States. Since most members of Earthjustice’s International team are currently located in San Francisco, regular travel to San Francisco will be required for a Managing Attorney/Director based elsewhere.

The Managing Attorney/Director will report to the Vice President of Litigation based in San Francisco.

Program (Essential Functions)
  • Working collaboratively with the deputy managing attorney and other staff, lead all aspects of the International Program’s advocacy from setting its strategic direction to implementing its advocacy. 
  • Provide support, guidance, thought partnership, and mentorship to team members in connection with programmatic advocacy. 
  • Build and maintain effective, trust-based working relationships with clients and partners, relevant government authorities, and coalitions around the world. 
  • Work collaboratively with other Earthjustice departments, such as our regional and program offices and our General Counsel, Communications, Development and Policy and Legislation teams, to advance programmatic and institutional goals.  
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with key funders to support the work of the International Program, working in partnership with our Development Department.
  • Work in partnership with our General Counsel to ensure compliance of Earthjustice International Program activities with laws in multiple jurisdictions.    
  • Serve as a primary public face for Earthjustice’s international work, including by working effectively with national and international news media, donors, and government authorities, with support from our Policy and Legislation, Communications, and Development teams.
  • Actively collaborate with Earthjustice leadership on vision, strategy, goals, priority setting, metrics, management, and administrative matters.   
  • Ensure the excellence of the International Program’s advocacy and consistency with the values, policies, and priorities of Earthjustice. 
  • Work actively with other leaders within Earthjustice to maximize collaboration across the organization’s domestic and international work and to ensure strategic alignment of Earthjustice’s advocacy inside and outside the United States.
Management (Essential Functions) 
  • Manage and lead a diverse team located across a wide geographic area and working within a diverse organization, with an emphasis on emotional intelligence, cultural competency, and maintaining a positive, supportive, and cohesive team dynamic. 
  • Directly supervise staff and oversee the administrative functions of the program. 
  • Manage, mentor, and develop staff members, helping them hone their skills to reach their full potential, and ensure high-quality supervision by other supervisors in the International Program. 
  • Effect and manage organizational and program change through strategic thinking, transparent communication, and inclusive leadership, consistent with the objectives of an evolving organization. 
  • Communicate institutional vision, policies, objectives, and initiatives to staff within the program, to keep them abreast of organizational changes and developments. 
  • Develop practices and policies within the program that promote a respectful and inclusive workplace, and that foster community and teamwork among a diverse group of professionals.
  • Oversee International Program work and partnership collaborations from a perspective of personal and organizational security, to minimize the risk of harm for individuals working in nations and settings where threats and violence against environmental defenders are common.
  • Recruit and hire qualified candidates to support and grow a diverse and highly effective team.
  • Provide staff with consistent and ongoing performance feedback and act as a coach and mentor, while providing career development opportunities with appropriate training, encouragement, and supervision.
  • Promote an inclusive work environment and model inclusive behaviors for the program and for cross-organizational teams.
  • Other duties as assigned. 
  • Attorney with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or equivalent non-U.S. law degree, with at least ten years of litigation or other relevant experience in a non-U.S. country or in international law; or equivalent training in another highly relevant professional field with at least 10 years of advocacy experience in an international context. 
  • Ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse and international team, applying emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understanding of the impact of one’s behavior) and cultural humility (an understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientations, and implementation of that learning in daily management practices).
  • Understanding of and experience with advocacy and litigation in both common law and civil law frameworks and with the conditions and challenges related to environmental and human rights protection in the Global South.
  • Understanding of global environmental threats and priorities, and of international tools, forums, and processes that seek to address these.
  • Excellent management skills, including the ability to promote the career development of staff and foster effective communication, collaboration, decision-making, and mutual respect.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.
  • Commitment to, and experience in, developing team skills and talents to meet evolving needs and goals.
  • Ability to give and receive regular feedback – formal and informal, positive and constructive – in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner, and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s
  • Experience and interest in coaching, guiding, and mentoring staff.
  • Strong capacity for strategic thinking, including in designing and implementing effective litigation and legal advocacy.
  • Ability to manage effectively a program of legal advocacy strategies, lead a litigation team, and work collaboratively with colleagues and partner organizations.
  • Proficiency in working with technical experts.
  • Experience working in international and/or cross-cultural settings.
  • Strong skills in communicating litigation and advocacy goals and messages to the media and supporters.
  • Commitment to serving the public interest, and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission.
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Ability to contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Commitment to and experience in fundraising and developing ongoing relationships with donors, including individual donors and foundation representatives.
  • Proven ability to manage operations, including budgets and programs.
  • Familiarity or experience working with technical issues related to climate change, fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, and/or energy policy and law is desirable.
The ideal candidate will have substantial experience working and managing teams outside the United States, along with a preferred professional fluency in at least one language in addition to English.

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive.
Salary range in San Francisco or New York City: $225,900 - $251,000
Salary range in Washington, D.C.: $214,700 - $238,500

To Apply:
Please apply online via Jobvite by May 5, 2024. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Interested candidates should submit the following online via the Jobvite system: 
  • Cover letter addressing: 
    1. Your interest in, and qualifications for, serving as Managing Attorney or Managing Director;
    2. Why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission and our International Program;
    3. Your leadership and management experience; and
    4. Aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in work and with clients and colleagues.
  • Resume
  • Three professional references 
  • Writing sample (preferably a legal writing sample)
Please reach out to [email protected] if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.