NEDC Executive Director Job Description


Position Title: Executive Director

Reports to: Board President, Board of Directors

Supervisory responsibilities: Staff attorney, bookkeeper, law clerk, student staff, and volunteers

Location: Portland, Oregon

Date written: November 9, 2021


Position Summary:


The Executive Director serves as the chief executive of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) and, under the guidance of NEDC’s Board of Directors, drives programmatic and operational initiatives in pursuit of NEDC’s mission to preserve and protect the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest.


Providing vision and direction for NEDC’s programs, the Executive Director works closely with staff and the board to develop and advance priority policy issues and implement NEDC’s strategic plan. Serving as the key external representative and spokesperson for NEDC, the Executive Director is the public face for the organization and responsible for maintaining relationships with key environmental agency staff, local governmental leaders, staff at partner environmental organizations, community partners, and Lewis and Clark Law School leaders. The Executive Director deepens the organization’s existing relationships with these important decision-makers, while securing revenue and support for the work.


Internally, the Executive Director leads fundraising, administrative, membership, and other operational tasks and supervises the staff.  Working with the board and staff, the Executive Director develops the annual budget, sets appropriate financial goals, and manages finances. Additionally, the Executive Director ensures that the organization is managed in a transparent and participatory manner consistent with NEDC’s core values and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


Specific responsibilities:


  • Organizational mission and programs (35%):
    • Provide vision and leadership for programmatic activities;
    • Oversee litigation, policy efforts, and staff projects to further strategic plan and mission; and
    • Develop and strengthen partnerships with community organizations and coalitions.
  • Fundraising and financial management (35%):
    • Develop and implement annual budget;
    • Provide day-to-day financial oversight and work with bookkeeper and board members to ensure financial integrity of organization;
    • Research and submit applications for grants and other financial support from foundations, in collaboration with staff;
    • Cultivate relationships with donors to sustain and increase individual giving; and
    • Collaborate with board members to plan and execute fundraising strategies and events, including but not limited to Pedal Pursuit.
  • Operational and administrative needs (20%):
    • Oversee day-to-day operations and administration of organization; 
    • Supervise and manage staff attorney, bookkeeper, student law clerk, and volunteers and their programmatic and administrative activities;
    • Work with board members to ensure internal and external activities comply with organizational policies and applicable laws; and
    • Ensure maintenance of organizational and financial records, website and technological tools, and applicable state or local licenses.
  • Membership and communications (10%):
    • Oversee efforts to attract and sustain members, and maintain membership records;    
    • Ensure regular communications with members and the public about programmatic work, events, and accomplishments through newsletters, emails, social media posts, and press releases.


Desired Background:


NEDC will consider candidates from a wide range of backgrounds who can help the organization expand on past successes and evolve in response to new challenges. The organization anticipates that experience and skills in the following areas will be to the candidate’s advantage:


  • Demonstrated commitment to advocating for the environment and/or communities affected by environmental degradation
  • A law degree or commensurate experience in the environmental law, policy, or regulation fields
  • Experience with nonprofit management, including fundraising, financial management, outreach, communications, and strategy
  • Experience supervising or managing employees and/or volunteers
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in a nonprofit, government, law firm, or corporate setting 
  • Experience working with government agencies, Tribes, nonprofit organizations, communities, and/or funders in the Pacific Northwest 
  • Experience embodying and encouraging NEDC’s values and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion which are reflected in NEDC’s DEI statement


Salary, benefits, and working conditions: 


  • $75,000 – $85,000 salary range (with annual cost-of-living adjustment);
  • Health care premium reimbursement available; 
  • Contribution to a retirement plan;
  • 4 weeks of vacation (20 days), 2 weeks sick days (10 days);
  • Family/Medical Leave policy;
  • 2-month sabbatical after 7 years of employment;
  • Flexible work schedule averaging 40-hours/week with nights, weekends, and travel––primarily within the Portland, Oregon metro region––occasionally required; and
  • Ability to work at least 1–2 days/week at NEDC’s office at Lewis and Clark Law School and from home as necessary 


How to apply:


Email a resume, cover letter, 3 references, and a separate statement (max 1 page) about your potential to contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion to no later than 5 pm. Wednesday, December 8.