Downloadable PDF of Job Description: ELP Executive Director

Title: Executive Director

Salary Range: $135,000-$150,000

Job Status: Exempt 

FTE Status: Full time 

Location:  The role is primarily remote, with regular team and all-staff meetings taking place virtually. Some travel to conduct organization business and attend staff retreats and community gatherings is part of this role.

Application link: ELP Executive Director (please note that applications for this role are being fielded by a search partner, Nonprofit HR


About us: The mission of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is to support visionary, action-oriented, and diverse leadership for a just and sustainable future. ELP aims to catalyze change by providing environmental and social change leaders with the support and guidance they need to launch new endeavors, achieve new successes, and rise to new leadership positions. We believe in a broad definition of leadership that goes beyond positional power and recognizes that leadership is present and possible at all levels of work in our sectors. Learn More

ELP runs three major programs: a core fellowship program with up to 8 regional and national cohorts annually, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Fellowship, a two-year paid fellowship to increase and facilitate conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy-related career pathways for emerging leaders from under-represented backgrounds, and the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) Alumni Network. Once they have completed an ELP program, participants become Senior Fellows and ELP facilitates continued programming and events to connect this growing group of alumni in a number of formal and informal ways, from managing a jobs board to hosting all-community retreats.

ELP is currently transitioning new staff, working towards transparent and reorganized financial structures, updating HR policies, and realigning ourselves with the workplace culture that thrives in our programming - a culture rooted in emergence, equity principles, shared leadership, and autonomy. We're making the changes internally that we wish to see in our focus sectors and in the world, and we're looking for someone who will bring creativity, deep listening, and great facilitation to the process.

Key areas of focus in the first year include: supporting the Director of People in updating systems for HR/benefits, collaborating with staff to embed ELP’s guiding values throughout our operations, and exploring examples of structures that exist within the environmental and social change sectors that promote shared leadership.

Role Summary: The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for leading a strong team to implement ELP's mission and provide high-quality, relevant programming for environmental and social change leaders. The ED will model accountability to ELP's organizational values and our vision that foregrounds justice, equity, meaningful diversity, and inclusive belonging. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will oversee a $2.46M budget and a staff of 12 across programs and operations. The ED will also supervise a leadership team of three program directors, a People and Operations staff person, and the Director of Development, and liaise closely with IT and financial operations vendors. The leadership team will also meet quarterly with the Board of Directors to ensure the overall well-being of the ELP and its ability to successfully deliver the mission.

This successful candidate will have a bold vision for developing inclusive programming for our communities of service, collaborative leadership across the organization, and mission-driven partnerships with organizations. The ideal candidate must demonstrate leadership by example, ability to work across many dimensions of diversity, and motivate others to achieve exceptional results. A successful candidate will exhibit the highest professionalism standards and ethical principles and practices. This is an exciting opportunity to help the organization evolve into a new era of environmental and social justice leadership. 

Responsibilities: As a leadership development organization, it is critical that ELP evolves along with the culture and context in which we work and that we reflect and model the principles that underpin our successful programs. ELP’s board is seeking an Executive Director who actively affirms inclusive and shared power, and who has the energy and vision to innovate, both through the programming ELP provides and through their work with their colleagues. We expect their leadership will be intentionally collaborative and agile and will create opportunities for all staff to lead and grow.

Responsibilities include:

  • Lead ELP in the execution of programs, goals, objectives, policies and decisions to successfully carry out the mission
  • Support a Board of Directors in its governance role, fostering its ongoing development, and keeping it informed about internal conditions and external developments in order to effectively steward the mission
  • Develop and curate the strategic vision and generate the business plan that drives the supporting marketing, financial planning and resourcing activities
  • Provide leadership in planning, tracking and implementing key initiatives that support the strategic vision
  • Assess organizational structures and systems and recommend leadership models that best reflect organizational values as we grow
  • Lead, coach, develop and retain a high-performing staff
  • Foster a healthy and creative working environment
  • Develop and maintain systems for a well-functioning, effective organization through values-aligned culture, communications, and teambuilding
  • Manage organizational finances, and operations, including responsibility for developing and managing a $2.6 M budget

Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in a related field required, advanced degree preferred. Must have a minimum 5 years at the senior level and at least 8 years of experience in a nonprofit organization.

While no one person may possess all of the qualities listed below, the search committee expects that candidates will demonstrate many of the following personal qualities and professional experiences:

  • Substantive relevant experience in environmental and social change field
  • Demonstrated success in operations and program management at comparable scale
  • Experience with strategic planning processes
  • Proven ability and experience in navigating organizational change
  • Big picture and strategic, forward-looking thinker with the ability to inspire others
  • Compassionate, inclusive, and inspirational leader with high emotional intelligence who has a track record of creating a positive environment of collaborative decision-making
  • Skilled in providing leadership, support, conflict management, and guidance to foster staff professional development as well as an inclusive work environment
  • Ability to work with and attract high quality members to the Board of Directors
  • Strong understanding of financial issues affecting nonprofit organizations and track record of successful fundraising
  • Understanding of risk management issues
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

We strongly encourage applications from Black and Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as individuals from other underrepresented and historically marginalized communities. We recognize the lived experiences and leadership of these individuals as being fundamentally relevant to ELP’s work in advancing our mission. Non-traditional candidates are also welcomed and encouraged to apply.

Compensation: $135,000 - $150,000 annually, depending on experience and qualifications. ELP offers generous vacation and medical benefits, 401(k) contribution, professional development funds, health and wellness days, and a sabbatical policy.

ELP’s Nondiscrimination Policy: ELP is committed to the principles of equal opportunity. ELP’s organizational policies, practices, programs, activities and decisions regarding employment, hiring, assignment, promotion, compensation, volunteerism, internships and other terms and conditions of employment or voluntary service shall not be based on a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, ancestry, military discharge status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, source of income, parental status, housing status, or other protected status, in accordance with applicable law.