U.S. Climate Action Network, Washington, DC

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USCAN’s mission is to build trust and alignments among its members to fight climate change in a just and equitable way.

The United States Climate Action Network (USCAN) consists of 190+ organizations promoting action on climate change. Its mission is to build trust and alignment among members to fight climate change in a just and equitable way. This network needs to become more effective than ever before to successfully address the climate crisis in an equitable way.

USCAN was founded in 1989 to coordinate U.S. nongovernmental organizations in international climate negotiations. In the ’90s, a group of state-based organizations convened to align efforts around influencing national priorities and the Kyoto Protocol. As a result of those efforts, USCAN had its first major expansion in membership, extending its work to coordinate with state and local groups to help with national and international engagement. Around that time, USCAN changed its bylaws to require that half of the members of the Board of Directors represent local groups, while the other half of the board members represent national and international groups.

In the late 2000s, a series of events prompted a shift in the climate movement. In 2009, the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen failed to deliver a new global agreement on climate change. Seven months later, the legislative effort to cap carbon emissions failed in the U.S. Senate. At the same time, more people in the United States were aware of and experiencing adverse impacts of climate change, including the aftermath of major natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. In response, there was recognition that more diverse and broader constituencies were needed to achieve significant climate change policy and outcomes. Some of the biggest environmental groups reshaped their missions during this time – supplementing international and national policy campaigns with grassroots and community organizing. USCAN began a strategic effort to grow a “Bigger, Better, Broader” network to expand and deepen its membership to achieve transformational change in climate policy.

Between 2010 and 2015, culminating at the international climate change conference in Paris in November 2015, USCAN quickly scaled to represent the broad range of players in the landscape. In 2013, USCAN had 80 member organizations. By 2016, the network had doubled in size to 160 member organizations. Currently in 2022, there are 190 members. Of those new members, a sizable portion are led by frontline or environmental justice communities, faith communities, parents, or young people. Many are engaging in the climate movement for the first time, and USCAN serves as an on-ramp to the climate movement.

Since 2015, USCAN has experienced continued growth in its membership. Given the pace of growth and change within USCAN’s membership, USCAN revisited its strategic direction through conducting an organizational assessment and strategic planning process. A new executive director, Keya Chatterjee, was hired in 2014. Under Keya’s leadership and the guidance of a new strategic plan, USCAN began to use collective action to address obstacles, not only locally but also at the national and international levels. USCAN also became an organization that was synonymous with bottom-up decision-making, advocating for more equitable sharing of power, breaking down barriers to ensure equal participation, and addressing inequities across the climate movement.

To learn more about USCAN, please visit www.usclimatenetwork.org.

The Opportunity

US Climate Action Network (USCAN) seeks an Executive Director to be its organizational leader, spokesperson, and fundraiser. We want someone with the vision to lead a broad, deep, and powerful community of organizations to meet the enormous challenge of the climate crisis while building a world where people and the planet are cared for and supported.

The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring that the organization builds and implements programs that advance its mission with membership input, secures the resources it needs to succeed, and uses the funds it raises efficiently and effectively. The Executive Director also supports the work of the Board of Directors and supervises the staff. The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Role and Responsibilities 

Network Mission and Strategy:

  • Works with Board, members, and staff to develop, update, and evaluate the organization’s strategic and annual plans and aligned work-plans;
  • Deep, personal commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) and to building and leading a diverse, equitable workplace and working with diverse communities;
  • Ensures that the organization builds and implements programs which effectively advance its mission;
  • Establish a clear vision and plan for the continued growth and impact of USCAN.

Management and Governance:

  • Responsible for organizational culture and relationships;
  • Is committed to models of leadership that are inclusive and shared;
  • Is responsible for hiring, supervising and evaluating staff;
  • Provide professional development opportunities, motivating career paths, and reward success;
  • Acts as Board liaison, informing and supporting the Board as needed and working closely with the Board Chair;
  • Has overall responsibility for planning and executing the effective deployment of network activities – supporting initiative and campaign priorities, participating in regular assessment of existing programs and new opportunities, communicating impacts and success, and managing special projects to grow or enhance network effectiveness.

Fundraising and Fiscal Accountability:

  • With board and staff support, serves as the organization’s lead fundraiser with foundations, individuals and corporations;
  • Ensures that the organization develops sound annual budgets and builds the organization’s financial strength and stability;
  • Ensure legal and financial compliance and strong, transparent fiscal position;
  • Maintain strong relationships with partners and attract new funding for the Network’s work. 

Network and External Relations:

  • Serves as the principal spokesperson for the organization;
  • Works with Board, members, and staff to develop and implement an annual communications plan;
  • Builds trusting relationships with and supervises the work of member engagement staff who work closely with member organizations and other allies to make progress on common goals;
  • Manages relationships with funders, media, and other network partners;
  • Represent the organization in the media, increase public awareness, and broaden the organization’s reputation to strategic constituents.

Candidate Profile

  • Demonstrated commitment to and fluency on equity, and social and racial justice
  • Strong commitment to advancing action on climate justice
  • Experience campaigning and directing campaigns
  • Significant connections to the climate justice community both domestically and internationally
  • Strong understanding of national and international climate political context, including familiarity with the UNFCCC negotiations
  • Coalition leadership and Network relationship management and leadership
  • Demonstrated experience with climate policy development, including a working understanding of basic climate science
  • Proven ability to inspire, motivate, communicate, collaborate and manage teams
  • Five or more years’ experience in a senior leadership role
  • Program development and implementation experience
  • Budget management or other relevant experience
  • Strong commitment to a collaborative work style with member organizations, Board, staff and other key stakeholders
  • Proven success in raising funds from individuals, foundations & corporations.
  • Deep listening skills and the ability to bring together groups to take action with a variety of perspectives and opinions.

Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this position is between $165,000 and $185,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Experience and skills will be carefully considered for the next leader, rather than salary history, so candidates with the requisite skills but a smaller current salary are encouraged to apply.

In addition, USCAN strives to offer generous benefits to attract and retain qualified staff, but staff benefits are not mandatory expenditures of the organization, except where defined by U.S. and D.C. law. USCAN offers Healthcare, Dental insurance, short term life insurance, family/parental leave, 401(k) and phone. Medical and Dental insurance is offered to USCAN employees and one family affiliate, such as their spouse/domestic partner or their child/dependent.

USCAN does not hold any physical office space but has a drop-in office available to use at Metro Offices – 700 12th St NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. The position is located in Washington, DC with occasional domestic and international travel required.

US Climate Action Network encourages diversity and prohibits discrimination in the office place. The organization exceeds the anti-discrimination policies of the District of Columbia and of the federal government. Specifically, USCAN prohibits discrimination in hiring on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence or business, gender identity, or socio-economic status.

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Liz Lombard and Angie Sessoms are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit here or email asessoms@koyapartners.com. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.