About the Waterfront Alliance
The Waterfront Alliance is a civic organization that brings together a diverse coalition of more than 1,100 Alliance Partners with ties to the New York–New Jersey waterways. Founded in 2007, our mission is to inspire and effect resilient, revitalized, and accessible coastlines for all communities. Key programs and advocacy areas include climate resilience, public access to the waterfront, the working waterfront, and climate education.
About the Position
The Director of Climate Policy is charged with collaborating with colleagues and partners in developing climate change policy and strategy for the Waterfront Alliance; leading the coordination and convening of the Rise to Resilience coalition; implementing advocacy strategy through the Rise to Resilience coalition and directly as part of Waterfront Alliance’s policy agenda; identifying changes and trends in climate change that affect and dictate new strategy; and collaborating with multiple programs within the Waterfront Alliance to advance the Waterfront Alliance mission.
The Waterfront Alliance is a regional leader in climate policy with a focus on coastal resilience. The organization’s climate initiatives formally began in 2012 with the development of the WEDG® (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) program. The policy and advocacy goals of the Waterfront Alliance consolidated into the launch of the Rise to Resilience coalition in 2020, following a lengthy community and coalition building process and development of a comprehensive policy agenda.
Rise to Resilience is spearheaded by the Waterfront Alliance and comprised of more than 100 organizations representing residents, leaders in business, labor community and justice, volunteer organizations, scientists, environmental advocates, and design professionals collectively calling on federal, state, and local governments to make building climate resilience in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region an urgent priority. Since its inception in 2020, the coalition has successfully passed laws at federal, state, and local levels that will build climate resilience for generations to come.
This position provides a unique opportunity for an individual with expertise in climate change resilience policy, overall climate policy, nonprofit coalition management and leadership, consensus building, and legislative and policy expertise to work with a dynamic team of professionals. The position is planned to be supported by a campaign manager/community organizer. The Waterfront Alliance and Rise to Resilience coalition have strong track records influencing legislative and regulatory policy and is poised for growth and greater influence. This position plays a central role in the successes that will foster and sustain growth and influence.
Classification: Fulltime, exempt
Salary and Benefits: Salary is $80,000–$95,000. Waterfront Alliance offers a comprehensive benefits package, including employer paid medical, dental, and vision insurances; life insurance; 401K retirement plan with employer match; commuter and FSA benefits, paid time off, professional development opportunities, and more.
Location: New York, NY, with a generous telecommuting policy.
Reports to: Vice President of Programs
The Director of Climate Policy is responsible for developing, leading, and troubleshooting climate resilience policy and advocacy for the New York City metropolitan region and nationally regarding federal programs that impact the region. Specific policy and advocacy responsibilities include:
- Policy development and monitoring: Provide leadership, with partners and staff in the development and implementation of policy priorities and strategy; maintain and keep abreast of climate resilience policy trends locally and nationally. Maintain consistent focus on public funding for climate resilience projects and public sector capacity to support and leverage climate resilience projects.
- Advocacy strategy development: Develop annual, short term and immediate advocacy strategies informed by opportunities for political, legislative, and administrative change; bring attention and focus to victories that will directly impact and improve the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable and disinvested communities though systems change; develop an annual campaign plan for policy, legislative, and regulatory priorities; and track and report on legislative and budgetary developments. Leverage the political strength of the Waterfront Alliance and Rise to Resilience coalition through engagements with elected officials and decision makers.
- Communications: Support the development of Waterfront Alliance and Rise to Resilience coalition positions, testimony, and statements related to resilience; seek writing (e.g. op-eds, blogs), press coverage, and public speaking opportunities to position the coalition’s advocacy agenda. Work with communications team to maintain the #Rise2Resilience social media presence and to produce monthly newsletters reporting on progress and activities.
The Director of Climate Policy is responsible for managing the Rise to Resilience coalition. Specific responsibilities include:
- Coalition convening: Lead the coordination of the coalition steering committee (meets two to three times annually) and three policy Committees (approximately monthly or bi-monthly) to set and advance advocacy actions in conjunction with policy agendas and goals for federal, state and local outcomes.
- Maintain partner relationships: Work with policy committees and Waterfront Alliance leadership to develop policy priorities and proposals that reflect the coalition’s points of unity: survey/seek input from coalition membership; seek coalition support, engagement and activation to meet advocacy objectives; seek input from leaders in government and private sector; report on victories and milestones with a focus on establishing and maintaining the energy and passion of advocates and the coalition.
- Coalition communications: Work with communications team to maintain the #Rise2Resilience social media presence, maintain website, and to produce monthly newsletters reporting on progress and activities.
- Partnership development: Cultivate and maintain relationships and communications with new partners in collaboration with community members and with attention to the outcomes of community organizing; cultivate and onboard potential coalition partners, especially those representing backgrounds or geographies with less representation or other strategic areas of expertise needed to advance priorities.
- Other activities: Assist in the execution of Waterfront Alliance events; support grant writing and reporting; support other policy and program initiatives as assigned.
Qualifications, Skills, and Attributes
- Five years of experience relevant to essential functions of this position. Bachelor’s degree in related field.
- Demonstrated success and experience in the strategic development, management, and execution of advocacy campaigns
- Demonstrated advocacy, consensus-building, coalition-building, and leadership skills
- Demonstrated experience facilitating a diverse range of stakeholders in a manner that builds community power for policy and legislative outcomes, especially of frontline groups.
- Experience in a leadership role regarding climate, natural resources, and/or environmental issues of great importance to vulnerable communities.
- Experience in communications, social media, press relationships, and government affairs.
- Commitment and passion for change through building the capacity and power of the Rise to Resilience coalition. Experience maintaining energy in complex advocacy work.
- Demonstrated ability to work with a wide diversity of viewpoints, communities, perspectives, interests and concerns inherent to coalition building and success in advocacy.
- Ability and experience amplifying the work of partner organizations for successful outcomes.
- Ability to take a back seat and facilitate outcomes where partners can and should lead for the best outcomes.
- Strong knowledge of legislative, policy and administrative functions of local and state government, as well as familiarity with federal climate policy.
- Experience with and sensitivity working with grassroots partners and environmental justice communities.
- Community organizing training a plus.
- Ability to work across department lines and integrate overall Waterfront Alliance strategy and programs, including the WEDG program for comprehensive outcomes.
- Exceptional writing and presentation skills
- Excellent demonstrated ability to synthesize expert input and research into shared products (e.g., white papers, policy agendas).
- Familiarity with the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region.
- Familiarity with the political and legislative process a plus.
- Non-English language facility in one of the major languages spoken in the New York–New Jersey metropolitan region a plus.
How to Apply
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter that illustrates qualifications relevant to this role, resume, and short writing sample (no more than three pages) as a single PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject should indicate “Director of Climate Policy.” Applicants must be legally authorized to work fulltime in the U.S. and should not require employment sponsorship now or in the future. Only complete applications will be considered. Position open until filled. No phone calls please.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Waterfront Alliance encourages applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical ability or any other legally protected basis.