Job Board

View all postings

Search Job Postings

You may select from one or more of the criteria below to narrow your search.

Vice President/Chief of Staff

Posted on: June 20, 2017

Apply Now!

Job description

The Public Interest Network is recruiting a Vice President/Chief of Staff to manage a portfolio that includes the National Environmental Law Center, Green Century Capital Management, the Bold Alliance, and several other activism organizations we have founded.

What Is The Public Interest Network?
The Public Interest Network is a network of more than a dozen nonprofit groups working to save the planet, advocate for the public interest, and protect consumers. We grew out of the PIRG movement (Public Interest Research Group), which started in 1972. Over the years, we have added hundreds of staff, multiple state offices, and launched new groups like Environment America and Green Corps.

In our 40 year history, we have played a part in numerous key campaigns and won major victories. Among them:
• We founded the Campaign for Safe Energy and won a plank in the Democratic Party’s platform against nuclear energy.
• We led a 10-year campaign to close a loophole in the Clean Water Act that exempted over half of our nation’s waterways from Clean Water Act protections.
• We have passed hundreds of other national, state, and local laws that instituted bottle recycling bills, reduced toxic chemical use, expanded renewable energy, protected and empowered consumers, and cut air and water pollution.

The Team
We’re what most people think of as the PIRGs. That’s where we got started, but since then we have expanded our reach and started many new organizations. We have boots-on-the-ground outposts in 32 states, from which we run dozens of campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. Our campaign work reaches into 21 of the top 25 media markets and 313 Congressional Districts.

We count numerous staff with decades of experience in activism, campaigning, and nonprofit work. Our leadership team includes:

• Doug Phelps, President and Executive Director
• Faye Park, Chief of Staff
• Sam Landenwitsch, Chief of Staff
• Betsy Grossman, General Counsel
• Wendy Wendlandt, Political Director
• Zach Polett, Campaigns Director
• Susan Rakov, Frontier Group Executive Director
• Allison Cairo, Field Director

Job Description and Responsibilities
The Vice President and Chief of Staff will join the leadership team of The Public Interest Network. They will be responsible for oversight and management of several organizations founded by or affiliated with The Public Interest Network. The Vice President will be accountable to the Network’s leadership for fulfilling the mission and meeting the business plan of each group in their portfolio.

The Vice President will work in partnership with the leadership of each organization to:
• Write multi-year and fiscal year strategic plans
• Identify and develop programs and campaigns
• Develop a budget and fundraising plan
• Hire and develop staff and future leadership
• Other duties as assigned

In addition, the Vice President and Chief of Staff will oversee budgets, program, and personnel issues for the groups in their portfolio and take on additional responsibilities as assigned.

The portfolio for the Vice President is likely to include:
• National Environmental Law Center, a team of litigators with over 20 years of success in prosecuting major polluters like Exxon for violating our Clean Air and Water Acts.
• Green Century Capital Management, the nation’s first socially-responsible mutual fund that is owned by nonprofits.
• Accelerate Change, an incubator for new ideas that can take nonprofits to scale fast using creative technologies and approaches.
• Bold Alliance, a national campaign against fossil fuel pipelines that grew out of Bold Nebraska’s campaign against the Keystone XL pipeline.
• Progress Florida and Florida Consumer Action Network, two state-based groups that get results for the public in the key state of Florida.

Organizational Mission
What unites this portfolio of groups? They all share a core mission, which is to get people thinking about how the world is changing rapidly, and how society could be radically different; to concentrate on new problems arising from our changing world; and to litigate, educate, advocate, and campaign for policy solutions to those problems.

We need to focus on the problems confronting us in the 21st century: saving the planet from everything from habitat loss to runaway fossil fuel extraction and use; protecting our health and well-being in a world with toxic chemicals and consumer goods designed for profit rather than safety; dealing with the distribution of goods and services in an increasingly automated economy; and generally improving the quality of our lives instead of the quantity of stuff we have. The Public Interest Network, and the groups the Vice President will manage, all share a common goal of concentrating on these problems and inspiring others to work on them, too.

From there, our Network picks policies around which to do education, research, advocacy, organizing, and campaigns at the national and state levels. Some of our top priorities right now are stopping the overuse of antibiotics to prevent the rise of superbugs; reducing carbon emissions from power plants and transportation and preventing new fossil fuel infrastructure; increasing the deployment of renewable energy; and eliminating pollution in our air and water.

The staff of our various groups then work to create opportunities for conversations about the problems, and ultimately to achieve wins, results, and transformative change. Right now, some of the work we’re concentrating on is:
• National Environmental Law Center is suing Pasadena Refining for Clean Air Act violations from their Houston-area oil refinery.
• Green Century Capital Management is leading a group of 38 major investors to engage some of the world’s largest food companies to ramp up efforts to curb deforestation in South America.

The ideal candidate for the Vice President and Chief of Staff will be:
• An effective team-builder who can recruit high-level staff, provide training and development, and shape a committed group.
• Detail-oriented: able to keep a budget and remain on top of finances. Can oversee and drive a business plan. Will ensure legal and financial compliance of each organization in their portfolio.
• Creative, effective at solving complex problems, and a strategic thinker who can evaluate a competitive landscape and craft a multi-year plan.
• A good people-person, listener, and communicator who also has strong judgment in hiring staff.
• A good mentor who is also comfortable enforcing and explaining policy and personnel decisions.

Minimum qualifications include: 10 years of experience in campaign or program development, grassroots organizing, organization building, and/or campaign politics. Related advanced degrees such as a J.D. or Master’s may count towards experience, but are not required. Ideal applicants will have proficiency with data and numerical analysis, be excellent writers and communicators, and have a track record that illustrates a strong work ethic and an uncompromising commitment to getting the job done.

Compensation & Benefits
Compensation for this position is commensurate with the relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees that a candidate has. The Public Interest Network offers a competitive benefits package.

Boston, Washington, D.C., or Denver. This position will require an average of 5 days of travel monthly.

Application: Please apply online:

Direct your application to Kyle Larson, Recruitment Director.

Things To Know When You Apply
The Public Interest Network is a group of organizations that share a vision of a better future, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to making positive change. Click here for things you should know about our network when you apply.
The Public Interest Network is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Denver, CO
Washington, DC


The Public Interest Network

Job category
Issue Organizing

Employment type
Full Time

3+ years


Start date
July 21, 2017

Apply by July 21, 2017