Federal Regulatory Affairs Manager

23 Aug, 2022


Federal Regulatory Affairs Manager

West Harlem Environmental Action,Inc., d/b/a WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Washington, D.C.

West Harlem Environmental Action a/k/a WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a non profit,
community-based advocacy organization that works to build healthy communities by ensuring that
people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair
environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT is a nationally recognized leader
in the environmental justice (EJ) movement and is known for its work in the areas of children’s
environmental health; government accountability; and climate, energy and environmental justice. WE
ACT’s deep roots in the community, track record of policy impact, integrity and reputation are driving
exponential growth over the next year, including in our federal policy office.
WE ACT is the only national EJ organization with a permanent presence in Washington, DC. Our
newly minted five-year strategic plan outlines a federal policy strategy that includes advancing and
reforming new national policy, practices and regulations; supporting policy implementation and
regulatory efforts of existing policy to ensure accountability; convening coalitions, organizations and
researchers to drive a shared national EJ agenda; building a powerful narrative to catalyze a national EJ
movement; and serving as a connector, regrantor and technical assistance provider to build the capacity
of EJ organizations into a powerful, cohesive national movement.
WE ACT prioritizes the voices of longstanding community members, communities of color,
lower-income communities and, most importantly, those who have been historically marginalized
and subjected to environmental and other forms of racism and exclusion. In accordance with the
Jemez Principles, we believe that communities must speak for themselves.We work at the intersection
of community engagement and activation, policy, research and education. WE ACT leverages our place
at the table to push system actors, including elected officials, Big Greens, coalitions and allies to center
racial justice and equity.
WE ACT is seeking a Federal Regulatory Affairs Manager with a demonstrated passion for justice
and equity issues for our Federal Policy Office. This individual reports to the Senior Director of the
Federal Policy Office and will pursue the use of administrative, legislative and regulatory actions to
address the environmental and socio-economic burdens of pollution, creating safe and healthy living
conditions in frontline communities.
While national policies aim to allocate funding and resources to particular communities, we have seen
time and time again that government often falls short. The Federal Regulatory Affairs Manager will lead
WE ACT’s efforts to ensure that environmental justice organizations are poised to receive funding
allocated from across federal agencies (e.g., HUD, DOE, DOT) using the Justice40 framework, including
the communities of Upper Manhattan. The manager will work to ensure that LIHEAP funding remains
stable and effective implementation of that program leads to improved environmental, economic, social
and political outcomes for Upper Manhattan. The person in this role will identify the most important
existing federal EJ legislation and regulation and assess the status of current implementation efforts in
New York City and New York state, provide legislative guidance and influence policy regulation to
ensure accountability. The manager will also conduct research and develop reports to provide oversight
and promote compliance with policy guidelines, communicating findings and raising awareness among
key decision-makers, implementing bodies and local community members about implementation efforts
that are falling short. Key Responsibilities include:
Legal Strategy
● Co-create and implement a comprehensive federal regulatory affairs plan in support of the policy
priorities of the Federal Policy Office and to define short- and long-term goals and objectives
related to WE ACT’s policy impact.
● Identify and implement environmental justice interests in legal, policy and regulatory solutions,
including litigation, regulatory proceedings and other advocacy venues.
● Co-create public comments, white papers, policy designs, technical reports and analytical tools
that can be used in legal campaigns.
● Convene and facilitate meetings and working groups with EJ movement partners, experts,
advocates, ratepayer and consumer groups, manufacturers, business organizations and
associations, outside counsel and others to develop relationships and strengthen networks in
order to address barriers to equity-centered environmental policy.
● Track and support WE ACT’s partners in pertinent regulatory dockets.
Policy Analysis & Regulatory Af airs
● Provide analysis of legal cases and trends, as well as proposed federal laws and regulations that
may perpetuate inequitable public health and economic burdens in communities
disproportionately impacted by pollution.
● Serve as WE ACT’s point person on regulatory education and communication with federal
regulators and policymakers, developing strong relationships, identifying opportunities and
priorities and establishing WE ACT as the go-to resource for policymakers, regulators, coalition
members and other stakeholders around environmental justice policy.
● Provide testimony and support administrative advocacy to ensure strong implementation of
existing federal laws and regulations.
● Share legal insight on state and federal regulatory issues with members of the Environmental
Justice Leadership Forum, an alliance of 54 environmental justice groups representing 22 states
that is convened by WE ACT.
The incoming Federal Regulatory Affairs Manager is driven by their belief in and commitment to WE
ACT’s vision and mission. Through their track record as a policy advocate, lawyer or legal strategist, the
successful candidate determines and drives WE ACT’s federal policy agenda. The manager builds
authentic and lasting relationships inside and outside the organization with regulators, policy makers and
coalition members, engaging with them as partners in WE ACT’s mission and vision.
The successful candidate is entrepreneurial and self-directed, bringing policy and political savvy to
prioritize an ambitious agenda for maximum impact. This role requires a deep commitment to the
principles of environmental justice and the ability to influence the development and implementation of
federal policy and regulation. The optimal candidate has worked in an advocacy environment and
understands the movement context, possessing a strong grasp of the economic, social and political forces
that shape environmental policy in the U.S. The selected candidate will also possess most of the
following Core and Preferred qualifications:
● Strong commitment to the mission and goals of WE ACT and a strong passion for solving the
climate crisis through environmental justice.
● At least 7 years of increasing responsibility in public policy, with a proven track record of
accomplishments designing and executing strategies that generate strong EJ policy, intervening in
administrative dockets and successfully influencing regulatory policy.
● JD, law school graduate admitted, or willing to apply for admission, to the District of
Columbia Bar.
● Demonstrated experience working across lines of race, class, gender and geography and an
analysis of how climate change and energy-related issues intersect with historically marginalized
● Demonstrated understanding of how organized movements create change and accomplish policy
objectives and familiarity with administrative, constitutional and regulatory processes.
● Outstanding research, analysis, oral and written communications skills in order to:
○ Translate complex data and analysis into persuasive narratives;
○ Communicate WE ACT strategies without jargon;
○ Write and deliver cogent arguments often within a short turnaround time.
● Exceptional project management skills and a high degree of emotional intelligence to support
consensus building and collaboration between and among diverse stakeholders who may possess
divergent viewpoints.
● Outstanding relationship-building skills with a wide range of diverse external constituencies,
diplomatic abilities and authentic leadership skills that build the trust-based relationships
necessary for stakeholders to buy in and share accountability for our collective work.
● Demonstrated ability to prioritize and be flexible in a fast-paced, constantly evolving and
collaborative environment, where working on a team and working individually are required.
● Background in environmental, climate, energy, transportation or civil rights policy.
WE ACT offers competitive nonprofit compensation and is committed to justice in salary
transparency and wage equity. The salary range for this position is $110,000 – $130,000, based on
experience and qualifications. WE ACT offers a generous suite of benefits, including comprehensive
health care (medical, dental and vision), flexible spending account, life insurance, pre-tax transit
program, retirement programs and paid holidays and vacation, along with onsite HR support for your
benefit needs. WE ACT follows a 3-2 hybrid work policy, requiring 3 days in the office per
week. All staff are fully vaccinated.
WE ACT is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of
color, women, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ communities. We are committed to transparent
and equitable recruitment, hiring and promotion processes that foster inclusion and belonging. If you’ve
read this job description, are excited by it and can see yourself in this role, we hope you apply. If you need
a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process, please email David Hudson at
To apply or nominate a candidate, please send to david.hudson@weact.org with “Federal Regulatory
Affairs Manager (Attorney)” in the subject line a resume, a sample legal brief or memo and cover email
or letter answering the following:
1) Why are you passionate about environmental justice?
2) Briefly share a policy (legislative, administrative or regulatory) win you played a key role in,
particularly a lesson learned that you would apply to WE ACT’s national policy goals.
Submission in a combined PDF or Microsoft Word file is preferred. This position is open until filled and
applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Job posted: 2022-08-23