Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

15 Sep, 2023


Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Washington, DC/San Francisco, CA

Earthjustice is the nation’s largest, oldest, and most active public-interest environmental law organization. Our team of over 550 staff—including over 200 litigators—wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect public health, address environmental injustice, defend and restore magnificent places and irreplaceable ecosystems, and transition our economy to 100% clean energy while working to protect people and the planet from climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, tribes, individuals, and communities to address the environmental crises of our time. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Earthjustice seeks its next Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to drive strategy and implementation of the organization’s equity and inclusion work both inside and outside of the organization. As our employee satisfaction survey results repeatedly affirm, our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is the highest priority for our staff alongside dedication to our mission.  As an organization working in service of hundreds of clients and partners, we are striving every day to live our values of excellence, justice, partnership, and inclusion and to center justice in everything we do.

Over a decade ago, the organization embarked on what continues to be transformational effort to diversify our staff, embed DEI in all of our policies, practices, and actions, and to pursue a commitment to advance racial justice in our programmatic work and within the environmental movement. We are committed to improving who we are, what we do, and how we do it, both internally by creating an inclusive and equitable workplace where all staff can thrive and externally in our programmatic work. While numbers can never tell the whole story, we recognize their importance. Currently, 43% of our staff are people of color, and 35% of our clients work primarily to advance environmental justice. We are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Bozeman, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tallahassee, and Washington, DC.

Ideally, the DEI executive will be located in San Francisco or Washington DC.

Learn more about Earthjustice at

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will contribute creative, dynamic, and forward-thinking strategy to lead Earthjustice to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and centering justice in our mission-driven work.  Primary responsibilities include managing and providing strategic direction to the DEI Team consisting of a Sr. Director of DEI, a Director of DEI Learning & Development, a DEI Program Manager, and a DEI Team Manager.



  • Lead ongoing development, implementation, and support of a comprehensive, integrated strategy that reinforces diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as key organizational priorities and builds on progress to advance clear DEI goals.
  • Provide strategic and operational leadership for DEI initiatives including lifelong learning, assessment and evaluation, and ongoing work to support DEI work on individual teams.
  • In partnership with the Executive Leadership Team and Internal Communications, evolve and implement the Revised Roadmap for Excellence in People & Management to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion practices across the organization.


  • Partner with Human Resources, serving in an advisory capacity on tools used for recruitment, retention, talent development, career advancement, staff recognition and performance management.
  • Lead as a champion of change and utilize change management best practices along with staff input, as needed, when implementing new projects/initiatives.
  • Support the efforts on the part of Litigation Program leadership and teams through a lens of DEI to build collaborative partnerships that diversify networks for programmatic opportunities and recruitment pipelines.
  • Advise and work with committees of the organization Board of Trustees to ensure that the governance process is aligned with and supportive of DEI goals and strategies.
  • Partner with HR to analyze and report on results of Employee Satisfaction Survey and ensure appropriate action is taken on DEI-related input.
  • Oversee and support staff with the creation and maintenance of Earthjustice affinity groups (AG) and employee resources groups (ERG).


  • Support the Director of DEI Learning and Development in creating and implementing an organization strategy to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies across the organization.
  • Ensure that management and diversity, equity, and inclusion approaches are unified; work with departments and managers to incorporate equity and inclusion in their management practices.
  • Manage DEI communications in collaboration with the Internal Communications team.
  • Promote Earthjustice’s commitment to diversity and DEI learning to funders, the environmental community, and the broader social sector.
  • Develop and manage a comprehensive portfolio of relationships among external equity-related organizations, with a focus on DEI, especially those in the environmental advocacy field.

MANAGEMENT (Essential Functions) (30%)

  • Develop clear team strategy and goals, in alignment with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision, in collaboration with the DEI team.
  • Partner with the HR and DEI teams to recruit and hire qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.
  • Create and model a respectful and inclusive work environment for DEI team.
  • Collaborate with DEI team and staff across the organization.
  • Actively prioritize and contribute to DEI team members’ learning by encouraging training and professional development opportunities appropriate to role and co-creating development plans with each DEI team member.
  • Provide DEI team members with consistent performance feedback – both positive and constructive – and serves as a coach and mentor.
  • Foster a learning culture, by conducting collaborative debrief sessions after completion of significant stages of projects.
  • Ensure direct reports with supervisory responsibility are properly executing required functions and have the tools and support of their manager to fulfill this expectation.
  • Create and identify strategic opportunities for team building, encourage individual and overall staff engagement to strengthen teamwork, interaction, and collaboration.
  • Value and leverage individual differences and talents to improve employee satisfaction and the quality of collective work.
  • Celebrate successes and help team members to understand and manage setbacks.

Profile of the Successful Candidate

Earthjustice seeks a senior leader who has high emotional intelligence, openness, curiosity and an orientation toward action.  The Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and knowledgeable about how those principles can be effectively applied in practice. The Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will have a proven record of accomplishment in the development and implementation of organizational cultural change. The successful candidate will be creative and entrepreneurial, combining a facilitative leadership style with the ability to deliver and execute innovative ideas and solutions that serve the goals of the entire organization. The successful candidate is an effective manager and team leader. Earthjustice seeks a professional with superb leadership, communication, strategy, and execution skills, demonstrating an appreciation for complexity combined with a problem-solving instinct and a willingness to explore new ideas. As a key leader of the organization, the Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will know how to think and act strategically, employ inclusive change management practices, and build trust among staff. The Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will lead by example, cultivating and maintaining best practices regarding inclusiveness in Earthjustice’s workplace. Finally, the successful candidate will have a strong work ethic with high personal and professional standards of transparency and accountability and will be able to help support a talented, committed team as it evolves into a leading organization of the 21st century.


More specifically, Earthjustice seeks a professional who reflects (or has) the following:

  • An advanced degree in a related field or equivalent experience in a related discipline; a law degree is not required, but the ability to work in evidence-based organizational environments will be critical.
  • Ten years of progressive experience in the development and management of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for a complex organization.
  • At least five years of experience supervising staff members and creating a team environment with a learning culture and professional development opportunities.
  • Passion for and experience leading a diverse staff and a commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive work culture.
  • An understanding of and a deep appreciation for the mission and day-to-day work of Earthjustice as well as an understanding of the challenges faced by the environmental field, both internally and externally.
  • An understanding of the legal profession and keen ability to connect and communicate with all functional areas of Earthjustice.
  • Exceptional communication skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate to find common ground among diverse perspectives.
  • Highly developed understanding of skills, competencies and practices that reflect a true organizational commitment to DEI.
  • Expertise in resolving interpersonal conflict among team members and brings in outside facilitators as needed.
  • A sophisticated understanding of how discriminatory dynamics affect organizational relationships – supervision and management, culture, partnerships, campaign, and coalition work; an understanding of how systematized discrimination affects present-day work and office cultures, and the ability to advance equity goals through a variety of strategies.
  • Current knowledge of best practices in promoting an inclusive workplace, including effective approaches to recruitment and retention.
  • Demonstrated experience in organizational consensus-building and facilitation, with a explicit ability to meet people where they are on their “equity journey.”
  • Exceptional interpersonal and management skills, with an understanding of the difference between leadership and management — and the ability to exercise both.
  • Facility in making decisions in a dynamic environment, with an appreciation for how future needs may affect those decisions.
  • Consistent willingness to iterate a strategy and approach, with the ability to recognize the need to course-correct, as necessary.
  • Commitment to work effectively with a broad range of diverse groups as evidenced by excellent listening and communication skills, balanced and reasoned approaches to problems, ability to inspire trust and confidence, and flexibility and openness to differing points of view.
  • Proven ability to design, develop, and implement DEI strategy.
  • A persuasive oral and written communication style, rooted in keen interpersonal sensitivity and openness.
  • High tolerance for experimentation, and the ability to learn from failure.

MANAGEMENT (Essential Skills) 

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse team with emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understating of the impact of their behavior) and cultural humility (an understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientation and implementation of that learning daily management practices).
  • Ability to seek, give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s operations.
  • Strong team mentorship and communication skills.
  • Understands the individual and team strengths and areas for development and develops plans accordingly.
  • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.

Salary & Benefits

This position offers a competitive salary and includes a comprehensive benefits package.

We actively welcome all candidates from a wide range of backgrounds who have the skills to fulfill this role – regardless of compensation history.

Compensation is based on experience and location.

Salary range in San Francisco, CA: $277,600 – $308,400

Salary range in Washington, DC: $263,700 – $293,000

How to Apply

For potential consideration or to recommend a prospect, please email or call Crystal Stephens or Diane Westmore at 404-262-7392.

Job posted: 2023-09-15