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Deputy Executive Director

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Board & Executives
Company Name Rainforest Action Network
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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For 30 years, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has campaigned for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life. Called one of the “most savvy environmental agitators in the business” by The Wall Street Journal, RAN runs creative campaigns to protect forests, stem climate change and uphold human rights by pressuring and inspiring corporations doing the most environmental harm.

RAN has experienced significant growth over the past few years, and is looking for an extraordinary person to work in partnership with theExecutive Director, Lindsey Allen, to take the organization to a new level of influence and effectiveness. We are a seven million dollar organization with a team of 45 people. Our home office is in San Francisco and we have staff members in Indonesia, Japan, the United Kingdom and other parts of the U.S. This position will report to the Executive Director and will be based in San Francisco. The position is designed to eventually take the lead in managing day-­-to-­-day operations of RAN while the Executive Director increasingly focuses externally with a significant amount of time spent out of the office. We have a flexible and collaborative work culture, a comparative salary and excellent benefits.

Unlike any other organization, RAN works at the intersection of deforestation, climate change and upholding human rights through the lens of corporate accountability. We believe that lasting solutions require us to challenge what is currently considered politically feasible and instead aspire to do what is necessary for people and planet. Our three programmatic areas are: Forest, Climate and Energy and Community Action Grants.

Our Forest Program seeks to keep threatened forests intact; stop the irresponsible conversion of natural forests and peat lands for corporate profits; secure rights for forest communities; and hold industrial agribusiness and financiers accountable for negative impacts on forests, human rights, and local sustainable food systems. One of our most recent campaigns has targeted the devastating impact of the palm oil market on forests. As part of that campaign, RAN has targeted The Snack Food 20 — some of the biggest and most well-­-known snack food companies and brands on the planet, including Kellogg Company; Mars Inc.; Mondelez International, Inc.; The Hershey Company; General Mills, Inc.; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The J.M. Smucker Company; Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation; and Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. Since the launch of our campaign, all of those companies have released strengthened palm oil commitments. We continue to pressure laggards, such as PepsiCo, in order to convince producers connected to deforestation, climate change, and human rights abuses that there is no market forConflict Palm Oil. We have also convinced Disney and other top children’s book publishers to eliminate their use of paper products connected to deforestation and land grabbing.

Our Climate and Energy Program targets extreme energy production and holds the fossil fuel industry accountable for negative impacts on communities, local environments and the climate. We have been pressuring the finance industry to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy production as well as fighting to prevent the extraction of fossil fuel on public lands. In the past few years we’ve had significant success in convincing Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup to phase out their financing of the coal mining sector. Our annual report card that ranks financial institutions on a variety of criteria has proven a powerful leveraging tool (download report)— and we are expanding this work in 2016 to target broader fossil fuel financing. We have also launched a national campaign, Keep It In the Ground, to stop all fossil fuel extraction on federal lands.

Our Community Action Grants program provides direct and rapid funding for people fighting in their own communities across the globe. These small grants are designed to help frontline communities protect millions of acres of forest, to keep millions of tons of carbon in the ground, and to defend customary rights.

RAN has a commitment to upholding Indigenous rights and addressing structural racism in our programmatic work and operational practice. Our theory of change recognizes that our strength is operating as a network and being accountable to partners. Ours is a culture of learning, feedback, and continual self and organizational improvement.

The Position

The Deputy Director is a new position responsible for overall day-­-to-­-day management of the organization and supervision of directors in key departments in the organization. This person will work closely with the Executive Director as senior leadership on all aspects of organizational development and strategy, operations, management and drive best practices across the organization. The ideal candidate has organizational development and management experience, is fluent in fundraising and is eager to be a confident and persuasive representative for RAN’s mission, values and programs. The ideal candidate will also have fluency in issues related to racial equity and a commitment to supporting a racial equity analysis in RAN’s operations and programs. Direct experience supporting organizations transitioning to a more intentional and operational approach to racial justice and racial equity — including experience in recruitment and hiring; staff orientation and retention; or management and leadership training — is greatly desired.

The Deputy Director will be appointed by and report to the Executive Director. The Deputy Director will be a key member of RAN’s Leadership Team.
The Deputy Director will oversee:

  • A Human Resources, Finance and Operations Department with three full-­-time employees.
  • A Digital Department with six employees who manage the organization’s web presence, email action lists, online fundraising and social network campaigns.
  • A Development and Fundraising Department with six full-­-time employees.
  • The organization’s racial justice and racial equity working groups charged with coordinating and supporting the implementation of RAN’s evolving racial justice analysis


Organizational Development and Planning

  • Work closely with the Executive Director and Board to develop, articulate and implement overall organizational strategy. This position is responsible for integrating and aligning the program, department and overall organizational strategies. The Deputy Director will also identify key staff engagement opportunities for strategy development and planning.
  • Lead the annual planning process (in coordination with the E.D. and the Board) and track plan progress throughout the year.
  • Manage the implementation, review and modification of the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Lead the annual goal setting inside the organization by supporting the development of annual department plans.
  • Support the vision and strategy of the organization and help to lead RAN in the achievement of its mission and goals. This includes communicating a clear and compelling strategy to funders, staff, partner organizations, the media and the public.
  • Support the preparation of the annual budget and ensure that the organization operates within budget guidelines. Responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of sound financial practices.
  • Work with staff and Board of Directors to raise funds necessary to carry out the mission and to strengthen the organization. Support the development and implementation of the annual fundraising plan and engage directly in donor cultivation and solicitation.

Supervise Management and Organizational Leadership

  • Manage and empower staff.
  • Participate on RAN’s Leadership Team.
  • Through own modeling and development of shared team practices, help create a culture of constructive accountability within the Leadership Team.
  • Implement systems that facilitate timely decision making between departments and areas of work. Define what issues the Executive Director needs to address and help prepare for quarterly Board meetings.
  • Ensure implementation of strategic decisions made by the senior management teams in a timely manner.
  • Lead comprehensive planning and assessment of overall program work across the organization, needs, and priorities both internally and externally.
  • Ensure that the overall conduct and work of the organization is of high quality.

Staff and Culture Management

  • Support an organizational culture that attracts, sustains and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people devoted to the mission.
  • Oversee planning and execution of staff-­-wide initiatives, meetings and staff development. Oversee and manage day-­-to-­-day operational functions of program and staff operations of the organization 
  • Lead cross functional teams to plan, coordinate and deliver program staff development and planning efforts, coordination of bi-­- weekly staff meetings and staff retreats, leadership team retreats, including leading on design of meeting and agenda with input from senior leadership team and sign off from ED.
  • Partner with senior leadership across the organization to embed the organizational values into work and contribute to the evolution of cultural changes across the organization.
  • Develop and implement comprehensive employee communication strategy to grow and sustain a values-­-driven culture, engage and inform employees a communicators and accelerate change adoption  across  the organization.
  • Help to build a relational, transparent culture of excellence, including creating learning opportunities for all staff and timely, regular internal communications.
  • Coordinate internal manager training two times a year.

Collaboration with the Board of Directors

  • Work jointly with the Board and ED to develop programmatic and organizational strategy, manage implementation of Board-­- identified deliverables, staff and serve on critical Board committees, and organize  presentations  at  Board Meetings.
  • Coordinate and facilitate committee meetings that feed Board Meetings.
  • Manage Board evaluation process, support governance process, budget process and tighten internal controls and systems in relations to overall Board Management.

Developing Organizational and External Relations

  • Manage a mutually agreed upon set of external allied relationships and donor relationships, and represent the organization with a variety of audiences.
  • Bring in new organizational relationships and deepening existing ones.
  • Establish, coordinate, and track programmatic base relationships with key stakeholders in coordination with program teams.
  • Represent organization to external parties.
  • Strengthen collaborative opportunities with a range of organizations.


This position is an influential and high profile position in the national and international environmental community.  RAN’s new Deputy Director will have:

  • At least ten years of demonstrated success in managing complex organizations as a CEO or senior leader in a national nonprofit or directly analogous experience.
  • An inspiring and collaborative leadership style that engages the support and talents of the staff, leads by example, and encourages creativity and productive, high-­-quality  work.
  • A commitment to racial diversity and an ability and interest in working with people from different and diverse backgrounds inside and outside the organization.
  • Proven experience in preparing budgets and in financial and operations management.
  • A clear public commitment and track record that demonstrates understanding and alignment with the issues, goals and style of RAN’s campaigns.
  • The charisma and energy to engage with and create enduring partnerships with individuals and institutions that can support and further RAN’s agenda.
  • Outstanding communications skills and a deep understanding of media and public relations.
  • A superb ability to create a vision and to chart strategic directions that result in clear operational goals.
  • Experience with and success in developing and implementing strategic public campaigns on social and/or environmental issues.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the principles of environmental justice.
  • A nuanced understanding and experience with the dynamics of working with local and regional groups, and developing campaigns that create alliances with a variety of stakeholders.
  • The ability to lead in a fast-­-paced environment where flexibility and team effort are essential.

RAN works to advance racial justice, educates staff on issues including privilege and oppression, and integrates these values into all of our work. We are seeking candidates who have a commitment to engage in this process and work with us to create a just, inclusive, and sustainable work environment and world. RAN provides all people with equal employment and volunteer opportunities.

Salary is competitive for the non-­-profit Bay Area market and benefits include full health insurance coverage (including a employer funded Health Savings Account), vision insurance, and dental insurance. We offer four weeks of Paid Time Off (PTO), which increases to five weeks of annual PTO after an employee has been on staff for two years. We have a Simple IRA retirement plan with an annual 3% fully vesting employer match. After five years of employment all staff are eligible for a three-­-month fully paid sabbatical. At RAN we encourage team members to maintain a positive work/life balance and offer flexibility where needed to make this possible.

Please send resumes and letters of interest to andrea@ran.org. No phone calls please. Status: Exempt, Full Time

Location: San Francisco, CA preferred

Application Deadline: While this position will be posted until hired, our first review of the candidate pool will assess applications received by May 4th.

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