Forests Campaign Director

Waxman Strategies, a progressive public affairs firm led by former Congressman Henry Waxman, is accepting applications for a Forests Campaign Director. We’re looking for a talented campaigner with the experience and strategic skills in advocacy organizing and communications to play a lead role in our campaign to end deforestation, land grabbing and human rights abuses in forest commodity supply chains; with a focus on the natural rubber sector. If you are passionate about environmental justice, fighting climate change and are ready to help transition an entire industry onto a more sustainable path, this could be the job for you.

The position can be based in Washington, DC, London, UK or Singapore.

Who we are: 

Deemed “one of the most accomplished legislators of his or any era” by President Barack Obama, former Congressman Henry Waxman leads our talented team. Waxman Strategies uses advocacy, communications and campaigns to shape policies, advance causes and build movements around the world. A sampling of clients includes the Arcus Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Rainforest Foundation Norway, the National Association of Community Health Centers, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and the National Resources Defense Council. Much of our environmental advocacy work is conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization Mighty Earth (www.mightyearth.org), a fiscally-sponsored project of the Center for International Policy.

Background on the position: 

The impacts of the rubber industry in Southeast Asia have been devastating. Between 2003 and 2014, the rubber industry tore down more than 75,000 kilometers of tropical forests in the Greater Mekong region alone, including thousands of kilometers of critical elephant and tiger habitat. Forest conversion for rubber production in the region has also contributed to climate change, amounting to the equivalent of more than one million cars on the road for a year. Large-scale rubber plantations have forcibly displaced tens of thousands of people, polluted communities, and resulted in limited access to clean drinking water.

Over recent years, however, companies within the natural rubber value chain have been forced by civil society organizations to acknowledge the problems and have started to act. The tire industry consumes by far the largest share of global natural rubber output — 70%. Over the past three years, most global tire brands have adopted sustainable rubber procurement policies and are now coming together to take joint action on sustainability issues that affect the whole rubber industry. Waxman Strategies and our partner Mighty Earth have been key players pushing the industry to accelerate the pace of change.

In this role, you could be meeting the CEO of the world’s largest rubber company in Singapore one day and drafting a plan to deploy our 10-foot-tall tire monster to the headquarters of a major tire company the next. You will work with our team to inspire our strategy and drive our campaigns.

More specifically, your responsibilities will include:

  • In partnership with a team of colleagues, developing and implementing effective plans and strategies to pressure the rubber industry by integrating communications, online, field and grassroots mobilization into a highly strategic campaign.
  • Engaging with executives of tire companies, car manufacturers, rubber processors, footwear and apparel brands through in-person meetings and written communications.
  • Working closely with civil society and communities in key countries.
  • Overseeing investigations and research.
  • Providing input into the communication strategy for the campaign team.
  • Generating media attention through report releases, events, and press conferences in key media markets through a strategic media plan and building relationships with reporters at key outlets.
  • Travelling occasionally, primarily around southeast Asia, for meetings and events.

Who you are:

  • You have a minimum of 5 years of experience, including a background in successful issue advocacy campaigning, grassroots organizing, or program management.
  • You are passionate about environmental issues such as climate change and protecting forests.
  • You have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • You enjoy writing and can take complex information and create materials and reports.
  • You have experience communicating with corporate executives and/or elected officials and figuring out how to move decision makers.
  • You enjoy building relationships and speaking with many types of people, including internal staff, international stakeholders like companies, civil society organizations, and the media.
  • You can network and build coalitions across diverse constituencies.
  • You have experience developing campaign strategies with expertise in environmental or human rights advocacy.
  • You are highly creative, nimble, and savvy and can come up with unconventional approaches.
  • You can get up to speed quickly on new subject areas.
  • You have an international orientation. You have experience with and are committed to working with people from a variety of backgrounds – including different ethnic, racial, and religious communities.
  • You are fluent in English. Additional language skills, including Khmer, Thai, Vietnamese, Bahasa, Chinese, are a plus, but not essential.

Familiarity with and connections in Southeast Asia are highly desirable.

More about our team: Waxman Strategies is made up of people from varied backgrounds and we pride ourselves on being a welcoming place for people from diverse communities.

Details: This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC, London, UK or Singapore. The position involves some international travel. You will report to our Director for the rubber campaign and work closely with senior environment practice leaders. Candidates are required to adhere to all U.S. Government disclosure requirements.

How to apply: Please submit your application as soon as possible and include a thoughtful cover letter which speaks to our mission and demonstrates your writing abilities. Also, let us know where you heard about the job.

Compensation: Our compensation package is competitive and commensurate with experience. We can discuss your salary expectations early in the interview process.

Waxman Strategies is an equal opportunity employer; we strictly prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression and any other characteristic protected by law. Women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.