National Director of Grassroots Power Building

Sierra Club

Department: Program

Reports to: National Program Director

Supervises: 4-6 Senior Managers, overseeing Program Area of 100+ staff

Location: Flexible

This is a new, senior position that is designed to manage the teams in the Program Department who serve as experts on grassroots power building goals, strategies and tactics necessary to deliver on our organizational vision and strategic goals, manage volunteers, win campaigns and build long term power. The role will have a seat on the Program Department Leadership Team, which sets the direction for the 300+ staff department. The successful candidate will be an exemplary manager, have a demonstrated understanding and experience of centering equity and justice in their work and have the skills and experience to lead a team of close to 150 staff and senior volunteers, including Organizing, Training, National Outings, Outdoor Activities, Sierra Student Coalition, Office of Chapter Support, Movement Partnerships, Grassroots Network and our Constituency Data team. This position will manage Directors of the program areas whose primary responsibility is developing the leadership within our 3.8 million members and supporters while expanding our base of support across the movement, strengthening strategic partnerships, and fundraising to accomplish our power building work in the climate movement at the scale necessary.

We are seeking a collaborative leader, someone who supports and empowers other leaders in the Grassroots Power Building Program area to align and deliver on a shared vision. We are seeking someone who can represent the organization externally as a public spokesperson, in the progressive movement, and in venues with decision makers. As a member of the Program Department Leadership team, the Director of Grassroots Power will be able to lead their team(s) to build effective relationships with colleagues across the Program Department and Sierra Club, and will work to strengthen our infrastructure of more than 60 State based Chapters and their sub-entities. The successful candidate will do all of the above in a way that embodies the Sierra Club’s values and centers equity, inclusion, and justice.

Job Activities:

Facilitate the design, iteration and execution of a Grassroots Power Building Strategy that builds power, wins campaigns and advance increasingly transformational outcomes -and in partnership with campaigns and other program areas. Collaboratively develops strategic plan including attainable long, medium, and short term power building goals.

Build and strengthen the Sierra Club base, by strengthening and enhancing our network of 3.8 million members and supporters, thousands of leaders and more than 60 Chapters across the country, using data and data tools to track progress.

Develop and nurture a national network of leaders, who build transformative power grounded in equity and justice.

Serve as a member of the Program Department Leadership Team, helping to shape and manage the direction of our $70m+, 300+ team of organizers, campaigners, lobbyists, lawyers, analysts, trainers, volunteer support staff and strategists. This includes:

Develops fundraising strategies for Grassroots Power Building, including meetings with high net-worth individuals and foundations, partnering with our Office of Advancement on proposal development, presentations and reports.

Manage a large complex budget, ensuring we are set up to have the greatest possible impact, meeting our commitments, and shifting budget allocations as facts on the ground evolve and change.

Represent the Sierra Club to the media, donors, partner organizations, government officials, and business leaders.

Manage a team of senior managers, overseeing close to 150 staff, including Organizing and Distributed Organizing, Training, Outings, Sierra Student Coalition, Office of Chapter Support, Movement Partnerships, Grassroots Network and our Constituency Data team.

Develops and enhances partnerships with community groups, Environmental Justice, Climate Justice and other social justice organizations who align with our values.

Oversee assigned units and direct all aspects of their management, including budgeting, fundraising, strategic planning, equity and justice, and personnel.

Performs miscellaneous duties as directed.

Skills, qualities and competencies:

We will be looking for the ideal candidate with the right mix of the following skills, qualities and competencies:

Exemplary track record of experience as an executive director, senior manager, Organizing Director, or comparable position in a grassroots advocacy organization, which includes experience developing strategy, leading teams and winning campaigns.

Understanding of environmental, climate, and social justice issues and how they relate to each other. Demonstrated ability to design and implement strategies that operate at the intersections of the environment and marginalized communities (e.g. race, gender, and class.) Experience cultivating and maintaining just, accountable partnerships, especially with organizations led by those most impacted by the crises we seek to remedy.

Understanding of how power, privilege, and oppression manifest at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels. Personal commitment to learning and growth, especially around equity. Skillful at managing individuals and leading teams with a diversity of identities and skill sets to contribute at their highest level. Proficient at proactively surfacing and navigating conflict in a generative, equitable way.

Demonstrated experience as a successful leader at the national level, including experience and knowledge of different campaign and organizing models such as distributed organizing, momentum-based and structural campaigns, mass mobilization, grassroots power and movement building. The candidate should be able to develop a strategic vision for how these models together leverage Sierra Club resources and advance transformational outcomes.

Demonstrated knowledge of environmental issues and an in depth understanding of privilege and how race, gender, class intersect with environmental work. Demonstrated experience coaching others in this analysis

An understanding of how race dynamics impact supervisory relationships, organizational culture, partnerships, campaigns and coalition work, and can demonstrate a history of successfully intervening in problematic dynamics and deepening a racial justice approach within an organization, or team.

Demonstrated success in using data to inform strategy (targeting, mapping, modeling, dashboards, key performance indicators), measure goals and increase effectiveness. Demonstrated commitment to fostering a values driven/data informed approach.

Understanding of and commitment to progressive environmental politics, social justice, and the Sierra Club’s mission.

An emotionally intelligent, values and results-driven leader who can inspire staff and volunteers at all levels, collaborate within and across departments, and provide feedback and coaching to support the achievement of our complex goals.

Ability to build and maintain trust with Program Department Leadership Team and leaders across the organization, while cultivating reciprocal and trusting relationships with staff and volunteers in their teams.

Ability to travel up to 25% of the time.

Strong candidates will bring the following characteristics and/or experience:

Highly skilled communicator, written and verbal – both individually and in large audience or public communications.

Proven fundraising and donor stewardship skills.

Proven ability to integrate cutting edge data management and digital tools to inform strategy and track progress.

Demonstrated experience in significant change management processes that required building buy-in and leading across a wide range of stakeholders.

Experience working in a fast-paced environment, across geographies, and with different types of volunteer and staff structures, exercising effective judgment in challenging situations and remaining calm under pressure.

A positive energy and good humor that engenders enthusiasm and collaboration.

Salary range $185,000 to $200,000 dependent on work location and experience.
The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 2 exempt position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.

Job URL:

Opportunity type




Job function

  • General Management
  • Politician/Politics
  • Project/ Program Management

Areas of impact

  • Environment