Riverkeeper, Inc. is a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.
We are seeking an experienced, dynamic environmental advocate and attorney with a strong record of achievement to join Riverkeeper as our Hudson Watershed Advocate. The successful applicant will be responsible for taking on projects and campaigns identified by the management team as critical and to provide leadership and/or support for current program campaigns. Additionally, the Hudson Watershed Advocate is expected to develop short and long-term tactics and strategies utilizing Riverkeeper’s resources and the resources of strategic partners.
The position is ideal for an individual who is passionate about environmental issues and seeking a high profile assignment that will allow her/him to use legal, advocacy, media outreach and public education tools to shape the environmental future of the Hudson River and the communities which depend on it, including the Hudson Valley and New York City. The successful applicant will be called on to use her/his skills, professional contacts, and experience to facilitate communications and collaborations with communities, legislative bodies and government agencies in support of both on-going campaigns and new initiatives.
The position requires a multi-pronged approach to achieving advocacy goals. Among the skills required is the ability to conduct a legal analysis of emerging legal and policy challenges to determine all options available to help shape the outcome, as well as to build and to work in coalitions of environmental and community organizations – including those at the local, state, regional, and national level to work towards achieving campaign goals.
Past successful campaigns and on-going critical initiatives include:
- the successful effort, as a member of a broad coalition, to have New York State ban fracking as a means of fossil fuel extraction within its borders;
- leadership and support of a community-based campaign to block the building of a large commercial water bottling plant that used the community’s drinking water;
- the current, multi-pronged effort to control, reduce and if possible, eliminate the transport of crude oil by rail, vessel and pipeline on the Hudson River and through the Hudson Valley;
- engaging in legislative advocacy, communication, and collaboration to advance organizational goals, such as our efforts to inform the drafting and advancing of bills that would require adequate insurance for oil transporters to cover their high risk activities, or to prevent a private corporation from being able to use eminent domain authority to take private land for its proposed oil pipelines; and
- commenting on and monitoring the implementation of water withdrawal regulations that authorize the permitting of large daily withdrawals from the Hudson River and other critical waterbodies without environmental review.
Duties & Responsibilities
Build relationships and foster communication and collaboration with communities, leadership and staff of government agencies and legislative bodies in support of both existing campaigns and new initiatives.
Develop and coordinate partnerships with other local, state and national organizations working on waterway and water quality related issues.
Act as one of Riverkeeper’s lead spokespersons to the media, elected officials, regulatory agencies and the public on Riverkeeper campaigns.
Develop and coordinate campaign advocacy actions in collaboration with Riverkeeper’s program teams, other environmental organizations, and coalition members.
Actively work with technical and scientific experts including in preparation of reports, analyses, and research to support Riverkeeper campaign objectives.
Participate in discussions and decision-making regarding planning and execution of organizational, case, and campaign priorities.
Actively support and engage as needed in fundraising with President and Development team, including assistance with grant writing and reporting, individual donor and foundation meetings and regular reporting to Riverkeeper’s Board of Directors.
As and when needed, supervise other Riverkeeper staff, interns or volunteers.
The ideal candidate will be a person with vision and energy who possesses the necessary skills to work with and, report to, the Director of Legal Programs, work with the President, and work with the management team and staff to advocate and to advance mission critical campaigns, with particular expertise in bringing together diverse interests and building cross-sector collaborations in support of common environmental goals.
Attorney admitted to practice in New York and in good standing with a minimum of 10 years practice in environmental law, including a strong familiarity with the Clean Water Act and New York State Environmental Quality Review Act.
Significant advocacy experience including leading and partnering with other stakeholders, and a sound understanding of both grassroots advocacy and government policy and advocacy.
Strong commitment to the mission and goals of Riverkeeper.
Familiarity with non-profit organizations.
Contacts with and a demonstrated ability to interact effectively with regional, state and federal elected officials and regulators.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Knowledge of and a connection with the Hudson River Valley and the Hudson River Watershed preferred.
Experience working with media and public relations, and community outreach and organizing.
A strong team player, self-motivated, results oriented, and able to handle multiple projects and case deadlines.
Regular travel throughout the Hudson River Valley and New York City; evening and occasional weekend work will be required.
Location: The Hudson Watershed Advocate will work from our Ossining
Office, 20 Secor Road, Ossining, New York, or our
Pace Law School Office, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, New York.
Compensation & Benefits: Competitive; based on experience
Deadline to apply: October 21, 2016
To Apply: Please submit your resume, cover letter, a writing sample, and examples of your cases and / or campaigns and earned media to
Please write in the subject line: Hudson Watershed Advocate
Phone calls and faxes will not be accepted.
Riverkeeper is AA/EEO employer.
People of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.