Executive Director via Idealist

Literacy for Environmental Justice

San Francisco, CA, US

Do you crave the grounded feeling of putting your hands in rich aromatic soil? Do you Zen out gazing at native plant species thriving? Would you like to witness youth and young adults removing invasive plant species while learning about environmental and racial justice issues? A day in the life of the executive director of Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) could include these activities along with; meeting community partners to ensure equity and inclusion in park and program activities, conducting analysis of income pipelines and cost trending to assess for sustainability, coordinating with grant-writers and funders, and much more. The executive director position at LEJ exposes an individual to an extensive variety of oversight and management activities.

LEJ seeks candidates with a unique combination of non-profit management experience and entrepreneurial creativity and courage.  


Founded in 1998 by a coalition of youth, educators, and community leaders, LEJ is one of San Francisco’s cornerstone environmental justice organizations. Initially established to address the health inequities in the community, create more diverse representation and leadership within the environmental movement, and to help coordinate a community response to the toxic legacies exposed after the closure of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, LEJ has been a consistent presence in the community.

Over the years, LEJ’s work has addressed a range of environmental justice concerns including organizing work that led to the closure of the Hunters Point power plant, focused educational programming related to air and water quality issues, initiating a nationally recognized food insecurity program, extensive land restoration in the region, open space equity, youth leadership, and workforce development, among others. LEJ is also the party primarily responsible for the development of the EcoCenter at Herons Head Park, a nationally recognized, LEED Platinum Certified green building and environmental learning center, San Francisco’s first off-grid building, one now under the stewardship of the Port of San Francisco and SF Department of Parks and Recreation.

Located in the racially and economically diverse Bayview Hunters Point in southeast San Francisco and District 10, LEJ’s current portfolio of work seeks to advance habitat restoration, urban greening, and create more equitable access to outdoor recreation through workforce development, volunteer activities, and community engagement. LEJ has focused its efforts in improving the lives and the environment of the residents of Bayview Hunters Point and District 10 through hands on restoration of urban parks supported by a native plant nursery.

Whether interfacing with staff and the community during Saturday workdays or attending fundraising events in the evenings, the executive director position of LEJ requires a nimble, enthusiastic individual who never loses sight of the community we support.


LEJ seeks a dynamic, strategic, and inspired Executive Director with an extensive background non-profit field that illustrates substantial commitments to organizational optimization, fundraising, community organizing, advocacy around the issues of racial and environmental justice, youth development, green career pathways, and urban greening project implementation.

  •  Strong business management skills, a track record in securing funds from diverse sources, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
  •   Experience managing, mentoring, and ensuring the professional development of a diverse staff.
  •  Capable of building bridges and developing strategic partnerships within the local and greater environmental justice community.
  •  LEJ especially encourages applications from persons of color who reflect the diversity of the Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) and District 10 community. Spanish speaking preferred.


The Executive Director is responsible for the overall direction and management of programs, personnel, fundraising, and finances of LEJ. The ED will balance multiple organizational objectives including a revenue generating native plant nursery, advocacy on local, regional, and national issues, and environmental and racial education. In consultation with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director oversees the organization’s strategic direction and program development. The Executive Director is the primary contact between LEJ partners and stakeholders in the civic, philanthropic, and District 10 community.


Community Representation

  • Serve as a spokesperson and consensus builder for LEJ in the community, developing and maintaining contacts with civic, philanthropic, and community leaders.
  •  Act as a local, regional, and national leader on behalf of LEJ and the environmental justice movement.

 Fund Development

  • Serve as the primary fundraiser for LEJ — works in concert with development staff to create funding strategies, develop grants and cultivate individual and major donor, government, foundation, and corporate sponsor relations.

 Financial and Organizational Management

  • Develop and manage an approximately $1 million budget and the overall fiscal management of LEJ with the support of the Finance and Operations Manager and Treasurer of the Board of Directors. Revenue mix: 57% native plant nursery contracts, 25% grants/foundations, 9% service fees/sales, 9% donations.
  • Maintain official records of LEJ activities and meetings, and file reports to the LEJ Board of Directors as directed.

 Program Development

  • Actively lead the strategic development of new programs and improve existing programs in collaboration with the staff, Board of Directors, and community partners.
  • Further, develop and integrate youth and young adult Eco-Apprentice workforce development into programs.
  • Promote inclusion of Eco-Adventures including camping and kayaking into programs to further open space access equity.
  • Bring a creative and entrepreneurial enthusiasm to developing programs addressing the legacies of environmental racism, urban restoration, environmental justice education, community advocacy, and local workforce development.

 Staff, Board and Office Management

  • Recruit, supervise, and develop staff.
  • Conduct performance assessments.
  • Serve as the liaison between staff and the LEJ Board of Directors.
  • Ensure training and professional development of staff members.
  • Ensure the viability and smooth operations of the LEJ office through staff sustainability planning.
  • Ensure a transparent, open, and collaborative workplace environment.


  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience in management roles at a nonprofit organization.
  • Experience with managing a budget at the $1 million level.
  • Hands-on program management experience including multiple programs management.
  • Demonstrated commitment to ethical, equitable, and representative leadership in the environmental justice movement.
  •  Demonstrated commitment to youth leadership and a natural comfort working in a youth-based environment.
  • Experience with human resource duties including hiring and performance feedback and management with a diverse workforce.
  • Experience working effectively and collaboratively in partnership with communities of color.
  • Experience in successful fundraising and donor engagement for non-profit organizations.
  •  Ability to prioritize, delegate work, manage, and develop staff.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.


Experience conceptualizing, piloting, and managing innovative programs.

  • Experience building and working effectively with a Board of Directors including support of recruitment of board candidates.
  • Experience leading a strategic planning process.
  • Talented at building bridges, maintaining open communication, and cultivating strategic partnerships that amplify the scope and impact of those combined efforts.
  • Connections in political and philanthropic circles.
  • Demonstrated success in building a high-impact team comprised of individuals of diverse backgrounds, skills, and aspirations.
  • Construction management experience.