Director of Climate Policy

November 16th, 2021
Director of Climate Policy

Director of Climate Policy

  • Full Time
  • Senior Level
Job Category: Policy/Advocacy
Location: Manhattan
Job Sectors: Environmental

About the Waterfront Alliance & the Rise to Resilience Coalition 

The Waterfront Alliance is a civic organization that brings together a diverse coalition of more than 1,100 Alliance Partners with ties to the New York–New Jersey waterways. Founded in 2007, our mission is to inspire and effect resilient, revitalized, and accessible coastlines for all communities. Key programs and advocacy areas include climate resilience, public access to the waterfront, the working waterfront, and climate education.  


The Waterfront Alliance is a regional leader in climate policy with a focus on coastal resilience. The organization’s climate initiatives formally began in 2012 with the development of the WEDG® (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) program. The policy and advocacy goals of the Waterfront Alliance consolidated into the launch of the Rise to Resilience coalition in 2020, following a lengthy community and coalition building process and development of a comprehensive policy agenda.   


Rise to Resilience is spearheaded by the Waterfront Alliance and comprised of more than 100 organizations representing residents, leaders in business, labor community and justice, volunteer organizations, scientists, environmental advocates, and design professionals collectively calling on federal, state, and local governments to make building climate resilience in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region an urgent priority. Since its inception in 2020, the coalition has successfully passed laws at federal, state, and local levels that will build climate resilience for generations to come.  


About the Position 

The Director of Climate Policy is charged with collaborating with colleagues and partners in developing climate change policy and strategy for the Waterfront Alliance; leading the coordination and convening of the Rise to Resilience coalition; implementing advocacy strategy through the Rise to Resilience coalition and directly as part of Waterfront Alliance’s policy agenda; identifying changes and trends in climate change that affect and dictate new strategy; and collaborating with multiple programs within the Waterfront Alliance to advance the Waterfront Alliance mission.  


This position provides a unique opportunity for an individual with expertise in climate policy, nonprofit coalition management and leadership, consensus building, and legislative and policy expertise to shape the policy agenda for the nation’s largest metro area. The position is planned to be supported by a campaign manager/community organizer. The Waterfront Alliance and Rise to Resilience coalition have strong track records influencing legislative and regulatory policy and is poised for growth and greater influence. This position plays a central role in the successes that will foster and sustain growth and influence. 


Classification: Fulltime, exempt 

Salary and Benefits: Salary is $80,000–$95,000. Waterfront Alliance offers a comprehensive benefits package, including employer paid medical, dental, and vision insurances; life insurance; 401K retirement plan with employer match; commuter and FSA benefits, paid time off, professional development opportunities, and more.  

Location: New York, NY, with a generous telecommuting policy. 

Reports to: Vice President of Programs  



The Director of Climate Policy is responsible for developing, leading, and troubleshooting climate resilience policy and advocacy for the New York City metropolitan region and nationally regarding federal programs that impact the region. Specific policy and advocacy responsibilities include: 


  • Policy development and monitoring: Provide leadership, with partners and staff in the development and implementation of policy priorities and strategy; maintain and keep abreast of climate resilience policy trends locally and nationally.   


  • Advocacy strategy development: Develop annual, short term, and immediate advocacy strategies informed by opportunities for political, legislative, and administrative change; bring attention and focus to victories that will directly impact and improve the lives and wellbeing of the most vulnerable and disinvested communities though systems change; develop an annual campaign plan for policy, legislative, and regulatory priorities; and track and report on legislative and budgetary developments.  


  • Communications: Support the development of Waterfront Alliance and Rise to Resilience coalition positions, testimony, and statements related to resilience; seek writing (e.g. op-eds, blogs), press coverage, and public speaking opportunities to position the coalition’s advocacy agenda.  


The Director of Climate Policy is responsible for managing the Rise to Resilience coalition. Specific responsibilities include:  


  • Coalition convening: Lead the coordination of the coalition steering committee (meets two to three times annually) and three policy Committees (approximately monthly or bi-monthly) to set and advance advocacy actions in conjunction with policy agendas and goals for federal, state and local outcomes. 


  • Maintain partner relationships: Work with policy committees and Waterfront Alliance leadership to develop policy priorities and proposals that reflect the coalition’s points of unity: survey/seek input from coalition membership; seek coalition support, engagement and activation to meet advocacy objectives; seek input from leaders in government and private sector; report on victories and milestones with a focus on establishing and maintaining the energy and passion of advocates and the coalition.  


  • Coalition communications: Work with communications team to maintain the #Rise2Resilience social media presence, maintain website, and to produce monthly newsletters reporting on progress and activities.  


  • Partnership development: Cultivate and maintain relationships and communications with new partners in collaboration with community members and with attention to the outcomes of community organizing; cultivate and onboard potential coalition partners, especially those representing backgrounds or geographies with less representation or other strategic areas of expertise needed to advance priorities.  


  • Other activities: Assist in the execution of Waterfront Alliance events; support grant writing and reporting; support other policy and program initiatives as assigned. 


Qualifications, Skills, and Attributes 

  • Three to five years of professional experience relevant to essential functions of this position.  

  • Demonstrated success and experience in the strategic development, management, and execution of advocacy campaigns.      

  • Demonstrated advocacy, consensus-building, coalition-building, and leadership skills. 

  • Demonstrated experience facilitating a diverse range of stakeholders in a manner that builds community power for policy and legislative outcomes, especially of frontline groups. 

  • Experience in climate policy, natural resources, and/or environmental issues of great importance to vulnerable communities. 

  • Experience in communications, social media, press relationships, or government affairs. 

  • Commitment and passion for change through building the capacity and power of the Rise to Resilience coalition. Experience maintaining energy in complex advocacy work. 

  • Ability to take a back seat and facilitate outcomes where partners can and should lead for the best outcomes. 

  • Strong knowledge of legislative, policy and administrative functions of local and state government, as well as familiarity with federal climate policy.  

  • Experience with and sensitivity working with grassroots partners and environmental justice communities. 

  • Excellent writing, facilitation, and presentation skills 

  • Ability to synthesize expert input and research into shared products (e.g., white papers, policy agendas). 

  • Familiarity with the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. 

  • Conversational or fluency in one of the major non-English languages spoken in the New York-New Jersey region is a plus. 


How to Apply 

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter that illustrates qualifications relevant to this role and a resume as a single PDF to [email protected]. The subject should indicate “Director of Climate Policy.” Applicants must be legally authorized to work fulltime in the U.S. and should not require employment sponsorship now or in the future. Only complete applications will be considered. Position open until filled. No phone calls please.  


As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Waterfront Alliance encourages applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical ability or any other legally protected basis. 

Waterfront Alliance

  • 256 W 36th Street, 11 Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • Phone:

To apply for this job email your details to

Related Jobs
  • Nonprofit New York
    Full Time

    TITLE: Finance and Operations Coordinator  REPORTS TO: Vice President, Finance & Operations  BASIC FUNCTION: The Finance& Operations Coordinator works closely with the Vice President, Finance & Operations to provide financial mana
  • NYC Kids RISE
    Full Time

    System Administrator Job Description About NYC Kids RISE: The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program is a universal, community-driven wealth-building platform that expands access to mainstream financial products, puts real financial assets i
  • Billion Oyster Project
    Full Time

    Deadline: December 13, 2021  Submit your resume and cover letter to:   The Billion Oyster Project’s Marine Habitat Resource Specialist is a communicative