Supervises: SSC Grassroots Training Manager, SSC Operations Manager and SSC Network Manager
Context: The Youth Leadership Director is accountable for cultivating and supporting a base of youth leaders (under 35 years old) with a shared vision, values, skills and community to organize for just solutions to the climate crisis. Some of these youth leaders will be part of Sierra Club chapters, campaigns, and programs, and some will be involved in partner organizations. The center of youth engagement at the Sierra Club is the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC), the youth chapter of the Sierra Club which operates across the United States and in Puerto Rico.
Scope: The Youth Leadership Director is responsible for all program work of the SSC, coordination across departments engaging young people, and thought leadership on youth engagement and leadership development strategies. Develops and manages SSC program work which includes managing and monitoring budgets, evaluating overall program effectiveness, and managing and directing program staff. Drives the development of SSC strategies and priorities in alignment with Sierra Club campaign priorities. Partners with volunteer youth leaders to drive program planning within the SSC and in other parts of the organization working with youth. Partners with Advancement and Program Departments to raise funding to support the SSC and youth engagement. Represents the SSC and Sierra Club by developing and cultivating partnerships with new organizations, funders, media and elected officials.
- Leads coordination of the SSC including strategic planning, project management, staff, and partnering with national volunteer leaders. Facilitates individual and collective strategic planning and priority setting that embodies the Jemez Principles in partnership with volunteer leaders, staff, and internal/external partners. Oversees SSC program health and cultivation, ensuring that the SSC is embodying its guiding principles and moving towards its shared vision.
- Manages and supports SSC staff through guidance and coaching, conducting performance evaluations, and providing ongoing feedback. Leads hiring, disciplinary, salary and promotion decisions and plans training and development of staff. Partners with staff to clarify work plans and ensure that work meets individual objectives and SSC goals. Cultivates a collaborative, relational, learning staff team that leverages individual strengths towards collective impact.
- Fosters and maintains relationships with internal stakeholders including chapters, Board of Directors, and national staff (e.g. Campaign Directors, unit directors, etc.) that are actively supporting youth leadership. Coordinates leadership retreats, communicates updates with leaders, and engages national leadership in strategic decisions. Provides thought leadership on youth engagement strategies to increases equitable, inclusive youth engagement.
- Supports SSC staff and volunteer leaders in embodying the SSC’s Guiding Principles, Jemez Principles, and fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive program. Partners with staff and volunteer leaders to identify shifts to increase accessibility to programming across a variety of identities. Partners with the Equity Department to ensure alignment and collaboration with the SSC’s anti-oppression trainings and practices. Partners with SSC staff and volunteer leaders to identify training and partnership opportunities to continue learning and honing approach to equity, justice, and inclusion.
- Oversees and manages the SSC budget. Partners with SSC Operations Manager and Operations liaison to ensure budgets are clear and compliant. Engages SSC national leadership and staff in budget priority setting and allocation.
- In partnership with the Office of Advancement and Program Department, develops and prepares proposals for foundations and donors, assists with the cultivation of new program supporters and donor relations.
- Partners with Communications Department to increase the quantity and quality of stories and messages about youth leading on the climate crisis. Elevate the voices and work of youth leaders in the climate, environmental, and social justice movements. When appropriate, represents the SSC and Sierra Club in the media.
- Cultivates partnerships with organizations that have strategic and/or audience alignment across the environmental, social, and climate justice movement. Develops and shares regular updates with key partners seeking out opportunities for partnership and collaboration. Represents Sierra Club in regional and national coalitions, at regional and national events and to the general public.
- Performs miscellaneous duties as assigned.
- 5-7 years of experience in the climate, environmental, and/or social justice movement, political campaigns, or other similar organizations. Experience in strategic planning, campaigns, grassroots organizing, and collaborative leadership. Understanding of and experience in collaborative project management across diverse stakeholders.
- Prior experience managing and coaching staff and/or volunteers as a function of campaign or program implementation. Experience cultivating and empowering teams of diverse individuals including priority setting, supporting individuals and teams in executing work to meet priorities, and facilitating and supporting groups through conflict. Understanding of power, privilege and oppression and how these dynamics show up in our organization and movement spaces. Ability to identify these dynamics and partner with team members to make shifts to dismantle systems of oppression.
- Ability to work independently, cooperatively and effectively with staff and volunteer leaders across a variety of geographies and schedules. Proficient at managing and setting personal priorities. Willingness to seek out support when running into obstacles. Experience building relationships across a variety of stakeholders in a complex system and building alignment towards shared goals.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Skilled at strategic communication for the audience and context.
- Ability to cultivate and participate in collaborative, inclusive, dynamic teams with staff and/or volunteers. Ability and willingness to travel for team retreats, trainings, and other network needs.
- Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of climate, social and environmental justice issues. Experience in youth organizing and leadership development strongly preferred. Preference for someone who has experience organizing in a decentralized, network context.
- Proficiency in Spanish and organizing in multilingual contexts is a plus.
- Proficient with tech tools and databases needed to effectively operate in a distributed national and/or international context. For example: Excel, Basecamp, Slack, Salesforce, Voter Activation Network, Zoom, Google Drive, Action Network, etc. Willingness and ability to seek out and learn new tech tools to meet emerging.
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.