EarthGen Executive Director

Seattle, Washington, United States | Full-time | Partially remote

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EarthGen Executive Director Opportunity

Posting Date: September 29, 2022

**The Search Committee will begin meeting with candidates in November. We strongly recommend applying by November 1st. We will continue to consider applications until the position is filled.**

Please note you will receive an auto-response email from Trakstar Hire; if you do not receive a receipt of application email, please check your spam folder. Please email Eva (eva@cloversearchworks.com) if you do not receive an email to ensure your materials have been successfully submitted. 

Location: Hybrid work environment with an office in Seattle. The ED may be based anywhere in Washington State, as long as they are willing to spend time regularly in Seattle.

Salary Range: $125,000 to $150,000 depending on experience

EarthGen is seeking a collaborative and strategic leader to be its next Executive Director, leading our efforts to grow our impact in the years ahead. A Washington State based nonprofit, EarthGen brings locally relevant science-based learning opportunities to students and school communities who are farthest from educational and environmental justice. Because of EarthGen, students all over Washington state are learning about the effects of climate change and other environmental issues on their own communities, taking action, and becoming leaders for change.

Building on a successful decade of growth and measurable impact, EarthGen has a big vision for the future: we will grow EarthGen’s impact in both breadth and depth, so that more teachers and students across Washington will have access to high quality climate-science education and meaningful opportunities to make environmental change. EarthGen is seeking a leader who is inspired by this ambitious vision and shares our commitment to K-12 education and environmental justice. 

We are eager to meet with candidates who have strengths in these areas:

  • Building strong partnerships across many diverse communities, fields, and sectors
  • Strategic thinking and results-based problem solving
  • Deep commitment to leading with an equity and environmental justice lens
  • Willingness to be a “fearless fundraiser” in support of EarthGen’s mission
  • Experience as a collaborative and inclusive team leader, and readiness to lead a thriving nonprofit

About EarthGen

EarthGen’s mission is to equip young people to become changemakers for a healthy environment. Our programming focuses on critical and current environmental science issues that are affecting communities in Washington State every day: from air quality and pollution in Puget Sound, to wildfires, floods, and other adverse impacts of climate change. Our youth will inherit this legacy and need to be prepared, and their teachers need and deserve support to understand and teach these complex topics effectively.

Through EarthGen’s science-based, action-oriented programs, young people gain the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to become leaders for climate solutions and environmental justice.

Guided by a commitment to equity, EarthGen prioritizes providing programming to students and schools across Washington state that are historically underserved by science education and disproportionately impacted by climate change and educational opportunity gaps. EarthGen’s programming offers professional development opportunities for teachers, customizable environmental science programs for students from kindergarten through high school, and resources for schools and districts to take action for sustainability and justice. Our educational programs connect current science with effective teaching strategies and focus on local environmental issues that are relevant to that community. Every science education program includes an opportunity to design and implement solutions for a healthier and more sustainable community, so youth can engage in collective action to improve their local environment

Through EarthGen’s programs, students and teachers gain the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to think critically, act with purpose, and bring others together to create a more just and sustainable world. 

EarthGen’s vision is that throughout their education, every student in Washington can gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to become a leader for a healthy environment.  EarthGen has grown every year since its founding 11 years ago as Washington Green Schools, and we are proud to have the experience and the track record to be making that vision a reality. Today, with endorsements and support from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, all nine of the state’s Educational Service Districts, and the University of Washington’s College of Education, EarthGen is one of the state’s most influential environmental education organizations, engaging tens of thousands of students in diverse communities across Washington each year. But although EarthGen reaches hundreds of teachers and thousands of students each year, there are still many kids who don’t have access to environmental education that is locally relevant, culturally-responsive, and focused on solutions. 

As EarthGen enters this next exciting chapter, we are seeking a leader who can help leverage our successful model and expand the depth and breadth of our impact so we can bring the highest quality environmental learning and action to youth across the state.

The Role of the Executive Director

With the collaborative engagement of the staff and board, the Executive Director will promote EarthGen’s vision, guide its strategic direction, and oversee all aspects of the healthy functioning of this 501c-3 organization. The ED will oversee a current staff of 11 full-time staff, including directly supervising the 3 director-level staff positions (Director of Advancement, Director of Finance and Administration, and Program Director.) They will report to and work closely with our committed volunteer Board of Directors, which currently includes 13 members, as well as our Advisory Council. They will oversee a growing budget of $1.7M in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, with revenue coming from public grants and contracts as well as donations. 

One of EarthGen’s greatest assets is its talented and engaged staff team, who demonstrate their dedication to the mission and their expertise in EarthGen’s programming every day. A key role of the Executive Director, therefore, will be to support, develop, and inspire that team, so that the organization can successfully work together to increase its impact.

The Executive Director will advocate for expanding EarthGen’s impact by building partnerships with school districts and communities, seeking new funding opportunities, and overseeing EarthGen’s legislative agenda and strategy. The ED’s primary goals will be to lead EarthGen in its efforts to realize its three key strategic priorities, which are:

  • Expand Access to programs for students and school communities who are disproportionately impacted by environmental and educational equity gaps, especially in eastern Washington. A critical component to this strategy is the development of five Regional Hubs across the state. With program staff based in these hubs, we will partner with schools, districts, agencies, and other local organizations to identify local priorities and customize and implement programs throughout the community.  
  • Strengthen Programs by building on our programmatic success and lessons learned to strengthen and grow our suite of science-based programs. Priorities include expanding our climate science and climate justice programs as well as our green stormwater infrastructure programs for schools. We will continue to pursue and cultivate partnerships with organizations that enhance our program model. We will further our impact and reach by using strategies such as utilizing technology in new ways, adding  more bilingual and culturally specific programming, and growing the number of partners who engage in multiple programs with us. 
  • Build Capacity to sustainably support organizational growth in both programmatic breadth and depth. Key capacity building goals include hiring and supporting additional staff (including staff outside of the Seattle area), continuing to grow and diversify fundraising revenue, specifically through philanthropic support, and elevating the EarthGen brand through our strategic communications. We will also continue to develop and promote EarthGen’s legislative agenda to aid in these growth efforts.

EarthGen’s Organizational Culture

EarthGen’s organizational culture reflects the core values that guide all of our work. We believe in leading with a growth mindset: we are willing to take risks and try new approaches, recognizing that we may fail and using that as an opportunity to learn. We demonstrate our integrity by sharing a commitment to delivering high-quality work and assessing how we can improve our impact. Our work is highly collaborative and we value authentic relationships and community, so we are proactive in creating opportunities for staff to come together to get to know each other. We are committed to equity, and we strive to be allies for healthy and just communities while building our knowledge to do this work.

EarthGen’s Commitment to Equity

At EarthGen, we recognize that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities are disproportionately affected by environmental issues such as climate change, declining air and water quality, limited access to natural areas, and food insecurity. Unfortunately, these same communities suffer from large disparities in educational opportunity and achievement. For these reasons, EarthGen has prioritized racial equity since its founding. In 2017, the EarthGen Board of Directors adopted a Racial Equity Policy, making a commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization.

With humility and a growth mindset, EarthGen’s board and staff are committed to: learning about personal, systemic, and institutional racism through training, study, and reflection; increasing the diversity and cultural competency of the staff and board; authentically collaborating with partners and stakeholders to ensure that community needs are centered in our work; closing gaps in the educational system that disadvantage BIPOC communities in schools across Washington; and advancing environmental justice through education and action projects in the community. To hold ourselves accountable to these commitments, we have set specific and measurable goals in four key areas, namely Cultural Proficiency of Board and Staff, Targeted Outreach and Engagement with Diverse Schools and Organizations, Equity and Justice in Programming, and Recruitment and Inclusion. Each goal area includes strategies for achieving desired results and regular evaluation points throughout the year.

Our work environment is highly flexible: Seattle-based staff are in the office at least one day a week to meet with their teammates, and they work remotely the rest of the time unless they wish to spend more time in the office. There is a strong focus on work-life balance and understanding that we come to work as whole people, not just our work selves. Overall, our staff enjoy working together, like to have fun, and value each other as individuals and members of a team.

EarthGen’s Next Leader

We are seeking a leader who is committed to promoting and realizing EarthGen’s vision, and whose skills and abilities will help us to grow EarthGen’s impact in communities with the greatest need. Strong candidates will share a personal and professional commitment to EarthGen’s core values of community, equity, collaboration, integrity, and growth mindset, and will be able to show evidence of these traits in their leadership. We seek candidates who can bring some combination of the following skills, abilities, and experiences to this role.

We recognize that strong leaders come from many different backgrounds and professional paths, and individual candidates will bring differing levels of experience with any single aspect of this role. We believe that all candidates will have areas where they will need to grow or seek extra support, and we encourage you to consider applying even if you feel you don’t bring every skill on this list.

Skills, Abilities, and Experiences

  • Experience building strong, collaborative relationships to reach common goals. Ideal candidates will have a history of building successful partnerships with people and organizations from many different communities, sectors, backgrounds, and fields. They will demonstrate the patience and tenacity it takes to be a partner in a complex system such as a school system, including the ability to adapt their approach to meet differing community needs and expectations. Successful candidates will be clear and effective communicators who are able to build bridges, identify shared goals, and bring processes to conclusion.
  • The ability to plan and solve problems strategically.  We are seeking a solutions-oriented strategic thinker who is able to move from vision to strategy to action. Experience in creating and implementing strategic plans and working to solve problems at a community-wide scale is beneficial.
  • Deep commitment to leading with an equity and environmental justice lens. Successful candidates will be able to articulate a compelling case for why equity and environmental justice is foundational to EarthGen’s work. They must be equipped through lived and/or professional experiences to authentically partner with diverse communities around issues of environmental justice, and to further EarthGen’s efforts to become an anti-racist organization.
  • Willingness and ability to be a “fearless fundraiser” in support of EarthGen’s mission. EarthGen’s next ED must be able to make a compelling case for investment in the organization, and should be comfortable asking for financial support. They will demonstrate an ability to cultivate relationships with potential funders and individuals from many different communities. Candidates who do not have as much specific experience with nonprofit fundraising must be prepared to grow and develop their fundraising skills, as this will be a key part of the job.
  • Understanding of and experience with organizational management. As the executive leader of a nonprofit organization, successful candidates should be familiar with operations such as budget and finance, HR, and IT. A clear understanding of the role of a nonprofit board is required; experience serving on or supporting a volunteer board of directors will be an advantage.
  • Experience as a collaborative and inclusive team leader. We are seeking a leader who celebrates the contributions of others and demonstrates integrity, respect, humility, and willingness to learn in all aspects of their leadership. Successful candidates will know how to support and leverage the expertise and passion of a talented staff team.

Do I need a background in science or education?

EarthGen’s work is focused on climate science and its programming is primarily carried out in close partnership with schools and school districts. As a result, the ED should expect to spend significant time navigating Washington’s educational systems and advocating for science education. Past experience working as an educator, administrator, program partner, or in some other capacity with schools or the K-12 education system will therefore likely be very helpful to the leader in this role, as will background and comfort talking about science with educators and legislators. However, we recognize that specific content expertise of this sort may be learned and it is therefore not a prerequisite to applying.

Compensation, Benefits, and Location

This is a full-time salaried position requiring a willingness to work some evenings and weekends and occasional travel throughout the state of Washington. The salary range is between $125,000 - $150,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

EarthGen offers generous benefits including 20 vacation days and 11 paid holidays in the first year of employment. EarthGen pays 100% of employee premiums for medical, dental, and vision insurance, and offers a 403(b) retirement plan.

The EarthGen office is located in the Good Shepherd Center, a historic building in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood which houses many nonprofit organizations. While the Executive Director will sometimes need to meet with staff, board, and other stakeholders in the Seattle area, we are open to the ED living in another part of Washington State if they are willing to regularly schedule time in Seattle. Note that EarthGen requires all employees to be fully vaccinated unless a religious or medical exemption is requested and approved.

EarthGen values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and members of ethnic minorities to apply. EarthGen is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any protected category prohibited by local, state, or federal laws.

How to Apply

Online applications only, please no email or paper submissions. You will be asked to upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please briefly describe how this opportunity aligns with your experience, interests, and values.

Applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received. All applications will be acknowledged via an email receipt. Initial candidate conversations will take place via phone and videocalls throughout October, in advance of committee interviews in early to mid November. We expect the new ED would join the EarthGen team in 2023, with the exact start date to be negotiated with the successful candidate.