Director of Built Environment

Full-Time, Exempt Position

Overview

The Center for Environmental Health (“CEH”) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that protects people from toxic chemicals and promotes business practices that are safe for public health and the environment. We stop corporations from exposing people to toxic chemicals, collaborate with responsible businesses and industry leaders, and are committed to inclusive, community-led solutions that address environmental injustices in low-income communities of color.

Workplace

CEH is an organization of committed science-driven advocates who work together to keep short-sighted business interests from harming people in the name of profit. We are proud of our work and achieve big wins for people’s health. The organizational culture is one of entrepreneurism and thoughtfully assessed risk taking. CEH believes that to protect the health of all people, we must address the disproportionate health effects of toxic chemicals caused by systemic racism and other social injustices. The movement to eliminate dangerous chemicals must move forward in partnership with environmental, racial, reproductive and other related justice movements working to address the pressing social justice issues of our day. CEH’s headquarters are in Oakland, and we have a small team based in North Carolina’s Triangle Area. The Program Director will preferably be based in one of these locations, though strong candidates based elsewhere will be considered. CEH staff are currently working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A reopening plan for the Oakland office is being developed based on local guidelines and staff needs and perspectives. 

JEDI Statement

At CEH, striving for justice, diversity, equity and inclusion (“JEDI”) for all is critical to our mission and values. We know that having a team that is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, ability, sexual orientation, age, background, and opinions — and fostering inclusion among that team — is core to achieving our organizational goals. CEH strives to recruit talent from a diverse pool of candidates and ensure that those professionals it hires are sufficiently supported so that they flourish. The organization wants everyone to not only have a seat at the table, but to know that their presence and input makes the organization stronger.

Learn more about the Center for Environmental Health at www.ceh.org.

The Position

We are looking for a dynamic Program Director to lead CEH’s work to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in the built environment and grow markets for safer products. Our Built Environment Program identifies products that contain chemicals of concern and works with an array of stakeholders–including purchasers from large institutions, manufacturers, designers and NGO partners–to shift the markets for those products toward safer alternatives. A key strategy of this program is supporting public and private institutions to adopt and implement environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) policies and practices. By creating widespread demand for products without harmful chemicals, we aim to increase access to safer products for all, and advance public health and environmental justice. Our program currently focuses on furniture, carpet and flooring. The Director will lead the process of identifying future priority product categories, and will collaborate with CEH staff and partners to design and implement strategies for shifting markets toward non-toxic, sustainable products.    

The ideal candidate is passionate about protecting people from toxic chemicals, has strong familiarity with materials used in the built environment and their health and safety considerations, is a charismatic presenter, has excellent stakeholder engagement and program leadership skills, is an experienced supervisor, and is a strategic and creative thinker. The Director of the Built Environment program will report to CEH’s Managing Director of Programs, and will supervise a small team of staff, consultants and work-study students.

Position Type: 1.0 FTE.  Exempt.

Start date: Position will be open until filled.

Reports to: Managing Director of Programs

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Program Leadership

  • Provide strategic leadership to the Built Environment team by leading goal-setting processes and workplan development, managing program budgets and resources, and ensuring meaningful program monitoring, learning and evaluation.
  • Supervise program staff, affirming team members’ strengths and overseeing division of duties in a way that inspires strong performance and builds morale, and supporting professional development.
  • Advance and uphold justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) practices and principles within the program and in partnerships and external communications.    
  • Participate in relevant state and national coalitions as well as collaborative projects with partners, and identify and pursue new partnership opportunities.    
  • Serve as a resource to CEH staff and leadership on strategic questions and directions and on partnership opportunities, and serve as a subject matter expert to the organization and the field.  
  • Promote CEH’s fee-for-service model for institutions with an ability to pay for our assistance while also supporting organizations without the ability to pay for services. Link corporate partners as appropriate to CEH’s revenue-generating efforts.
  • Contribute to program and organizational sustainability by building relationships with funders, identifying potential funding opportunities, and partnering with CEH’s Development team to deliver high-quality proposals and reports.   
  • Collaborate with CEH’s Communications Team to develop and carry out a communications strategy for the program. 
  • Collaborate with CEH’s Policy Team to identify legal, policy and regulatory opportunities to shift markets away from toxic chemicals. 
  • Represent CEH’s built environment and procurement work at conferences, workshops, and on webinars.

Engage Organizations to Participate in Healthier Procurement

  • Identify leads at large scale public and private institutions and engage them in adopting CEH’s health protective criteria for our priority product categories.
  • Organize and present educational webinars/presentations on the human and environmental health concerns associated with products in the built environment to motivate purchasers to adopt CEH’s criteria for environmentally preferable products.  
  • Provide tailored guidance and tools to purchasers for implementing EPP practices and assist purchasers in addressing common challenges at various steps of the process.
  • Develop education and communications tools such as reports, case studies, purchasing guides and web content based on user needs and interests.
  • Maintain strong relationships with purchasers and support them in adopting EPP recommendations for additional product categories for which CEH has expertise or can link them to resources. 
  • Support purchasing partners in adopting meaningful metrics and evaluation approaches to demonstrate the value of their EPP practices.

Establish and Maintain Positive Relationships with Product Manufacturers

  • Develop positive relationships with manufacturers to gain market information, identify trends, and to convey information about purchaser demand for healthier products.
  • Engage manufacturers, as needed, to help influence standards/product certifications, eco-labels, legislation or regulations in a way that protects public and environmental health.
Candidate Qualifications and Experience

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  1. Master’s degree in relevant field preferred.
  2. At least 8 years of relevant work experience. Experience working in corporate sustainability, healthy procurement practices, and/or environmental or public health is strongly preferred.
  3. Proven experience developing program strategies, managing programs and projects and supervising staff.  
  4. Demonstrated passion and commitment to environmental health and justice issues.
  5. Familiarity with issues related to toxic chemicals in the built environment as well as relevant eco-labels/certifications and building standards. 
  6. Proven ability to establish and maintain positive professional relationships with a wide range of people working in a variety of sectors, including government, academia, private business, manufacturing, architecture and design, advocacy, etc.
  7. Strong commitments to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, working in a multicultural workplace, and approaching cultural differences with humility, sensitivity, and appreciation.
  8. Comfort in reaching out to potential purchasing partners to promote consulting services and other revenue-generating opportunities.
  9. Ability to navigate the complexities of balancing the earned income strategy with no- or low-cost mission-driven assistance to ensure CEH’s work serves a range of settings.
  10. Excellent verbal, interpersonal and written communication skills, including the ability to educate and motivate others through public speaking and presentations.
  11. Positive and creative—willing to take risks and try innovative new ideas.
  12. Demonstrated capacity to work independently, ability to create and lead a collaborative and productive project team, and ability to set priorities and manage multiple tasks and deadlines at the same time.
  13. Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Outlook is required; familiarity with Google Drive, Zoom or other video conferencing platform, and Salesforce or similar customer relationship management (CRM) software is a plus.
What to expect from us
  • Salary range: $82,000 – $88,000, commensurate with experience.
  • Full benefits, including 401k match (up to 5% of salary), health insurance, vacation, sick time and paid holidays
  • A team with a sense of justice and a sense of humor
  • A low-ego, high-performance culture and flexible work environment
Working Conditions and Job Setting
  • Physical ability to type and use computer is essential
  • Infrequent periodic lifting of up to 20 pounds is required
Getting this Job

Write/gather the following materials and send in a single PDF: 

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Short writing sample (two pages maximum)
  • Name, affiliation, and contact information for three references

Please merge these materials into a single PDF whose file name includes “Director of Built Environment” and your surname. 

Then email that PDF to: jobs@ceh.org (subject line: Director of Built Environment Application).

We acknowledge receipt of all employment applications, and when we decide a candidate is no longer in the running, we notify them. (Note: this sometimes can take a while.)

This position will remain open until we find the right person to fill it. We will give priority to candidates who apply before August 31, 2021. 

EOE Statement: CEH is an equal opportunity employer. As an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, it considers applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity or expression, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, age, ability, personal appearance, family responsibilities or national origin.