Policy Director, Beyond Plastics

Bennington, Vermont, United States | Full-time | Fully remote

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Beyond Plastics is seeking a politically savvy Policy Director to help lead the organization’s local, state, and federal legislative and policy advocacy work. The Policy Director will develop and analyze policies that reduce plastic pollution, manage organizational resources on priority policy campaigns, build and maintain diverse coalitions, develop strategic communications, serve as a spokesperson for the organization, and manage policy staff.  Leadership is a vital aspect of this role, as the Policy Director will serve as a member of the leadership team, reporting to the Managing Director, and will work with other staff, volunteer advocates, and partner organizations to accomplish plastic reduction policies. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in developing effective environmental policies, leading advocacy campaigns, communicating effectively with the public through the media, and building diverse coalitions. They will have an understanding of government structures and how to be an agent of change on legislative and regulatory issues. In addition, the ideal candidate will have the experience, maturity and self-direction to work autonomously in this fully remote organization. An understanding of environmental justice, climate change issues, plastics pollution, and public health are a major plus.

About Beyond Plastics

Founded in 2019, Beyond Plastics is a project housed at Bennington College with the mission to end plastic pollution everywhere. Currently a team of 14 deeply committed individuals working remotely, Beyond Plastics focuses on policy and advocacy, building a grassroots movement, and educating the public in order to further its mission. You will be an employee of Bennington College, working only on issues related to Beyond Plastics.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Work with the Beyond Plastics team to set the strategic policy priorities.

  2. Self starter with the ability to work independently and make judgements on when to invest time on specific issues.

  3. Energetic self-starter who understands how the political process works at the state and federal level.

  4. Lead legislative policy campaigns simultaneously in multiple states.

  5. Coordinate with key state and federal partners.

  6. Build and maintain diverse coalitions.

  7. Provide policy support to volunteer advocates who are part of Beyond Plastics’ Local Groups and Affiliates Network.

  8. Develop model legislation that effectively achieves policy goals, collaborating with other nationwide policy experts as needed.

  9. Quickly and accurately analyze proposed legislation and regulations.

  10. Draft memos of support and opposition.

  11. Develop educational materials. 

  12. Serve as a  spokesperson for the organization.

  13. Provide support for  fundraising activities, working with the development team to develop new funding proposals, regularly report to funders, and periodically meet with funders who support the organization’s policy advocacy work.

  14. Work closely with the President to take advantage of opportunities that will advance and increase the impact of the organization

Qualifications

Commitment:

  1. A strong interest in ending plastic pollution and an enthusiastic commitment to the goals of Beyond Plastics. 

  2. A demonstrated commitment to social equity and racial justice and an eagerness to understand how these issues are related in communities impacted by plastic pollution.

  3. Grounded in the connections between climate, economic, health and racial justice and the ability to speak fluently about these issues. 

  4. Ability to work well within a team.

Education/Experience:

  1. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of experience managing policy campaigns and developing policy solutions for environmental issues.

Skills:

  1. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  2. Politically savvy and diplomatic.

  3. Demonstrated ability to lead effective policy advocacy campaigns.

  4. Minimum five years of experience.

  5. Demonstrated experience working collaboratively.

  6. Strong interpersonal skills.

  7. A keen understanding of government decision-making

  8. Ability to independently plan, prioritize, and manage projects, take ownership of high-quality and timely delivery, and quickly surface and resolve roadblocks as they arise.

  9. Work effectively with internal and external parties. 

  10. Excellent problem-solving skills and a solution-oriented approach to work.

  11. Ability to project a professional presence and conduct relationships in an ethical manner with a high degree of tact, sensitivity, confidentiality, and respect. 

Note: The position requires the successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.

Additional Preferred Skills/Experience

None

Work Environment and Requirements

70% of work performed in a home office environment with substantial activities completed using a computer; sedentary work. 30% of work will be in-person meetings and presentations. Periodic travel to state capitals and Washington DC  required.  

Equal Opportunity Employment, Equity and Inclusion

Beyond Plastics is committed to providing an inclusive environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, political affiliation, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran, in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws. Furthermore, Beyond Plastics believes that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as an advocacy organization working to end plastic pollution everywhere. Beyond Plastics’ seeks to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool, and foster an inclusive environment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Bennington serves a diverse student population inclusive of members of ethnically/racially minoritized, international, LGBTQIA+, and disability communities as well as diverse gender identities, socioeconomic backgrounds, religions, and political beliefs. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse and intersecting backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success and community cohesiveness. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values. The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, power, and privilege through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply.

Compensation

$115,000-$120,000, commensurate with experience. Bennington College offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical insurance, dental insurance, life and long term disability insurance, retirement, generous time off benefits (4 weeks vacation, 10 sick days and 17 paid holidays) and educational benefits including Tuition Exchange.

To apply:

  • Position is open until the position is filled; interviews will happen on a rolling basis. 

  • You will need the following:

    • Resume; 

    • Cover letter, addressed to Andrew Craigie, Program Manager; and

    • Names and contact information for three recent references, including two supervisory references.