Job Opening:  Deputy Director

Reports to:      Executive Director

Location:      Flexible so long as located in the Western U.S. (lower 48) or Washington, D.C.

Timeline:     Applications will be reviewed beginning on July 27, 2022 and the position will remain open until filled.


The Western Environmental Law Center is a leading nonprofit, public-interest environmental law firm rooted in the landscapes and communities of the Western U.S. Founded in 1993, WELC has been celebrated as an Outside Magazine Best Place to Work for the last three consecutive years (#9, #13, #3), Oregon Business Magazine Best Nonprofit, Law360 Environmental Group of the Year, and Better Business Bureau Torch Award winner for ethics.

We envision a thriving, resilient Western U.S., abundant with protected public lands and wildlife, powered by renewable energy, defended by communities rooted in an ethic of conservation, and committed to equity, inclusion, and justice. We achieve this vision with steady, strategic, and bold legal advocacy using the right tool, in the right place, and at the right time to turn the wheels of power at all levels of government. 


We seek a Deputy Director. This is a new position within the organization reflecting WELC’s ascendancy and keen desire to learn, grow, and evolve as a way to further our vision and mission. We strongly encourage people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+, and other candidates with diverse lived experience to apply for this exempt, full-time position.

The Deputy Director will work closely with WELC’s Executive Director, board, and staff to provide “360 degree” strategic and operational capacity. Specifically, the Deputy Director will:

  • Serve as WELC’s deputy chief executive officer regarding legal, financial, ethical, risk management, and other fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Coordinate with board, staff, clients, partners, and others to craft and advance strategic advocacy campaigns that weave legal, political, communications, organizing, and fundraising elements together and further WELC’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Maintain organizational agility to adapt strategic direction and operations to changing global, national, regional, and local dynamics.
  • Build, sustain, and manage strong relationships with clients and allies, political leaders, funder partners, media, and the public.
  • Provide internal leadership to deepen and sustain a trust- and respect-based workplace that fosters professional and personal resilience, team-based work, and WELC’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Serve as a key member of WELC’s management and leadership teams, sharing in the work involved within each team’s scope:
  • The Management Team is responsible for: (i) Organization-wide policies, systems, and procedures; (ii) Personnel policy and implementation; and (iii) Financial and legal due diligence.
  • The Leadership Team is responsible for: (i) Development and implementation of strategic direction; (ii) Team coordination; and (iii) Identification of organization-wide priorities, including for budgeting purposes.
  • Coordinate and work with WELC’s Board of Directors and board & staff committees.

As with all WELC positions, this position is purposefully designed to accommodate a successful candidate’s distinctive skills, experiences, and interests to further WELC’s strategic direction and operational resilience and to adapt to changing circumstances.

The Deputy Director is a normal 40-hour week position, primarily working during Monday to Friday business hours, though some night and weekend hours may be required. The position involves standard office physical demands. WELC will provide all reasonable accommodations to the extent possible or required pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.


We strongly desire applicants with diverse lived experiences who approach the world with kindness, vision, and imagination—characteristics we think are essential to effective leadership. In addition, we seek candidates with the following preferred qualifications, noting we are willing to consider candidates with equivalent or alternative personal and professional qualifications:

  • A law degree and admission to and good standing with a U.S. state bar are strongly preferred but not required.
  • Roughly ten years of campaign, advocacy, fundraising, and/or management experience, though we are willing to consider candidates with exceptional potential and alignment with WELC’s strategic and operational direction but varied duration of professional experience.
  • Experience with Western U.S. political, legal, social, economic, and ecological dynamics, with particular emphasis on areas of intersectionality.
  • Dynamic and empathetic leadership skills to foster relationships with partners, clients, agencies, funders, and communities, as well as with WELC board and staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in complex, high-conflict, multi-dimensional arenas involving a broad array of organizations and interests.
  • A fierce and thoughtful willingness to hold political leaders and agency decision-makers accountable to their commitments and responsibility to the public interest.
  • A commitment to conceptualize and implement organizational and legal advocacy strategies that further equity, inclusion, and justice, including through the just treatment and meaningful involvement of frontline communities.
  • High capacity to constructively work in a team environment coupled with an ability to work independently and proactively where appropriate or necessary.
  • A willingness to be flexible and adaptive when needed.
  • Highly organized and intellectually curious.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to WELC’s mission and strategies and the public interest as well as a love for the land and communities—human and otherwise—of the Western U.S.


Western Environmental Law Center is an equal opportunity employer. We offer a flexible, friendly, team-based environment with immediate opportunities to shape organizational strategies, competitive salaries, and an excellent benefits package, including health, vision, dental, life, and disability coverage (with WELC paying 100% of an employee’s premiums), a 401(k) retirement plan with a 4% WELC match, 22 days combined of paid annual vacation and personal leave on top of 13 days of paid holiday leave, generous paid sick leave, and a paid long-term leave policy (3 months of leave for every 5 years of employment).

The salary range for this position is $100,000 to $150,000, depending on experience, location, and consistent with WELC’s salary bands, which focus on fairness, transparency, and equity. This wide range reflects our willingness to consider candidates with a range of leadership and management experience, from emergent to seasoned. 


We strongly encourage people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+, and candidates with diverse lived experience to apply. In particular, we seek candidates with lived experience with and knowledge of the Western U.S., its landscapes, and its communities. Please apply to one of the listings at ApplicantPro closest to your desired location with the following as PDF attachments:

  • 1-2 page cover letter addressed to Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, Executive Director;
  • Resume; and
  • 3-5 professional references.

In their cover letter, applicants are strongly encouraged to tell us who they are as a human being, why they care about public interest work from a personal and professional perspective, and why they are interested in this specific leadership position. Please also identify whether you would, if offered the position, want to work remotely or from one of our offices (Eugene, Oregon; Helena, Montana; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Seattle, Washington; or Taos, New Mexico).

View job description as a PDF

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