GAIA seeks an experienced Global Plastic Policy Advisor to support the movement against plastic pollution in key national and international (UN) policy spaces, via the provision of science and technical expertise, and support for the development of a collaborative, proactive, and interconnected government and corporate-facing strategy. Through science and technical inputs on critical issues that feed into global policy formulation, as well as movement advising and direct engagement in policy spaces, the Global Plastic Policy Advisor will work with partner organizations and an international team to advocate for progressive, long-term solutions to plastic pollution.

About GAIA and our Partners:

GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 organizations and individuals in over 90 countries working for a world without waste. We see waste, plastics, and related pollution as a symptom of a larger, profit-driven extractive economy, so we promote holistic solutions like Zero Waste and strive for an economic shift toward social justice and sustainability.

GAIA is a founding member of the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) collaborative movement and is taking a critical role in working with other member organizations to develop and implement key strategies on a global level to curb the ever-increasing ill effects of the world’s overreliance on plastic. The movement has identified key policy spaces where decisive action is needed and in some cases is already underway, and member organizations are moving quickly to ensure processes and deliberations are informed if not driven by real solutions that have grassroots support from around the world.

About This Position:

The Global Plastic Policy Advisor role is a new position at GAIA that will work with BFFP and GAIA member organizations to ensure a strong, coordinated approach to the movement’s global policy strategy. Due to the urgent and rapidly changing nature of this work, anyone entering this position will need to hit the ground running while also having the flexibility to adjust as key strategies coalesce. Helping these strategies emerge while also being responsive to the ways in which the landscape could shift in unexpected ways will be the core challenge of this role in the early stages.

In coordination with other BFFP members, the Global Plastic Policy Advisor will also rely on science and technical expertise in the network — including the expertise of grassroots organizations implementing on-the-ground plastic pollution projects — to help ensure that international plastic policies do not devolve into corporate-driven “lowest common denominator” standards and instead really push for aggressive change and significant upstream solutions. This advisor will also work closely with GAIA’s Global Plastics Policy Advocate, who is already leading efforts to engage grassroots organizations in global policy spaces such as the upcoming UNEA4 conference and is also helping shape and deliver GAIA’s global policy work and engagement on plastics pollution.


As a new position dealing with a growing global movement and tackling the most rapidly escalating global priority in recent memory, the Global Plastic Policy Advisor will have a unique opportunity to shape and define the key priorities for this position in response to external needs. At a minimum, GAIA has identified the following urgent priorities for this position:

  • Convene conversations with partner organizations to co-develop and pursue a collaborative strategy on global policy and global standards processes to prevent plastic pollution.
  • Develop science and technical inputs into key negotiating documents and platforms that will guide policy decisions.
  • Provide strategic analysis of other entities’ proposals for intervention (including analysis of data sources, assumptions, effectiveness of proposed actions), to identify avenues to raise ambition
  • In consultation with GAIA members, GAIA staff, and partner organizations, craft and refine strategies to achieve high ambition outcomes in the policy sphere including systemic interventions to reduce plastic production, zero waste strategies, and other interventions along the lifecycle of plastic
  • Represent these positions in front of governments, other NGOs, the media, etc.
  • Work to open up spaces for grassroots leaders to directly represent themselves and their concerns
  • Additional responsibilities as defined in collaboration with the Global Plastic Policy Advocate and GAIA ad BFFP leadership, such as tracking developments in plastic policy, identifying opportunities for policy shifts on the regional/national level, and coordinating key interventions and delegations.


  • Experience and ability to manage complex organizational and political relationships
  • Affinity and experience working with mass-based movements in the Global South
  • Technical expertise in waste management or plastic pollution
  • Experience using science and technical expertise for policy advocacy
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Good team player with demonstrated capacity for managing independent work and coordinating with GAIA’s multicultural team and membership base
  • Proven ability to maintain work relationships and work collaboratively over long distances (via email, Skype, etc.)
  • Dedication to social and environmental justice
  • Experience working or living in the Asia Pacific region strongly preferred
  • Ability to travel frequently (likely once every 2 months)
  • Fluent in English (required) and at least one additional language (strongly preferred)


As a global network, GAIA has some flexibility about the location of its staff. However, the Global Plastic Policy Advisor should preferably be based in one of GAIA’s larger offices, specifically Berkeley, USA; Quezon City, Philippines; Brussels, Belgium; Concepcion, Chile. Durban, South Africa is another possible location.

We offer a competitive salary plus benefits, including health insurance, vacation, maternity/paternity leave, and other similar employment protections. We take pride in our ability to support one another’s work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, and look forward to introducing the successful candidate to our welcoming and highly motivated team and members.

We are seeking candidates who are excited to make an initial commitment of at least two years to this work. Willingness to travel is required.


GAIA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages people of color, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQ persons to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.


Please send your resume and cover letter to with the subject line “Global Plastic Policy Advisor.”  No calls, please. References and writing samples will be requested from successful candidates later in the process.

This position will be open until filled. Applications will be considered as received, and a first wave of interviews will begin after a priority deadline of January 13, 2019.