GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 organizations and individuals in over 90 countries working for justice and a world without waste. We see waste, plastics, and their resulting pollution as a symptom of a larger, profit-driven extractive economy, and we promote zero waste as a holistic solution and an economic shift toward justice and sustainability.

GAIA seeks an inspiring, dynamic, and goal-oriented U.S. Program Director to lead GAIA’s U.S. Program in deep collaboration with our network’s regional members. This person will also serve as GAIA’s US & Canada Regional Coordinator within our international network, linking work in North America to member efforts in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. GAIA’s work in the U.S. and Canada region has helped to educate the public about the true climate, community, environmental, and economic impacts of quick fix approaches to waste such as incineration, and to advance progress toward local zero waste goals.  Our network is grounded in the principles of environmental justice and impacted community leadership, and includes organizations, alliances, and coalitions around the country that are fighting incinerators, advocating for zero waste, and pushing for environmental and climate justice through policy and local implementation programs.

GAIA has recently launched a growing national campaign to shut down aging incinerators by supporting local environmental justice organizing efforts in key communities, alongside strengthening research-based tools for local campaigners, and combining grassroots efforts into a broader communications push to change the narrative about pollution, waste, climate, and environmental justice. We are also working with partner organizations in the plastic pollution movement to expand and strengthen organizing against the plastics and petrochemical industry and its pro-incineration message. GAIA’s new U.S. Program Director will help to lead these efforts in an exciting moment of growth and opportunity for our regional network.


GAIA is looking for a U.S. Program Director who will lead GAIA’s campaigns and strategies in the U.S. & Canada region, and work with members to set a critical path for current and future work. This is a position with significant growth and professional learning opportunities, as the movement for zero waste, and against incineration and plastic pollution is growing.

The successful candidate will be an effective networker and campaigner, who is excited by the opportunity to increase GAIA member involvement and amplify the impact of local campaigns. The candidate will also be dedicated to building relationships of solidarity within the U.S. and Canada region, while spearheading the planning and implementation of national strategies in collaboration with environmental justice organizations, grassroots organizations, and other allies to defeat “waste-to-energy” incineration. They will also be energized by promoting implementation of zero waste strategies in policy and practice, including support for community organizing around solutions to waste and plastics pollution. The U.S. Program Director will also have fundraising and resource mobilization experience, capable of building key donor and partner relationships to support the strategies of GAIA’s network.

On an international level, the Program Director will serve as GAIA’s U.S. and Canada Regional Coordinator, and will serve as an active member of the global network’s  Regional Coordinators team. This team is responsible for overseeing the integration of GAIA’s campaigns across borders, as well as ensuring regional participation in strategic planning to further GAIA’s mission internationally, promoting member engagement and connectivity, and ensuring the sustainable growth of our network.

GAIA’s U.S. Program Director will:

  • Provide leadership to campaigns and strategies, in collaboration with the network members and staff, to set a critical path for GAIA U.S. & Canada’s regional work;
  • Actively participate in GAIA’s Regional Coordinators Team through monthly calls, regular online communication, and in-person international meetings 1-2 times per year;
  • Support fundraising for U.S. & Canada projects, together with the global fundraising and finance team, which is based in the U.S.
  • Provide political guidance and advice on projects and member support initiatives;
  • Develop a shared critical analysis within our network of key strategic opportunities and threats;
  • Continue to build and strengthen linkages and partnerships between GAIA and allied movements, including Break Free From Plastics in the USA and the Climate Justice Alliance, among others;
  • Ensure member participation in national and international campaigns, and provide input to national and global strategies;
  • Facilitate U.S. & Canada member development and consultation processes;
  • Supervise and  provide mentoring and leadership development opportunities to GAIA’s lean but highly effective 4-person U.S. Program team;
  • Manage the regional budget for U.S. & Canada projects;Direct the regional media strategy and serve as a GAIA spokesperson in public venues.
  • The Program Director will also participate in GAIA’s regional and international list serves, campaigns, and strategy-setting conversations that support global alliance-building, in collaboration with the network’s international Hub and Coordination Team.


  • At least five years of successful experience in a coordination and campaigning capacity with either an environmental or social justice organization or environmental non-profit, including experience campaigning at the grassroots level.
  • Strategic thinker and project manager, with demonstrated skill in analyzing political, environmental, and social trends in the region and developing campaigns that are multi-faceted and decentralized.
  • Experience leading external communication campaigns for programs, or movements.
  • A passion for environmental health and climate, social, and environmental justice. Commitment to GAIA’s mission and core values.
  • Excellent networking skills and proven track record in uniting diverse opinions and teams around a common agenda and plan in a way that facilitates conflict resolution and values community wisdom.
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills, with an ability to simplify messages and communicate complex issues to the public.
  • Proven track record in effective staff supervision, with an approach based on collaboration, mentorship, accountability, and consensus-building.
  • Excited about working with a global multicultural alliance, which requires extensive online communication with staff and members (primarily via online tools).
  • Highly computer literate, and comfortable with new media technologies.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills. Good listener.
  • Systematic and goal-oriented – in it to win it!


  • Familiarity with waste, pollution, and climate issues
  • Proven track record in raising money for organizations and projects, particularly from U.S. philanthropic foundations and other major donors.
  • Spanish language skills
  • Skilled in or has practical appreciation for other key programmatic areas for member support, such as community organizing, local policy development, strategic planning, research, and/or meeting facilitation.


  • This position will preferably be based out of GAIA’s main office in Berkeley, California, although we are willing to consider applicants with strong qualifications in Detroit, Michigan or another major city.
  • 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 with frequency 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 “U.S. Program Director Application.”  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, with a priority deadline of January 13, 2019.