Global Plastics Policy Program Director

Website GAIAnoburn GAIA

Nothing and no one should be disposable


GAIA is seeking a Global Plastics Policy Program Director for its growing international plastics policy program. In March, nations around the world resolved to end plastic pollution. Now the work begins in earnest to negotiate a new global treaty that will eliminate this fast-growing threat to the environment, human health, and the climate. In this context, GAIA is seeking an experienced and energetic leader to fill its new Global Plastics Policy Program Director role. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence a worldwide policy mandate and ensure that the people most impacted by this global treaty shape its outcome. 


GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 1000 organizations in over 90 countries working toward a world free of waste and environmental injustice. We aim to power a transition away from our current linear and extractive economy and towards a circular system that supports people’s right to a safe and healthy environment. More about our work is available at

GAIA is a founding member of the Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) collaborative movement and is taking a lead role, alongside other organizations, to develop and implement global strategies to curb the ever-increasing ill effects of the world’s overreliance on plastic. 


The Global Plastics Policy Program Director is a unique opportunity for someone with a strong commitment to social and environmental justice and experience in international policy. The global plastics treaty is the most promising development in international environmental policy in years. Driven by intense public pressure (much of it from the Break Free From Plastic movement), governments have launched an accelerated process to deliver a legally binding, global treaty to end (not merely reduce) plastic pollution. This would deliver huge benefits to the climate (if plastic were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter in the world), human health, ecosystems, and environmental justice communities. In addition, other important international fora, such as the Basel Convention, are increasing their work on plastics. 

GAIA is well-positioned to shape international policy outcomes under the treaty and other international policies, and the Global Plastics Policy Program Director will spearhead GAIA’s campaigns. In particular, the Program Director will provide key leadership to a growing civil society coalition working toward the new plastics treaty. GAIA is a network organization and we work collaboratively with our members and allies; the Program Director will be expected to provide leadership in a manner that is respectful and inclusive, particularly of members from the Global South. At the same time, the Program Director will shape GAIA’s strategy and goals for the treaty and related international policy processes. The Program Director will be expected to direct GAIA’s strategy in this highly dynamic and fast-developing field, in collaboration with the global plastic policy team. This is a role for someone skilled in coalition-building and diplomacy, and experienced working in international, multicultural environments. 

GAIA’s Plastics Policy Program Director will:

  • Provide leadership and strategic vision to all GAIA’s international plastic policy work, including plastic treaty and Basel Convention work
  • Lead an international team comprising campaign, research, communications, and regional organizing staff based in different countries and time zones;
  • Co-coordinate, along with allied organizations, the growing plastics treaty coalition.
  • Lead alignment-building work within and beyond the coalition;
  • Coordinate with key coalition members around publications, communications, etc.
  • Prepare and lead delegations to in-person negotiations;
  • Coordinate, along with other staff, the BFFP global policy calls;
  • Support other staff in facilitating waste picker participation in the treaty process;
  • Integrate with the communications staff to develop and implement communications plans for negotiations and publications, including generating earned and social media;
  • Oversee distribution of funds to partner organizations;
  • Collaborate with other GAIA staff to develop needed publications;
  • Help onboard permanent staff to assume these responsibilities;
  • Coordinate with the larger global programs team, including internal cross-regional discussions as needed. Participate in meetings, fundraising, assessments, and other necessary projects;
  • Report to the Senior Director of Global Programs.


  • At least 5-7 years’ experience coordinating activist/NGO networks, particularly international networks or coalitions
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to self-manage 
  • Experience managing small teams, including remotely
  • A track record of successful remote work
  • Ability to travel internationally frequently 
  • Experience with international policy advocacy
  • Experience working with grassroots organizations, in a technical support or capacity-building role
  • Experience working with teams from diverse cultural backgrounds in a way that is sensitive to different communication styles and values community wisdom
  • Experience in program budgeting 
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Comfort with online platforms and ability to quickly learn new digital tools
  • Demonstrated commitment to environmental, climate, and/or social justice
  • Fluency in additional languages preferred


  • This is a full-time position. 
  • We strongly prefer a candidate from and based in the Global South, and there is wide flexibility in location. 
  • GAIA offers a competitive salary, dependent upon experience and location. 
  • Frequent (5-6 times per year) international travel will be required. 
  • Extensive flexibility in hours is required due to work with colleagues in other world regions. 
  • Full COVID-19 vaccination is required for GAIA employees who travel and attend meetings for GAIA, and this post requires international travel.

GAIA is a highly collaborative organization, and we take pride in our ability to support one another’s work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. We look forward to introducing the successful candidate to our welcoming and highly motivated team and members. 


We are committed to equal employment opportunity principles and providing all employees with a safe work environment free from discrimination and harassment. We welcome you regardless of your race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, age, physical ability, nationality, or any other status unrelated to the performance of the job and protected by law. GAIA practices affirmative action, and candidates from historically disadvantaged or marginalized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Apply online at only. Please include a resume and cover letter. Position will be open until filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

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