Senior Director (U.S. and Canada Regional Team)

Website GAIAnoburn GAIA

Nothing and no one should be disposable


The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) is a global network working towards a just and waste-free world without incineration. GAIA’s mission is to catalyze a global shift towards environmental justice by strengthening grassroots social movements that advance solutions to waste and pollution. We envision a just, zero waste world built on respect for ecological limits and community rights, where people are free from the burden of toxic pollution, and resources are sustainably conserved, not burned or dumped.


GAIA seeks an inspiring, dynamic, and collaborative Senior Director to lead work in the U.S. & Canada region. As the Senior Director of the US & Canada regional strategy, this position will  join GAIA’s global leadership team along with Directors of other regions. This position will manage a team that consists of the Network Development Manager, Communications Coordinator, Plastics and Petrochemicals  Program Manager, Zero Waste Program Manager, and likely another post in the near year.

GAIA’s regional network is at the core of work in the U.S. and Canada program, and includes environmental justice and grassroots organizations and coalitions fighting incinerators; developing zero waste policies and programs; stopping plastic/fossil fuel industry buildout and supporting its shut down; and building environmental justice, climate justice, and community power.  As incinerators across the U.S. and Canada reach the end of their lifecycles, this is a crucial turning point for communities to shut down aging facilities and build community-led, regenerative, and just zero waste systems. It is also a turning point for polluting industries, who are responding to public pressure to answer for their creation of the climate crisis by expanding their production of plastic and other harmful products and pushing incineration-based false solutions. The Senior Director for the U.S. & Canada region will play a key role in tapping into the potential for this moment to help shift the world away from an extractive economy, and toward justice and sustainability. 

The successful candidate will have significant experience working in the environmental justice movement as an effective networker and team leader. They will be skilled at building alignment and collaboration across diverse contexts, taking leadership from grassroots organizers, and motivated to develop national strategies in collaboration with environmental justice organizations, frontline grassroots organizations, environmental organizations, and more. This is a position with significant growth and professional learning opportunities in growing national and global movements. 


 GAIA’s U.S. & Canada Senior Director will lead GAIA’s work in the U.S. and Canada region, including:

  • Provide leadership and support collaborative strategic planning for the programs in the region, including zero waste and incineration research and policy work, petrochemicals and plastics, member support and engagement initiatives, and communications strategies, together with regional staff responsible for those work areas, and the development of emerging program areas.
  • Supervise and provide mentoring and leadership development opportunities to GAIA’s 4-person U.S. & Canada Regional Team.
  • Work with GAIA’s global fundraising and finance team and regional Network Development Coordinator to support fundraising for the program and for members.
  • Develop and manage the regional budget, approximately half of which is redistributed to members through grants and small funds programs. 
  • Together with the regional staff team, ensure facilitation of regional member development and consultation processes, including shared analysis of key strategic opportunities and threats, and member engagement in national and international campaigns.
  • Continue to strengthen connections and partnerships between GAIA and allied networks and organizations, including leadership roles in those networks.
  • On an international level, the Senior Director will work with the regional directors of other world regions (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America & Caribbean, and the global team) to guide the work of GAIA’s global network, integrate global campaigns in the region, and  promote member solidarity, engagement, and connectivity. This work involves active participation in GAIA’s global leadership team through monthly calls, regular online communication, and in-person international meetings 1-2 times per year.
  • Serve as a GAIA spokesperson in the media and public venues, and support coworkers and members to be spokespeople.
  • Participate in GAIA’s regional and international list serves, campaigns, and alliance-building meetings, in collaboration with the network’s international member leadership and staff.


  • At least 5-7 years of experience preferred in a nonprofit leadership role, strong preference given to those with experience in the environmental justice movement.
  • Experience working or advocating with and prioritizing  frontline communities.
  • Experience campaigning at the grassroots level, or at a national or international level in solidarity with grassroots organizations.
  • 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.
  • A passion for environmental health and climate, social, and environmental justice. Commitment to GAIA’s mission and core values of: respecting local solutions and community power; shared practice for movement building; equity, inclusiveness, and social justice; and accountability.
  • Track record in effective staff supervision/team leadership, with an approach based on collaboration, mentorship, accountability, and consensus-building. Experience managing and working with remote teams. 
  • Fundraising experience, capable of building key donor and partner relationships to support the strategies of GAIA’s network and member organizations. 
  • Strategic thinker with demonstrated skill in analyzing political, environmental, and social trends and developing strategies  that are multi-faceted and decentralized.
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills, with an ability to simplify messages and communicate complex issues to the public.
  • 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. Exceptional listening skills.


  • Familiarity with climate, waste, toxics, and pollution advocacy.
  • Experience with external communication campaigns for programs or movements. 
  • Skilled in or has practical appreciation for other key programmatic areas for member support, such as community organizing, local policy development, research, and/or meeting facilitation.
  • Spanish language skills.

We know there is research that shows women and minorities are less likely to apply for jobs if they don’t have all of the key skills for a position. GAIA encourages candidates with some, but not all, of the skills listed in the job description to apply. We would love to see what you have to offer!


  • Meaningful work – operating from a place of connectivity and trust, we are able to exchange the cross-border knowledge and tools needed to create a truly global movement that puts an end to waste pollution.
  • Comprehensive benefits for eligible employees – this includes employer-covered health/dental insurance, paid family leave, approximately 30 days of paid time off each year (including vacation, holidays, and the last week of each calendar year), retirement plan, and an opportunity to qualify for a sabbatical.
  • Strong culture and dedicated team – we take pride in our highly motivated team, and our ability to support one another’s work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. 


  • Salary range  $120,000 – $140,000, depending on experience. 
  • This position will preferably be based out of the New York City metro area or secondarily the San Francisco Bay Area, although we are willing to consider applicants with strong qualifications in another location. This position can be done remotely and travel to the New York City or Berkeley office at least 4 times per year is expected.
  • This position requires domestic travel for events and meetings as well as team retreats (as travel increases, likely an average of one trip per month; occasionally several trips will happen in one month). Employees not living near the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City should expect more frequent domestic travel to participate in team meetings and retreats. 
  • International travel will be required occasionally for events and opportunities for exchanges with GAIA offices in other countries.
  • Full COVID-19 vaccination is required for GAIA employees who travel and attend meetings for GAIA, including this post.
  • Work is performed both independently and collaboratively. Work is performed on a computer, requires almost constant use of a keyboard, mouse, or other pointing device and may be performed sitting or standing.


 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.


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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