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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

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The Center for Biological Diversity is a 501(c)3 nonprofit conservation organization with more than 900,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. We have more than100 staff in offices in Arizona; California; Colorado; Florida;, New Mexico; Oregon; and Washington, D.C. It is the policy of the Center for Biological Diversity to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, disability, political affiliation, family responsibility, matriculation, personal appearance or economic background, or any other legally protected status. Candidates with diverse backgrounds encouraged to apply.


We're accepting applications for the following positions:

Communications Associate
Fellowship (Paid)
Grant Writer
Media Specialist — Public Lands
Membership Director
Staff Attorney — Protection of Amphibians and Reptiles
Staff Scientist  — Climate Law Institute




Communications Associate
Full Time
Tucson, Arizona

General position overview:
The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a hard-working, detail-oriented and organized self-starter for our communications team. This rapid-response position supports our endangered species work as well as email outreach to a growing network of 825,000 supporters and online activists. The job requires excellent writing and attention to style; proven computer skills and experience with web design; the ability to learn new programs and databases; management of short and long-term projects; and a motivated, creative personality that works well independently and in a team environment.

The Communications Associate will be managed by the Communications Director and work collaboratively with other staff.

Main duties:

  • Helping write and edit daily action alerts to the Center’s network of supporters.
  • Formatting and distributing our weekly e-newsletter Endangered Earth Online.
  • (Re)designing email templates and pages throughout our website.
  • Assisting with ongoing maintenance and updating of website content, including text on pages.
  • Troubleshooting technical issues on website and in activism database.
  • Solving code problems and providing technical backup to Center webmaster.
  • Tracking trends in communications and suggesting improvements and changes.
  • Assisting staff administratively in reaching out to activists and decision-makers .

 Essential qualities, qualifications and skills:

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree, plus two to four years’ work experience related to environmental activism, organizing, writing or communications.
  • Strong understanding of web design, programming languages like HTML (Dreamweaver helpful); experience with mass-email platforms helpful.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; experience with editing and proofing, preferred.
  • Solid grasp of issues related to the Center’s work and demonstrated personal interest in the environment and activism.
  • Demonstrated ability to balance multiple tasks and deadlines in a busy environment
  • Proven project-management experience with short- and long-term assignments.
  • An ability to work independently and thrive in a team environment.

Salary is commensurate with experience and comparable to that of other nonprofits. The Center offers an excellent benefits package, including employer-paid medical, dental, vision and disability insurance, as well as a 403(b) retirement savings plan with employer match.

Application process: To apply, please send a resumé and thoughtful cover letter, as well as two short writing samples and any links to show experience with web design, to Communications@biologicaldiversity.org with “Communications Associate” in the subject line. No calls, please. Only candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. Position open until filled.


Fellowship (Paid)
Full Time
Oakland, California

General position overview:  
The Center for Biological Diversity is offering a full-time, one-year fellowship to a motivated, hard-working individual interested in helping us protect species and their habitats. The Center is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of leaders in the conservation movement. Applicants offering diverse experiences and backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

The fellow will work with experienced Center staff who will provide supervision, training and mentorship. This post will provide the chosen candidate with opportunities to learn unique skills from our motivated, experienced and creative staff of lawyers, scientists, campaigners and organizers to help them become an environmental leader of tomorrow. The fellowship will be tailored to fit the fellow’s interests and experiences as well as organizational needs.  

Applicants can apply for either the law or science fellowship position below:

  • Law fellow: Work with Center attorneys on cutting-edge environmental litigation
  • Science fellow: Work with Center scientists to analyze and promote the latest research relevant to policy-making

Fellows will conduct research, writing and outreach appropriate for their fellowship and participate in existing Center projects to support our work to protect endangered species and wild places. Fellows will also have fun while learning.


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly motivated and excellent time-management skills
  • Background or experience in conservation or environmental justice issues
  • JD, Masters or PhD degree

The Center for Biological Diversity deeply values, and is committed to sustaining and promoting, diversity both in the workplace and the world. We believe there is not only an intrinsic link between protecting the diversity of the Earth's cultures, languages, plants and animals, but between that work and having a staff diverse in gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background.

Application process:
Please send a cover letter, resume and short writing sample via email to fellowship@biologicaldiversity.org. Indicate what type of fellowship (law or science) you are interested in applying in the subject line. We are seeking fellowship applications for both 2015 and 2016. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 15, 2015, and applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis. Only candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.  


Grant Writer
Full Time
Tucson, Arizona, or Oakland, California

General position overview:
The Center seeks a detail-oriented, motivated and highly effective communicator to join our development team as Grant Writer. Under direction of the Chief Development Officer — and in conjunction with other members of the team, including the Major Gifts Officer and another Grant Writer — the Grant Writer will aid our efforts to increase foundation funding revenues. The Grant Writer will seek dedicated funding for the Center’s programs from private foundations and other sources by researching and devising approaches, including calls and visits to prospective funders. The Grant Writer will work with program staff to draft persuasive grant proposals, letters of inquiry and reports and ensure timely submission to funders; manage grants-related administrative tasks, recordkeeping and correspondence; maintain current data on and keep abreast of the Center’s work as background information for proposals and reports; research funding opportunities; and maintain a tracking system to monitor the status of grant proposals and reports, including submissions, responses, renewals   and reporting requirements.

• Experience writing grant proposals, reports, donor correspondence and/or marketing materials in a nonprofit environment, particularly within the environmental conservation funder community.
• Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills.
• Strong organizational and time-management skills with exceptional attention to detail and accuracy.
• A professional and resourceful style with the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time.
• The ability to quickly comprehend, analyze and synthesize information.
• The ability to communicate well and in a professional manner with a variety of co-workers and foundation personnel.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and Access.
• A demonstrated interest in and knowledge of environmental conservation issues.
• A bachelor’s degree.

Compensation: Salary is commensurate with experience. The Center offers a generous benefits package, including employer-paid medical, dental, vision and disability insurance, as well as a 403(b) retirement savings plan with employer match.

To apply, send resume, cover letter, and writing sample via email only to grantjob@biologicaldiversity.org. This position is available immediately and will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please.


Media Specialist — Public Lands
Full Time
Tucson, Arizona

General position overview:
The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a dynamic, experienced, creative and media-savvy communicator for our work to protect America’s public lands. The Center is a leading voice in public lands protection. Our highly motivated Public Lands team uses cutting-edge legal and advocacy strategies to tackle key threats to our national forests, deserts, grasslands, wildlife refuges and parks from oil and gas drilling, mining, logging, livestock grazing and other threats to privatize or industrialize federal lands. The Media Specialist will produce high-impact communications on every platform aimed at addressing the issues facing America’s public lands including elevating the importance of these lands, generating positive media stories, op-eds, editorials and creative media products that drive the national discussion about public lands and wildlife protection, and play an integral role in maintaining the Center’s national profile and work on these critical issues.

Primary duties:

  • Write compelling press releases, white papers, story pitches, blog posts, factsheets, op-eds and other materials.
  • Heighten public knowledge of the threats facing our public lands and solutions.
  • Work closely with communications and Public Lands staff to develop and execute long-term and near-term strategic communications plans.
  • Manage, plan and help execute rapid response to breaking news.
  • Organize and execute editorial drives.
  • Track national and international news on public lands and seek out strategic ways to become part of the news cycle.
  • Cultivate media relationships, pitch stories to reporters and editorial writers, and continually seek out new media opportunities.
  • Act as a public spokesperson as needed.
  • Integrate public lands-related materials into other Center communications.
  • Periodically read, research and synthesize public lands and wildlife-related science for lay audience materials.
  • Expand and refine the Center’s existing communications materials, including the website and regular publications.
  • Provide educational and persuasive outreach to members of Congress and other decision makers.
  • Assist with outreach to the Center’s 825,000-plus supporters and activists.
  • Identify and act on political opportunities, especially in the media, to shift the national debate in our favor.

This position reports directly to the Communications Director and works closely with our communications program, Public Lands Director and public lands staff.


  • Proven ability to produce clear, concise, persuasive and powerful writing on tight deadlines.
  • Seasoned news judgment and solid understanding of compelling media narratives.
  • Exceptional writing, editing and verbal skills.
  • A deep working knowledge of public lands/environmental and politics.
  • An understanding of media cycles and the ability to consistently work with them.
  • The ability to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • The ability to juggle multiple projects and multiple deadlines.
  • The ability to communicate in different styles depending on the forum, product and audience.
  • A strategic mindset that grasps short-term and long-term media opportunities and an ability to execute those opportunities.
  • Ability to research, synthesize and translate complex scientific concepts for a lay audience.
  • A penchant for innovative approaches to reaching new audiences.
  • A confident self-starter who also works well in a team environment.
  • A passion for oceans, sea life and saving all wildlife from extinction.


  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Five to 10 years of experience as a professional communicator, including journalism or advocacy
  • Proven track record as a working journalist or in strategic communications work.

Application process: To apply, please send a thoughtful cover letter and résumé via email to communications@biologicaldiversity.org, “Attn: Public Lands.” The position will remain open until filled. The desired start date is as soon as possible. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. No telephone calls, please.


Membership Director
Full Time
Tucson, Arizona

General position overview:
The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a motivated, high-energy, people-focused fundraising Membership Director based in Tucson, Arizona. The Membership Director will be responsible for overseeing membership fundraising — both online and offline — including the acquisition, conversion, cultivation, solicitation, upgrade, stewardship, retention and win-back of the Center’s grassroots base of supporters and members. While supervising the Online Fundraising Director, the Membership Director will also oversee the drafting of appeals and must be an exceptionally strong writer and thinker, as well as being issue savvy. An aptitude for tracking and reporting data and a deep appreciation for, and understanding of, the metrics of success is essential. This position manages two direct reports and a total staff of seven, and reports directly to the Chief Development Officer. The Membership Director also works closely with program directors, the major gifts and donor relations team and the Executive Director.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Work with the Online Fundraising Director, communications team, Chief Development Officer, Executive Director and fundraising consultants to develop and implement creative, high-revenue-producing, targeted digital and direct-mail advocacy-based fundraising campaign appeals to multiple segments of our supporter base.
  • Develop annual and long-term strategic plans with goals designed to consistently increase the total number of members and fundraising revenues for the program.
  • Must have a sharp eye for numbers and superb data-tracking skills to determine the ongoing success of the program in real time. Keep eyes fixed on bottom line, communicate with management clear explanations regarding the overall health of programs, spot any weaknesses as they arise and propose how to fix them.
  • Working closely with membership staff and the finance department, produce regular reports for the Chief Development Officer and Executive Director to track and analyze the true costs of the membership program, income and trends.
  • Supervise the membership team, lead regular meetings and facilitate brainstorming and implementation of accepted ideas. Coach and mentor staff to encourage professional development.
  • Foster a productive and member-focused program that emphasizes efficient data management, tracking and gift processing; oversees and improves upon strong thanking and acknowledgment systems; and delivers high-touch, personalized, informative member services and communications.
  • Serve as the liaison between the membership program and the Center’s communications and conservation programs. Help identify opportunities in Center’s conservation work for local, regional and national membership fundraising.
  • Work with the communications program to draft and finalize our print and email newsletters.
  • Ensure that online fundraising campaigns are hard-hitting, innovative activism and revenue generators, and that they are influential, while leveraging our strong social media presence.
  • Working with the online fundraising and digital communications staff to expand social media presence so that it aligns with current and future giving goals.
  • Identify and target members with the ability and inclination to upgrade to higher giving levels. Personally manage a portfolio of 100-plus Fast Track members with potential to upgrade, personally communicate with them, facilitate their engagement, and work closely with the Chief Development Officer  and major gifts team to pass on high-capacity leads where they exist.
  • Field phone, email and in-person inquiries from the staff and public regarding conservation- and donation-related questions.
  • Oversee Center merchandise production/distribution; assist with event planning and the volunteer program.
  • Directly manage two staff: the Online Fundraising Director and the Senior Membership Associate; oversee a total of seven or more additional staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Supervisory responsibilities include interviewing, hiring and training employees; planning, assigning and directing work; ensuring that staff’s time is recorded accurately on timesheets and sent to Finance for payroll; routine staff reviews; appraising performance; addressing complaints and resolving problems.


  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred).
  • Strong understanding of environmental issues and nonprofit administration.
  • Five to seven years of nonprofit membership/fundraising experience desired. At least three years of experience working with online digital fundraising, social media and communication streams.
  • Proven track record of achieving revenue targets and managing and analyzing data.
  • Demonstrated supervisory, leadership and teamwork capabilities.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills, including for email and mailed appeals, annual reports and newsletters.
  • The ability to work efficiently with remotely based team members utilizing technology.
  • The propensity to work with high energy, a high degree of initiative and from a positive perspective while maintaining flexibility and attention to detail.
  • Excellent computer skills and knowledge of donation-management tools and database programs.

A strong familiarity with donor/member management databases like ROI/Salesforce or Raiser’s Edge; advocacy/fundraising tools such as Democracy in Action/Salsa/Convio. Experience with community based e-acquisition tools such as Care2, Change.org, etc.; peer-to-peer and/or crowd-funding experience a plus.

The Center offers an excellent benefits package, including medical, dental, vision and disability insurance and a 403(b) retirement savings plan with employer match.

Application process: To apply, please send a thoughtful cover letter and résumé via email to MembershipDirector@biologicaldiversity.org, "Attn: Membership Director.” The position will remain open until filled. The desired start date is as soon as possible. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. No telephone calls, please.


Staff Attorney — Protection of Amphibians and Reptiles
Full Time
St. Petersburg, Florida (other locations considered)

General position overview:
This position will involve using applicable laws, including the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedures Act and others to protect amphibian and reptile species from the many threats they face. This will require a dynamic, dedicated individual with a background in law, advocacy and biology.  

Main duties:

  • Expand the Center’s amphibian and reptile conservation work.
  • Identify and carry out opportunities to protect imperiled amphibians and reptiles from urban sprawl, pollution, logging, livestock grazing and other threats through litigation.
  • Prepare petitions to list amphibians and reptiles under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Develop detailed knowledge of the status of North American amphibians and reptiles.
  • Build relationships with key scientists studying amphibians and reptiles.
  • Utilize litigation and media campaigns to highlight the threats to imperiled amphibians and reptiles.
  • Advocate for comprehensive protection of amphibians and reptiles as a response to litigation and other pressure.

Essential qualities, qualifications and skills desired:

  • At least two years experience as an environmental attorney.
  • Experience litigating under the Endangered Species Act.
  • Knowledge of the status, biology of, and threats to North American amphibians and reptiles.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
  • Background in leading litigation projects and working collaboratively with peers.
  • Dynamic and assertive personality.

Salary is commensurate with experience. The Center offers an excellent benefits package, including employer-paid medical, dental, vision and disability insurance, as well as a 403(b) retirement savings plan with employer match.

The Center has offices in Tucson; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; St. Petersburg, Florida; Minneapolis; Denver; and Richmond, Vermont. The preferred location for this position is St. Petersburg, Florida, but others are negotiable.

Application process:
Please send a cover letter, a résumé, references and a writing sample via email (no paper) to endangered_species_attorney@biologicaldiversity.org, “Attn: Attorney Job.” The position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

Staff Scientist — Climate Law Institute
Full time
Oakland, California

General position overview: The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a full-time Staff Scientist based in our Climate Law Institute to focus on energy policy and greenhouse gas mitigation. The Center is dedicated to protecting endangered species and wild places through science, policy, education and environmental law. The Climate Law Institute wages innovative legal and public-pressure campaigns to limit global warming pollution, shift to a clean energy future, and protect species and ecosystems threatened by climate change.

The Staff Scientist will work as part of a dynamic team to provide scientific support for litigation, policy advocacy, grassroots organizing and media outreach. The position will focus on supporting our work to apply the Clean Air Act and other environmental laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and our campaigns to challenge fracking, oil trains and other forms of fossil-fuel extraction and transport.

The Staff Scientist will assist in the analysis of the greenhouse gas footprint of different energy policy choices, and will analyze the impacts of fossil fuel extraction, including lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and the consequences for public health, air quality, water resources and wildlife.

Main duties:

  • Analysis of scientific literature and policy to inform our science-based advocacy work, including support for litigation, legislation, organizing and outreach.
  • Extensive scientific and policy writing.
  • Preparing public outreach materials such as press releases, op-eds, factsheets, and white papers.
  • Engagement with media for interviews.
  • Outreach and presentations to the public and scientists.
  • Scientist organizing.

Essential qualities, qualifications and skills:

  • Completion of a master’s or PhD in a relevant scientific field such as energy systems, climate science, earth science, environmental studies, public health, and toxicology.
  • Scientific literacy and familiarity with the scientific literature on climate change is essential; familiarity with the scientific literature on energy policy is preferred.
  • Excellent research, analytical and writing skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, including public speaking skills.
  • An ability to work well independently and with others as a part of a team.
  • A demonstrated commitment to vigorous environmental protection.

Salary is commensurate with other nonprofit organizations and includes an excellent vacation and benefits package. This position is located in Oakland.

Application process:
Please send a cover letter, a résumé, references, and a writing sample via email (no paper) to StaffScientist@biologicaldiversity.org. The position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.



Photo © Robin Silver