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Greenpeace USA

Executive Director


Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action. Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver in 1971, when a small boat of volunteers and journalists sailed into Amchitka, an area north of Alaska where the US Government was conducting underground nuclear tests. This tradition of ‘bearing witness’ in a non-violent manner continues as an important part of all campaign work. Greenpeace today operates in more than 40 countries with headquarters in Amsterdam.

Mission Talent has been tasked to search for the new Executive Director, who is to provide leadership, direction and management of Greenpeace USA under the direction of the Boards of Directors and in accordance with Greenpeace’s core values and purpose. The Executive Director needs to ensure that Greenpeace USA plays a key role in the broader global organization and subscribes to its goals and objectives. 


Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Greenpeace USA is the combined 501(c)3 and 5012(c)4 entities with 500 employees in the US: 100 in its headquarters in Washington, DC, 30 in San Francisco, and the majority of the team around the country from Alaska to North Carolina.  The combined income for 2013 was $41.5 million. Greenpeace raises the majority of its revenue in small donations, typically from our street canvas, which provides a reliable source of funds from like-minded people.  Greenpeace does not accept donations from corporations or governments or even from foundations that are closely allied with a company. Growth over the last five years has been steady, with an increase in net income of 80%, and the majority of new members are between the ages of 25 and 45. Currently, the executive director has six direct reports.

Greenpeace US works closely with the global Greenpeace structure that operates in 42 countries to coordinate international campaigns.


  • Provides leadership in developing and managing the organization’s overall strategic direction, representation, policy, resources, operations and communication;
  • Demonstrates leadership in promoting and maintaining the profile of Greenpeace within the United States by representing the organisation with public, media, government and other organizations;
  • Contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of the global organization, the global program that leads the whole organisation and its global operating model, including representing Greenpeace USA at the international executive directors’ meetings and participating in international Greenpeace task forces, committees, initiatives as appropriate;
  • Advances the work of Greenpeace USA in terms of outreach and liaison with the public, media and other organizations/agencies as required. Works with like-minded organizations in building a domestic and international progressive movement based in peace, sustainability and social justice;
  • Oversees the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of all aspects of Greenpeace USA programs, including campaigns, communications, organizational development and fundraising, marketing, financial and administration;
  • Works with the Senior Management Team (SMT) to develop dynamic results driven representation, campaigns, fundraising and marketing strategies. Oversees the coordination of all Greenpeace USA activities with the Senior Management Team (SMT). Chairs regular Senior Management Team meetings, provides team leadership, support and feedback to the SMT members;
  • Ensures effective internal communication across Greenpeace USA. Manages internal communication processes including periodic written and/or verbal updates to all staff about campaigns, changes to policies and structures, and Boards’ decisions;
  • Advances the work of or provides leadership towards Greenpeace’s commitment to diversity and inclusion*
  • Directs, oversees and ensures implementation of Boards’ directives and the reporting of work of all departments to the Boards, including regular liaison with the Chairs of the Boards. Attends Board meetings and advises the Boards regarding political context, recent developments and the work of Greenpeace;
  • Ensures that the organization meets all its legal obligations. Oversees all legal matters and advises the Boards on these.  Liaises with the corporate legal counsel related to various legal matters.


Required Qualifications and Skills

  • Visionary and strategic thinking skills:  to provide leadership for the strategic management of Greenpeace USA programs and campaigns; to establish the direction and objectives for Greenpeace USA policies and programs and to contribute to achieving the strategic objectives of the global Greenpeace;
  • Proven Communication and presentation skills:  excellent written and oral communication skills, to present complex issues with clarity to a wide variety of audiences; to provide advisory and reporting services to the Board Chairs and the Boards of Directors; to promote Greenpeace and to respond to issues with the media; to prepare staff communication documents;
  • Solid, demonstrated commitment to the principles and philosophy of non-violent direct action (NVDA) as a fundamental instrument to create change;
  • Commitment to change:  demonstrate experience with progressive, political movements and to issues of environmental, organizational and social change at both the national and international levels;
  • Proven Leadership skills within a large, complex organisation:  to provide direction for the development of Greenpeace USA strategic policy; to lead the planning for large campaign and fundraising initiatives; to provide advice to the Boards of Directors; to motivate teams;
  • Management skills: (proven senior management experience preferred minimum of five years): to provide leadership to the Senior Management Team in managing Greenpeace USA activities; to ensure the effective management and control of Greenpeace financial resources;
  • Analytical and problem solving skills:  to identify and anticipate broad and strategic environmental and media issues which impact the mandate of Greenpeace; to provide leadership to Greenpeace staff in the development of strategies and responses related to these issues.

Knowledge Requirements

  • Knowledge of the overall mandate goals and intent of Greenpeace:  to provide leadership and direction for all activities of Greenpeace USA;
  • Knowledge of communication and media relations:  to effectively represent and promote Greenpeace in public forums; to provide leadership in the development of successful media relation strategies;
  • Knowledge of environmental issues and the politics influencing public and private institutions both nationally and internationally:  to understand how they interact and influence each other, and the public; to identify the tactics and counter response campaigns used by various groups to undermine the credibility of Greenpeace, and to provide leadership for the development of strategies for response;
  • Knowledge of effective fundraising strategies: to appreciate the challenges of fundraising for an organization that relies on public donations and to provide leadership for a fundraising program that will sustain and grow the organization;
  •  Knowledge of financial management: to oversee the planning and development of the Greenpeace USA budget for approval by the Boards of Directors, and to oversee the management and control of the Boards approved budget;
  •  Knowledge of human resources management principles:  to establish and sustain a positive and progressive employee relations culture and to ensure the development and implementation of human resources policies and procedures which promote and support this culture; to promote and foster team work across the organization.

*Greenpeace’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

“Greenpeace challenges the systems of power and privilege that destroy the environment and place disproportionate, burdens on vulnerable communities. As Greenpeace, we know from nature that diversity is essential to life on the planet and success in our organization. We welcome, value and rely on a diversity of people, cultural experiences and perspectives. We learn from one another. Through our campaigning, we create solutions that promote environmental sustainability rooted in social justice. Greenpeace offers a number of opportunities for employment. While passion for protecting the environment is a key requirement for getting a job with Greenpeace, we look for diverse people with solid work experience for all of our departments.”