Executive Director

Job Type

Full Time




New Jersey
United States


Review of applications will begin immediately and end when a candidate is selected.

Serving as Executive Director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is an exciting and unusual opportunity for someone with the skills, experience, and commitment needed to help build a powerful movement for social change that unites labor, environmental, and community constituencies. 

Founded in 1986, WEC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of 70 New Jersey labor, community, and environmental organizations working together for safe, secure jobs and a healthy, sustainable environment. Through organizing, coalition-building, public policy campaigns, education, training, and technical assistance, WEC promotes dialogue, collaboration, and joint action by workers, community members, and environmentalists.

While its programmatic efforts are focused in New Jersey, as the first state-based blue-green alliance, WEC has long served as a national model for labor-environmental collaboration.

WEC’s public voice is well-informed, creative, and bold. We take on powerful corporate and political interests to serve our mission. Current efforts include:

  • coordinating and growing Jersey Renews, a broad coalition fighting for state-based actions to address climate change;
  • defending environmental and workplace safeguards from assault by corporations and their political allies;
  • promoting healthy public schools for children, educators and other school staff;
  • ensuring worker and neighborhood safety at industrial facilities that use hazardous chemicals and in communities endangered by trains carrying highly flammable crude oil;
  • training stakeholders about the financial strip mining of our economy by Wall Street, dispelling myths about race, immigration and working on long-term movement building;
  • educating workers about their rights to safe and healthy workplaces.

In 2018, WEC’s priority public campaigns are Jersey Renews, Public Need over Corporate Greed, Healthy Schools Now and Respect Our Right to Know.  The Board is committed to a continued focus on climate change with an emphasis on identifying and advocating for solutions that reduce emissions and put people to work, as well as developing a “just transition” strategy.

As a coalition, WEC develops and maintains close working relationships with labor unions, workers’ centers, and community and environmental organizations. WEC is a state affiliate of the BlueGreen Alliance and the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. 

WEC has six staff and 10 key consultants. Our offices are in Mercer County, home to Trenton, the state capitol. WEC is supported by foundations, government agencies, contributions from key partner organizations, membership dues, donations, other grassroots fundraising, and some fee-for-service activities. Non-supervisory staff are represented by United Steelworkers Local 4-306.


The Executive Director (ED) is WEC’s chief executive officer, reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the achievement of the organization's mission and programmatic and financial objectives.  The ED will work closely with the Assistant Director in assuming the responsibilities below.


Overall, the ED will:

1) Ensure that WEC has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.

2) Provide leadership to develop program, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff, and carry out policies and plans authorized by the Board.

3) Promote active and broad participation by partner organizations and volunteers.

4) Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends, particularly concerning successful strategies to build effective coalitions and opportunities to increase engagement of workers and communities threatened by climate change, inadequate protection from toxic hazards and other environmental health threats.

5) Identify opportunities for WEC to expand or modify its programmatic focus.

6) Cultivate an organizational culture where there is ongoing and honest assessment of our work by the Board, other leaders, and staff. Ensure effective systems to track progress and regularly evaluate programs.

7) Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors and serve as an ex-officio member.

8) Ensure the maintenance of official records and documents, and compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

In communications, the ED will:  

1) Ensure that the Board is kept fully informed on the condition of WEC and all important factors influencing it.


2) Publicize the goals and activities of WEC. Participate in coalition events and represent WEC at various meetings and hearings.

3) Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with member and partner organizations, including those representing labor, community, and environmental constituencies.

4) Represent WEC’s programs and point of view to agencies, organizations, and the general

public. Serve, along with WEC’s President and Vice Presidents, as WEC’s principal public spokesperson.


5) Lobby elected officials within the confines set by the IRS 501c3 limitations and register as a lobbyist with the State of New Jersey.

6) Oversee communications, including written and electronic publications, web presence, social media, etc. to create stronger WEC identity. Review and approve publications for the Board of Directors or a public audience. Write content for these publications and author press releases and opinion-editorials.


In relations with staff, the ED will: 

1) Be responsible for the recruitment, employment supervision, and release of all personnel, including paid staff, consultants, and volunteers. 

2) Ensure that job descriptions are updated, that there are ongoing performance evaluations, and that sound human resource practices are in place.

3) See that an effective management team, with provision for succession, is in place.

4) Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the overall strategic direction of the organization.

5) Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.


In budget and finance, the ED will: 

1) Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices and controls.

2) Work with staff, the Finance Committee, and the Board in preparing annual budgets, and see that the organization operates within budget guidelines.

3) Ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work. Maintain, develop and expand funding from foundations, government agencies, organizational and individual members, grassroots fundraising, etc. Roughly, 60 to 70 percent of the Director’s time will be allocated to generating funds. (The assistant director provides significant assistance in this effort.)

4) Review contract language for fee-for-service agreements and ensure deliverables are reached by agreed upon deadlines.


5) Jointly, with the President and officers, conduct official WEC correspondence and jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.


The job performance of the Executive Director may be reviewed by the Executive Committee, which consists of the five elected WEC officers, on an annual basis.


The Executive Director must be committed to WEC’s mission and a broader vision of building a powerful movement for social change that unites labor, environmental, and community constituencies. 

All candidates should have proven leadership, relationship management, coalition-building, and fundraising experience.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate experience and qualifications that include:

  • A record of effectively leading or helping to lead a non-profit organization, with ability to point to examples of having taken an organization to the next stage of growth.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and forthright program evaluation.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop teamwork, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing and new board member relationships.
  • Strong public relations and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a range of core stakeholders and cultures, including labor, environmental, and community organizations.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Action-oriented, adaptable, and creative approach to planning.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Ability to speak Spanish is a valuable asset.
  • Ability to travel, normally requiring a valid driver’s license.


Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Candidates for this position should send a cover letter, resume, contact information for three professional references (including an email address and telephone number), and writing samples to EDSearch@njwec.org. Writing samples might include: fundraising proposals, strategic organizational or campaign plans, and/or organizing materials intended for a lay audience.

Review of applications will begin immediately and end when a candidate is selected. WEC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and LGBT individuals are strongly encouraged. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.