Deputy Chief of Staff

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Compensation for this position is commensurate with the relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees that a candidate has.




United States


The Public Interest Network is recruiting a Deputy Chief of Staff to manage a portfolio of activism organizations we have founded.

What Is The Public Interest Network?

The Public Interest Network is a network of more than a dozen organizations working to save the planet, advocate for the public interest, and protect consumers. We grew out of the PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups), which started in 1972. Over the years, we have added hundreds of staff, multiple state offices, and launched new groups like Environment America and Green Corps. The groups in our network each strive for solutions on their own, while the force of our combined strategies builds pressure for change across the political and economic spectrum.

In our 40-year history, we have played a part in and run numerous campaigns and won major victories. Among them:

·        We led a 10-year campaign to close a loophole in the Clean Water Act that left more than half of our nation’s waterways and the drinking water for 117 million Americans vulnerable to pollution.

  • Working with students, health professionals, farmers, our citizen members and activists, and other organizations, we successfully convinced some of the biggest purchasers from factory farms, including McDonald’s, Subway and KFC, to stop serving meats raised on routine antibiotics.
  • A team of our Green Corps organizers helped build the support needed to persuade Kellogg’s to pressure its supplier of palm oil to stop deforestation practices.
  • We run two nonpartisan voter registration projects, the Community Voters Project, which focuses on registering typically underrepresented voters including African Americans and Latinos, and the New Voters Project, focused on registering young people who are newly-eligible to vote. Through these projects, we’ve helped to register more than 3 million voters over the last three decades.
  • We have passed hundreds of other national, state, and local laws that instituted bottle recycling bills, reduced toxic chemical use, expanded renewable energy, protected and empowered consumers, and cut air and water pollution.

The Team

We’re what most people think of as the PIRGs. That’s where we got started, but since then we have expanded our reach and started many new organizations. We have boots-on-the-ground outposts in 32 states, from which we run dozens of campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. Our campaign work reaches into 21 of the top 25 media markets and all 435 Congressional Districts.

We count numerous staff with decades of experience in activism, campaigning, and nonprofit work. Our leadership team includes:

·        Doug Phelps, President and Executive Director

·        Faye Park, Executive Vice President and President of U.S. PIRG

·        Sam Landenwitsch, Senior Vice President

·        Andre Delattre, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Program

·        Wendy Wendlandt, Senior Vice President and Political Director

·        Susan Rakov, Senior Vice President and Frontier Group Managing Director

·        Allison Cairo, Vice President and National Field Director

·        Ed Johnson, Director of Outreach and Civic Engagement and President of Environment America

Job Description and Responsibilities

The Deputy Chief of Staff will join the leadership team of The Public Interest Network. They will be responsible for oversight and management of several organizations founded by or affiliated with The Public Interest Network. The Deputy Chief of Staff will be accountable to the Network’s leadership for fulfilling the mission and meeting the business plan of each group in their portfolio.

The Deputy Chief of Staff will work in partnership with the leadership of each organization in their portfolio to:

·        Write multi-year and fiscal year strategic plans

·        Identify and develop programs and campaigns

·        Maintain a budget and fundraising plan

·        Hire and develop staff and future leadership

·        Other duties as assigned

In addition, the Deputy Chief of Staff will oversee budgets, program, and personnel issues for the groups in their portfolio and take on additional responsibilities as assigned.

Groups started by or affiliated with The Public Interest Network include:

·        U.S. PIRG: U.S. PIRG is an advocate for the public interest, working to win concrete results on real problems that affect millions of lives, and standing up for the public against powerful interests when they push the other way.

·        Environment America: Environment America protects the places we love and promotes core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. With 29 state affiliates and members and supporters in every state, Environment America focuses on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

·        Environmental Action: Led by a dedicated small staff, Environmental Action turns ideas into impassioned, results-oriented activism that protects our environment from polluters and their allies in government. We always put the planet first. We hold the powerful accountable and speak for the trees.

·        Bold Alliance: The Bold Alliance is a network of “small and mighty” groups in rural states working to protect land and water. We fight fossil fuel projects, protect landowners against eminent domain abuse, and work for clean energy solutions while building an engaged base of citizens who care about the land, water and climate change.



The core mission of all of The Public Interest Network groups is to get people thinking about how the world is changing rapidly and how society could be radically different; to concentrate on new problems arising from our changing world; and to educate, advocate, and campaign for solutions to those problems, while at the same time recruiting and training people to be active community members in affecting these changes.

We need to focus on the problems confronting us in the 21st century: saving the planet from everything from habitat loss to runaway fossil fuel extraction and use; protecting our health and well-being in a world with toxic chemicals and consumer goods designed for profit rather than safety; dealing with the distribution of goods and services in an increasingly automated economy; and generally improving the quality of our lives instead of the quantity of stuff we have. The Public Interest Network, and the groups the Vice President will manage, all share a common goal of concentrating on these problems and inspiring others to work on them, too.

From there, our Network picks policies around which to do education, research, advocacy, organizing, and campaigns at the national and state levels. Some of our top priorities right now are stopping the overuse of antibiotics to prevent the rise of superbugs; reducing carbon emissions from power plants and transportation and preventing new fossil fuel infrastructure; increasing the deployment of renewable energy; and eliminating pollution in our air and water.

The staff of our various groups then work to create opportunities for conversations about the problems, and ultimately to achieve wins, results, and transformative change.


The ideal candidate for the Deputy Chief of Staff will be:

·        An effective team-builder who can recruit high-level staff, provide training and development, and shape a committed group.

·        Detail-oriented: able to keep a budget and remain on top of finances. Can oversee and drive a business plan. Will ensure legal and financial compliance of each organization in their portfolio.

·        Creative, effective at solving complex problems, and a strategic thinker who can evaluate a competitive landscape and craft a multi-year plan.

·        A good people-person, listener, and communicator who also has strong judgment in hiring staff.

·        A good mentor who is also comfortable enforcing and explaining policy and personnel decisions.

Minimum qualifications include: 5 years of experience in campaign or program development, grassroots organizing, organization building, and/or campaign politics. Related advanced degrees such as a J.D. or Master’s may count towards experience, but are not required. Ideal applicants will have proficiency with data and numerical analysis, be excellent writers and communicators, and have a track record that illustrates a strong work ethic and an uncompromising commitment to getting the job done.

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation for this position is commensurate with the relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees that a candidate has. The Public Interest Network offers a competitive benefits package.


Boston, Washington, D.C., or Denver. This position will require an average of 8 days of travel monthly.

Application: Please apply online:

Direct your application to Kyle Larson, Hiring Director.

Things To Know When You Apply

The Public Interest Network is a group of organizations that share a vision of a better country, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to making positive change. Click here for things you should know about our network when you apply.

The Public Interest Network is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, disability, pregnancy, or veteran status.


The Public Interest Network offers a competitive benefits package. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply