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Center for Diversity & the Environment – Executive Director




Founded in 2005, the Center for Diversity & the Environment (CDE) racially and ethnically diversifies the U.S. environmental movement by developing leaders, diversifying institutions, and building community. They envision a healthy, flourishing planet and society that sustainably and equitably meets the needs of all its inhabitants through an environmental movement that is diverse, inclusive, successful, vibrant, and relevant, taking into account the needs, perspectives, and voices of all. By serving as an advocate, strategist, convener, connector, and educator for diversifying the environmental movement, CDE is building a movement of leaders and institutions representing a broad cross-section of environmental issues that are dedicated to a more inclusive and unified movement. They reach thousands of environmental professionals and people of color across the United States.

CDE provides services for environmental leaders and organizations. We focus on leadership development, organizational change, and community/movement building programs.

The Executive Director (ED) will partner with the National Programs Director to lead, manage, and oversee all aspects of the organization. The position offers a unique opportunity to take this successful, innovative program to another level of growth. Setting and guiding the development strategy for the organization as well as overseeing all aspects of the organization’s finance and operations are primary opportunities facing the new ED. Working with a Board of Directors and a small staff, the new ED will have the chance to bring their vision and entrepreneurial approach to the organization and help it flourish as a national leader in environmental diversity.

Please note: the Executive Director and National Programs Director roles will have an equitable balance of responsibility within the organization and therefore the job titles for both of these positions may change to Co-Director in 2016.

This is a full-time salaried position with benefits. CDE is headquartered in Portland, OR but candidates in other locations will be considered. For more information on CDE, please visit

Candidate Profile:

The Executive Director (ED) will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Passion for the Mission

The ED will have a demonstrated passion for the mission of CDE and a commitment to remaining focused on the goals of the organization. They will believe strongly in the ability of people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds to positively impact the environmental movement and will articulate that passionately. They will have a deep respect for the history of CDE while staying focused on strengthening the organization as it enters its next chapter.

Fundraising/External Relations

The ED will have a clear understanding that fundraising is a fundamental aspect of leading the organization and will enthusiastically lead those efforts. This role will oversee all aspects of foundation and individual giving in addition to partnering with the National Programs Director to effectively sell CDE’s fee-for-service offerings. They will also work in close collaboration with the Board, staff and other partners to strategically work towards CDE’s desired outcomes in this regard and build and maintain relationships on behalf of the organization.

Organizational Mindset

The ED will have a willingness to manage essential operational functions including human resources, financial management, Board management, and organizational development. They will have comfort working across each of these operational areas and will also have comfort communicating operational objectives to staff, Board, and other stakeholders.

Strategic Leadership and Management

The ED will be a strategic leader who, with the Board and National Director of Programs, will set and articulate a vision for the organization’s next chapter. They will work with stakeholders to implement and continuously improve on the organization’s strategic approach to future growth and increased impact. They will have a demonstrated understanding of how to run a financially sound organization and experience managing both volunteers and staff alike.

Storytelling and Facilitation

The ED must work in a collaborative manner, building relationships and promoting CDE throughout the environmental community. They will have a comfort speaking on behalf of CDE with external stakeholders such as funders, clients, organizational partners, and alumni. They will also lend credibility to the mission of CDE by serving as a content expert and thought leader in the environmental movement.


  • Passion for and commitment to the mission of CDE.
  • 5+ years of senior leadership experience in a nonprofit or environmental organization
  • High degree of familiarity with a range of development and fundraising activities
  • Highly strategic mindset, including the demonstrated ability to develop and execute plans for growth and reach those goals
  • Strong organizational, operational, and financial management skills and excellent budgeting and business planning skills
  • Experience working with a responsive and engaged Board of Directors and knowledge of Board governance
  • Highly developed relationship-building skills and an ability to positively represent the organization to a variety of stakeholders
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, reserves of energy, a good sense of humor and a contagious enthusiasm
  • Comfortable with public speaking and presenting to groups along with an ability to inspire audiences around a common mission

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary will commensurate with experience; benefits are offered.


The Center for Diversity and the Environment has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Melanie Damm here.

The Center for Diversity and the Environment is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

Position Type



Executive Director (Working Title)

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