Director, Safer Chemicals, EDF+Business

Environmental Defense Fund Published: April 5, 2023
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Admin/ Gen Mgmt / Corporate Sustainability / Certification
(Number of Job Posting Views: 24)

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Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.

We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.

Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?


This position is a hybrid role that is based out of our EDF offices in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or Raleigh. We are also open to candidates based remotely in the United States. 

Program Overview

EDF+Business leverages the power of the market to create a more sustainable and resilient world. We develop and deploy global business and investor engagement strategies that accelerate environmental leadership, innovation and results across carbon-intensive industries and supply chains. We’ve been at the forefront of driving change in business for 30 years, bringing cutting-edge science, policy and economic expertise to high-impact companies and sectors to transform business as usual in their products, operations, investments, and advocacy.

Overall Function

EDF+Business’ Safer Chemicals team is committed to ensuring that the food we eat and products we buy are safer and more environmentally sustainable for everyone. We work with leading companies to improve how products are designed and what they’re made of, and to be more transparent about their environmental and health impacts. The Director will lead EDF’s work with retailers, food and product manufacturers and their suppliers to shift their strategies and operations to reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals in our stores, homes and communities. This position will lead a team of professionals and use industry knowledge and business, financial, and technical expertise to independently guide and manage strategies that lead to a safer, more sustainable future.

Key Responsibilities

  • Lead EDF’s corporate engagement strategy to significantly reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals by 2030, with a priority on reducing inequities in toxic chemical exposures. Drive change at scale by raising expectations of businesses to address hazardous chemicals in their products and packaging and delivering action by industry leaders to do so.
  • Establish chemical footprint reduction as an essential element of corporate sustainability and net zero goals and transition plans. Integrate equity and environmental justice into corporate chemicals management to deliver safer products and healthier communities.
  • Lead a team in engaging major brands and retailers to secure commitments to reduce their chemical footprints and implement policies and practices needed to follow through on them.
    Promote and grow EDF’s expertise in chemical footprinting and safer alternatives. Oversee the development of solutions to support best practices in chemicals management, building on existing EDF resources (e.g., UP Scorecard, Clean Beauty Justice Roadmap, Five Pillars of Leadership for Safer Products).
  • Collaborate with external partners to accelerate progress on safer chemicals through multistakeholder initiatives, including working with other NGOs, academic institutions and/or industry groups.
  • Elevate EDF as an expert in safer chemicals through publications, conference presentations, media opportunities, and other thought leadership that reaches our target audiences.
  • Manage and mentor staff, overseeing work plans, milestones and professional development.
  • Set goals and measure progress as part of EDF+Business and EDF’s strategy and planning processes. Determine staffing and resource requirements and oversee hiring and budgets.
  • Coordinate with EDF’s Healthy Communities team and represent EDF+Business across organizational initiatives to reduce toxic pollution and promote safer chemicals. Serve as impact area lead for EDF Business and provide staff support to EDF Board Committee on relevant discussions.
  • Play a key role in fundraising. Serve as primary contact for EDF’s Development team on EDF+Business’ Safer Chemicals initiative. Engage with new and existing program supporters, contribute to funding proposals and reporting to donors. Liaise with program leadership, EDF’s Executive Team and Board of Trustees as needed.
  • Participate in advancing EDF’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals to ensure that people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF’s values.


  • Advanced degree with relevant technical background (e.g., science, business, economics).
  • Minimum of ten years’ experience and an extensive professional network in consumer packaged goods, food and/or retail.
  • Background in corporate sustainability, consumer product development and supply chains, and chemicals management and regulation. Understanding of environmental justice issues associated with chemicals and how businesses can address them.
  • Demonstrated ability to run a multiyear campaign to move major brands and retailers to safer chemicals. Proven strategic capacity and success leading change management initiatives.
  • Familiarity with non-profit advocacy methods preferred.
  • Management experience and ability to lead a team in a global matrixed organization. Ability to motivate and empower staff and foster individual and team development.
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with companies and external partners and within large organizations.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills. High comfort level speaking to large and small audiences, corporate executives, and media. Ability to articulate a compelling rationale for businesses to reduce their chemical footprints.
  • Keen attention to detail and a high level of organization.
  • Self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work effectively with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.

The pay range for this role is 125,000 – 136,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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