Environmental Justice Program Design Consultant, United States

Washington, DC, District of Columbia, United States
Apply by 7 February 2018
Senior-level , Long-term consulting assignment
Posted on 8 January 2018

Job Description

An experienced environmental justice advocate who will help us develop our first program in the United States.

About the consultancy

In the United States (US) and elsewhere, the environmental movement has often focused on top-down regulation and litigation. Namati hopes to develop a “legal empowerment” approach to environmental justice (EJ) in the US: one that equips communities affected by environmental harm to advocate for themselves.

Namati focuses on ‘community paralegals’, sometimes called barefoot lawyers, who demystify law and help people exercise their rights. Namati works with community paralegals in 8 countries and hosts the Global Legal Empowerment Network, made up of over 1000 groups from 120 countries.

In India and Sierra Leone, Namati focuses on EJ in particular. Paralegals in those countries support communities to pursue practical remedies when, say, an oil palm plantation grabs land without consent, or an iron mine poisons the water.

As we move into our next phase we are searching for a dynamo environmental justice advocate to help us find the right partners and explore, with them, what paralegals could achieve here in the US. Working closely with Namati’s CEO, the consultant will support our second phase of scoping and the development of our newest program.

The consultant will be responsible for the following-


  • Become conversant in Namati’s EJ work abroad - what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned.
  • Identify and meet with potential partners, primarily across the Gulf Coast, Great Lakes region, and the industrial corridor spanning New Jersey/Pennsylvania/Delaware. We are looking for partners who are trusted by the communities they serve, have a track record of success, and are keen to explore a legal empowerment approach to advance their cause.
  • Complete a detailed legal and institutional analysis of environmental regulation at federal, state, and local levels to identify points of intervention for community paralegals.
  • Collaborate with partners to assess the potential for paralegals and communities to achieve remedies in their context.

Strategy, design and management

  • Collaborate with partners to co-design an approach by which paralegals can help communities to pursue environmental justice. This would include raising legal awareness, pursuing administrative remedies, and using information from specific cases to develop proposals for systemic change.
  • Oversee the collection of baseline data in participating communities.
  • Support partners to develop a training curriculum for community paralegals.
  • Work with Namati’s Development team to identify funding sources for the US program and cultivate relationships with potential funders. We hope to bring new resources to the field of environmental justice in the US, rather than drawing from the limited existing pool.

Here’s what you might have tackled last week-

  • Written a research memo on the potential for paralegals and communities to address cumulative impacts from multiple sources of industrial pollution.
  • Visited a potential partner and met with leadership and team members to assess interest in legal empowerment methods and alignment with Namati’s values and approach.
  • Attended a conference of local environmental advocates focused on water quality issues and reported back to the CEO and Global Programs team on tactics used for sustaining communities’ long term engagement.
  • Talked with an environmental law clinic about their experience supporting community advocates to participate in industrial permitting approvals.
  • Drafted a section of an environmental justice paralegal practitioners’ guide.

About you/must-haves for the consultancy

  1. Career focus on environmental justice in the United States: You are a seasoned environmental justice advocate who has spent time working at the intersections of community organizing, law and policy. You have relevant credentials and strong connections and networks in the field.
  2. Track record of getting results: You bring 7+ years’ program management/implementation experience that demonstrates you are a strategic, dynamic leader who makes things happen. You’re great with logistics and enjoy figuring out how to get things done.
  3. Exceptional communication skills: You have demonstrable experience engaging with diverse communities and are an outstanding communicator across a variety of channels.
  4. Efficient and precise: You work quickly and efficiently and can produce excellent, on-point work products in short timeframes – you always nail deadlines. You manage collaborative processes confidently and efficiently: you know how to incorporate input from a variety of stakeholders.
  5. Collaborative and service-oriented: You greet everyone you encounter with a collaborative spirit, kindness, and empathy. You are known as a team-player who brings an “all hands on deck” mindset to all projects – you’re happy to contribute however you can to advance Namati’s mission.
  6. Growth-oriented: You’re always seeking to better yourself and your work, and you will push yourself to the peak of performance to help fulfill our mission. In service of that growth, you welcome and delight in feedback from supervisors, peers, and anyone else.


Washington, D.C. We are open to remote working arrangements if mutually beneficial.

Structure & compensation

We’ve structured this position as an initial six to nine month consultancy, with the potential for extension.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

To apply

Please complete our online application form, noting we strongly prefer for your application materials (cover letter, CV, and writing sample) to be uploaded in one PDF.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the consultancy is filled.

No phone calls please.

Namati is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

About the Organization

Namati is dedicated to placing the power of law in the hands of people.

For billions of people around the world, the law is broken. It’s an abstraction -- or worse, a threat -- but not something we can use to exercise our basic rights.

Namati is building a global movement of grassroots advocates who empower people to understand, use, and shape the law. These “barefoot lawyers” form a dynamic, creative frontline that can squeeze justice out of even broken systems.

In the past four years, Namati and our partners have worked with over 65,000 clients to take on some of the greatest challenges of our times: protecting community lands, enforcing environmental law, and securing basic rights to healthcare and citizenship.

We track data on every case and use that information to advocate for systemic changes, like better policies for land governance in Liberia, environmental regulation in India, and healthcare delivery in Mozambique.

And we're joining forces for change. Namati convenes the Global Legal Empowerment Network -- over 1,000 groups from 120 countries learning from one another and bringing justice to communities in every part of the world.

Our work has gained recognition. Namati and the Global Legal Empowerment Network were recognized with the prestigious Skoll Award in 2016. Honoring CEO Vivek Maru as a fellow, Ashoka called ours the “best law-for-all model we’ve seen.” We’ve been published and featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Forbes. And we’ve had some hefty supporters, including an advisory board with leaders like Amartya Sen, Mo Ibrahim, Fazle Abed, and Madeleine Albright.

As we move into our next phase, we’re growing our global team of passionate, results-oriented, big-hearted advocates, united by a common mission and a strong culture:

  • Our mission is our North Star. It’s why we all wake up every day. We pour our hearts into this work.
  • We’re innovators and changemakers. We are a young, energetic social enterprise and we know that our work is urgent. We believe in being nimble and doing what works.
  • Our work makes real, tangible, measurable progress in people’s lives. We take abstract concepts – rule of law and human rights – and make them concrete, helping people find solutions that improve their lives every day.
  • We walk our talk. Our movement is about legal empowerment and we bring this spirit of empowerment and collaboration to all our partnerships. We hold humility as a core value: we lead when necessary and follow when necessary.
  • We are a truly global organization. Our offices are located in Delhi, Freetown, Maputo, Oakland, Washington DC, and Yangon, and our staff come from all corners of the world. We are united by our common mission.
  • We see our people as our most valuable resource. We bring on individuals of the highest caliber and character and we mentor, train, and support our staff.
  • We hold one another in the highest esteem. Our work relationships are built on deep abiding respect and love.

For more about what it’s like to work at Namati, please see our Cultural Principles.

We would love to have you on our team.

Please join us.

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