Executive Director

Environmental Defense Fund, Burari - New Delhi, India

Skill Required:, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)Finance and AccountsFundraisingPolicy/ Advocacy and CampaignStrategic Alliances
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th December, 2019

Job Description

With world attention focused on building both a strong economy and a healthy environment, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and leaders from business and civil society turn for win-win solutions. For decades EDF has leveraged its economic, scientific and political expertise to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, China, and around the world. With its growing economy and population and rising global influence, India has become central to meeting these global challenges.

Since 2009, EDF staff have worked closely with Indian partners, including government officials, businesses, academia, development and environmental NGOs, and others in civil society, to demonstrate how low-carbon economic development can deliver tangible near-term benefits, such as cleaner air and stronger rural economies. They are now poised to ramp up their efforts significantly by establishing a new organization in India that embodies EDF’s hallmarks of strong science and economics; uncommon partnerships; and a pragmatic focus on policy solutions that harness the power of markets and economic incentives.

Reason for the hire

EDF, on behalf of this new Indian organization, seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and visionary leader to establish and grow the new EDF India organization – one that is focused on India’s unique priorities and opportunities while also drawing strength from EDF’s overarching vision, experience, and global reach. The Executive Director will have the opportunity to help drive transformational change in India that will improve air quality and rural economies for hundreds of millions of people and alter the trajectory of future carbon emissions on a global scale.

Overall Functions:

The Executive Director will establish and grow a new, independent, innovative, and highly effective environmental organization in India that embodies EDF’s unique strengths, approach, and organizational culture. S/he will be the face of EDF India, responsible for identifying and establishing a network of Indian partners, advisors and ambassadors, and inspiring philanthropic support from high-net worth individuals and foundations both in India and globally. The Director will establish EDF India as a leading and highly respected voice on air quality and climate change in India, representing the organization in meetings with policy makers and business leaders, and forging partnerships with leading Indian academic and research institutions, NGOs, and companies. S/he will also be charged with overseeing EDF India’s climate and air quality work, building on existing work and in collaboration with EDF’s consultants and with the leadership of EDF’s Climate program. As the new organization grows, the Executive Director may also have opportunities to develop and oversee the implementation of new areas of work in other program areas, including oceans, ecosystems, and health.

Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Establish a new nonprofit organization in India, to be incorporated under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, including overseeing the legal registration process, helping to recruit an independent advisory board, locating and securing office space in Delhi, and hiring and managing a core office staff;
  • Cultivate a network of influential leaders from business, academia, and civil society in India and globally who can act as partners, advisers, and ambassadors for the new organization;
  • Inspire philanthropic support from private individuals and foundations, both within India and globally, in order to raise the resources necessary to meet EDF India's objectives and establish it as an effective and widely respected organization;
  • In close collaboration with EDF senior staff, develop and implement a strategy for the new organization to contribute to cleaner air, inclusive rural development, low-carbon prosperity, and a better quality of life throughout India, in line with EDF's global strategies;
  • Grow and manage a high-performing team to execute the new organization's strategy;
  • Develop and sustain partnerships with key Indian institutions including universities, think tanks, and other NGOs;
  • Raise the new organization's profile within India including through public communication and thought leadership (e.g., media appearances; expert panels and other speaking engagements; blogs, op-eds and other articles; etc.);
  • Represent the new organization in meetings with high-level government officials, business executives, NGO leaders, and other key stakeholders both in India and on the global stage.

Must Haves:

EDF seek’s a candidate who is Indian as well as confident and comfortable as a global citizen; is dynamic and entrepreneurial, with a results-oriented and strategic vision for environmental impact; and who can inspire confidence and support among high-level policy makers, leaders in business, academia, and civil society, and philanthropists.

  • Demonstrated success in fundraising in India and the ability to inspire significant investments from large foundations, private individuals, and family foundations in India and abroad.
  • Experience scaling up a for-profit or non-profit enterprise in India, including recruiting and working with a high-powered board, building and managing a high-performance team, and successfully leading the development and execution of programs or projects with significant scale and impact.
  • Charismatic presence and confidence as a public speaker, and successful experience engaging with policy makers, regulators, elected officials and other key stakeholders
  • Ability to act autonomously and establish EDF India as an independent and genuinely Indian organization, while also remaining aligned with the strategic priorities of EDF as a global organization.
  • Ability to work productively and collaboratively with partners and colleagues located in multiple offices and time zones.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Familiarity with the areas of climate change, energy, air pollution, and/or rural development, and a passion for addressing them will be a strong plus.
  • Familiarity with establishing and growing a Section 8 company and/or familiarity with processes under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) will be a plus.
  • Graduate degree or higher in a relevant field with at least 12-15 years of experience.
  • Fluency in English and Hindi; fluency in at least one other language in widespread use in India a plus

The Executive Director will be based in Delhi, with frequent travel in India and occasional international travel, including to the United States.

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