U.S. and Canada: Zero Waste Program Manager

Job Location

NYC or Berkeley, CA


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Oct 26, 2022

About the job

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The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) is a global network working towards a just and waste-free world without incineration. Our network is built on the deeply-rooted community knowledge of our members and the local expertise of our regional communities. GAIA’s mission is to catalyze a global shift towards environmental justice by strengthening grassroots social movements that advance solutions to waste and pollution. We envision a just, zero waste world built on respect for ecological limits and community rights, where people are free from the burden of toxic pollution, and resources are sustainably conserved, not burned or dumped.



GAIA seeks a motivated and collaborative Zero Waste Program Manager to join the U.S. and Canada team. This position will play a pivotal role in federal, state, and local policy to develop zero waste as a climate solution and end pollution and injustice from waste. GAIA’s member network is the core of what we do, and includes environmental justice and grassroots organizations and coalitions fighting incinerators, developing zero waste policies and programs, and building environmental justice, climate justice, and community power. Our work is driven by members’ priorities – from organizing policy and regulatory interventions, to tracking trends and supporting new and current campaigns, to producing high quality research and resources. As incinerators across the U.S. and Canada reach the end of their life cycles, this is a crucial turning point for communities to shut down aging facilities and build community-led, regenerative, and just zero waste systems.


The U.S. & Canada regional team is led by the Senior Director, and also includes Network Development Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Plastics and Petrochemicals Program Manager, Zero Waste Program Manager, and this team is likely to expand. The Zero Waste Program Manager will report to the Senior Director for the region, and work in close collaboration with the regional team, as well as with GAIA staff in other regions and in the global team (the person in this position does not manage any staff).



The Zero Waste Program Manager will expand GAIA’s policy and research work on zero waste systems, including organics and methane, ending incineration, and environmental justice and climate justice. The Manager will lead zero waste policy efforts in response to federal opportunities and threats, and work with the Senior Director to determine priorities and policy positions.

  • Expand GAIA’s work in U.S. federal policy spaces with the goals of developing zero waste solutions and ending policies bolstering incineration. This includes tracking, evaluating, and responding to federal policy on climate, energy, infrastructure, and emerging topics; advocating for specific federal agency regulations and grant standards; and running policy campaigns with advocacy days, legislative briefings, etc.
  • Lead research and publication development on these waste issues.
  • Work with a multidisciplinary and global team of consultants, academic partners, and experts to produce research and reach objectives.
  • Organize policy and research discussions in member spaces to identify and respond to policy threats and opportunities through collaborative campaigning.
  • Engage in U.S. federal and state policy spaces with allied networks and develop impactful partnerships.
  • Collaborate with and support members and allies working on state and local policies for zero waste and ending incineration, including sharing research, education and training for advocates and policymakers, and campaign support.
  • Coordinate with the U.S. & Canada regional team and with staff in other regions on subject matter and/or geographically based campaign work. Participate in internal cross-regional working groups. Participate in meetings, fundraising, assessments, research, and other necessary projects.


  • 5-7 years of policy advocacy and research experience preferred, including 2-3 years preferrable at a non-profit or advocacy organization.
  • Demonstrated engagement in policy advocacy through official federal or state policy channels, including providing testimony, drafting comments, meeting policymakers, tracking and responding to swiftly changing legislation.
  • Experience with environmental justice principles and practices, especially in building relationships and collaboration with frontline communities.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to manage complicated logistics and other high-level administrative tasks.
  • Proven ability to work independently and use creative problem-solving skills in order to overcome obstacles and achieve goals, including work in a fast-paced environment where projects may have quick turnaround times
  • Desire to work as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Experience working with teams from diverse cultural backgrounds in a way that is sensitive to different communication styles and values community wisdom.
  • Comfort with online platforms and willing to learn new digital tools.
  • A passion for environmental health and climate, social, and environmental justice. Commitment to GAIA’s mission and core values of: respecting local solutions and community power; shared practice for movement building; and equity, inclusiveness, and social justice; and accountability.


  • Experience speaking with the media and leveraging communications for campaigns and policy
  • Practical experience with other key programmatic areas for networks and member support, such as community organizing, local policy development, strategic planning, research, meeting facilitation for campaigns like environmental, climate, economic/social justice campaigns, or local policy development.
  • Experience developing critical research and analysis to inform and deliver policy research.
  • Familiarity and experience using federal and state databases, such as EPA AQS, EJScreen (or CalEPA’s EJScreen), labor statistics, etc.
  • Experience working with database management and team apps (Salesforce, Asana, and G-Suite platforms)
  • An advanced degree in environment, economics, or policy.
  • Spanish language skills.


  • Meaningful work - operating from a place of connectivity and trust, we are able to exchange the cross-border knowledge and tools needed to create a truly global movement that puts an end to waste pollution.
  • Comprehensive benefits – this includes employer-covered health/dental insurance, paid family leave, approximately 30 days of paid time off each year (including vacation, holidays, and the last week of each calendar year), retirement plan, and an opportunity to qualify for a sabbatical.
  • Strong culture and dedicated team – we take pride in our highly motivated team, and our ability to support one another’s work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.
  • International work and travel - there may be opportunities to travel internationally for events and exchanges with GAIA offices in other countries.


  • This position will ideally be based out of New York City or GAIA’s Berkeley, CA office, although we are willing to consider applicants with strong qualifications in another location. Currently some of our team is working hybrid, and others are working remotely. This position can be done remotely but travel to the New York City or Berkeley's office 2-3 times a year is expected.
  • The salary range for this position is $70,000 - 80,000, depending on experience.
  • This position requires domestic travel for events and meetings as well as team retreats (as travel increases, likely an average of one trip per month; occasionally several trips will happen in one month). Employees not living near the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City should expect more frequent domestic travel to participate in team meetings and retreats. International travel may be required occasionally.
  • Full COVID-19 vaccination is required for GAIA employees who travel and attend meetings for GAIA, including this post.


GAIA is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages people of color, gender non-conforming, and LGBTQI persons to apply. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law.


How to Apply: Apply online at https://www.careers-page.com/gaia/job/QV6RR6V6 only. Please include a resume and cover letter. Position will be open until filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.