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Director, Center on Oil and Gas Organizing

TITLE: Director, Center on Oil and Gas Organizing (COGO, tentative name).

LOCATION: Washington DC preferred; remote possible.

SUMMARY OF POSITION: The Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas (FCOG) seeks a founding director to lead a new initiative to increase accountability of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and to strengthen frontline and grassroots influence on FERC. COGO’s initial focus will be on fighting gas infrastructure through policy analysis, organizing, communications, and advocacy. The director will be responsible for launching the initiative, developing strategies and setting goals, leading the policy and advocacy work, and retaining and supervising an organizer to engage grassroots partners. FCOG has secured funding commitments for a full year of operations and will continue to be a partner in fundraising. If the director can secure additional funding, the scope of COGO’s activities can expand to focus on additional agencies that play roles in regulating oil and/or gas.

CONTEXT: The United States is now the largest producer in the world of oil, natural gas and “gas liquids” (the lighter-than-oil liquids that come out of the ground in conjunction with gas extraction). Two of the important challenges faced by the gas industry are how to transport its product from where it is extracted to where it can fetch the highest price and how to expand into additional markets.
Every proposed interstate gas pipeline and every proposed LNG export terminal needs to be approved by FERC before construction can begin. Delaying or stopping gas pipelines and LNG export terminals would limit the ability of the U.S. natural gas industry to expand, thereby reducing continued gas extraction and limiting the extent to which climate pollution associated with gas will end up in our atmosphere.
Despite FERC’s importance, there has been limited focus on the agency’s responsibility for regulating gas on the part of the climate and environmental advocacy community. Many of the advocates who engage with FERC focus primarily on the electricity market, a second area of FERC’s statutory authority. Those who work on gas infrastructure do so primarily through administrative litigation related to specific projects. The goal of COGO is to fill this gap by providing ongoing and consistent monitoring, communications and organizing around FERC rulemaking, permitting, and other proceedings relating to oil and gas infrastructure.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Establish a consistent presence as a FERC watchdog on gas, including attending all relevant formal FERC meetings and developing informal relationships with FERC staff, environmental and consumer advocates who work with FERC, reporters who cover the agency, and Congressional staff who deal with energy issues.
• Develop effective communications tools designed to inform environmental advocates, educate funders, connect grassroots activists, and establish COGO as an expert for Congressional staff and the news media.
• Develop and lead organizing and advocacy strategies to facilitate and elevate the voices of grassroots and frontline advocates in formal FERC proceedings and to influence FERC through avenues other than in formal proceedings.
• Supervise organizing director, communications team, and possibly additional personnel.
• Increase agency accountability as it relates to oil and gas infrastructure approval.
• Monitor relevant rulemaking procedures, draft and submit comments, and organize relevant parties to submit comments.
• Increase involvement of national environmental and consumer organizations in relevant FERC proceedings and to influence FERC through avenues other than formal proceedings.
• Coordinate with legal advocates on pipelines, LNG facilities, administrative law, and other challenges to FERC to develop complementary communications, organizing, and advocacy strategies. Initially, the director will be paid through an LLC or other legal entity as an independent contractor. Among the director’s earliest activities will be either to establish COGO as a not-for-profit corporation and obtain 501(c)(3) status for the corporation or to find a fiscal sponsor for COGO. The newly-established corporation or fiscal sponsor can employ the director and other personnel.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Required: Education: Law degree preferred or equivalent relevant experience and expertise.

Experience and Core Competencies:

• A deep understanding of energy law, administrative law, and the workings of federal agencies. Experience working on FERC-related issues.
• Policy and campaign experience with oil and gas, transparency and accountability, climate change, or related issues.
• Ability to craft, implement and drive advocacy and campaign strategies. \
• Strong appreciation for the importance of grassroots and frontline leadership.
• Experience supervising organizers and communications professionals.
• Experience coordinating or participating in coalitions or grassroots networks.
• Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills and proven ability to engage with a wide range of stakeholders.
• Excellent writing skills and organizational skills.
• Proactive, fast-thinker, entrepreneurial and able to work effectively with minimal supervision.
• Humility, a willingness to learn, and a sense of humor.

Preferred:
• Experience working with the media and as liaison to grassroots organizations.
• Experience advocating in Congress or US government agencies.
• Experience fundraising and managing grants.
• Project management experience.

Compensation: Based on experience.

TO APPLY: Please send your resume and cover letter to Helen Song at helen@fundercollab.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until filled