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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Executive Director: Environmental Justice Fund

The closing date (10 January 2022) has passed and applications for this position are now closed.

The Environmental Justice Fund is a new grant-making fund whose vision is that environmental justice prevails in South Africa, where all people enjoy an environment that is not harmful to their health and wellbeing, and the environment is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

The Fund acknowledges that supporting those most affected by environmental injustice to design and implement their own responses, is our best chance of reversing the tide of environmental destruction and building a better, sustainable, and just world. The Fund, therefore, supports the CBOs that drive these campaigns, to be sustainable, accountable, agile, resilient, creative, and networked into the broader environmental justice movement in South Africa.

The Fund invites interested and suitably qualified candidates to apply for the position of Executive Director of the Fund. The appointed director must have a clear understanding of how building and resourcing activism, on the ground, within communities affected by pollution and environmental degradation, will have long-lasting significant advancement for the environmental and climate justice movement.


South Africa

Qualifications, skills and experience

Applicants must be committed to promoting and defending the role of community organisations and activists in realising environmental justice. Other requirements include:

  • Postgraduate degree in development, law, management, environmental studies, or other relevant disciplines.
  • Aptitude for leadership, and managerial competence: at least 8 years’ work experience, including experience in a management role, organisational development, talent development and performance management, financial and operations management.
  • Sensitivity to social issues and to the needs of communities impacted by environmental degradation and injustice, and a passion for social and environmental justice.
  • Excellent networking skills, and strong capabilities in building support amongst a wide range of stakeholders, partners, and networks.
  • Experience in raising funds and managing donor relationships.

Key responsibilities

The fund is a new entity and will require a lot of flexibility and adaptability, as its strategic imperatives must be responsive to the circumstances and needs of on the ground activism. The key responsibilities of this position currently include the following:

Strategic Leadership:  Driving the strategic direction of the Fund, ensuring that the work of the Fund advances its theory of change and strategic plan, serving on the board, designing and implementing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the Fund, and leading the creation of a productive and progressive workplace.

Fundraising and donor relations:  Developing a fundraising strategy for the Fund, including a long-term sustainability strategy (e.g. an endowment strategy, to enable incremental growth of a pool of funds from which grants can be made in future years), identifying and engaging potential donors, negotiating contracts with donors and ensuring adherence with donor agreements, managing donor relations, leading on reporting to donors and participating in donor site visits and workshops.

Operations Management:  Developing and updating the Fund’s policies, as required; setting up and adhering to the Fund’s internal financial systems and policies, including providing the Board with quarterly management reports; ensuring that the Fund, its operations, and programmes are in compliance with all relevant legislation; managing relationships with partners; and providing accompaniment including drafting memoranda of agreement.

Communication:  Representing the Fund in external engagements, developing and implementing a communication strategy advancing the objectives of the Fund and, promoting and defending the role of civil society, community organisations, and activists in realising environmental and other human rights – this includes website content, op-eds, social media and the like; leading the preparation of an Annual Report to stakeholders.

 Human Resources:  Managing the performance and career development, and overseeing the work, of the Fund’s staff; recruiting new staff, as needed; attending to staff grievances; conducting salary reviews and implementing increases where appropriate; performing all other relevant and necessary Human Resource functions.

Governance:  Ensure that the Board receives regular and timely information /reports to enable sound governance and decision-making.


The Fund is committed to diversity, inclusion and transformation and strives to reflect South Africa’s racial, cultural, gender and geographic diversity. Women and young people are particularly encouraged to apply.

The salary range for the position is between R800,000 and R1,000,000 (total cost to organisation).

The salary offered will depend on factors that include the qualifications, level of expertise, and experience of the successful candidate.

How to apply

Please send the following documents to: [email protected] by 10 January 2022 with EJF ED Application as the subject line of your email:

  • A cover letter setting out your skills and relevant experience, as well as why you want to work for the EJ Fund;
  • A copy of your CV
  • Two recent written references.

 Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.