Managing Editor

Earthjustice (San Francisco, California)

Posted 9 months ago

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization.  We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, D.C.

The Managing Editor sets the overall editorial voice and vision for major Earthjustice communication channels and plays a critical role tailoring our storytelling to target audiences. The position works closely with all facets of the Communications Department, Development’s donor relations team, and program staff whose work is featured in Earthjustice copy. The managing editor also sets editorial standards for Communications and other departments, across multiple mediums and platforms. This role manages three writer and editors.


Editorial Strategy (50 percent)

  • Develop an overarching editorial strategy for the Earthjustice Quarterly magazine and the “Our Stories” section of the website to meet our communication goals.
  • Oversee the production line-up, story assignments, budgeting, deadlines, promotion, and performance review for the magazine and digital articles.
  • Exercise significant autonomous decision making on which written stories Earthjustice publishes or not and serve as final gatekeeper ensuring accuracy and avoiding libel or other legal jeopardy for the organization.
  • Work closely with the Director of Content Strategy to understand our target audiences and develop style guides for how to write and edit for these audiences.
  • Foster a culture of learning by experimenting with headlines, story formats, action requests, and voice; regularly review data dashboards and other audience feedback with the Editorial team to refine our understanding of what works for our target audiences.
  • Partner with Program Communications and Creative Content teams on high-level message development for advocacy and brand campaigns; play a leading role in determining how to broadly stay on message while adapting our language for specific audiences.
  • Provide editorial overview of high value content to ensure message clarity, appropriateness for audience, and content prioritization; set and oversee editorial standards and style within Communications; elevate storytelling and editorial best practices in other teams and departments through trainings, guides, and workshops.
  • Spearhead ideation of editorial content; lead editorial partnership with Digital, Program Communications, and Social Media teams in producing online features, video scripts, and social stories.
  • Run editorial team meetings focused on sharing storytelling strategies and analyzing data to inform future story-telling approaches and promotion efforts.
  • Write and edit high-level institutional content, including content from identified organizational thought leaders and major campaigns.

Management (30 percent)     

  • Supervise three staff writers and editors; oversee management of editorial interns.
  • Screen, recruit, and manage editorial contractors, including freelance writers, editors, and designers.
  • Manage editorial budget and high-level production timelines.

 Content promotion (20 percent)

  • Guide collaboration between Editorial, Program, Social Media, and Email teams to ensure content aligns with what’s timely, trending, and engaging on our channels; develop the strongest possible teaser text and audience targeting for each story.
  • Develop content partnerships with external publications and communicators with significant reach into our target audiences.
  • Partner with Marketing on developing content appropriate for specific influencers to share.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, English, Marketing, or related field required.
  • 10+ years with professional communications media, including but not restricted to newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and online platforms.
  • 5+ years of experience in directly managing staff and budgets; a positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills; exceptional organizational and time management skills; an ability to work collaboratively across teams and departments; a desire to mentor junior team members and open new opportunities for mid-career professional growth.
  • Experience with investigatory and/or explanatory journalism and issues advocacy, especially in the legal, environmental, or public health fields.
  • Proven track record in achieving measurable goals (i.e. increases in funding, readership/circulation of publications, quality/quantity of press hits, awards & recognition etc.)
  • Quick, adaptive writing style (long-form features, campaign briefs, messaging points, blogs, op-eds, etc.); thorough knowledge of professional editorial practices and AP Stylebook.
  • Strong grasp of storytelling on multimedia, social media, and other emerging platforms.
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations; contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Deep understanding of story structure and the components necessary for compelling storytelling;
  • Ability to tell stories in a variety of ways, on multiple platforms and for diverse audiences;
  • Experience drawing insights from data to more effectively reach and engage with target audiences;
  • Knowledge of AP Style and fundamentals of fact-checking;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence for managing a diverse team with various backgrounds different from one’s own, collaborating across the organization, and interacting with clients and partners;
  • Ability to incorporate multi-media such as video and audio into storytelling;
  • Strong organization skills and the ability to manage multiple short- and long-term projects;
  • Ability to think and act strategically;
  • Interest in environmental issues and ability to keep track of a wide-ranging number of issues and cases;
  • Proven track record of successful storytelling, as measured by attainment of goals (e.g. increases in funding, readership/circulation of publications, quality/quantity of press hits, overall satisfaction from partners/clients.);
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations;
  • Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce;
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics a plus.

This position may involve travel within the U.S.

Salary is based on experience and location.
Salary range in San Francisco, CA: $102,400 – $113,800

We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package including excellent benefits.  Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.


Interested candidates should submit the following materials online via the Jobvite system.

  • Resume
  • One- or two-page cover letter that addresses: (1) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or justice issues that inspire you; (2) what your experience and skills you would bring to this position; and (3) aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to work with diverse clients and colleagues.
  • Links to three pieces of published writing.
  • List of three references.

Please, no phone calls, hard copies, or drop-ins. If you’re having technical difficulties submitting your application, reach out to 

Apply here.

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco:  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment-qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:  We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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Job CategoryCommunications, Multimedia