Senior Director, Safer Chemicals and Corporate Sustainability

Environmental Defense Fund
1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C., DC 20009
United States
Job Description

EDF+Business leverages the power of the market to create a more sustainable and resilient world. We develop and deploy global business and investor engagement strategies that accelerate environmental leadership, innovation, and action across carbon-intensive industries and supply chains. We’ve been at the forefront of driving change in business for 30 years, bringing cutting-edge science, policy, equity, and economic expertise to high-impact companies and sectors to transform business as usual in their products, operations, investments, and advocacy.


EDF+Business’ Safer Chemicals team is committed to ensuring that the food we eat and products we buy are safer and more environmentally sustainable for everyone. Across EDF, we influence the sectors - from consumer products and retail to petrochemicals - that determine the chemicals in the environment. Our team engages companies and industry bodies to catalyze leadership in transforming supply chains and business models - from supply chain operations to how products are designed, and from financial flows to reporting on environmental, equity, and health impacts. The Senior Director will lead EDF’s work with brands, manufacturers, and retailers to shift their strategies and operations to reduce hazardous chemicals in supply chains and products. This position will lead a team and will use industry knowledge and business, financial, and technical expertise to develop and execute strategies that create a safer, more sustainable future.


  • Lead EDF’s corporate engagement strategy to significantly reduce people's exposure to hazardous chemicals by 2030, with a priority on reducing inequities in toxic chemical exposures. Drive change at scale by catalyzing businesses to address hazardous chemicals in their processing, products, and packaging and delivering action by industry leaders to do so.
  • Establish chemical footprint reduction as an essential element of corporate sustainability and net zero goals and transition plans. Integrate equity and environmental justice into corporate chemicals management to deliver safer products and healthier communities.
  • Lead a team in engaging major brands, manufacturers, and retailers to secure commitments to reduce their chemical footprints and implement policies and practices needed to follow through on them.
  • Promote and grow EDF’s expertise in chemical footprinting, safer alternatives, and supply chain transformation in relation to chemicals. Oversee the development of solutions to support best practices in chemicals management, policy support, and transparency, building on existing EDF resources and collaborations (e.g., UP ScorecardClean Beauty Justice RoadmapFive Pillars of Leadership for Safer Products).
  • Explore new and emerging issues and opportunities in a changing global landscape - from regulations affecting business, to changes in chemical feedstocks and uses, to consumer behavior - to ensure that the team is focusing on the highest impact opportunities to help companies contribute to a safe and healthy world.
  • Collaborate with external partners to accelerate progress on safer chemicals through multistakeholder initiatives, including working with other NGOs, academic institutions and/or industry groups.
  • Elevate EDF as an expert in safer chemicals through publications, conference presentations, media opportunities, and other thought leadership that reaches our target audiences.
  • Manage and mentor staff, overseeing work plans, milestones, and professional development.
  • Set goals and measure progress as part of EDF+Business and EDF’s strategy and planning processes. Determine staffing and resource requirements and oversee hiring and budgets.
  • Coordinate with EDF’s organization-wide Healthy Communities team and represent EDF+Business across organizational initiatives to reduce toxic pollution in our stores, homes, and communities and promote safer chemicals. Serve as impact area lead for EDF Business and provide staff support to EDF Board Committee on relevant discussions.
  • Play a key role in fundraising. Serve as primary contact for EDF’s Development team on EDF+Business’ Safer Chemicals initiative. Engage with new and existing program supporters, contribute to funding proposals and reporting to donors. Liaise with program leadership, EDF’s Executive Team and Board of Trustees as needed.
  • Participate in advancing EDF’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals to ensure that people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF’s values.


  • Advanced degree with relevant technical background (e.g., science, business, economics).
  • Minimum of 12 years’ experience and an extensive professional network in consumer packaged goods, food and/or retail.
  • Background in corporate sustainability, consumer product development and supply chains, and chemicals management and regulation and understanding of circular economy. Understanding of environmental justice issues associated with chemicals and how businesses can address them.
  • Demonstrated ability to run a multiyear initiative to move major brands and retailers to safer chemicals. Proven strategic capacity and success leading change management initiatives. Familiarity with non-profit advocacy methods preferred.
  • People management experience and ability to lead a team in a global matrixed organization. Ability to motivate and empower staff and foster individual and team development.
  • Strategic leadership: Demonstrated experience in launching, leading, and executing processes and projects and conducting strategic assessments in the chemicals and circular economy space.
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with companies and external partners and within large organizations.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills. High comfort level speaking to large and small audiences, corporate executives, donors and media. Ability to articulate a compelling rationale for businesses to reduce their chemical footprints.
  • Global experience preferred
  • Self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work effectively with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization. We take into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Please note that pay ranges are country specific. As a result, the stated currency is not meant be converted into any other currency.


1875 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. DC 20009
United States