Director, The Uproot Project

  • Any City, Any State, United States
  • Employees can work remotely
  • Full-time

Company Description

The Uproot Project is a network of and for environmental journalists of color. We have a growing national membership, composed of journalists from across national and regional media institutions with a goal of bringing these diverse voices to the forefront of environmental journalism. Uproot is dedicated to advancing the careers of journalists of color who’ve been historically underrepresented in environmental or science journalism, imbuing the field with critical and fresh perspectives. We were inspired by other projects, like the Ida B. Wells Society, that uplift underrepresented journalists. The Uproot Project was founded in 2019 by a group of environmental journalists seeking change in the industry and launched publicly in March 2021.

Grist is a founding partner of Uproot, currently serving its operational home. This position will be an employee of Grist but will work exclusively  and directly with and report to the Uproot Board Liaison. Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future. Grist’s goal is to use the power of storytelling to illuminate the way toward a better world, inspire millions of people to walk that path with Grist, and show that the time for action is now.

Job Description

The Director will be responsible for guiding and managing The Uproot Project to execute its overall strategic and operational mission. This position is also responsible for creating and managing programs that meet the Uproot’s goals, objectives and approved budget, as agreed upon by the Steering Committee. The Director will provide comprehensive oversight, planning, and management of the operations of The Uproot Project. This position will be a leader within The Uproot Project, driving the development of a long-term strategic plan while also determining long-term processes and structures such as program governance. The Director will be the external face of the organization, and an enthusiastic cheerleader for The Uproot Project and for its mission of diversifying environmental journalism.

The Director holds overall responsibility for the Uproot Project’s operations and growth, directing the work of programs and staff, in consultation with the steering committee, the overarching governing body. This role will work closely with an assigned Grist Project Manager to manage  the relationship with Grist, which provides key operational, fundraising, and advisory support at present. The Director will oversee all financial expenditures and accounting including managing the Uproot budget and funding requests. Additionally, the Director will build and maintain relationships with prospective funders, event partners, and other interested parties as well as be a key fundraiser for Uproot programming and resources.

Job Responsibilities

Strategic

  • Work in partnership with Uproot Steering Committee members to define and implement the program’s short-term mission and goals.  

  • Develop a long-term strategy for Uproot including next steps to create an independent entity separate from Grist.  

  • Expand the program by creating a five-year strategic vision with the Steering Committee, developing partnership opportunities for specific programs (such as a mentoring program), and establishing ties with fellow journalism organizations. 

  • Work with subcommittees to finalize and implement a governance/membership structure for the network, including establishment of policies such as a membership code of conduct. 

  • Create and manage a group of Uproot Advisors similar to the Ida B. Wells Society to focus on fundraising.  

Operations & Administrative 

  • Provide organizational leadership by overseeing day-to-day operations with a focus on developing, organizing, and executing programming activities.

  • Manage all administrative aspects of The Uproot Project, including purchasing, record-keeping, developing an appropriate data system, budget management, and accounting.

  • Oversee and supervise all contractors and employees working on Uproot including, to begin, the Social Media Manager and Operations Associate.   

  • Work with the Steering Committee to develop and implement a yearly work plan for the organization and its subcommittees.

  • Serve as the public facing Uproot representative in media interviews and industry panels. 

  • Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Steering Committee

Fundraising & Finance

  • Collaborate and engage in fundraising partnerships with Grist staff and external partners on behalf of Uproot to expand programming, training and resources for the network’s members.  

  • Partner with the Grist Finance team and assigned Project Manager to ensure that contracts and stipends are paid in a timely manner.  

Qualifications

  • At least 5 years professional management experience

  • Demonstrated success running and/or in top-level management at nonprofit or journalism organizations

  • Experience developing and operationalizing strategies for growth

  • Exceptional leadership skills and experience in overseeing multiple programs and complex relationships

  • Ability to work collaboratively and be flexible, patient, responsive, and willing to assist with day-to-day operations as necessary

  • Demonstrated success working with an engaged overseeing body

  • Strong relationship-building and fundraising experience, including with private foundations and individual donors

  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with culturally and economically diverse groups

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • High level of organizational skills and technological proficiency

  • Strong decision-making and problem-solving skills

  • Meticulous attention to detail

  • Well-organized self-starter capable of working in independent situations

Additional Information

Additional Information

Applicants must submit a resume and a cover letter explaining why you’re a great fit to lead The Uproot Project. Applications without both a resume and cover letter will not be considered. 

Compensation is competitive and commensurate with experience.  Total compensation package includes: base salary range $100,000-$125,000 DOE and a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision insurance. No phone calls, please.

Cultivating an inclusive staff is central to Grist’s focus on advancing equity. We’re interested in hearing from people who can work with diverse colleagues of varied experience. Candidates of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Grist is an equal-opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.