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Finance Campaigner (Petrochemicals)

Center for International Environmental Law

Center for International Environmental Law

Accounting & Finance, Other Engineering
Washington, DC, USA · Remote
Posted on Friday, June 9, 2023

POSITION TITLE: Finance Campaigner (Petrochemicals)

PROGRAM: Fossil Economy

SUPERVISOR: Fossil Economy Legal & Research Manager

LOCATION: Washington DC or Remote in the United States

SALARY RANGE: $55,000 - 70,000


Petrochemical production (ranging from plastics to agrochemicals, and their chemical precursors) has become the fossil fuel industry’s lifeline to buoy demand for its products and sustain its entrenchment in the economy. Unless halted, ongoing expansion of petrochemical, agrochemical, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure – facilitated by new public subsidies and political support – will lock in fossil facilities that threaten frontline communities and public health, create risks for investors and those whose assets are managed, and accelerate the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and chemical pollution. As the full footprint of petrochemicals faces greater public scrutiny, and resistance to the petrochemical sector grows, so do the financial risks facing the industry.

Together with the program’s leadership and other relevant staff at CIEL, the Finance Campaigner (Petrochemicals) will build out CIEL’s strategies to expose the growing legal and financial risks of petrochemical investment for companies, investors, and government decision makers. This position will 1) engage in research and work with partners to understand the structure of financial support for petrochemicals and related infrastructure in the United States; 2) develop analyses that expose the financial risks facing the petrochemical sector, and 3) develop and implement strategies to communicate those risks to educate and equip key audiences, including frontline and fenceline communities actively opposing petrochemical expansion.


  • Collaborate with Legal and Research Manager, Fossil Economy Program Director, and other members of staff to develop and continually refine short, medium, and long-term strategic campaigns focused on financial actors and systems to advance CIEL’s overall mission and vision
  • Draft, as necessary, high-quality reports, briefings, talking points, or other written materials to convey results of research and critical information to movement partners, policy makers, financial actors, and the press.
  • Balance long-term projects with rapid response research and analysis as necessary to respond to partner demands, press inquiries, and breaking news.
  • Work with team members to incorporate financial arguments and understandings into legal, regulatory, shareholder, or other campaign strategies
  • Represent CIEL in coalitions, public meetings, workshops, and other processes as assigned
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with relevant partner organizations, and other actors/stakeholders to achieve CIEL’s project related goals

Research and Analysis

  • Undertake and share research on specific projects and companies in the petrochemical sector to strengthen understandings of the financial actors, connections, and systems of petrochemical investments.
  • Prepare and disseminate (verbally and in writing) clear and compelling analyses to educate audiences regarding the financial risks facing the petrochemicals sector, including from legal liability, reputational risks from human rights violations, and the anticipated impacts of the Global Plastics Treaty, among others.
  • Monitor petrochemical market trends to inform strategies and interventions
  • Develop and maintain a working knowledge of relevant political and regulatory frameworks and issue areas related to finance and petrochemicals


  • Support fundraising efforts, such as proposals and reports, as relevant.
  • Maintain timesheets and submit them on time.
  • Meet periodically as requested with supervisor and other team members.
  • Participate in weekly staff and team meetings and other organizational activities, including a regular staff performance evaluation.
  • Meet target dates, prioritize tasks, and ensure high-quality work products.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 4 years of relevant experience in corporate accountability-focused financial research and/or campaigning
  • Demonstrated ability to distill key messages from technical information and translate them to different audiences and on different platforms.
  • Able to oversee and deliver multiple priorities by target dates and perform a wide variety of tasks over the course of the workday.
  • Able to work both separately and collaboratively, in close coordination across teams.
  • Comfort admitting what you don’t know and recognizing that seeking and receiving feedback is part of the learning process.
  • Awareness of how your words and actions affect others, openness to and respect for others’ perspectives.
  • Able to travel frequently, for periods of up to 2 weeks

Desired Qualifications:

  • Legal background or familiarity with legal frameworks, especially in corporate and securities law
  • Knowledge of the fossil fuel and petrochemical sectors and familiarity with ongoing climate, environmental, and public health debates
  • Proficiency in Spanish

A successful candidate will demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Action-Oriented: Makes things happen. Takes on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of curiosity, proactivity, and constructiveness.
  • Nimble Learning: Approaches unfamiliar tasks proactively and with an open mind. Can quickly adapt to new situations and to draw on past successes and failures to solve current problems.
  • Effective Communication: Understands the value of effective communication. Can deliver messages in a clear, compelling, and concise manner. Actively listens, checks for understanding, and adjusts content and style to meet the needs of different stakeholders.
  • Collaborates: Brings people together to leverage their skills, talents, and knowledge to achieve a common purpose. Creates synergy resulting in a combined effort with greater results than what can be achieved by individuals.
  • Resourcefulness: Is able to make the best of limited resources and find a way to get things done even when the odds are against them. Can look beyond the obvious for viable approaches to accomplish the goal.

This is a full-time, exempt position based in the United States. This can be out of our Washington DC office, or elsewhere remotely depending on the location. You must have legal authorization to work in the United States without visa sponsorship. CIEL offers a strong benefits package including employer-subsidized health, dental, and vision; paid vacation, sick, and parental leave; a 5% contribution of gross annual salary into a 403(b) retirement account; a relocation stipend; dedicated professional development funding; and paid sabbatical leave after 7 years. CIEL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit in the US, and full-time employees qualify for the US Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Application instructions: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; the first application review will take place on June 8. Desired start date: As soon as able. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and any other required materials or responses. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. No telephone calls, please. Note that CIEL does not sponsor visas of any kind. You must have prior authorization to work in the United States or Switzerland in order to be considered for this position.

Anonymous Demographic Survey: Please complete this anonymous demographic survey as part of your application to CIEL. The survey will only be used to help us evaluate our efforts to recruit a diverse pool of candidates. Your answers will not in any way be linked to your application, and the answers to the survey will not be handled by anyone on the hiring committee for the role.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with CIEL’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, CIEL requires US candidates to furnish proof of full COVID vaccination status in order to be hired for this position. ​​If you are not eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or vaccination is contraindicated by a licensed medical professional, you must provide documentation verifying this ineligibility or contraindication.

About CIEL: For 30 years, CIEL has used the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL’s dynamic team of international attorneys and experts work together in a collaborative and supportive work environment to tackle some of the most interesting and challenging issues facing people and the planet.

We are an equal opportunity employer, actively committed to the principles of multiculturalism and building an organization that is as diverse as the communities we serve around the world. We know that diversity and inclusion make us stronger, and we actively encourage qualified applicants with various backgrounds, identities, perspectives, and (dis)abilities to apply. If you need an accommodation or assistance with this application, please contact Human Resources at jobs[at]ciel.org.