Careers at NRDC
“There is an edginess to NRDC that is so rare in mature organizations. This place is full of energy and fight. You can feel it, and it’s contagious.”
Manish Bapna, president & CEO, NRDC
NRDC attracts exceptionally talented people, both those at the top of their field and those who are starting out and showing tremendous promise. People here are knowledgeable, dedicated, tenacious, and principled. Most of all, they are deeply committed to protecting the environment, from the senior attorney who wins a groundbreaking lawsuit protecting whales to the program assistant who starts an eco-committee to enhance recycling practices in the office.
Bringing together extraordinary people to realize a common mission creates a vibrant, dynamic workplace. Our offices bustle with team meetings, strategy sessions, and thoughtful deliberation. There is an entrepreneurial spirit running through the halls. People have autonomy to pursue victories, but they also have the support of a national organization behind them. And they have the backing of their colleagues, who proudly cheer them on.
Perhaps the best testament to NRDC's workplace culture is the tenure of our staff. Almost 50 people have been with the organization for more than 15 years—12 of them have been here almost from the start, in 1970. When people join our dedicated, supportive team, they want to stay.
Testimonials: Why We Love Working at NRDC
Angela Guyadeen, director, Safe Water Initiative
“I really appreciate how NRDC understands that taking care of the people who work for you is essential for good work to happen. From six months of parental leave after the arrival of a child—18 weeks fully paid at 100 percent—to providing the staff extra days off during the height of the pandemic to help us navigate caretaking of children and family members, the list is robust. Equally importantly, it is constantly evolving to better support the staff as times and circumstances change.”
Givan Smith, HR operations manager
“I started my journey here as an intern in the summer of 2015. Since then, I've held several positions—and today, I'm the HR operations manager. I’ve had a fruitful, fulfilling career, as NRDC has provided me ample opportunities to hone my technical skills and invested in my professional development. I'm proud to be part of an organization that values diverse perspectives, which empowers me to take the lead on projects, all while being my authentic self. I have also encountered wonderful colleagues and mentors who allow me the space to chart my own course as I grow within my career.”
Jess Sloan, Salesforce administrator, IT
“The best thing about my job is my team, hands down! Within my first six months, they taught me so much and prioritized my professional development in such a way that I was able to get my Salesforce Data Architect certification, which has allowed me to really cultivate the right mindset to help manage our database. I’ve also cherished that there are opportunities to engage in DEI discussions about policy issues impacting not only the environmental sector, but women’s rights, racial equity, disability justice, and more.”
Cecilia Segal, attorney, Litigation
“Our society and our planet face so many problems—I get to go to work every day and do something about it. It’s incredibly rewarding to see our legal victories resulting in positive change for frontline communities and damaged ecosystems. And what makes this organization a unique place to work is its people: NRDCers are generous, caring, and tenacious. One day, someone will be baking vegan, gluten-free cookies for their officemates; the next, going toe-to-toe with a corporate polluter in court.”
Selena Kyle, senior attorney & managing litigator, Litigation
“I’m most proud of my leadership of the remedy phase of NRDC’s and our partners’ Clean Air Act litigation against the owners of the E.D. Edwards coal-fired power plant near Peoria, Illinois. Our 2019 settlement requires the owners to close the plant and dedicate nearly $9 million to lung-health, school and transit bus electrification, home weatherization, solar power, and job training projects that are helping neighboring communities transition to cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable energy sources.”
In February 2022, NRDC’s offices reopened after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently operating in a hybrid model—we offer NRDCers flexibility; we ask them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues. We call this purposeful presence.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination; those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations & Compliance. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.
About Our Offices
New York, New York (HQ)
NRDC's headquarters, located in Manhattan's Flatiron neighborhood, is home to the founding director's office, as well as a large portion of our administration, including Finance, Human Resources, and IT. Communications and Development are also concentrated here.
The staff in the Northern Rockies office in Bozeman work on land, wildlife, and energy issues in the West. Surrounded by rugged mountains and wild rivers, they are constantly reminded of the importance of their work to keep the Northern Rockies wild.
Opened in 2006, Chicago is home to NRDC's Midwest office. Working in the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi River states, this team is heavily involved in clean energy and clean water issues at the local, state, and regional level, where key policies and concrete investments are being made daily.
San Francisco, California
Scientists, litigators, and policy experts here focus on public lands, water, oceans, global warming, energy, and public health issues. This office also houses the western branch of Development and Administration.
Santa Monica, California
Housed in our showcase LEED Platinum building in Santa Monica, this office’s team of legal and policy experts focus on water, air, coastal issues, environmental justice, urban sustainability, wildlife, and open space conservation.
Home to NRDC's current president & CEO, the D.C. office has a large number of litigators and policy experts working to secure environmental regulations at federal and international levels. Our legislative work and Center for Policy Advocacy are based here.
Our international team of legal and policy experts work with the government, the legal community, and Chinese NGOs to help promote clean energy, energy efficiency, and to build a strong environmental legal system in China. We also work with Chinese partners on issues of environment and health and market transformation.
New Delhi, India
Recognizing the importance of our high-impact, widely admired India Program, which was created in 2008, NRDC formed NRDC India Pvt. Ltd. in January 2023 and has contracted with it to provide India-based services in order to more effectively work in the country.
Benefits: Competitive, Caring & Current
Life and accidental death & dismemberment
Health savings account
Flexible spending account
403(b) retirement savings plan
Employee assistance program
Fidelity: educational & student debt planning
Leave Logic: leave of absence planning
Student debt repayment assistance
Paid Time Off
Vacation, sick, personal
Leave of absence
Milk Stork breast milk shipping service
NRDC in Action
Crushing Alaska’s Pebble Mine
This Lawyer Is Ensuring the Fight for a Just and Clean Energy Future in Puerto Rico Remains Front and Center
An Advocate for Building Equity into Michigan’s Climate Goals
The Unlikely Takedown of Keystone XL
This Lawyer Is Leading the Fight for New York’s Clean Energy Future
The Chlorpyrifos Ban Is a Win for Science—and Children
Defender of Housing Justice
Alaska’s Tongass National Forest Gets the Protections It Deserves
What Can Green Groups, Labor Unions, Veterans, and a Coal Mining Exec All Get Behind? Solar Power in Appalachian Ohio.
As Temperatures Soar in India, One City’s Efforts Are Saving Lives
Making Art and Environmental Activism One and the Same
A Whale of a Win
Food Systems Analyst
Public Health Scientist and Advocate
Lights, Camera, Action on Climate
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
At NRDC, we recognize that the world we fight for must be represented in the makeup of our staff.
We recognize that one of the many ways to attain this diversity is by putting major efforts to recruit staff and interns from all educational backgrounds and walks of life.
There are many benefits to building a more diverse workplace: a better work environment, improved company culture, more creative and fresh ideas. We recognize that increasing diversity within our organization is not only about hiring a diverse pool of full-time employees. Hiring interns from underrepresented backgrounds is an effective way to shift toward a more diverse pipeline.
NRDC is working to ensure that our internal culture reflects and embodies principles and practices of equity and inclusion.
- In 2020, we hired a chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer and established NRDC’s Office of DEI.
- The Office of DEI is developing an organization-wide strategic plan for DEI and an institution-wide DEI learning strategy to support our staff in integrating DEI practices into all aspects of our culture and work. We have also made DEI competence and compliance an express part of our performance management process.
- We are evaluating and improving our hiring, retention, and promotion processes to ensure that our practices are equitable and inclusive and lead to a more vibrant and diverse NRDC. We are also building partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, including a litigation fellowship with Howard University.
- The Office of DEI is working with staff to form Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)—such as the Black Environmentalists Seeking Transformation (BEST) and the Women’s Caucus—that create support and community for our staff with similar backgrounds, experiences, and/or interests that will help us fulfill our commitment to foster an inclusive work environment.
- In 2021, we established our Environment, Equity & Justice Center to help integrate equity into NRDC’s advocacy and partnerships and enhance NRDC’s ability to advance community-driven solutions in partnership with frontline communities.
- In 2022, we committed to Green 2.0's pay equity pledge to close the wage gap in the environmental movement.
Our interns play an active role on the front lines of the environmental movement. Over the course of an internship, NRDC interns work with lawyers, scientists, or policy analysts in different program areas and amass experience that they could not have obtained anywhere else. Interns also have access to various events to enhance their NRDC experience. NRDC offers legal internships as well as those within our program areas and in Administration, Communications, and Development.
NRDC’s Summer Legal Intern Program Strives to Live Up to Our Values
NRDC’s summer legal internship program values justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we recognize that our planet’s most pressing environmental crises can only be solved by people from a diversity of identities. A diverse pool of interns is crucial, because we depend on our interns to ask tough questions and think creatively, to bring new ideas and new energy to our work. Our summer 2020 interns did all that and more—they challenged us to show how we live up to our values and to make our efforts public: to tell law students, career centers, and law professors what we’re doing to make our summer legal internship program more just, diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
So we’re doing just that. Read more about how we’re implementing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our summer legal internship program.