Reporting to: Chief Executive

Reports: 5 direct reports each managing their own team, total number of indirect reports circa 35 FTE.

Salary: £65,000 - £70,000 (including London Weighting £3,570) per annum pro rata.

Location: London, with some travel within the UK as required.  Requests for home working or to be based in an alternative FOE office location will be considered. 


Purpose of the role

The Director of Communities and Networks is a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). The SLT as a group is responsible for leading and inspiring the Friends of the Earth movement towards its vision of a markedly improved natural environment by 2030, and managing the strategic direction and delivery to achieve this. 

The role will act as the lead member of SLT for better integrating and harnessing the full richness of our international federation into our work in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; from ensuring that staff and activists can learn from one another across borders, to championing collaborative grassroots campaign opportunities where they emerge. 

This role will work as part of the SLT to implement all of the identified strategic step changes, but will have lead responsibility and accountability to transform how Friends of the Earth inspires, enables and empowers people to come together to take action in support of our goal; creating a stronger, more dynamic and impactful movement for change characterised by fun, friendship and solidarity. 


Closing date: Thursday 24th May

Prospectus interviews: 30th May - 2nd June

Friends of Earth 1st Interviews: w/c 12th June

Friends of Earth 2nd Interviews: w/c 19th June

Role Description

Key Responsibilities

  1. Design and implement a strategy that will deliver a transformation in the scale, visibility, diversity and value of Friends of the Earth’s communities and networks.
  2. Overhaul and refresh Friends of the Earth’s approach to organising and mobilising; building diverse networks of community groups and increasing the diversity of people that campaign with us.
  3. Develop and implement strategies for building more vibrant participation within communities and create, strengthen and enable networks that help each other and make it easier for people to campaign.
  4. Meet and typically exceed agreed targets for delivering increased participation within communities and networks.
  5. Develop and implement strategies to build strong networks and promote resilient connections between community groups within the Friends of the Earth family and ensure local and global linkages to deliver change.
  6. Work in close cooperation with fellow directors, particularly the Director of Disruptive Innovation, Director of Campaigning Impact and the Director of Supporter Experience and Fundraising, to create a strong synergy between supporter experience, fundraising, communities and network activism, campaigns and communications strategies and activities.
  7. Working closely with the Director of Campaigning Impact, inspire and support community groups to run their own campaigns, and to co-create and participate in targeted national and international campaigns in the delivery of Friends of the Earth's organisational goal.
  8. Working closely with the Director of Campaigning Impact, Director of Disruptive Innovation and Director of Supporter Experience and Fundraising, ensure community groups are provided with the skills, tools, resources and platforms (including digital) to organise, mobilise and campaign effectively, using a diversity of models and sharing experiences to learn between each other.
  9. Deliver a transformation in the scale and influence of Young Friends of the Earth.
  10. Ensure knowledge sharing, capacity building and strategic alliance formation across Friends of the Earth communities and networks.
  11. Working closely with the Director of Campaigning Impact, create a sustained local campaigning presence that helps to attract new support and drive change at local level.
  12. Monitor and evaluate activism impact and key initiatives to ensure learning and continuous improvement.
  13. Ensure the development of key strategic external activism relationships.
  14. In collaboration with the SLT shape organisational culture and behaviours that champion strong and effective working relationships with our communities and networks.
  15. Effectively manage and ensure greater organisational integration of the Directors of the Cymru, England and NI teams.
  16. Lead a review of and deliver a refreshed regional presence.

+ Leadership Behaviours and Expectations

  1. Be an inspirational and visionary leader for Friends of the Earth, with the drive to inspire us to achieve lasting, measurable impact in support of our mission and five step changes.
  2. Working horizontally with SLT colleagues, propose and lead projects, establishing clear mandates, parameters, project teams and resources, and ensuring distribution of responsibility and decision making authority.
  3. Fostering a culture of shared ambition, distributed leadership, effective delivery, collaboration, flexibility, solutions, mutual respect and co-creation.
  4. Leading in identifying and developing effective solutions to internal challenges.
  5. With the CEO, SLT colleagues, and the Boards when appropriate, develop and review Friends of the Earth’s strategic direction, ensuring alignment and integration between objectives, strategies and plans.

Ways of working and engaging

  1. Working horizontally, diagonally and vertically across the organisation to maximise impact, ensuring that staff processes are collaborative, foster innovation and avoid silos.
  2. Building relationships, sharing expertise and perspectives across the wider Friends of the Earth family, local to global, global to local.
  3. Supporting and participating in developing an effective knowledge management culture and systems.
  4. Sharing learning, promoting a culture of open reflection, experimentation and innovation, and supporting the application of tools and processes for these purposes.
  5. Champion digital first transformation up and down the organisation (including participation in key initiatives).

Internal relationships

  1. Build and maintain proactive, supportive and effective communication and relationships with the CEO and Senior Leadership Team colleagues.
  2. Build and maintain positive relationships with, and report to, the Board of Friends of the Earth Trust or the Board of Friends of the Earth Limited as appropriate.
  3. Ensure effective communication and coordination between own teams and the Friends of the Earth network.

External Relationships

  1. Engaging with passion, conviction and clarity on behalf of Friends of the Earth.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

  • Substantial experience of mobilising, inspiring and growing communities to take action.
  • Experience of working closely with communities and networks to develop and deliver impactful campaign strategies.
  • Track record of opening up activism to diverse communities and networks.
  • A solid understanding and experience of utilising a range of social media and digital tools to help bring people together in communities, in support of both online and offline actions.
  • High-level facilitation skills, able to harness the creativity and diversity of a group of people, both digitally and in face-to-face interactions.
  • Excellent advocacy and influencing skills to win hearts and minds to support a cause.
  • Hands on experience of working with local campaigning groups, partner organisations and/or coalitions to achieve a common goal.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of local, national and international social, political and economic trends and dynamics or ability to acquire and use this knowledge accordingly.
  • Excellent people and project management skills, including experience of matrix working and managing/prioritising projects/issues across teams.
  • Highly skilled in communicating complex issues to a wide variety of audiences.
  • A proven strategic, creative and flexible leader, able to identify and implement new ways of working, seize unexpected opportunities, and encourage and develop these skills in others.
  • Demonstrable experience of overseeing the development and implementation of strategic plans and organisational change processes.
  • Demonstrable ability to assimilate and analyse information quickly and accurately, formulate decisions that are timely and take account of risks and benefits and thereby develop innovative solutions to problems.
  • Strong experience of building and leading cohesive and effective teams and leading them through significant change.
  • Excellent interpersonal, facilitation, negotiation and communication skills; able to motivate and inspire both verbally and in writing.
  • A collaborative approach and understanding of working in a consultative environment. 
  • A demonstrable commitment to improving organisational effectiveness and impact.
  • An understanding of the strategic use of digital together with experience in the use of social media.
  • Demonstrable commitment to the vision and values of Friends of the Earth.
  • Ability to frequently travel in the UK on a planned basis, and to travel outside of the UK occasionally, as well as working outside of office hours occasionally to meet the demands of the role.


  • Extensive experience of digital activism. 
  • Significant experience of organising events.