Rural Affairs Director

About IEC

Since 1975, the Illinois Environmental Council has worked to safeguard Illinois—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends by building power for people and the environment. Representing over 100 environmental organizations in the state, IEC carries out its mission to advance public policies that create healthy environments across Illinois through education, advocacy and movement building.

What We Do

We advance sound environmental laws and policies at all levels of government by bringing together the Illinois environmental community to influence decision makers and ensure clean air, clean water and healthy communities. From lobbying at the State Capitol to building consensus around an annual environmental agenda, IEC takes pride in leading our environmental movement in Illinois. We coordinate our affiliate member organizations to share resources, mobilize supporters and respond quickly to the most pressing issues facing the environment in Illinois.

IEC also supports environmental activists across the state, building programs to cultivate the next generation of environmental leadership, such as our Young Professionals Board, Community Council, annual environmental scorecards and other educational programs like our Civics for Environmentalists and Lunch & Learn series.

About the Position

The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund (IECEF) is looking to supplement our current organizing work in rural areas.

Previous experience with organizing in rural areas and tackling water pollution issues is desired. Previous professional work experience is required.

This position will be located in Springfield, IL with possibilities for remote work. The candidate must live in Illinois. The position is full-time and may include evening and weekend work with travel throughout Illinois.

The Rural Affairs Director will be responsible for monitoring environmental issues in downstate Illinois, especially as it relates to agriculture, open space, and rural development. The person serving in this position will be traveling throughout the State to bridge connections between rural grassroots organizations and our larger statewide coalition of environmental partners, helping better inform IEC of on-the-ground challenges facing residents in often our most geographically isolated communities.


  • Build a database of organizations throughout rural Illinois who are actively engaged in environmental protection/awareness
  • Forge connections between lawmakers and their constituents
  • Identify, develop and present compelling environmental narratives to decision makers utilizing insights from stakeholders in rural Illinois to shape policy development
  • Employ a deep understanding of current and past state legislation as well as county/city ordinances while researching and recommending model policies to reduce pollution in Illinois’ agricultural communities
  • Convene rural Illinois IEC members to align interests, share best practices and findings, and plan mutually beneficial action plans

About You

We’re looking for a self-motivated individual who is excited to address the biggest challenges facing Illinois by bringing together diverse stakeholders. You should be a hard-working individual that is excited to take on any task.

We are a small, dynamic team that rely on each other to produce high quality work.

You like to work collaboratively with other organizations and community leaders.

We strongly encourage candidates of all different backgrounds and identities to apply. Each new hire is an opportunity for us to bring in a different perspective, and we are always eager to further diversify our company. IEC/IECEF is committed to building an inclusive, supportive place for you to do the best and most rewarding work of your career.


  • Familiarity and experience working in rural areas of Illinois
  • Prior experience in organizing, community relations, sales, nonprofits, especially in rural communities of Illinois
  • Experience in agricultural sector or farming
  • Strong interpersonal and social networking skills
  • A commitment to the cause of reducing pollution from agriculture
  • Located in Illinois, with ability to access central and southern IL on a regular basis
  • Candidates must have an active Illinois drivers license and an automobile

About Our Pay and Benefits

This full-time position is based out of the Springfield office, and can operate remote or with a hybrid work arrangement out of our Springfield office. Benefits include health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, a 401(k) plan, and generous paid time off.

Salary range is $70,000-80,000, commensurate with experience. Cover letter MUST include salary requirements. Candidates with salary requirements above the listed salary range will not be considered.

If you want to join Jen, Lindsay, Eliot, Jeff, Iyana, Tucker, Aly, Paloma, Ariel, Ben, Brian, Ignacio, Kimberly, Sam, Deonte, Samira, Jaime and Erika in making Illinois a better place to live, work and recreate, please apply!

Equal Opportunity Employer

IEC/IECEF is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, gender expression or identity, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, protective order status, veteran status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, ancestry, religion, pregnancy, certain arrest or criminal history records, homelessness and use of lawful products outside of work during non-working hours or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

Equity, Allyship and Powerbuilding Values

IEC/IECEF is working always to ensure that everyone on our team feels engaged and supported in all areas of the organization’s operations as we work to become a fully inclusive, multi-cultural and anti-racist organization.

We are only as powerful as the people in our movement and those we serve. Building power for people and our environment in Illinois requires us to actively combat social and political power dynamics that disenfranchise marginalized communities across a broad range of issues beyond those that fall squarely within traditional environmental policy. When marginalized communities are empowered, environmental protections become more possible. Thus we are called to stand in solidarity as allies with those fighting for justice and to strengthen our democratic institutions where power drives policy change. IEC/IECEF is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply

Introduce yourself to us as a colleague. Show us your future here and let us know what you’d bring to our organization! We value great writers, so be yourself, be creative, and take your time with the application.

The application deadline is Friday, July 22, but resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis and interviews will be scheduled with qualified applicants in accordance with the application date.

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter, and salary expectations. Please send all application materials, along with questions, via email to:

Eliot Clay
State Programs Director

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