Assistant Director, Regulatory and Technical Affairs

Society of the Plastics Industry, Washington, DC

Responsible for countless facets of the modern life we enjoy today, the resilient and growing plastics industry has been rallying its efforts to champion good stewardship practices for critical materials and to provide education on materials options. Regulatory requirements, codes and standards, and voluntary initiatives all play important roles in this vital industry that directly employs nearly 900 thousand people and contributes $373 billion to the U.S. economy.


Among SPI’s diverse industry membership base, two governance bodies — the Bioplastics Council and the Organic Peroxide Producers Safety Division (OPPSD) – require strong staff support for their external outreach efforts. The Assistant Director, under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, has an exciting opportunity to manage and plan programs on behalf of both groups providing oversight, communication and programing to further their regulatory, technical and branding interests.


The current objectives of the Bioplastics Council are focused around education and strategic advice (e.g., industry, government and value chain), describing bioplastics options and promoting harmonization of environmental policies.  . To establish the Bioplastics Council as the “go to” source for bioplastics information, they are pursuing outreach to regulatory agencies (eg. DOT and USDA,) prospective members and to the larger SPI membership.

The OPPSD, a more established cohort, is concentrating its efforts on furthering its relationships with US agencies (e.g., DOT, EPA and OSHA), codes and standards bodies (e.g., NFPA) and its European counterpart with a focus on the safe handling and use of their products.


The ideal candidate will possess a blend of regulatory experience coupled with a strong interest in chemicals management issues to effectively liaise with industry experts. Additional skills in consensus building, decision making, writing, budget administration and leadership will ensure a smoother transition into the role.



Bachelors degree required. Concentration in the physical sciences preferred.

  • Minimum five years’ experience in industry, government, trade or professional association management positions requiring managerial, interpersonal and technical skills.
  • Conceptual and strategic thinker.
  • Consensus builder and effective liaison with member committees.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Demonstrated competence in effective communications with technical interest, special interest groups, industry, the media and the public.
  • Ability to manage a variety of projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to travel.



Send salary requirements, cover letter, and résumé to Shira Harrington, Purposeful Hire, Inc. at This is a retained search. All candidates must submit applications through Purposeful Hire, Inc.




General Summary: Under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, responsible for direction and management of the SPI Bioplastics Council and Organic Peroxide Producers Safety Division (OPPSD) and corresponding activities to achieve their goals and objectives, while concurrently supporting the goals and objectives of SPI.


Essential Functions:

For both the Bioplastics Council and OPPSD:

  • Under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, provide Council and Division management, planning and administrative oversight.
  • Under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, ensure actions are rationalized with established association policies and priorities.
  • Under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, plan, organize and direct programs and activities in conjunction with respective leadership, and in support of SPI’s overall goals.
  • Work with leadership to develop and oversee newly created committees as required to meet objectives.
  • Liaise with other SPI advocacy staff with respect to public policy issues impacting members.
  • Provide regular communications to SPI staff and broader membership on activities.
  • Develop and maintain a network of key decision makers and officials from relevant regulatory agencies, related industry trade groups and coalitions.
  • Encourage member participation in regulatory/legislative process, advocacy, trade shows, meetings and other SPI activity.
  • Work with Communications and Marketing Department on relevant communications and public relations issues.
  • Provide management of Committee meetings. Work with the Trade Shows and Conferences Department for logistical support.
  • As warranted and under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, act as a SPI spokesperson on bioplastics and organic peroxide related issues.


SPI Bioplastics Council

  • Under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, manage the Steering Committee,
  • Lead the Technical Committees (2), and Communications, Marketing and Membership Committee
  • Oversee the annual Innovation in Bioplastics awards program; which is managed and lead by the Manager, Regulatory & Technical Affairs.
  • Collaborate with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other applicable government agencies to promote the use of sound science in the use and regulation of bioplastics.
  • At the discretion of the Senior Technical Director, represent the Council as an active member of outside bioplastics conference programming committee(s) (e.g., Smithers Rapra Biopolymers Symposium) as required.


Organic Peroxide Producers Safety Division (OPPSD):

  • Assist the Senior Technical Director leading the Executive Committee
  • Lead the Toxicology Committee and Transportation Committee.
  • Lead oversight of toxicology studies, testing programs, and contractors’ activities.
  • Monitor and analyze regulatory proposals related to organic peroxide producers, responding in coordination with its membership to those that may impact the OPPSD.
  • Under the direction of the Senior Technical Director, lead the development and implementation of regulatory programs/projects related to organic peroxide producers on behalf of member companies.
  • Collaborate with the U.S. Department of Transportation and other applicable government agencies to promote the use of sound science in the safe use and regulation of organic peroxides.



  • Regularly contribute to SPI’s industry communications tools (e.g., Inside Edge).



  • Assist with the development, recommendation, implementation and management of all Bioplastics Council and OPPSD program budgets. Ensure adherence to established budgets.



  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Have fun in your job.


Job Standards: 

  • Staff member must adhere to all relevant SPI policies and procedures.
  • Staff member is expected to provide excellent customer service to members and other staff at all times.
  • Member communications, e-mails, telephone, written and oral, are a central part of SPI’s day-to-day business. Staff member will be expected to treat communications as a top priority.
  • Staff member, as an SPI employee, is a representative of the entire plastics industry, notwithstanding particular job focus or area of concentration.


  • Internally: Interface with SPI staff, SPI Counsel and SPI membership.
  • Externally: Interface with government agencies, laboratories, consultants, organizations, trade groups, coalitions and other plastics industry stakeholders as required in fulfillment of job goals.