U.S. Buildings Initiative Director, Climate Imperative Project

Location: San Francisco, CA or Washington, DC
Reports to: Senior Director of Climate Imperative

Climate change is governed by inexorable, physical facts—about carbon sources, accumulation, impacts, and timing, and more importantly, about solutions that work. These facts must inform strategy: they show that avoiding dangerous climate change is only possibly through strong policy to cut carbon, promptly, in the biggest countries.

To address these issues, Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC (Energy Innovation) was established in 2012 as a clean energy and environmental policy firm to provide timely research and analysis on low-carbon energy policy options to policy makers, thought leaders, and members of the media. The Energy Innovation team has expertise in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable urban development, technological innovation, and energy policy design. In addition to conducting policy research, Energy Innovation also works with clients to facilitate philanthropic investments into technology and advocacy that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy Innovation also staffs the Climate Imperative Foundation.

Climate Imperative is driving to win the most important climate policy decisions. Each Climate Imperative initiative aims to save at least three billion tons of CO2e cumulatively by 2050. For each initiative, we are convening and supporting a talented, proven team of grantees, and supporting them to do whatever is needed to win by providing: world-class technical advice, direct financial support, targeted communications, and/or public support. The decisions targeted represent the largest near-term carbon abatement opportunities around the world. This U.S. Buildings Initiative focuses on the approximately thirteen percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions associated with the burning of gas, oil and propane in residential and commercial buildings. The goal is to replace fossil-fueled appliances like space and water heaters and gas cookstoves with efficient, all-electric alternatives, like heat pumps and induction stoves. And, to do so with equity at the fore, recognizing that those most impacted by the climate crisis must benefit first from solutions.

Position Responsibilities: The U.S. Buildings Initiative Director will report to the Senior Director of Climate Imperative and be responsible for leading the policy and grant-making efforts, working in concert with other members of the team.

Specifically, the U.S. Buildings Initiative Director will be responsible for:

  • The core job: Position gas-free buildings as a central and essential part of addressing the climate crisis at the local, state and federal level.
  • Identify the near-term opportunities in the U.S. to align the U.S. buildings sector with a 1.5-degree science-based climate target.
  • Ensure the policies we are promoting and winning are equitable and low-income families are able to afford and enjoy the benefits of this transition.
  • In collaboration with partners in other geographies, assess the potential and the strategies to raise ambition for the building sector globally.
    • Ensure that you and our partners have a deep understanding of how to win in the decision-making venues.
    • Ensure that racial justice and equity and an economic transition strategy for affected workers are reflected in the design, implementation, and impact of the initiative.
    • Build a clear, concise, metric-driven campaign strategy to win in the U.S., consulting with relevant experts.
    • Serve as a thought leader to the broader philanthropic and NGO community on strategy and grantmaking.
    • Identify the NGOs and partner organizations who can execute the strategy, developing a portfolio of grantee partners to implement the strategy.
    • Regularly convene partners to ensure coordination when strategic, track progress, repair problems, expand, contract or phase down elements of the initiative, as necessary.
    • Report, without coloration, on progress and stalls to Energy Innovation leadership and the Climate Imperative Board.
    • Chalk up wins early to build momentum!
    • Serve as a sounding board and resource for other staff
  • To do this well, you will also need to:
    • Understand the social, political, economic, institutional, and other forces that could drive or inhibit smart climate and energy policy around building decarbonization.
    • Possess and continually enhance a keen understanding of which interventions and policies worldwide can deliver the most carbon abatement. This will include partnering with other policy experts within the organization and a small analytics team to ensure substantiated data and trends drive the work.
    • Track progress and submit quarterly reports on progress, obstacles, and strategies.
    • Present this information to the leadership.

Profile of the Successful Candidate: Energy Innovation seeks a skilled, creative, and innovative climate change professional with well-honed strategic campaign skills to serve as its U.S. Buildings Initiative Director. The successful candidate will have strong leadership skills, outstanding communications abilities, and a disposition toward finding and driving solutions in a complicated arena.

More specifically, we are seeking a professional with the following qualifications:

  • 7+ years of work experience leading successful campaigns to achieve policy change.
  • Deep interest, passion and commitment to reducing climate change; understanding what is at stake and ready to boldly tackle some of the most complex challenges facing humanity.
  • Keen sense of what it takes to make lasting change in various venues (political, business, community) and an interest in, and familiarity with, U.S. politics.
  • Leads with integrity and cultural sensitivity and brings a sophisticated analysis of the intersection of racial, economic and climate justice.
  • Team player with a commitment to working in a diverse team.
  • Proven track record of setting and achieving high-performance expectations that are motivating and results oriented.
  • Delivers timely and direct feedback that contributes to team members’ ongoing development.
  • Promptly resolves problems through timely consultation in an environment of mutual respect.
  • Seeks out and uses feedback as a developmental opportunity for self and others.
  • Ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with industry and government officials.
  • Ability to identify, evaluate and collaborate with grantee partners, understanding and actively working to dismantle the traditional funder-grantee power dynamic.
  • Ensures proper follow through while monitoring actions and results.
  • Master problem-solver.
  • Eager to take on a wide variety of tasks and help with all aspects of a small company.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and be flexible in a fast-paced, constantly evolving, and collaborative environment.
  • Collegial approach, excellent interpersonal skills, high emotional intelligence, and a sense of humor.
  • Willingness and ability to travel post-COVID.
  • Undergraduate or advanced degree in one or more environmental policy-related fields, including public policy, environmental management, environmental science, sustainability, international relations, law, or sustainable finance.

Equal Opportunity: Energy Innovation values diversity in all its forms and is committed to an inclusive and transparent recruitment process. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, age, religion, creed, disability (actual or perceived), medical condition including genetic characteristics, marital status, domestic partnership status, citizenship, military service, height, weight, HIV/AIDS status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance. People of diverse backgrounds and lived experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary and Benefits: Energy Innovation provides a competitive compensation package, including a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and a comprehensive benefits package. This position is located in San Francisco, CA or Washington, D.C., if possible, but can be flexible.

To Apply: To apply or nominate a candidate, please send a resume and cover to jobs@nullenergyinnovation.org with “U.S. Buildings Initiative Director” in the subject line. Submission in a combined PDF or Microsoft Word file is preferred. This position is open until filled, with an initial application deadline of 5PM PDT on Monday, October 25, 2021. Candidate review and phone screens will begin the week of October 25th.