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Executive Director, U.S. Climate Alliance

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement.  U.S. Climate Alliance states are committed to taking real, impactful, on-the-ground action that urgently addresses the climate challenge. In becoming an Alliance member, states commit to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius by:

  • reducing collective net GHG emissions at least 26-28 percent by 2025 and 50-52 percent by 2030, both below 2005 levels, and collectively achieving overall net-zero GHG emissions as soon as practicable, and no later than 2050.
  • Accelerating new and existing policies to reduce GHG pollution, building resilience to the impacts of climate change, and promoting clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.
  • Centering equity, environmental justice, and a just economic transition in their efforts to achieve their climate goals and create high-quality jobs.
  • Tracking and reporting progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement.

For more information on the on the Alliance, please visit www.usclimatealliance.org.

Position Overview

The Executive Director oversees the U.S. Climate Alliance secretariat, which provides strategic, convening, analytical and other functions to support Alliance states in making progress on their climate priorities.  This organization and large coalition of state officials has grown and evolved substantially in its first four years and is at an important inflection point – executing a new strategy and organizational re-structure to more effectively support state climate leadership over the next four years and engage the new federal administration to help create and implement an ambitious, durable national climate framework. 

The Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat administratively reports to UNF’s Climate and Energy Department and substantively to a board of representatives from each of the governors’ offices.  The Executive Director is supported by a Chief of Staff, Special Assistant, Policy Director, Communications Director and deep bench of policy experts.  Their service is part of a broader team that includes Alliance states, consultants and external partners.  The position is also part of the Energy and Climate team at the United Nations Foundation, which houses the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat.

This position is located at UNF headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Diverse views and experiences strengthen our team - diversity candidates are encouraged to apply.

Essential Functions

Strategic Planning and Visioning

  • Execute the Alliance’s recently released Strategic Plan 2021-2025, including by:
    • Developing a corresponding implementation plan
    • Overseeing the development and execution of sector-specific strategies and workplans
    • Overseeing the development and execution of metrics and a monitoring and evaluation system
  • Conveying the Alliance’s strategy to external audiences to share the direction and impact of the coalition’s work
  • Advise on how individual states can implement their part of the strategy
  • Reassess and undertake additional strategic planning as needed

Coalition Building

  • Support the co-chairs and representatives of the other governors’ offices to lead the coalition
  • Strengthen the coalition by ensuring all member states have access to the support and resources they need to implement their priorities, including but not limited to secretariat, partner and consultant support
  • Identify new opportunities to elevate the work of the Alliance and create strategic partnerships
  • Work with governors and their policy staff to continue raising ambition and incenting political action

Public Communications

  • Represent the Alliance as the primary spokesperson through interviews with the media, at speaking events and in senior-level meetings with the Administration, industry and countries
  • In concert with the Communications Director, advise states on how to make a compelling case for their climate leadership and provide necessary tools and talking points to support their press shops

Fundraising

  • Liaise with current and new donors to help them understand and value the work of the Alliance and state climate actions
  • Develop a new fundraising strategy to support the coalition’s growing body of work
  • Oversee all staff-level fundraising efforts, including conduct final reviews of project proposals that touch on multiple sectors or engage new donors
  • Mentor staff in growing their fundraising and proposal development skills

Organizational Management

  • Oversee all aspects of this growing organization, working hand-in-hand with our leadership team
  • Manage the organization’s budget
  • Interview and approve all senior hires

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s degree or other professional degree required.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in climate policy, with significant experience working with governments or other political figures
  • Essential Skills
    • Thinks strategically in order to influence decision-makers and outcomes
    • Demonstrated experience working with diverse members to create and execute a vision for collective action
    • Conducting complex and iterative strategic planning efforts with multiple stakeholders
    • Political acumen both in terms of situational awareness and understanding how and when to engage busy political leaders
    • Strong network of climate policy experts, philanthropies, Congress and senior officials in the federal government
    • Ability to strategically engage the philanthropic community to strengthen support for state climate leadership, especially as many begin to pivot towards federal advocacy as a priority
    • Experience coordinating multi-state processes and decision making and actually enjoys coalition building, which requires lots of conversations to get meaningful collective action
    • Skilled spokesperson who is able to learn material quickly, stay on point even when asked difficult questions, and represent the diversity of the Alliance governors while presenting a cohesive and compelling message
    • Demonstrated experience managing complex organizational budgets
    • Ability to execute sometimes ambiguous instructions and deliver on outcomes intended by our states
    • Extreme personal discretion with sensitive information
    • Ability to work outside normal office hours during surges (e.g. in the lead up to major events) and respond quickly to urgent requests
    • Capable of travelling domestically and internationally for high priority meetings and events
  • Desirable Skills
    • Experience managing a growing organization
    • Demonstrated knowledge of state politics and state climate policy
    • As part of a small team, maximum flexibility in accepting and professionally executing a range of tasks – everyone works on policy, and everyone sometimes has to order the coffee
    • Experience in events management
    • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple, competing priorities in a fast-paced environment within limited timeframes
    • Diplomatic and able to work effectively with leaders across a range of government, private sector, academia, and non-profits
    • Ability to work independently as well as member of a team; and ability to take initiative
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite to include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
    • Proficiency in or ability to learn Square Space, Word Press, or other website management software
    • Demonstrated use of social media to effectively communicate climate policy.
    • Cheerful, friendly, enthusiastic, and dependable
    • Personal commitment to advancing the climate and clean energy agenda in the United States and internationally

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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