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Policy Advisor, Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, U.S. Climate Alliance

Background on the United States Climate Alliance

The U.S. Climate Alliance was launched by the governors of California, New York, and Washington on June 1, 2017 in response to the administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Governors that join their state to the Alliance commit to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement, including by meeting their share of the U.S. emission reduction goal of a 26-28 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2025.  Since its launch, the Alliance has grown into a bipartisan coalition 23 members: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. The Alliance now represents over half the US population and roughly $11 trillion in economic activity – enough to be the world’s third largest economy. 

Through the Alliance, states work together to share expertise and information resources to help each accelerate the implementation of their climate priorities.  The Alliance also engages outside experts to provide additional analytical, research and policy support as needed, most notably through a select group of strategic partners known as the U.S. Climate Alliance Impact Partnership.  For more information on the on the Alliance, please visit www.usclimatealliance.org.

Position Overview

The Senior Policy Advisor, Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), assists the Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat in developing and executing strategy to support Alliance states meeting their climate priorities, and working internationally to make progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.  The Senior Policy Advisor will focus on supporting Alliance states in the development and implementation of policies to substantially reduce emissions of methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and black carbon.  As part of a small team, the Senior Policy Advisor will also be required to assume other duties as needed, including but not limited to research, administrative, coordination and events management functions.

The Senior Policy Advisor reports to the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat Executive Director in support of Alliance states, and will be expected to work as part of a broader team that includes external partners.  The Senior Policy Advisor supports and responds to state-led initiatives, and works with the Energy and Climate team at the United Nations Foundation, which houses the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat.

This position is located in Washington, D.C. with flexible teleworking arrangements.

Essential Functions

Work hand-in-hand with state governments to support the development and implementation of ambitious policies to reduce SLCPs by:

  • Informing and executing the Alliance’s SLCP strategy and workplan, especially with regards to methane reductions from sources such as mid- and down-stream oil and gas, manure management, waste water and solid waste.
  • Developing creative strategies for tackling more challenging sectors, such as enteric fermentation, working closely with relevant communities and stakeholders to achieve multiple benefits (e.g. more productive farmlands) in addition to climate benefits;
  • Preparing research and policy analysis to develop Alliance-wide emission reduction strategies and documents that could inform state policy developments;
  • Taking action to address self-identified state barriers to policy development;
  • Convening calls and teleconferences to enable peer-to-peer sharing of strategies for addressing SLCPs, and keeping related working groups on task;
  • Facilitating the effective sharing of information and human resources across states, including through online platforms;
  • Leading the development and execution of requested trainings, such as Learning Labs or other interactive and effective capacity building tools; and
  • Engaging Alliance states to motivate them to act on SLCPs and advance the SLCP Challenge, including among political and SLCP sector leadership in the Alliance states.
  • Facilitate additional policy support through external and cross-Alliance partnerships by:
  • Identifying and recruiting outside experts to provide discrete technical, analytical or policy assistance;
  • Recruiting long-term, strategic partners to launch a USCA Impact Partnership for SLCPs;
  • Managing the USCA Impact Partners, including by drafting and coordinating MOUs and ensuring the Partners deliver timely, demand-driven support; and
  • Working across Alliance initiatives/working groups to support a holistic approach to addressing SLCPs (e.g. through energy efficiency or natural climate solutions).

Support project-specific fundraising by:

  • Identifying interested donors and developing a fundraising strategy;
  • Leading the development of funding proposals and project budgets;
  • Managing relevant grants, including monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Raise the profile of SLCPs by:

  • Developing and executing a communications campaign to raise the visibility of SLCPs in ways that grows support for action and helps communicate the many benefits;
  • Drafting talking points for the state officials speaking on behalf of the Alliance and the Alliance Executive Director;
  • Representing the SLCP Working Group at key fora, including by presenting or speaking at events;
  • Securing earned media, working in close cooperation with Alliance media partners; and
  • Producing blogs, social media and other communications and outreach material.
  • Support state leadership of the SLCP Working Group by:
  • Convening, preparing agendas/curricula, taking notes and following-up on actions items from teleconferences on behalf of the state lead to check on status of project implementation and facilitate sharing of best practices;
  • Conducting consultations with states to inform the working group strategies;
  • Developing speaker series or other forms of capacity building; and
  • Generating and circulating information and knowledge resources.

Supporting state climate policy developments in other sectors by:

  • Working with the Executive Director to support Alliance states in the development and execution of strategy;
  • Liaising with stakeholders to identify opportunities for collaboration;
  • Conducting analysis and develop briefing papers on state-level climate policy, federal actions related to climate and clean energy, and international climate efforts; and
  • Supporting the planning and implementation of high-impact events, including organizing meetings and guest lists, developing a work plan, and communicating information to relevant staff and teams

Support secretariat coordination functions by:

  • Assisting in managing the operations of the Alliance, including tracking all action items, coordinating outreach, managing contacts, and drafting correspondence;
  • Handling all aspects of travel arrangements in a timely manner, including: preparing appropriate forms for travel approval, making all hotel and transportation arrangements, scheduling meetings, and providing detailed itineraries;
  • Perform other duties as assigned, especially in the management of the organization and external partnerships.

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s degree required.
  • 7-10 years experience in climate policy, with significant experience working with governments or other political figures.
  • Substantial demonstrated expertise in developing and implementing SLCP policies especially in a U.S. context.
  • Regulatory experience in the federal or a state government is strongly preferred.
  • Experience coordinating multi-stakeholder processes, and engagement in state, national or international coalitions.
  • As part of a small team, maximum flexibility in accepting and professionally executing a range of tasks – everyone works on policy, everyone sometimes has to order the coffee.
  • Ability to learn new policy areas and quickly strengthen expertise to become sufficiently proficient to support sectoral working groups or develop policy papers in non-SLCP sectors.
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy.
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.

Additional desired skill sets include:

  • Experience leading and executing communications strategy.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of state politics and state climate policy.
  • Experience in events management.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including strong drafting ability and attention to detail.
  • 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 and civil society organizations.
  • Ability to work independently as well as member of a team; and ability to take initiative.
  • Extreme personal discretion with sensitive information.
  • 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.
  • Ability to work outside normal office hours during surges (e.g. in the lead up to major events) and respond quickly to urgent requests.

Benefits and Compensation

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

  • A choice of two health plans through United Healthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA),
  • dental insurance,
  • vision discounts,
  • 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 benefits, and
  • 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 parental leave.

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