United Nations Foundation

Policy Advisor, Climate Infrastructure, U.S. Climate Alliance

Employment Opportunity - Washington, DC - Full Time

Position Overview

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to upholding the goals of the Paris Agreement. The U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat provides strategic, convening, analytical and other functions to support Alliance states in making progress on their climate priorities.  For more information on the on the Alliance, please visit usclimatealliance.org.

With the passage of the more than $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) — Alliance states have a historic opportunity to use unprecedented federal funding to support state climate action, accelerate clean energy deployment, increase resiliency, advance environmental justice, invest in overburdened and underserved communities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors.

The Policy Advisor for Climate Infrastructure will work with the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Executive Director in formulating and executing a strategy to support Alliance states in maximizing opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation through BIL implementation. This position will serve as primary advisor to the Secretariat staff and Alliance states on BIL implementation, working directly with governors’ offices and state agencies to understand their unique needs, overcome challenges, and seize opportunities for climate action with BIL funds. The Policy Advisor will also act as a liaison to the federal government, partner organizations, and other stakeholders through a whole-of-government and coordinated approach to support Alliance states in implementing their climate efforts during this critical moment.

The Policy Advisor reports to the U.S. Climate Alliance’s Executive Director in support of Alliance states, works in close partnership with the Alliance’s Federal Policy Analyst, and will be expected to work as part of broader policy, communications, and state-federal teams that include Alliance states, federal government officials, consultants, and external partners. The 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 with preference to Washington, D.C. and will consider U.S. remote.

Essential Functions

  • Strategy Development and Execution:  In partnership with Alliance states, federal officials, partner organizations, and policy experts, oversee the development and execution of an ambitious strategy for states to maximize the climate benefits of federal infrastructure investments. Formulate a corresponding work plan to turn the strategy into reality — identifying key partners, building coalitions, and drawing on the experience and expertise of others to reduce duplication and increase capacity.
  • Policy Leadership:  Advise the Secretariat and Alliance governors’ offices on how best to advance climate mitigation and adaptation using infrastructure dollars, evaluating and prioritizing the hundreds of unique programs funded under the law to understand where the highest-impact opportunities exist. Analyze policy options across sectors (e.g., transportation, power, buildings, natural and working lands, resilience) and make recommendations to Alliance states and Secretariat staff that are ambitious, politically feasible and technologically achievable.
  • Program Support for States:  Provide direct technical and policy support to states to assist in their short-term and long-term efforts to secure and implement federal infrastructure funding and advance their climate goals. This may include drafting policy, building policy toolkits, coordinating learning labs, convening stakeholder meetings, developing strategies for policy adoption, and enabling information sharing across states.
  • Direct Technical Assistance:  Oversee grants for Alliance states to access technical assistance and resources to support grant-writing, application preparation, and infrastructure program development — enabling states to obtain and ultimately deploy infrastructure funds to support climate priorities. Work with the Executive Director and external partners to identify funding to support and expand availability of grants.
  • Federal and Partner Engagement:  Cultivate a strong state-federal relationship with Biden Administration officials and provide real-time feedback from Alliance states to inform federal implementation efforts. Work to ensure that federal rules, programs, resources, and projects are implemented in a manner that prioritizes opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation. Identify areas of potential collaboration with other non-profit organizations and build coalitions to ensure strategic alignment of resources and avoid duplication of efforts. Convene state and federal officials to share information, convey best practices, amplify success stories, and raise ambition.
  • Advancing Justice and Equity:  Support states in advancing equity and environmental justice through the deployment of federal infrastructure funds, ensuring investments reach overburdened and underserved communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution and the impacts of climate change. Provide dedicated policy support to states in identifying disadvantaged communities and help governors’ offices overcome barriers to prioritizing and investing infrastructure dollars where they are needed most.
  • Identifying Funding Opportunities:  On behalf of the Secretariat and Alliance governors’ offices, track and report on federal funding opportunities under the infrastructure law — keeping states and Alliance staff informed of key timelines, dates, and deadlines. Compile a comprehensive database of programs and resources available under the law. Collaborate with external partners to share information and increase awareness. Notify Alliance states of new funding opportunities, ensuring information is conveyed in a manner that is accessible and understandable to governors’ offices and state government officials that often have limited bandwidth and capacity.
  • Communications and Storytelling:  Work with Alliance states and Secretariat staff to develop a compelling communications strategy that highlights success stories and amplifies progress on climate solutions through federal infrastructure programs, resources, and projects. In partnership with the Communications Director, drive the production of core messages, rollouts, announcements, and other opportunities for storytelling. Assist Secretariat staff to develop internal publications such as newsletters, press releases, and email announcements about infrastructure implementation.

Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree with substantial work experience in climate solutions, clean energy, or infrastructure required.
  • 4-7 years of experience in related policy areas, with experience working with governments desired. Strong preference may be given to candidates with experience working in, with, or around state-level government.
  • Experience leading multi-stakeholder processes and building coalitions to drive results.
  • As part of a small and highly engaged team, key skills include:
    • Ability to quickly grasp new material on the job and apply a critical thinking lens.
    • Self-motivated with strong ability to find solutions in the face of challenges.
    • Maximum flexibility in accepting and professionally executing a range of tasks.
    • Talent for designing and executing activities and resources that are always focused on achieving real-world results. 
    • Demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple, competing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
    • Excellent verbal and written briefing skills.
    • Ability to diplomatically engage diverse counterparts and use personal discretion in working with sensitive information.
    • Experience in events and project management.
    • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.

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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