About the Organization
The Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) is a new organization funded and launched by some of the largest donors to climate-focused philanthropy. Its mission is to increase the philanthropic resources focused on solving climate change by connecting potential donors—whether individuals, families, or established foundations—to climate leaders, solutions in need of support, and other donors through a peer-based network in order to build understanding and urgency around this global challenge. The founding CLI funders include Oak Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, The Packard Foundation, SeaChange Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
CLI is a resource for new potential donors to climate mitigation efforts as well as for individuals and families who are already engaged in climate and/or clean energy philanthropy. Since CLI does not raise money for itself, the Initiative will work with and across organizational lines in a manner that is focused on impact, but not tied to one way or organization achieving it. This model frees CLI to provide trusted and objective advice for philanthropists. It will have knowledge of and access to the full suite of existing, cutting-edge work, making it capable of working with donors in ways tailored to their specific interests. It will foster new forms of partnership with an array of potential partners, including both environmental, health, and regional NGOs and other entities capable of executing global climate solutions; facilitate entry for donors who are new to climate-focused philanthropy and promote learning and sharing among donors.
CLI will provide guidance and support to high net worth individuals and families seeking ways to enter the climate field and accelerate progress. The Initiative will also proactively partner to bring in new philanthropists for this effort. Time is short and there is no shortage of need, nor of ways to invest in the solutions. What CLI will add is knowledge about, and access to, the whole array of potential interventions and solutions ready for support.
In this newly created position, the Director of Operations will report to the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, helping to create and maintain the operational backbone to support this nimble and growing organization. With multiyear funding and the senior leadership team in place, the Climate Leadership Initiative is poised for immediate next steps and growth. The Director of Operations has the rare opportunity to join an innovative and bold team working at the forefront of advancing the most promising solutions to the climate crisis.
This position will play a pivotal role in building the operational and administrative systems required to support CLI staff and the needs of its external stakeholders. The Director will ensure the necessary personnel processes to facilitate recruitment and talent development and will partner with the VP and COO to manage and administer the budget. They will also architect the systems and tools required for CLI to efficiently advise and tailor opportunities for potential donors, as well as those required to track and report on progress to CLI funders.
The Director of Operations will own and manage CLI’s relationship with two important back-office partners. First, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) will serve as CLI’s fiduciary sponsor and provide financial, payroll, human resources, and legal support. Additionally, ClimateWorks Foundation is under contract to provide facilities, IT and Salesforce support.
- In partnership with the VP and COO and RPA, build the annual budget and manage CLI’s finances against it.
- Design and maintain a robust content management system and process for managing donor information through the existing Salesforce database; institute appropriate policies, internal controls, operational standards, and procedures that reflect best practices.
- Support and train fundraising staff in mapping workflows to metrics; create and run reports, overseeing data management and hygiene as needed.
People and Culture
- Build and implement the necessary talent acquisition processes to support growth across the organization, while also directly managing recruitments in close partnership with hiring managers.
- Develop onboarding materials and programs to welcome new staff and ensure a smooth transition into the organization.
- Working closely with the VP and COO, foster clarity around the organization’s cultural values with an emphasis on supporting team cohesion and staff development.
- Coordinate all aspects of key meetings and events, including but not limited to agendas, invite lists, speakers, materials, venue, logistics, catering, and technology
CLI seeks a Director of Operations who brings a breadth of operational and administrative experience that spans human resources, technology, and finance. The successful candidate will be adept at moving seamlessly between strategy and tactical implementation as a results-oriented and self-directed leader. In this entrepreneurial environment, all CLI team members must display a willingness to wear multiple hats and thrive in a culture that places a high priority on collaboration and team support rooted in shared vision, goals, and mission alignment.
An understanding of how to navigate through ambiguity while driving towards clarity is key to success. With experience leading organizations through change and growth, the ideal candidate will have a demonstrated track record of fostering collaboration amongst a diverse group of stakeholders to scale systems, processes, and tools in a rapidly changing environment. CLI requires an operations professional who is highly skilled at translating business needs into process and system improvements that will result in the highest quality product and best serve its users.
Leading with exceptional emotional intelligence, the successful candidate will balance the push to maximize operational efficiencies with an ever-present focus on the people and relational aspects of change management. Understanding the nuances and complexities of building teams and culture in a dynamic and fast-paced environment is essential.
While content expertise is not required, candidates must be able to speak to meaningful connections to CLI’s mission to advance climate solutions. An intellectual curiosity and a learner’s mindset are critical to success in joining CLI.
Candidates must bring a minimum of ten years of relevant operations and project management experience. Comfort in start-up contexts is beneficial, as is an understanding of how to build systems and workflows while in growth mode. Experience using cloud-based relational database systems, such as Salesforce, is strongly preferred. A background in managing, building, and developing teams is essential. Experience in nonprofits and/or philanthropy is a plus.
CLI events will require occasional domestic and international travel. This position must be based in San Francisco, California.