About the Organization
The Energy Foundation’s nonprofit mission is to serve the public interest by building a strong clean energy economy. The foundation supports education and analysis to promote pragmatic, non-partisan policy solutions that advance renewable energy and energy efficiency, building markets for clean energy technology and opening doors to greater innovation and productivity—growing the economy with dramatically less pollution.
For more than 25 years, Energy Foundation has supported grantees to help educate policymakers and the general public about the health and economic benefits of a clean energy economy. Grantees include business, health, labor, environmental, faith, equity, free-market, and consumer groups, as well as policy experts, military organizations, think tanks, and universities.
Energy Foundation’s comprehensive approach advances energy efficiency and renewable energy in the power, transportation, and buildings sectors. Working together, our Policy and Public Engagement programs focus on developing innovative policies and campaigns to help propel clean energy development in these sectors, while our Strategic Communications Program develops powerful narrative and communications strategies designed to build support for our work regionally and nationwide. Our States and Regions Team is a cross-disciplinary team of policy, communications, and campaign experts dedicated to advancing strong state and regional climate and clean energy policies.
Energy Foundation’s founding office is in San Francisco, CA, with additional offices in Raleigh, NC; Chicago, IL; Washington, DC; and Las Vegas, NV. To learn more about EF, visit www.ef.org.
The Program Director, Transportation (Program Director) will lead the strategy development and campaign design for Energy Foundation’s philanthropic investments to transform U.S. transportation, applying an interdisciplinary understanding of the transportation and power sectors in order to reduce pollution and promote advanced technologies. The Program Director will play an influential role engaging funders, grantees, and stakeholder groups in the business, government, civic, and nonprofit sectors across the spectrum of the transportation industry.
Reporting to the Vice President, Policy, the Program Director will develop and fund multi-year strategies at the national level and work collaboratively across Energy Foundation, advising on strategies to influence regional and state policies that achieve ambitious and regionally aligned policy goals related to the transportation sector.
Energy Foundation currently is investing more than $12 million annually in this program area, with the Program Director directly managing a $3 million portfolio. As this individual implements strategies for increasing Energy Foundation’s presence and activities in this program area, this figure is expected to grow. The Program Director will collaborate with funding partners to build a coordinated approach to the work, including defining metrics for philanthropy and other funders to measure progress and attract more resources. Together with Energy Foundation’s Strategic Partnerships team, the Program Director will help cultivate and expand existing donor relationships and build a pipeline of prospective donors for the work.
The Program Director also will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with Energy Foundation’s international philanthropic partners. Given the international nature of the transportation industry, this collaboration has proven to be crucial in shaping U.S. advocacy and analysis, and U.S. success has itself informed strategy in other national markets. This cross-fertilization is an important service philanthropy can uniquely provide. As such, this work includes limited but potentially highly impactful collaborations across national boundaries.
The Program Director will actively maintain and grow new relationships with grantees, policymakers, opinion leaders, and funding partners, and produce quality written materials for a variety of audiences associated with the foundation, including board members, funders, and other stakeholders.
The Ideal Candidate
Energy Foundation seeks candidates with demonstrated expertise at the leading edge of U.S. transportation policy, with a particular focus on federal and state fuel economy standards; electrification of the vehicle fleet (including but not limited to light-duty vehicles); and associated electric vehicle-grid integration policies. The ideal candidate has an ability to engage and lead in other technology areas such as hydrogen and advanced biofuels, as well as the ability to assess the applicability of advanced transportation technologies and policies to sectors such as transit, goods movement, rail, shipping, and aviation.
Experience building, advising, and managing wide-ranging, diverse coalitions of advocates committed to ensuring equitable access to advanced transportation solution is strongly preferred.
The Program Director is able to synthesize information from multiple sources into a coherent, big-picture view. The ideal candidate is someone who can establish credibility in the field and build a rapport with disparate stakeholders, while developing and facilitating strategy across a broad network of partners.
Electrification of transportation presents the most immediate opportunity for meaningful progress, so experience demonstrating an interdisciplinary policy approach will be highly valued.
Basic knowledge and the ability to develop leadership in the following areas is preferred:
- Electric and gas utility regulation and power markets, including experience with utilities and state utility regulatory commissions;
- Renewable energy, including wind, solar, and storage technologies, business models, and markets;
- A strong grasp of the incentive structure for electric and gas utilities, fuel providers, and transportation OEMs, as well as motivations of other key stakeholders in the energy system; and
- The landscape of innovation in the clean energy and advanced transportation arena, including new business models, financing structures, and emerging technologies.
The Program Director will have a strong track record of translating vision into action, prioritizing investments and resources, managing budgets, and measuring progress. Critical to the success of the Program Director are effective relationship-building skills, including a demonstrated background working across sectors to build partnerships that drive stronger outcomes and attract increased resources. The successful candidate will be a natural collaborator and convener who is comfortable working behind the scenes, across diverse communities, and across geographies.
The ideal candidate thrives in a highly collaborative environment. The ability to adapt, listen to others, and learn from their best ideas with a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity is essential. Successful candidates are committed, personable, trustworthy, highly skilled relationship-builders, with impeccable integrity and ethics. Key to the success of this role are humility and a firm belief in supporting others to succeed.
The foundation’s core model is to articulate and synthesize strategy, identify grantees, and make resource allocation decisions. Interested candidates are drawn toward the opportunity to use philanthropic investments to assess and influence markets and related policy.
Preferred experience includes experience with political and issue campaigns; advocacy work to deliver policy outcomes; and working with grantee networks and experts engaged in clean energy and transportation advocacy. Experience that demonstrates an applied understanding of economics and finance, including energy forecasting and private sector finance models and methods, is desirable. Also helpful, but not required, is experience that reflects understanding of the role of philanthropy and the way foundation dollars impact policies and markets.
This position requires a minimum of eight years of work experience demonstrating expertise at the leading edge of U.S. transportation policy. Experience with non-profit or philanthropic organizations is desirable but not required. Outstanding public speaking and writing skills are necessary, including the ability to present complex information in meaningful and compelling ways.
The Program Director position is located in Energy Foundation’s San Francisco office. This position requires some travel, estimated to be 6-12 times a year for 1-3 business days at a time.