About Grid Lab

Grid Lab is a national initiative created to provide credible and targeted information to enhance policy decision-making so that technical grid integration issues (real or perceived) are not a barrier to rapid transition to a reliable and cleaner energy future. As the economics of clean energy resources – including wind, solar, and energy storage – improve relative to traditional resources, there is now an urgent need to address challenges tooperating a power system reliant on variable generation and distributed energy resources.Funded by the Energy Foundation, Grid Lab is a new initiative conceived through collaboration with NGOs,industry, and government experts to more effectively bring technical information and assistance to thesestakeholder groups in order to solve clean energy grid challenges in power sector policy decision-making.

Grid Lab’s work is organized around three pillars of activities:

  •  Connectivity: Knowledge sharing, advancement of solutions, and coordination among advocates and allied stakeholders.
  •  Training: Strategic education of policy makers, regulatory staff, and stakeholders.
  •  Experts on Demand: Deployment of experts to address specific technical grid issues in target venues, establishing Grid Lab as a credible source of expertise.

About The Energy Foundation

The Energy Foundation (EF) is a pragmatic and nonpartisan organization with a mission to serve the public interest by building a strong, clean energy economy. The foundation supports education and analysis to promote policy solutions that build markets for clean energy technology. It believes that advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency can open doors to greater innovation and productivity—growing the economy with dramatically less pollution.

To learn more about the Energy Foundation, please visit its website here.

The Opportunity

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to be the founding leader of a new, cutting-edge initiative focused on solving critical challenges with creating a clean energy power grid. The Executive Director will be leading the effort to create a national center of excellence whose mandate is to bring visionary thinking and solutions to address the challenges around the current power grid infrastructure and to systematically advance policy to enable an effective transformation to the grid of the future.

Grid Lab will initially launch as a project of the Energy Foundation, with the expectation that it will spin out into an independent organization within the first two years. This position will be responsible for overseeing all work at Grid Lab, designing and managing Grid Lab projects, and establishing Grid Lab as a source of credible technical expertise among policy makers and power grid professionals.

The immediate priority will be to launch the initiative and identify and execute activities that will demonstrate the value of Grid Lab in enhancing policy decision-making. Additionally, the position will be responsible for refining the vision and long-range strategy for Grid Lab, including short- and long-term metrics for network success and growth. These efforts will involve outreach and needs assessment to prospective users of Grid Lab expertise (NGOs, government agencies, industry groups, etc.) and ensure their input and perspectives are effectively incorporated into Grid Lab’s strategic trajectory.

This position will report to the Program Director of the Energy Foundation. Administrative support will be provided. The Executive Director will also seek guidance and strategic direction from an Advisory Committee, and will be expected to coordinate closely with other organizations and Energy Foundation partners that seek to advance the purpose of Grid Lab.

Other Key Responsibilities

  • Work with the Energy Foundation Program Director to establish and facilitate regular engagement with the Advisory Committee;
  • Launch initial project activities, including developing internal processes for sourcing and vetting such projects;
  • Manage the Grid Lab budget, including income and expenses, and report financial performance to the Energy Foundation Program Director;
  • Manage geographically dispersed, remote-working staff and consultants;
  • Develop process for evaluating Grid Lab’s accomplishments, tracking quantitative and qualitative indicators of success; and
  • Develop an organizational development plan that may include establishing Grid Lab as an independently incorporated organization.

Ideal Candidate

Grid Lab is seeking an Executive Director who will be passionate about the transformative power this initiative will have on the grid of the future. The ideal candidate is a true strategist and builder with a strong track record of translating vision into action, including aligning people and resources towards objectives, prioritizing investments and projects, managing budgets, and measuring progress. The success and effectiveness of Grid Lab will depend on a strong leader who can develop innovative strategies; curate, test, and pilot activities; recruit leading experts to participate actively in projects; and facilitate and inspire collaborative solutions.

The ideal candidate will be a self-starter who is capable of running the operations of a new initiative, working collaboratively with NGOs, industry, and government stakeholders in order to shape and support the strategic direction of the organization. This includes enlisting the talents of experts in Grid Lab projects, proactively building and fostering relationships, and promoting knowledge sharing across the network. 

Candidates must demonstrate how their experience and expertise will enable them to establish credibility in the field on technical grid issues and build rapport with disparate stakeholders as well as how they develop and facilitate strategy across a broad network of partners. Effective convening skills are required, including a strong background working with opinion and policy leaders, funding partners, nonprofit organizations, and others to build a comprehensive program portfolio that drives outcomes.

The successful candidate will thrive in an entrepreneurial, start-up environment and be comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances, listen to others, and learn from their best ideas with a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity is essential. Candidates must be personable, trustworthy, diplomatic, and have impeccable integrity and ethics.

Other important qualifications include:

  • A broad knowledge of solutions, best practices, and policy processes to advance clean energy in the power sector;
  • The ability to synthesize and translate technical material for less technical audiences as well as the ability to effectively present complex information in meaningful and compelling ways;
  • Experience organizing multi-stakeholder projects and a proven track record of facilitating diverse interests toward a common purpose;
  • Strong communications skills, including disseminating content and messaging through traditional and new media outlets.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible leadership experience. Technical credibility is required on the breadth (and ideally most of the specifics) of grid integration topics related to the distribution system, bulk power system, and at the interface of the distribution and bulk power systems,including engineering-oriented, operational, market design, planning, and institutional culture challenges within utilities and grid operators.

Participatory experience in forums such as UVIG, IEEE, NERC/FERC, DOE/Labs, and NARUC is preferred. Experience with or in state-level PUC proceedings and RTO task forces is also beneficial.

A bachelor’s degree is required; an advance degree in engineering or a related field is highly desirable. The position’s location is flexible, although candidates must be able to travel on a regular basis.