Senior Director, Clean Energy Idea Bank

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

EDF Clean Energy Program:  Electric utilities are poised to invest up to $2 trillion in infrastructure over the next two decades to modernize our aging, inefficient energy infrastructure, creating a once-in-a-century opportunity to revolutionize how we generate, distribute and use electricity. These choices will be influenced by stricter Clean Air Act standards and the availability of low-cost natural gas, two factors that have combined to create a rare moment of dynamism in the power sector. EDF’s Clean Energy experts are working with state Public Utility Commissions, utilities, policymakers and other key stakeholders to seize this opportunity to modernize our antiquated electricity grid and spur investments in and break down the regulatory and financial barriers to broad-scale adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other innovative ways to generate and use energy. These approaches can answer the need for power, spur economic development, lesson our carbon footprint and help America gain a global leadership position in the multi-trillion dollar clean energy economy. We seek to do this through:

  • Spurring the paradigm shift in the electric utility industry
  • Optimizing the electric grid’s performance
  • Rewarding customers and companies for the full value of clean energy
  • Unleashing the potential of private capital 

Environmental Defense Fund is seeking an experienced manager and strategist to join the leadership team of the EDF Clean Energy Program as Senior Director, Idea Bank.  The new Senior Director will provide the vision for, develop, and manage our Idea Bank, a think tank, research, analytical, and strategic planning hub for the EDF Clean Energy Program.  This position will report to the Associate Vice President, Clean Energy Program.


  • Envision, develop, implement, and manage the EDF Clean Energy Idea Bank with input from Associate Vice President, Clean Energy, Senior Director, State Strategic Implementation and the Clean Energy Collaborations team, as well as work across other EDF programs involved in domestic climate and energy policy.
  • Build analytic capabilities to provide further research on micro-economic issues, macro-economic issues, engineering and other technical issues needed to support EDF policy positions and our advocacy.
  • Build and maintain repository of model protocols by ensuring systematic management of written materials that define our policy positions, serve as testimony, or otherwise capture and build the intellectual thought leadership of the program.  These materials will be used by both new staff, staff from other programs, EDF consultants, and even outside collaborators.
  • Continuously identify and coordinate deployment of cutting-edge research, analysis, best practices, and leading experts to support program goals.
  • Build “intel” pipeline to anticipate, evaluate and track emerging issues and key technological  trends and developments in all program areas to ensure EDF is always “looking around the corner” and is working on the most pressing and relevant issues
  • Offer formal presentations both internally and externally before knowledgeable audiences
  • Hire, mentor, and supervise staff and external consultants.
  • Serve as Clean Energy’s primary liaison to the Offices of Chief Scientist and Chief Economist.
  • Support a collaborative review and evaluation process to identify and resolve cross-cutting issues within EDF Clean Energy.
  • Help vet new issue engagement and partnership opportunities and produce well-informed recommendations
This is a senior position requiring vision, creativity, rigorous analytical capacity, and organizational savvy.  Specific qualifications include:
  • B.A. or B.S. required; specialization in economics, engineering, mathematics or other technical area of study preferred.
  • Ph.D. highly recommended.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in electricity markets, regulation, and regional transmission organization/independent system operator procedures or climate science required; authorship of material published within peer reviewed journals a plus.
  • Proven ability to manage knowledge and synthesize ideas.
  • Established partnerships with academic institutions a plus
  • A minimum of 12 years professional experience
  • Demonstrated success at designing and managing research to support multi-faceted strategies and launching new initiatives
  • Superior problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Strong management skills, including proven ability to manage resources and budgets, and a lead a high-skilled, analytical and technical staff
  • Strong entrepreneurial capabilities and ability to foster innovation
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills exhibiting the ability to “translate” technical information into compelling, accessible advocacy  
This position can be housed in EDF's San Francisco, Austin, Raleigh, New York or Washington, DC office.

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer Apply
March 6, 2015
Regular Full-Time
Various, United States