Program Director, Energy and Climate Resilience

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.

 

We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.

 

Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

Energy Transition Overview

 

The goal of EDF’s Energy Transition Team is to bend the curve on global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel production and use by 2030, cleanly and equitably. We will achieve this through a defined set of strategies targeted at 1) reducing emissions from fossil fuel production, delivery, and use, and 2) reducing demand for fossil fuels in power generation, transportation, buildings, and industry. To achieve this goal, we seek reforms in law, regulation, and/or business practice through a mix of strategic corporate partnerships, direct engagement with policymakers, and mobilizing investor and public sentiment in favor of change. In formulating and achieving our strategies, we will work in close collaboration with EDF regions, draw on cutting-edge science and rigorous economic and financial analysis, and act on principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion to develop durable solutions.

 

Project Overview

 

In 2017, Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico’s electric grid, creating a public health emergency and threatening access to clean drinking water, medical services, food security, and other basic needs. Many areas island remained without electricity for many months. Both the physical electric grid, and the traditional utility mindset that governs it have failed the people of Puerto Rico, most particularly the rural poor. As climate change makes the frequency and severity of storms like Maria more common, a new approach to providing electricity to the island is needed.

 

Since we began working in Puerto Rico in 2018, EDF has used a combination of rigorous analysis, alliances with local environmental and business groups, and community partnerships to advocate for distributed clean energy generation as a viable and essential strategy in Puerto Rico’s transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. In 2020, as a result of advocacy by EDF and other groups, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau issued an order that accelerates the deployment of renewable energy throughout the island, rejects utility proposals to build out gas infrastructure, and embraces clean, distributed energy generation. EDF is partnering with residents of Culebra to provide clean, resilient, and affordable power to dozens of low- and middle-income residents on the island. This project is part of an ambitious and comprehensive sustainability initiative on Culebra that seeks to integrate renewable energy with food security, waste management, health care, biodiversity conservation, and economic development.

 

EDF is launching a new phase of work in Puerto Rico which will build upon our successes in the policy arena and in Culebra by pursuing a three-pronged approach that leads with deep community engagement, leverages our legal and advocacy power, and positions the island for the financing it desperately needs to make many of the needed solutions long-lasting and independent. This new phase will include maintaining an ongoing presence in Culebra to ensure long-term sustainability of the project, work on energy policy (in Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.) that keeps Puerto Rico on track to meet its renewable energy mandates, and a focus on attracting public and private investments that bring clean and affordable energy to low- and middle-income residents.  This new phase will also position EDF to help address broader issues around climate change, with new work on coastal adaptation, climate resilient fisheries, and related issues.

 

Position Overview

 

The Director, Energy Transition, Puerto Rico is a key member of the Energy Transition Team and will lead a dedicated team of staff and consultants to advance policies, programs, and projects in Puerto Rico. These initiatives require program analysis, strong relationship building, and astute operational leadership and will result in demonstrated government and community leadership in building climate resilience through investments and long-term commitments to clean energy, natural infrastructure, and other projects, prioritizing those people most vulnerable to climate change. Reporting to the Senior Director, Caribbean, and working closely with other members of the leadership team, this position will shape and advance the program’s strategic priorities for lasting environmental change.

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Manage and direct a multidisciplinary team, and enhance communication, coordination, and efficiency, and leverage the strengths and experience of staff and consultants in the region.

  • Create relationships and forge alliances among disparate interest groups in the region and help to build regional and national coalitions and promote conservation leadership in key stakeholder communities.

  • Analyze existing programs and find ways to implement transformational, durable solutions and create ways to measure successes.

  • Supervise operations; review and update budget and strategic planning documents and work plans for all major program initiatives in the region; and, in cooperation with relevant national staff, develop and execute the political and communications strategies for the region.

  • Engage the media to advance project objectives and communicate project results to a broad array of audiences.

  • Coordinate the team’s work with internal and external colleagues and engage academic scientists, policy experts, and others to solve complex fishery management problems.

  • Represent EDF, Energy Transition, and the team at regional meetings as needed.

  • Serve as primary liaison with other EDF regional and national staff and contribute to overall Program objectives.

  • Work with leadership and development officers to identify potential funding sources to secure the long-term success of the program.

  • Prepare and supervise the annual budget for the regional program.

  • Engage directly with foundation officers and individual donors supporting the team’s work, and coordinate with development staff to coordinate reports to them as required.

  • Function as a member of the program’s leadership team with the goal of improving the effectiveness and coordination of the overall program.

  • Serve as a mentor for junior staff and identify opportunities for professional growth and development.

  • Participate in advancing EDF diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.

  • Additional relevant responsibilities as assigned.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 10 years direct program experience and advanced degree in law, science, policy, or another related field required, with at least 5 years of experience working in Puerto Rico on environmental, energy, or related matters.

  • Significant experience working with Puerto Rican and federal natural resource management agencies, Puerto Rico’s legislative and executive branches, non-governmental organizations, and community groups in Puerto Rico.

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage programs, budgets, and staff.

  • Ability to use mastery of science, law, economics, and advocacy to initiate and win positive environmental change.

  • Expert at achieving results in strategy, policy, and politics.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Highly proactive, organized, and detail oriented.

  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with nonprofit colleagues and partners, scientists, economists, industry, regulators, foundation officers and individual donors, and public policy decision makers.

  • Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.

The pay range for this role is 120,000 - 132,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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