Vice President, Build to Zero

Overall Function

EDF is starting an initiative to intensify the speed and scale of clean energy and clean transportation project deployment – called “Build to Zero” -- that will activate its deep bench of political, policy, legal, communications and private-sector expertise to overcome the most significant barriers. This position will lead the execution of this strategy, ensuring that it helps achieve the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) by addressing the barriers, like permitting and siting hurdles, that stall individual clean energy projects and delay construction of clean infrastructure. The Vice President will ensure the organization pushes for ambitious action through every possible lever – including executive actions and federal, state, and local legislation and/or policy change – while holding fast to EDF’s core values and its commitment to equity and community engagement.

Reporting to the Executive Director, U.S. Region, the Vice President, Build to Zero will work to build this new initiative rapidly by collaborating with senior leaders across EDF and with allies to strengthen, hone and pursue EDF’s strategy and leadership on building clean energy and transportation projects in the United States.

The Vice President, Build to Zero will work across the organization to drive results in key region and mission areas. They will ensure a holistic effort across EDF by developing a shared vision, identifying deployment opportunities, setting priorities and providing support and accountability around EDF’s policy priorities for the Build to Zero strategy. This leader will develop a robust, collaborative external network to leverage EDF’s investment in this work. To be successful, the Vice President, Build to Zero will demonstrate a strong spirit of collaboration, communicate with trust and transparency, and have a laser focus on achieving results.

Key Responsibilities

The VP, Build to Zero will perform the following and other relevant duties as assigned:

Leadership and Strategic Vision

  • Build and implement, in collaboration with US Region leadership, a focused, collaborative, entrepreneurial and sustainable strategy across EDF.
  • Create excitement and a shared sense of purpose and vision within the team and across EDF.
  • Develop a shared vision and convene internal stakeholders across a highly matrixed organization.
  • Collaborate with senior staff to determine impact, drive accountability, and manage delivery of outcomes and participate in overall EDF strategy development.
  • Demonstrate and use political skills and public policy knowledge to build bipartisan alliances to move goals and strategies forward.
  • Play a critical leadership role in fundraising efforts; donor stewardship and outreach, proposal development and reporting - in support of this new-start initiative.
  • Work with those responsible for ensuring the scientific and economic foundations for the program's strategy are robust and well supported.
  • Capitalize on opportunities and manage risks.
  • Effectively communicate program achievements, progress, challenges, and opportunities to stakeholders, board members, EDF senior leadership, and other internal and external audiences.

External Relations and Partnerships

  • Streamline EDF engagement with external stakeholders and ensure effective leveraging of external relationships, both to amplify our priorities and to forge new alliances on others’ priorities, specifically around the issues of permitting and siting reform.
  • Seek for common ground with EJ organizations, utilities, state and local policy makers, regulators and other stakeholders. Serve as a convener for a wide range of interested parties in developing best practices across sectors and aligning on policy modernization and reforms. Collaborate with senior development staff and internal partners to develop and execute a diversified fundraising action plan to secure a robust pipeline of funders interested in Build to Zero and other US Region initiatives and contribute to proposal development and reporting.
  • Cultivate relationships with board members and external stakeholders to identify other areas of program growth, including programmatic work and/or new funders.
  • Work with others in the environmental community on behalf of EDF in a variety of settings and on a variety of issues
  • Represent the organization externally, making public presentations as required and engaging and building relationships with the media, elected officials, and government (agency) representatives to keep them apprised of progress and share EDF's expertise.

Organizational Management

  • Directly manage a highly-matrixed team to support strategy goals and work to drive activity across teams focused on US activity.
  • Promote an organizational culture and structure that fosters cooperation, communication, collaboration, teamwork, and trust and embraces diversity. Develop and manage program budgets with regards to program deliverables and outcomes.
  • Engage with peers to proactively create stronger collaboration between and across programs and identify cross-cutting funding opportunities.
  • Hire, train, supervise, and mentor staff, providing them with professional development activities that upgrade skills, support learning, motivate performance and promote retention.
  • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent and at least 15+ years of relevant experience, including project/team management experience and experience developing organizational systems and protocols.
  • A strong understanding of public policy with a proven track record of building alliances and working with policymakers--experience achieving results in public policy through outreach and advocacy preferred.
  • Strong reputation and network among organizations and leaders in the nonprofit, philanthropic, government, and for-profit sectors highly desirable.
  • Experience leading and developing dynamic staff teams.
  • A history of tangible fundraising success at high levels (7+figures) both in stewarding donors, developing proposals, and helping to secure large gifts.
  • Desire to drive durable, equitable and lasting progress on climate change.
  • Deep knowledge of climate, energy, transmission, and/or transportation issues and federal and state policy environment post-passage of the landmark federal climate laws BIL and IRA.
  • Proven skill at building relationships to engender trust and strong established relationships with key stakeholders in government, civil society and private sector.
  • Experience in bringing together diverse external stakeholders and convene collaborators that represent a wide range of viewpoints. Ability to look for common ground and push for alignment.
  • Passion for mission-driven work. Willingness to take risks, try new approaches and tackle difficult conversations and barriers with innovative ideas.
  • Demonstrated ability to forge collaborations and work in and across a complex, matrixed organization while delivering results.
  • Positive self-starter with excellent organizational, interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills, high energy.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage a team and expertise in managing multiple projects concurrently, both independently and as a member of teams in a dynamic and creative environment.
  • Sound, independent judgment to plan, prioritize and organize a diversified workload.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Willingness to travel up to 20%

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization. We take into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

Please note that pay ranges are country specific. As a result, the stated currency is not meant be converted into any other currency.

Pay range

$215,000 - $235,000 USD/Yr.


Regular Full Time


Washington, D.C., Austin, Boston, Boulder, New York, Raleigh, Remote - US


April 21, 2023


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 1,000 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 culturevalues and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?