Executive Director

Clean Energy Leadership Institute Published: September 30, 2020
Preference for DC, Chicago or San Fran, United States
Job Type
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director /

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~ The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) is a people accelerator for the clean energy economy. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, our vision is to create a diverse community of change-makers across a vast array of sectors and disciplines who, together, will drive an equitable, decarbonized, and resilient clean energy future. ~

Through our educational programs in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago, CELI provides emerging leaders with an interdisciplinary perspective and a technical understanding of the clean energy ecosystem. Since 2013, CELI has trained over 600 emerging leaders across 350+ organizations through our signature Fellowship program and an additional 5,000 students and professionals through our clean energy educational and community programming. CELI’s day-to-day operations are currently run by three full time staff and approximately 35 passionate volunteer leaders.

We train and engage individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, equipping them with adaptive leadership skills, bringing them together through events like our annual emPOWER conference, and supporting their path to formal positions of leadership. CELI is deeply committed to increasing the ethnic and gender diversity in the clean energy industry. We serve three distinct segments of the clean energy workforce: early-career clean energy professionals, mid-career transitioning professionals, and college students. 

Position Summary

Reporting to CELI’s Board of Directors, the Executive Director has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the organization’s Staff, Volunteer Leadership Team, programs, and execution of its mission. The Executive Director also serves as the public face of CELI, fostering strong coalitions with the organization’s diverse stakeholders and partners. The Executive Director builds on previous successes to steer the organization through a critical growth phase.

Key priorities for this visionary and inclusive leader include growing the organization’s funding base, overseeing the launch of CELI’s programming in new cities, expanding program offerings, and mentoring and managing the team. As CELI’s educational programs are designed for working professionals, this position requires the ability and willingness to work a non-standard schedule, including facilitating and participating in frequent evening and weekend events.

Position Details: 

  • Status: Full-time 
  • Location: Preference for one of CELI’s current markets (Washington, DC, San Francisco or Chicago)
  • Travel: Moderate travel to cities with CELI Fellowship programs and other various domestic locations for industry events (in a safe, post-Covid environment)

Areas of Responsibility

Leadership, Strategy and Direction Setting:

  • Spearhead a strategic portfolio of training programs, setting rigorous, actionable and measurable goals for the organization
  • Effectively articulate the vision and provide a clear sense of direction to the full time and volunteer leadership team
  • Serve as the principal representative of the organization and primary spokesperson to the greater CELI community 
  • Establish a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board of Directors and ensure open communication. Seek and build Board involvement in support of organizational objectives

Financial Management & Resource Allocation:

  • In collaboration with the Board, oversee the financial health of the organization: develop annual and multi-year financial plans, manage the budget, and implement sound financial controls 
  • Direct funding, staff, volunteer leadership and other resources to maximize the reach and impact of the organization’s programs and activities
  • Develop systems and metrics to track progress against key objectives and regularly evaluate CELI’s programs and impact

Fundraising and Business Development:

  • Prepare and implement a fundraising plan
  • Build partnerships and public awareness in new markets, cultivating relationships with the clean energy business and investment community, foundations, corporations, universities, associations, and other support organizations 
  • Regularly share results and successes with financial partners, the CELI community, and other stakeholders and partners 

Organizational Culture and Stakeholder Management:

  • Model CELI’s values of community, equity, and empowerment
  • Foster a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Actively engage and energize staff, volunteer leaders, board members, sponsors, partnering organizations and stakeholders to scale and solidify CELI’s impact
  • Inspire high achievement and a collaborative environment, fostering stimulating and rewarding careers for CELI’s staff and volunteer leadership team members


Desired Traits:

CELI seeks an experienced executive with a track record of recruiting, coaching, developing and managing high-performing teams. The ideal candidate will have experience establishing strategic objectives in partnership with the Board, inspiring staff and stakeholders, and marshalling resources toward achieving organizational goals.

The Executive Director will skillfully navigate the strategic, operational, and administrative aspects of the role. Given the diversity of stakeholders and continuous engagement with fellows, staff, volunteer Leadership Team, and the broader CELI community, the ideal candidate will be energized by constant interaction and have a sincere love of people. They will also demonstrate a real passion for people development and a hunger to leverage their capabilities in leading CELI through a catalytic expansion. They will be deeply committed to accelerating decarbonization, combating climate change, and fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum of 10-15 years of professional experience, with at least five in the clean energy industry or a related sector
  • Five or more years in an executive role 
  • Non-profit experience, either in a staff or board member capacity 
  • Demonstrated success scaling a small organization in terms of budget, staff size, and geographic scope
  • Experience fundraising from corporate, community, and philanthropic sources. Demonstrated success in structuring innovative partnerships with funders.
  • Demonstrated track record of successful stakeholder management
  • Experience managing fellowships, educational programs, and/or experience with an education or workforce development organization is beneficial but not required


Salary and Benefits:

  • Commensurate with experience and qualifications and as appropriate given lean, early stage but growing non-profit.

Moe About CELI

Early-Career Professionals - The CELI Fellowship

CELI is best known for its location-based Fellowship, a five-month program designed to recruit, train, and empower early-career professionals for impactful careers in clean energy. Through cohorts of 35 Fellows per city (over 100 Fellows annually), the program acts as an accelerator by providing participants with broad exposure and education across the clean energy economy, leadership and professional development training, and an extended network of alumni and clean energy executives. 

Early to Mid-Career Transitioning Professionals

CELI provides professionals transitioning into the clean energy industry with energy education webinars, career pathways seminars, and extensive networking and community engagement events. Each session is designed to educate and connect skilled professionals with clean energy opportunities. 

College Students

Through training courses like CELI’s Clean Energy 101 Series and Career Pathways Events, we are reaching a new generation of diverse energy leaders to provide the context, scope, and diversity of career options that exist in the clean energy ecosystem. CELI has developed formal partnerships and engagements with ten universities in our existing cities, and has engaged students from over 50 additional colleges and universities across the country.

Vision for CELI

CELI is a young organization with significant potential for growth, in terms of size, geographic scope, and impact. In the next five years, the Board of Directors aspires to increase the organization’s budget tenfold, expand the Fellowship from 3 to 8 cities, and significantly increase program offerings for its target audiences.

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply" below ti email  a cover letter detailing interest in and fit for the position; and a resume that demonstrates relevant experiences and qualifications.
  • Application materials should be sent  by September 18, 2020.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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