Senior Program Officer

Institute for Sustainable Communities Published: October 20, 2020
Fully Remote Position
Job Type
Energy / Program Management / Outreach / Advocacy / Policy /
(Number of Job Posting Views: 3)

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~ The Institute for Sustainable Communities's (ISC) mission is to help communities around the world address environmental, economic, and social challenges to build a better future shaped and shared by all. ~

We are in the business of unleashing the power of people to transform their communities. Our approach ensures solutions emerge from within the community, rather than being imposed from the outside. By sharing international best practices and experience, providing technical expertise and training, and building the capacity of local organizations, we are sparking creative solutions and lasting change.

Since our founding in 1991 by former Vermont Governor Madeleine M. Kunin and the former ISC President George Hamilton, ISC has led transformative, community-driven projects across the globe. Over the years, we have developed an approach that supports a community’s ability to meet challenges head on.

Position Overview

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) position provides strategic support and leadership to advance equitable climate solutions through projects and programs across the United States. The position guides the design, development, and implementation of projects to accelerate locally-led solutions that tackle immediate problems while strengthening communities overall.

Working across a variety of U.S geographies, the SPO works with grassroots and other community organizations, philanthropy, government,  and institutional stakeholders, to foster collaborative climate solutions through programs such as the Partnership for Resilient CommunitiesClimate Change, Health & Equity and Regional Climate Solutions, and other ISC initiatives.

The SPO engages in planning and program implementation that foster collaboration between project partners and stakeholders, designs and facilitates workshops, and utilizes data and research to best inform program design and implementation.

Position Scope:

This position will work from a fully virtual/home office. Extensive travel (up to 50%) within the U.S. is required. All travel currently on hold due to Covid-19.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide effective relationship management between ISC, project partners, and project stakeholders, to foster ongoing productive relationships.
  • Provide effective partner/process management, including multi-stakeholder collaboration, analysis, and meeting facilitation.
  • Provide virtual and in-person advice, assistance, and technical know-how to stakeholders; drawing from the incumbent’s professional training and experience; ISC’s extensive library of case studies and resources; and examples from other local, national, and international promising practices and related learnings.
  • Use a variety of tools to support project management, data analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and overall project planning and implementation.
  • Track the progress of projects including progress with key partners, capturing best practices and lessons learned, distill and synthesize those practices and lessons, and identify technical assistance or resources to support the partners’ achievements toward identified goals. Collecting data and supporting learning and evaluation processes.
  • Research and develop resources, tools, case studies, and other materials to support the identified goals of partners.
  • Design and deliver workshops and other educational and capacity-building activities to policy makers, elected officials, businesses, and communities to increase support for and advance climate/resilience efforts.
  • Inform the development and implementation of communications strategies and materials.
  • Provide strategic support and leadership in identifying opportunities for advancing the project and its objectives, including analyzing trends in national and local sustainability, climate and resilience action, identifying potential partnerships beneficial to advancing the project, and developing ideas for expanding and deepening the impact of the project.
  • Manage project budgets in conjunction with the Budget & Operations Manager and Program Director.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience
  • Seven to 10 years of relevant professional experience working with or for local, regional or state government; community-based/focused institution; intermediary institution or public health, economic development, policy advocacy, or similar social profit organization. Experience working on sustainability, climate, or environmental justice subject matters required.
  • Project design and implementation experience
  • Willingness and ability to travel
  • Commitment to ISC’s mission and goals

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Strong program leadership skills including: ability to listen deeply and learn quickly; excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication; demonstrated experience in meeting and workshop facilitation; strong research and analytical skills; ability for rapid response to leverage strategic opportunities in the moment; and flexibility and willingness to adapt to changing priorities 
  • Ability to work productively with diverse individuals from differing backgrounds (government, private sector, advocacy, social profit organizations, and community-based organizations)
  • Knowledge of and experience serving underrepresented communities, neighborhoods, and populations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate related events
  • Experience working to advance strategies designed to  overcome systemic and institutional racism and the multitude of adverse outcomes that result
  • Experience in community resilience and equitable climate and sustainability solutions 
  • Experience using data analysis to drive decision making and inform resilience approaches and strategies for a region
  • Ability to work and collaborate effectively within a highly distributed, highly matrixed team
  • Ability to work independently from a remote location
  • Strong work ethic and personal integrity
  • Ability to provide leadership and project management for team projects, prioritizing work assignments, managing to budgets and appropriate deadlines, and applying performance management frameworks for strategic learning in project delivery
  • Proficient in use of Google products, Microsoft Office suite, data processing, and other software

ISC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse workplace. People from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, women, and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.

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