Director – U.S. Climate Initiative, WRI


The World Resources Institute seeks a Director for its new U.S. Climate Initiative, one of three large teams in WRI’s $8 million Climate & Energy Program (CEP). The successful candidate will play a lead role in shaping and executing an ambitious 5-year strategy and guiding a team of experts to achieve large-scale, lasting results. This exciting Initiative seeks to help the U.S. achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that are in line with current science through a combination of national, state, and local climate and energy policies, complemented by business and technology innovation that drives the nation toward a near-zero-carbon economy by 2050. WRI’s experience, reputation, and connections in the policy arena, the private sector, and elsewhere places us in a unique position to help shape federal and state climate policy and generate new ideas and practices for low-carbon development over the next five years. The position is located at WRI’s headquarters in Washington, DC, and reports to the CEP Director.

  • Develop and communicate a compelling and coherent vision and strategy for the U.S. Climate Initiative, and provide strategic direction for its projects.
  • Create new lines of work that will lead to transformative change in achieving significant GHG reductions in the U.S.
  • Guide and monitor the execution of strategy for multiple projects and the achievement of project outcomes.
  • Manage 4-6 direct reports and one or more projects.
  • Serve as spokesperson for the U.S. Climate Initiative, communicating to key audiences and promoting team research findings and policy recommendations through briefings of policymakers, practitioners, reporters, and corporate leaders.
  • Review and edit draft publications and articles to ensure they meet WRI’s high standards for quality.
  • Source and secure long-term funding for the Initiative and new projects in collaboration with project managers, the CEP Director, and WRI’s Development team. This includes leveraging existing relationships with bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations, corporations, and individual donors, as well as cultivating and maintaining new relationships.
  • Write, edit, and assist with fundraising proposals and grant reports.

  • Advanced degree in public policy, law, economics, environmental policy, natural sciences, political science, public administration, business administration, engineering, or related field.
  • Minimum 10 years’ work experience including advanced knowledge of U.S. climate and energy policy and both public- and private-sector GHG emissions reduction strategies.
  • Established network of senior-level government, NGO, and private-sector contacts and partners in the U.S. climate and energy field.
  • Superb analytical and strategic thinking skills; a track record of creating and executing large, multi-year strategies preferred.
  • Experience directly managing and mentoring staff.
  • History of securing funding from donors on a large scale. 
  • Outstanding ability to communicate clearly, passionately, and confidently to influence a wide range of audiences, including senior policymakers, NGOs, and corporate leaders.
  • Experience briefing journalists and speaking to the media.
  • Excellent writing skills, including experience with writing successful funding proposals.
  • Willingness to travel as needed.

Location: Washington, DC


Salary:  $110k – $150k; Commenserate with qualifications. WRI offers a comprehensive benefits package.


About the Climate & Energy Program

WRI’s Climate & Energy Program strives to set the world on a new course, one with cleaner energy sources, healthier ecosystems and societies, technological innovation, and economic opportunities. Working with international, governmental, civil society, and business partners, CEP identifies and promotes effective policies and strategies to address climate change. The 50-person program currently works in fields such as renewable energy, U.S. federal and state climate policy, international climate policy, greenhouse gas accounting, carbon capture and storage, international emissions trading, the relationship between forests and climate, and adaptation to climate change. The program has a significant international focus, especially through partnerships in developing countries.


About WRI

Established in 1982, WRI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization respected globally by policymakers, NGOs, and corporate leaders because of the rigorous quality, balance, and independence of its work. With its think-tank roots, WRI values innovative ideas, working collaboratively, and thinking independently. It is a results-oriented organization that rewards the achievement of significant outcomes, such as helping shape international climate policy by providing key inputs and analysis into the UNFCCC process, and establishing the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. WRI employees see the results of their hard work and have the satisfaction of making a significant difference in the world.