Policy Director, U.S. Climate Alliance

  • United Nations Foundation
  • Washington DC or remote in the continental U.S.
  • Dec 07, 2023
Full time Public Policy

Job Description

The salary range for this position is $135,000 - $150,000.

Position Overview

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors securing America’s net-zero future by advancing state-led, high-impact climate action. The Alliance Secretariat helps its members accelerate climate action by providing a broad range of technical, analytical, policy, and capacity assistance and resources. Currently, the coalition’s policy initiatives are structured around ten policy priority areas that include electricity generation, transportation, industry, buildings, just transition and equity, climate finance, resilience, and natural and working lands. The Alliance has also built strong relationships with the federal administration to help create and implement an ambitious, durable national climate framework. For more information on the Alliance, please visit www.usclimatealliance.org.  

The U.S. Climate Alliance seeks a Policy Director to lead the Secretariat in advancing climate solutions across ten coalition-wide policy priorities, inform organizational strategy, ensure Working Groups are delivering high-impact results, and support team member development, among other responsibilities. The Policy Director will manage the Secretariat’s core policy team and, together with the Executive and Managing Directors, convene and provide direction to the Secretariat’s extended policy team. The Policy Director reports to the Managing Director of the Alliance and will be expected to work as part of a broader team that includes Alliance states, consultants, and external partners. The position is part of the Energy and Climate team at the United Nations Foundation, which houses the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat.  

This position is based in Washington, DC (hybrid schedule). We also welcome full time remote applicants. 

Essential Functions

Strategic planning and policy development  

  • Oversee all policy portfolios and workplans and support staff in ensuring Alliance policy priorities and efforts are strategic, responsive to state needs, of additive value to state efforts, and conducted in close collaboration with partner organizations.  
  • Ensure Alliance policy activities are timely, nimble, and strategic. Support staff in responding to major political shifts, current events at national and state levels, and important moments for governors and the broader climate movement.  
  • Lead annual strategic planning and execution efforts across the Secretariat’s policy team.  
  • Work with core policy staff to create and execute new state and federal based initiatives.  
  • Advise the Leadership Team on strategies for strengthening state-federal engagement.  
  • Support staff in independently managing their work, seeking help when needed, and identifying opportunities for growth, portfolio diversification, and increased impact. 
  • Foster collaboration, innovation, and cross-pollination across policy staff, including by supporting the development of comprehensive policy solutions that touch on multiple sectors, facilitating the sharing of lessons learned, and ensuring integration of cross-cutting initiatives throughout the Alliance’s work.  
  • Provide advice and counsel to core policy staff in carrying out their work on behalf of Alliance members, serving as a sounding board and always keeping in mind organization-wide goals, values, and mission. 
  • Manage a policy portfolio, including leading a Working Group or other initiative. 

Team leadership and staff supervision 

  • Manage a growing core policy team including by preparing for and running policy team meetings, following up on action items and deliverables, working with staff to resolve issues, conducting performance assessments, setting and supporting individual performance goals, and approving leave.  
  • Serve on the Alliance’s Extended Leadership team and work closely with the Executive Director, Managing Director, and fellow departmental directors to operationalize the strategic vision of the organization.  

Grant management  

  • Maintain working knowledge of the UNF agreement process for both contracts and grants, including how to utilize the proper contract templates.   
  • Conduct oversight of agreements that support and advance the policy teams’ portfolios and workplans.  
  • In consultation with the Chief of Staff and Finance Manager, monitor spending against project budgets and ensure that grants are spent down on time and within budget. 

Fundraising and reporting  

  • Support sector-based fundraising efforts, including drafting and reviewing proposals, growing relationships with donors, and tracking and reporting progress.

Selection Criteria

  • ​​Bachelor’s degree with 10+ years of relevant experience. Master’s degree preferred. 
  • ​Strong preference may be given to candidates with experience working in, with, or around state-level government. 
  • ​At least 3-5 years of supervisory experience. 
  • ​Experience cultivating team-based environments that empower staff to work independently while fostering collaboration across an organization. 
  • ​Demonstrated success in leading strategy implementation to drive results, with a record of seeing processes through from idea to execution. 
  • ​Experience working on electricity sector climate policy is preferred but not required.  
  • ​Understanding of organizational management, talent management, and monitoring and evaluation protocols. 
  • ​Experience managing active contracts and grant agreements, developing project budgets, and managing vendors. 
  • ​Strong writing, verbal, and analytical skills designed to convey complex material to senior leadership.  
  • ​Experience in fundraising is preferred.  
  • ​Proficiency for anticipating and avoiding problems. 
  • ​Aptitude for grasping and adding value to the organizational vision and mission, helping to develop and deliver on high-level goals and priorities.  
  • ​Organizational, political, and emotional intelligence and ability to use discretion around sensitive information.  
  • Examples of passed work may be required as part of the interview process
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy.

Our Values

The Secretariat’s core values represent our team’s highest priorities and driving forces. These values are the heart of how we go about doing our work in support of each other and our member governors and states, serving as cultural cornerstones and exemplified by all members of our team. 

  • Purpose: We are aligned by a common purpose to confront the climate crisis and its impacts through the power of state government. We connect our daily work to the Alliance’s mission and, in pursuit of our shared goals, always act in the best interest of our governors and states. 

  • Excellence: We have high standards in the work we do to support Alliance governors and states. We are focused, data-driven, and attentive to the smallest of details while never losing sight of the big picture.  

  • Empathy: We value kindness and treat others with dignity and respect, recognizing that our actions affect one another and all those with whom we interact. We consider growth, learning, and development to be priorities.  

  • Inclusion: We actively work to increase diversity, advance equity, and cultivate a welcoming work environment where everyone feels valued. We are collaborators and prioritize teamwork — knowing that it will take our broader community all working together to ultimately solve the climate crisis.  

  • Balance: We value a positive work environment and, even in the hectic day-to-day, we make the time to build relationships, celebrate successes, and laugh. We know that balancing home and work lives is essential and encourage each other to put the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones first.  

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.




Environmental Protection-Conservation, General-Other: Business-Strategic Management




135,000 USD

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