Senior Clean Energy Innovation Advocate

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Natural Resources Defense Council

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Washington, DC, United States

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30+ days ago

NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

NRDC is seeking a Senior Clean Energy Innovation Advocate to work with the Climate & Clean Energy team in our Washington, D.C. office.

Position Summary

NRDC is seeking a Senior Clean Energy Innovation Advocate to join its Climate & Clean Energy Program in the Washington, D.C. office to help dramatically increase and shape federal investments in clean energy innovation in order to develop and deploy the next-generation technologies that will be needed to achieve net-zero GHG emissions economy-wide by mid-century. Particularly given the long lead times associated with technological innovation, NRDC believes that we need to strategically prioritize and significantly invest in the solutions and technologies projected to play a major role in achieving our 2030 and 2050 goals and propelling the United States to the forefront of the global clean energy innovation race. The new hire will play a central role in helping NRDC to refine and carry out a well-informed and effective advocacy strategy to bolster the federal innovation ecosystem. This work will include close collaboration with subject matter experts across the organization and will involve advocacy for both annual appropriations and authorizing legislation as well as engagement with federal agencies to influence how they pursue clean energy innovation investments.
  • Frequently liaise with subject matter experts both inside and outside of NRDC to develop and continuously refine a perspective on the technological innovations and specific investments that the federal government should prioritize to achieve our climate targets.
  • Advocate for robust annual appropriations, particularly for the applied energy programs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
  • Develop and strengthen stakeholder relationships and represent NRDC in coalitions to maximize effectiveness and build support for significantly larger and more strategic federal investments in clean energy innovation.
  • Engage with political appointees and career staff at DOE to influence how the agency pursues both earlier-stage and later-stage clean energy innovation and how it implements the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and other relevant legislation.
  • Advocate for authorizing legislation and/or organizational changes at DOE that can be done under existing authorities to better orient the activities of the agency toward achieving an efficient, affordable, and equitable transition to net-zero GHG emissions economy-wide by 2050.
  • Engage with funders to increase support for the aforementioned innovation activities.
  • Develop written materials such as blogs and white papers to educate and influence policymakers and other stakeholders about the importance and need for our clean energy innovation priorities.
  • Engage with media in support of our advocacy.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • 8+ years of professional experience in policy advocacy, the clean energy industry, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand a technical subject matter and then distill it down as needed to suit different audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and work within coalitions and develop relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience managing complex projects with lots of moving parts and quick turnaround deadlines, with an ability to prioritize and juggle both quick wins and setting the stage for bigger wins in the longer term.
  • Persuasive verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong inter-personal and relationship-building skills.

  • Experience reviewing and advocating for federal legislation and engaging with federal agencies.
  • Familiarity with the federal appropriations process and federal authorizing legislation.
  • Familiarity with the major technological levers that could help us to achieve deep decarbonization.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $ 120,000 to $150,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit