Electricity Principal - China

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Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has approximately 200 full-time staff, including 20 staff working for the China program, and offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

In 2013, RMI began working in China as a part of a joint research project including theEnergy Research Institute of China’s National Development and Reform Commission,Lawrence Berkeley National Labs’ China Energy Group, and Energy Foundation China. The group designed a road map, called Reinventing Fire: China, to promote renewables and reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the Chinese economy without compromising economic growth. This roadmap has become the basis for ongoing programmatic activity.

RMI continues to expand its Chinese presence, with a Beijing office serving as the hub for our nation-wide engagements. In 2017, RMI was officially recognized as a registered international NGO by China and is overseen by the National Energy Administration with whom we have a joint 5-year work plan. RMI’s China program works on multiple parts of China’s energy transformation including power sector reform, low-carbon mobility and freight solutions, low-carbon cities, and transforming the building stock.

Job Description

Rocky Mountain Institute is seeking exceptional candidates to serve as the Principal of RMI’s China Power Sector initiative, based in our Beijing office. RMI has developed its power initiative over the past 5 years, focusing primarily on:

· Providing original research to national-level policymakers to support the design of appropriate power market reform policy

· Working with provincial entities to design power market rules and build local market oversight and supervision capacity for market pilots and transitions

· Enabling the renewable energy industry to reduce costs and directly access markets, leveraging corporate and city demand to expand renewable installation

The Principal will act as the strategic leader for RMI’s power initiatives, develop programs to address industry challenges, lead a team of 6-8 staff to produce high quality and impactful deliverables, grow RMI’s reputation and funding base, and engage with external stakeholders, such as government, electricity generators and distributors, leading corporations, NGOs, and other think tanks to advance RMI’s programs and ideas. The Principal will report to the China program’s Managing Director, and will also participate as part of the overall China program leadership team. This role also includes the possibility of extending into other sectors in which RMI works (e.g., buildings, cities, mobility, industry) as interest and need allows.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop RMI’s strategy and initiatives to help decarbonize China’s power sector
  • Represent RMI’s solutions in political, industry, and technical contexts
  • Lead teams and work streams to deliver high-quality products, including both thought leadership and “roll-up your sleeves” execution
  • Develop and manage program budget
  • Lead business development with power sector stakeholders (e.g., government, utilities, energy-intensive industries), support fundraising with philanthropic organizations; develop partnerships with non-governmental organizations and research institutes
  • Develop and enhance RMI’s reputation through regular publications, speaking, and external engagement
  • Mentor and support the professional development of team members to foster an unrivaled, high performing team, including serving as a career advisor to staff from across RMI
  • Manage across a global organization, handling operational matters, collaboration across geographies, and accessing technical expertise from technical experts
  • Provide active China program leadership, and represent the China power sector program internally at RMI (including with U.S.-based staff and leadership)

General Qualifications

  • Excellent spoken English and Mandarin
  • Intense curiosity and creativity, ability to break down complicated problems and propose new approaches to address challenges
  • Willingness to plunge into unfamiliar problems and take risks exploring and testing new ideas
  • Excellent writing skills and visual presentation capability
  • Strong verbal communication skills, from one-on-one discussions to speeches
  • A strong network in the global power sector, preferably within China’s power sector, primarily industry and government
  • Interest in and solid track record of people development and team building
  • Skills and desire to change client’s and decision-maker’s minds on intensely important issues
  • Entrepreneurial self-starter
  • A passion for making the world better
  • Proven cross-cultural experience and sensitivity

Education and Experience

  • Masters degree-equivalent or higher, with significant study of technology (science/engineering) and markets (business/finance) preferred
  • 8+years professional experience and knowledge of Chinese and international power sectors, preferably with government, utilities/generators, research organizations, and/or management consulting organizations
  • Direct management experience developing and managing highly skilled teams


This position is located in RMI’s Beijing office

Location: Beijing, 11 China
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