Principal - Global Climate Finance

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Principal, Global Climate Finance 



Boulder or Washington D.C. 



 Rocky Mountain Institute is seeking a highly entrepreneurial and strategic Principal who can help lead RMI’s growing Global Climate Finance program, building on RMI’s longstanding strengths in market-led solutions to climate change while continuing to expand our geographic reach into emerging markets.  

 This Principal will supervise the build-out of several strategic initiatives as well as the program’s thought leadership work. Global Climate Finance initiatives include the establishment of green investment banks in advanced emerging markets; creating a network of climate finance investment bankers for the least developed and most vulnerable countries; piloting national climate auctions; mapping out strategies for the orderly exit of capital tied up in coal-fired electricity assets; and helping financial institutions implement holistic Paris-aligned portfolio management that can accelerate global capital stock transformation. The program also provides cross-cutting financial expertise to other RMI programs. The ideal candidate will help to shape both the content of our work as well as our fundraising efforts, meeting both longer-term strategic goals and shorter-term commitments to donors and partners. 

 The Principal will report to Global Climate Finance program head and Managing Director Paul Bodnar. She or he will collaborate closely with other senior professionals within RMI to strengthen the Institute’s programmatic strategies and operational capabilities. Within the program, the Principal will play a significant role in guiding the management and administration of a 10-person team, creating and supporting a high-performance, inclusive working environment where our staff can realize professional growth and success. Finally, the Principal will take an important role in securing funding – through philanthropic, government, and collaboration revenue – for program initiatives.

 Institute and Program Context 


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 disruptors, incumbents, communities, and policymakers to forge business-led, market-based solutions to clean energy and climate change. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. 

 RMI established a Global Climate Finance program in 2017 in recognition that the mobilization and smart allocation of finance is a critical enabler of the low-carbon transition globally. Our overall theory of change, captured in our 2018 publication Reinventing Climate Finance, envisions accelerated capital stock transformation in each carbon-emitting sector’s asset base (e.g. power plants, steel mills, vehicles). This means boosting clean energy finance flows, shutting off financial flows to build "dirty” assets, accelerating the rate of retirement of those dirty assets, and shrinking the volume of assets needed in the first place (e.g. through demand-side efficiency and new mobility business models).  

 Our program blends thought leadership and the implementation of catalytic solutions to transform our global economy’s capital stock of assets. In developing countries, we work to boost climate finance flows by building strong national institutions (Green Investment Banks and the Climate Finance Access Service) and deploying innovative financial instruments to mobilize and deliver climate finance (Climate Auctions). In advanced economies, we accelerate the retirement of fossil energy capital stock by managing the capital transition while avoiding stranded assets (Managing the Coal Capital Transition).   



  •  Collaborates with program Managing Director to shape the evolution of the program strategy to ensure RMI is maximizing its impact  
  • Supervises program staff in the implementation of our existing initiatives and provides strategic guidance on new potential areas of work  
  • Helps secure revenue for the program from philanthropic, bilateral, and multilateral funders 
  • Provides day-to-day operational guidance to the program team both on substantive tasks and managing administrative processes such as budgeting, staffing, and recruitment 
  • Mentors staff at Manager level and below, building a cohesive, enthusiastic, supportive and high-performing team culture 
  • Builds and maintains relationships with key external stakeholders, including international financial institutions, multilateral climate funds, national climate policy makers in developing and developed countries, private sector leaders on climate investment, and other non-profits and research organizations 
  • Demonstrates organization-wide guidance jointly with other Principals, helping set a culture of impact, accountability, and entrepreneurship 
  • Represents RMI and the Global Climate Finance team to external partners and public audiences at conferences, meetings, and through written materials 


Qualifications and Experience 

  • Direct experience managing and mentoring staff 
  • Direct experience managing budgets and forecasts 
  • Substantive expertise on the mobilization of climate finance from both public and private sources at a macro level (concessional, non-concessional public, commercial)  
  • Deep understanding of how public and private sector financing institutions (commercial banks, private equity funds, insurance companies, multilateral development banks, aid agencies, multilateral climate funds) interact in the context of climate investment, particularly in developing countries 
  • Familiarity with the international policy context, particularly global climate negotiations; the evolving agenda of multilateral development banks and bilateral development finance institutions; and the variety of funds and initiatives that exist to help developing countries finance their low-carbon transitions 
  • Familiarity and experience with developing country operating and investment environments – preferably in-country experience with financial structuring and/or advising stakeholders on the financing of low-carbon infrastructure, especially in developing nations 
  • Fluency in project finance and corporate finance concepts and practices as well as with financial structuring for infrastructure projects or investment programs within the private and/or public sectors 
  • Well-established personal network and interpersonal relationships in the stakeholder communities mentioned above 
  • Familiarity with key issues and trends in the global shift in energy technology and policy 

 Education and Qualities 

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree(s) in business/finance, economics, international relations, management or related fields 
  • 12+ years’ work experience, preferably with a mix of private and public sector, and in project-based environments including project development, consulting, or professional services 
  • Collegial, mission-driven team leader with well-developed interpersonal skills and experience managing teams of 10 or more through periods of change and across regions and cultures 
  • Strong outreach and fundraising capabilities: speaking and writing to business and donor audiences; demonstrated capability to present ideas to investors, companies, and donors
  • Strong creative and entrepreneurial spirit: proven ability to find new and impactful approaches, navigate obstacles, and influence others' thinking to achieve impact beyond ones own activities
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced, creative environment, and ability to move across and work on several projects 


Supervisory Responsibilities 



We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
  • 403b Retirement Options (5% match after the first year)
  • Life, AD&D, Short Term and Long Term Disability
  • Commuter and Wellness Benefits
  • Casual Work Environment



Location: Boulder, CO
Apply for this Position Job code: 1000037
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