Head of Operations - Third Derivative

New technologies and business models are critically needed for the energy transition but suffer from inadequate investment. Third Derivative is a joint venture between RMI and New Energy Nexus that reimagines how early-stage climatetech is brought to market by combining an accelerator, 10+ integrated VC funds ($800M+ in capital), 10+ global corporate partners (including Microsoft, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Shell, and others), and RMI’s knowledge, expertise and network. Vertically integrating an early stage accelerator and VC fund with corporates’ resources and know-how will overcome the capital intensity and timeline challenges of climatetech investing. 

Position Overview: 

Third Derivative is growing, and this Head of Operations will build our organization to deliver against our bold ambitions. In this role, you would own Third Derivative’s people, finance, and operational strategies and will be a leader on our management team, reporting directly to the CEO. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Partner with CEO to support and implement D3’s overall strategy globally 
  • Lead day-to-day operations to drive empathy, efficiency and excellence across all functions, to ensure that all activities are delivered on/under budget, on time, and at the highest quality  
  • Build & actively champion culture that is open & evolving, diverse, empathetic, people-centered, psychologically safe & supportive, and not afraid to take risks, to fail, to learn, and to improve  
  • Motivate, develop, and support teamwork to ensure that all externally facing team members have the resources required to delight D3’s partners and customers and that all critical organizational issues are addressed and resolved inclusively, empathetically and successfully 
  • Drive growth into new international markets, new financing models, and new products & services by continuously developing, analyzing, and presenting data driven analysis and operating plans 
  • Manage complexity inherent to a startup operating across multiple time zones and serving three culturally distinct stakeholders (startups, VCs, and corporates) by implementing and managing technical tools and processes that rapidly ideate and test solutions to scale D3’s impact much more than its need to scale team size    
  • Foster trusting relationships with and among D3’s internal and external stakeholders that successfully position the organization as a trailblazer in the climate tech innovation space and compel and motivate all stakeholders to engage and support D3 on our journey to transform the entire system of climatetech commercialization, deployment, and scale 

Minimum Qualifications  

  • 10 years+ experience in climatetech entrepreneurship / venture required 
  • BA/BS required; advanced degree in business, leadership, industrial organizational psychology, or related field strongly preferred. 

Additional Qualifications and Skills 

  • Climate Warrior with an affinity for developing, launching, and scaling innovative technology solutions to climate challenges, ideally as demonstrated by being a co-founder or C-level executive in an early stage climate tech startup 
  • Empathic Leader with a demonstrated ability to grow, inspire and nurture diverse teams especially in environments of high uncertainty 
  • Super Scaler with an ambitious growth mindset, focused on driving exponential impact growth through subexponential team growth 
  • Incessant Optimizer passionate about finding, communicating and implementing creative, effective, sustainable ways to improve processes, tools, teams, and products  
  • Operationalizer with keen ability to translate bold ideas into processes and plans – and to lead others to do the same 
  • Action-Biased Doer with a deep respect for the 80/20 rule and an understanding that perfect is a fantasy that is always the enemy of good  
  • Collaborative Communicator who values and synthesizes divergent opinions, quickly understands the root of issues, and constructively marshals support to drive decisions forward 
  • Venture Expert with preference for candidates bring an intimate knowledge of accelerators and VCs by have been a manager/venture developer of an innovation accelerator focused on climate tech, and/or an investment manager at climate tech focused venture capital fund. 



  • We offer a comprehensive benefits package including: 
  • Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance 
  • 403b Retirement Options (5% match immediately) 
  • Generous PTO 
  • Parental leave  
  • Life, AD&D, Short Term and Long-Term Disability 
  • Commuter and Wellness Benefits 



Increasing the diversity of thought, perspectives, ideas, and opinions within RMI is a critical change element supporting our long-term sustainability and mission to build a clean, prosperous, and secure energy future.   

We strive for a level of diversity that reflects the communities we serve. Achieving this—regardless of ability, race, ethnicity, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, socioeconomic class, educational attainment or other social identities—is critical to the success of each RMIer and collectively as an organization, ensuring that we:   

  • Have the different array of thinking that comes from diverse backgrounds and cultures, enabling us to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.  
  • Strive for a culture of inclusion and belonging by treating others with dignity, respect and appreciation enabling them to feel welcomed, supported and valued.   
  • Effectively connect, communicate and build long-lasting relationships with decision makers, stakeholders and constituents within diverse communities.   


 Rocky Mountain Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.   


RMI US office. Locations include Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, CA; Washington, D.C. Note that the position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The salary range for this position is $121,000 - $163,000, with the target being around $150,000. This is dependent on experience and will be discussed/vetted throughout the interview process. This role has an additional 20% bonus target.  

About Rocky Mountain Institute 

Rocky Mountain Institute transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. That is our mission. That is our passion. And every day, every member of our team of 280+ works tirelessly to achieve it. We are driving the global energy transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by working in partnership with businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to advance market-based solutions. We achieve this by developing breakthrough ideas, testing and refining them, reshaping markets, and bringing solutions to scale. RMI is a fast growing, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a 2020-2021 annual budget of $70 million and offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, CA; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.  


JOB CODE: 1000272