Principal - Accelerating Coal Phase-Out Initiative

Are you an experienced people leader with a passion for driving high impact outcomes and an ability to develop innovative solutions to complex problems? Have you worked in a development finance institution to accelerate the clean energy transition? Can you navigate diverse stakeholder engagements and align partners around a common goal? If yes, then please consider joining RMI’s Accelerating Coal Phase-Out team. 

Rocky Mountain Institute is seeking a Principal to lead our engagement of public and private financial institutions to accelerate coal phaseout globally. 


Program and Initiative Overview 

RMI is bringing the benefits of clean energy to all by transforming global power systems to support modern, low-carbon economies. Our Carbon-Free Electricity Program works across the electricity system to facilitate the transition away from coal-powered generation; slow the rush toward gas generation and wisely manage existing gas infrastructure, allowing for decommissioning where prudent; speed the deployment of clean, distributed, and customer-centric energy solutions; and transition utilities to be climate-aligned in their business models and operations. We work closely with utilities, regulators, businesses, advocates, and customers to evolve grid institutions, policies, regulations and processes in support of the transition to a modern and inclusive low-carbon future. We employ a unique combination of research, consulting, and collaboration to support individuals and organizations to innovate and implement transformative energy solutions.  

Within the Carbon-Free Electricity (CFE) program, our Accelerating Coal Phase-Out initiative, supports utilities, financial institutions, and policymakers to develop innovative financial approaches to speed the coal to clean transition. Building on years of work to support the development and implementation of financial tools such as rate-payer backed securitization in the United States, in 2020, the Initiative produced How to Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phaseout Feasible and Just, a first-of-its kind analysis of nearly 2,500 coal plants to determine the cost competitiveness of the global coal fleet with respect to clean energy. This analysis also described RMI’s approach to reaching an effective, rapid coal phaseout, which focuses on the development of innovative financial approaches that simultaneously accelerate coal retirement, ramp-up clean energy investment, and support a just transition.  

Building on this work, RMI is building a team to implement the solutions outlined in How to Retire Early that will 1) engage and support policymakers and public finance institutions to structure phase-out packages, and 2) advise and engage key stakeholders in high-priority coal-reliant countries on the policies and financial structures best suited to accelerate coal phase-out. This team will also continue to work on strengthening the economic analysis underlying these financial approaches.    

Key Responsibilities, Experience, and Qualifications  

RMI is seeking an exceptional principal to co-lead its Accelerating Coal Phaseout initiative. In this role you will focus on engagements with public and private financial institutions globally, including jointly developed and implemented projects, coordinating diverse, multi-stakeholder collaborations, and developing innovative thought leadership such as reports and new financial models. You will also be responsible for managing a team of 4-6 people to assist in delivering initiative outcomes. You will be one of the primary representatives of the initiative to external partners including utilities, public finance institutions, and national governments, and will be expected to represent the Carbon-Free Electricity Program and RMI at various events and conferences. 

As a principal you will have the following key responsibilities 

  • Support the development and execution of the Accelerating Coal Phaseout strategy   
  • Provide direct management of 4-6 staff and a corresponding budget of ~$1.5M 
  • Scope potential engagements with public (World Bank’s Climate Investment Fund, EIB, Export Credit Agencies, etc.) and private (investment banks, pension funds, asset managers, etc.) finance institutions   
  • Lead the team in scoping and executing thought leadership and research 
  • Structure and deliver compelling presentations and written products to bring new insights to the initiative’s target audiences
  • Work hand-in-hand with our communications team to develop communications strategies. 
  • Act as a primary relationship manager with external partners and stakeholders  
  • Represent RMI in external interviews, media, and publications.  

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • A graduate degree or undergraduate degree and 10+ years of additional relevant experience in an applicable field such as business, finance, economics, or law   
  • 10+ years of cumulative work experience, including 3+ years as a team manager, and excellent work references 
  • Experience managing high performing teams in a project-based work environment 
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills 
  • Experience working in international development financial institutions on programs or projects focused on the clean energy transition, preferably in emerging markets 

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience working with utilities and/or government policymakers 
  • Experience managing junior team members including providing coaching and mentorship, and managing performance reviews
  • Ability to oversee, direct and support, and provide quality control for analytical work, specifically financial models and techno-economic analyses (e.g., Excel, R, VBA, Python, etc.) 
  • Knowledge of the just transition movement, including policies developed to support a just transition as well as analyses on the costs of a just transition 
  • Knowledge of economic, technical, political, and communications issues specific to the utility industry, coal industry, and/or coal generation 
  • International work experience, particularly in Africa, China, India, and Southeast Asia 
  • Highly collaborative and a strong team player 
  • Experience managing complex and diverse groups, paired with the ability to lead and navigate challenging conversations 
  • Experience starting new endeavors or initiatives 



This position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. Location is negotiable but must support the business needs of RMI’s Coal Phaseout Initiative. RMI has offices in Oakland, CA, Washington, D.C., New York City, Boulder, and Basalt, CO, Delhi, and Beijing and would welcome the successful candidate to relocate to one of these locations. Location will be discussed as part of the interview process.  



The salary range for this position is $121,000 - $163,000, with the target range between $125,000-$140,000. This is dependent upon experience that will be discussed and vetted through the interview process. This position also includes an additional 20% bonus target.  



We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:  

  • Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance  
  • 403b Retirement Options (5% match immediately)  
  • Generous PTO  
  • Learning & Development opportunities  
  • Parental leave  
  • Life, AD&D, Short Term and Long-Term Disability  
  • Commuter and Wellness Benefits  


RMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer 


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, veteran status, socioeconomic class, educational attainment or other social identities—is critical to the success of each RMIer and collectively as an organization. This ensures 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.     

RMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.    

About RMI

RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.


JOB CODE: 1000303