Principal - Aviation Decarbonization

Are you a seasoned people leader with experience driving an equitable clean energy transition? Do you enjoy plunging into unfamiliar disciplines and testing new ideas? Are you a collaborative and strong team player who can also be a respected change agent from within? Do you have a passion for RMI’s mission?  

Application Deadline: 5pm MT on June 9th, 2021  

Program Overview 

RMI’s Climate Intelligence Global Program focuses on curating emissions and climate data while also translating this data into actionable insights and tools for those best positioned to reduce emissions. We collaborate with a global network of businesses, financial institutions, and policymakers to deliver data and insights that are accurate, actionable, and real-time, ultimately enabling emissions reductions in some of the largest industrial sectors. Our work focuses not only on quantifying the risks of climate inaction, but also on identifying emerging opportunities to reduce emissions.  

RMI is leading the energy transition by creating market and technological solutions to impact Climate Change. RMI is seeking a Principal to lead the Climate Intelligent Solutions for Oil & Gas division.  


Position Overview  

This position will lead RMI’s aviation decarbonization work and will work closely with our supply chain decarbonization and other RMI internal teams on virtual energy attributes and market engagement and emissions reductions along industrial supply chains. Providing senior level technical support, this leader will guide RMI’s work in the World Economic Forum’s  Clean Skies for Tomorrow Demand Signal working group and RMI’s partnership in SABA – the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance.    

Key Responsibilities  

  • Lead research teams and partner with collaborators to develop, pilot, and scale successful solutions to the world’s toughest energy challenges. 
  • Define a compelling strategy to accelerate the adoption of distributed clean energy solutions together with fellow Principals and Managing Directors. 
  • Shape and delivery strategy program elements, coordinating small teams to deliver objectives. Oversight of teams includes some “roll-up your sleeves” work in nearly all projects, driving thought-leadership and execution through charismatic example. 
  • Perform business development, including philanthropic fundraising support, government grant management, and direct company fee-for-service project development. 
  • Develop and enhance Rocky Mountain Institute’s public reputation through regular publication, speaking, and external engagement on key topics critical to program success. 
  • Manage existing and proposed future program budgets. 
  • Support development of team members and Institute through active involvement in leadership activities. 
  • Effectively communicate activities internally at RMI, including close coordination with other RMI electricity practice Principals and other staff. 
  • Support Managing Directors in interactions with RMI board. 


Minimum Qualifications  

  • Undergraduate degree   
  • 15+ years of relevant professional experience  
  • 3+ years as a team manager  
  • Experience leading high performing teams in a project-based work environment  
  • Experience with the clean energy transition, climate change, environmental justice, or related topics  
  • Broad contacts across relevant professional networks – private sector, government and NGOs 
  • Ability to travel 10-20% (once public health conditions allow)    
  • Excellent work references  
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills  


Preferred Qualifications  

  • A graduate degree in environmental science, environmental policy engineering or business 
  • Experience managing junior team members including providing coaching and mentorship, and managing performance reviews  
  • Experience managing complex and diverse groups, paired with the ability to lead and navigate challenging conversations 
  • Deep connections across full aviation value chain – aerospace, airlines, airports, regulators, trade associations and air transport customers 
  • Knowledge areas: 
  • Heavy transport and harder-to-abate industries 
  • Sustainable fuel markets, feedstock and sustainability, delivery logistics and tracking 
  • Voluntary carbon accounting frameworks 
  • Carbon offsets and removal 
  • Environmental life cycle assessment 
  • Virtual energy asset standards and products 
  • Corporate environmental and social governance frameworks (SBTi, GHG Protocol, CDP, SASB…) 


The position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the COVID-19 situation improves, it is preferred that this role will be based out of one of our offices in Oakland, CA, Washington, D.C., New York City, Boulder, or Basalt, Colorado. This will be discussed further throughout the interview process.    



The salary range for the position is $121,000 - $163,000. 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 and sick leave    
  • Learning & Development opportunities (including unlimited LinkedIn Learning access)    
  • 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, 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: 1000353