Senior Program Director - Energy Transition Academy

RMI is a non-profit organization committed to transforming global energy use to secure a clean, prosperous net-zero future for all.  Our organization applies rigorous techno-economic research, whole-systems expertise, and entrepreneurial approaches to help markets take advantage of breakthrough energy innovations. We embed deeply in industries to identify market choke points, and—with influential partners—develop, test and refine innovative business models and solutions. Working together with business, philanthropists, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs, we then seek to remove market barriers and scale the deployment of low-carbon energy.  

RMI is seeking a Senior Program Director to spearhead RMI’s newly created Energy Transition Academy (The Academy).

Program Overview

The aim of the Academy is to support partner efforts in the provision of curated information, training, tools, peer-to-peer problem-solving, and coaching networks. Collectively, we intend these resources to address the daily challenges of decision makers and practitioners in the clean energy transition. The Academy will primarily support senior- and mid-level energy practitioners in utilities, renewable and distributed energy companies, and regulatory bodies. It will also engage legislators, public officials, investors, and influencers who can enable the transition.

The Academy concept originates from requests and suggestions received directly from energy practitioners who we support and aims to amplify, strengthen, and develop the necessary capacity and confidence needed to achieve a 1.5°C pathway tailored to the Global South. Initially, the Academy will focus on developing countries and emerging markets where RMI has on-the-ground operations, including sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and island nations. Over time, the Academy will expand to support the energy transition globally, with an emphasis on underserved communities. The Academy will focus on electricity system transformation in the context of the overall energy transition, with ancillary concentration on sectors that interface with the electricity system such as the transportation and building sectors. The final design and service offering will be informed by a detailed assessment of target stakeholder needs and existing capacity-building efforts and platforms.

Position Overview

As the Senior Program Director, you will provide overall leadership for the program by developing and implementing short- and long-term strategic plans in close collaboration with the Managing Director for RMI’s Global South Programs. You will also be expected to develop strategic partnerships and business relationships around the world while raising funding and elevating the profile of the Academy, all with an eye on accelerating the global energy transition. As a successful candidate, you will have a passion for climate solutions and will have a demonstrated ability to influence industry and government leaders at the highest levels globally. 

You will be a member of RMI’s Program Management Group and collaborate closely with other Managing Directors and Program Directors across the organization to develop and execute RMI’s overall programmatic strategies.  Your active role in pursuing funding for the program, through philanthropic avenues, government support, and collaboration revenue will be essential.

Key Competencies: You will need to demonstrate the following critical competencies:  

  • Thought Leadership & Strategic Orientation Combines deep thematic knowledge with strong strategic understanding as well as methodical, conceptual thinking abilities, which result in identifying and leveraging opportunities to pursue the aspired outcomes for RMI. Possess a sharp eye and judgement for opportunities and leverage points.  
  • Collaboration & Influencing Creates constructive relationships with all levels of the global energy community and engages others to develop and pursue a common goal. Fosters cross-cultural collaboration within our organization and passionately engages with governments, business and civil society, resulting in a network of enduring partnerships with external actors. Seen as highly credible internal and external to our organization. 
  • Creating Networks & Leadership Development Proven track record of capacity building, network creation and leadership development in the global south. Is seen as a global ambassador of the global south and has strong working relationships with international organizations, universities and private sector leadership development networks.
  • Results Orientation Demonstrates an action orientation and an entrepreneurial approach to identify challenges, establish priorities, and implement viable solutions, as well as fluidity to champion evolving priorities and directions for our organization. Has demonstrated ability to achieve through mobilizing resources and tapping on talent. 

 Required Qualifications:

  • 10+ years of experience in energy, energy consulting or climate change;
  • 10+ years of experience in capacity building and leadership development; and
  • Master’s degree required (in an applicable field such as engineering, economics, business (finance, strategic consulting), law or physical and social sciences).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with resilience, energy access, and/or productive use questions in a variety of geographies, markets and systems and resource characteristics;
  • Conceptual and practical understanding of the intricate relationships between energy and economic/human development;
  • Familiarity with country climate action and commitments, scenarios, or deep decarbonization pathways;
  • Experience with leader or leveraging professional/peer/learning networks or other types of collaborative processes to achieve scaled impact or solutions;
  • Experience in delivering technical assistance, consulting, coaching, mentoring, or developing leaders and practitioners;
  • A track record or other demonstration of integrating a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in work, team culture and outcomes;
  • Successful engagement of multi-laterals or other complex national or sub-national partners in energy work;
  • Success in creating coalitions for change, or achieving shared or community priorities or goals; 
  • Expertise with foundational utility, regulatory, and finance concepts; demonstrated mastery in one of these;
  • Familiarity or experience in relevant clean energy technology, minigrids, or energy system aspects; and
  • Personal track record on public work on championing an equitable clean energy transition globally.


This position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the situation improves, it is preferred that this role be located at one of our offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Beijing, China; New Delhi, India; Oakland, CA; New York City; Washington D.C.; Basalt or Boulder, CO. This will be discussed further throughout the interview process.  


The salary range for this position is $168,500-$184,000. Compensation is dependent on experience and will be discussed/vetted throughout the interview process. This role has an additional 20% bonus target. 


Benefits may vary depending on the geographic location. This will be discussed with the selected candidate.


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.     

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 Addis Ababa; Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New Delhi; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. 

JOB CODE: 1000451