Principal - Carbon-Free Electricity

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 collaborator who is committed to teamwork and can also be a respected change agent from within? Do you have a passion for RMI’s mission? If yes, then join our growing team!  

Program Overview: 

RMI’s Carbon-Free Electricity (CFE) Program supports the rapid and equitable decarbonization of electricity systems globally to support modern, clean economies the world over. We work 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, business models, and processes in support of the transition to a clean energy future. We employ a unique combination of research, consulting, and collaboration to support individuals and organizations to innovate and implement transformative energy solutions.   

Position Overview: 

CFE is seeking a principal to support and co-lead our growing initiatives. In this role, your work portfolio will include contracted projects, ranging from weeks to years in duration; thought leadership through publications and partnerships; and multi-stakeholder convening and collaboration.

As a leader on the CFE Program, you will be responsible for a large portfolio of projects and for managing a team of 4-6 people that will work with and for you. You will be one of the primary CFE representatives in our work with external partners, including utilities, advocates, clients, and donors. You will also represent the CFE Program and RMI at events and conferences.

Together with the other CFE Principals, you will have significant responsibility for managing CFE operations, including conducting performance reviews, acting as a career advisor, and coordinating staffing decisions. You will also collaborate with the CFE Program’s Managing Director to develop and set strategy for the program and initiatives within the program, and in the identification and development of project work.

In support of our growing work to decarbonize electricity systems in the U.S. and globally, we are specifically looking for Principal candidates who can lead and contribute in the following areas: 

  • Developing and delivering solutions for Fossil Transition, including: 
    • Direct engagement and support on state and federal policy opportunities 
    • Developing and deploying financial tools, like ratepayer-backed bond securitization and debt restructuring, to support the equitable and just transition of fossil assets and infrastructure 
    • Working directly with specific utilities and communities to develop equitable and just transition packages  
  • Reimagining resource planning and grid modeling to support clean energy deployment at speed and scale, including: 
    • Using and improving existing models and developing new analytical tools to evaluate clean energy portfolios to meet grid infrastructure needs 
    • Using and improving existing models and developing new analytical tools to support the optimization and inclusion of demand-side and distribution-level resources 
    • Working with utilities, regulators, and others in the industry to modernize resource and grid planning processes 
  • Engaging and supporting utilities and the private sector to take bold action on decarbonization, including: 
    • Leading direct engagements with utilities to explore, assess, and implement decarbonization pathways and evolved business models 
    • Leading direct engagements with clean tech, clean energy, and other private sector companies to develop and deploy solutions and business models that can support rapid and equitable power sector decarbonization 
    • Energy transition management consulting  

Core Responsibilities: 

  • Lead research teams and partner with collaborators to develop, pilot, and scale successful solutions to the world’s toughest energy challenges. 
  • Shape and execute the CFE Program’s project, campaign, and initiative strategies to accelerate the adoption of clean energy solutions together with fellow Principals and the Managing Director.  
  • Engage in development, fundraising, and outreach activities to raise funds and revenue support for the CFE Program  
  • Lead business development initiatives, including sourcing and developing proposals, government grant applications and management, and directing the cultivation of fee-for-service collaborations with industry partners and the private sector. 
  • Manage and support 4-6 direct reports 
  • Develop and maintain partnerships and collaborate with other organizations to achieve shared goals, including direct support and consulting engagements   
  • Structure and deliver compelling presentations and written products to bring new insights to target audiences  
  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders across government, business, and non-profit organizations 
  • Support development of team members through engagement in their professional development, with specific responsibility to support their growth as electricity decarbonization experts. 
  • Support CFE’s Managing Director in interactions with RMI Senior Leadership and Board. 

Required Qualifications: 

  • 10+ years of relevant professional experience in related fields, such as utility regulation, utility strategy, climate or energy advocacy, business, law, or other fields relevant to the decarbonization of electricity systems  
  • 5+ years as a team manager or people leader 
  • Experience successfully leading teams in a project-based work environment  
  • Experience managing junior team members, including providing coaching and mentorship, and managing performance reviews  
  • Experience with the carbon-free electricity transition, climate change, environmental justice, and/or related topics  
  • Demonstrated success in developing collaborative relationships or coalitions to achieve shared objectives   
  • Experience managing complex and diverse groups, including leading and navigating challenging conversations 
  • Experience working with utilities, regional grid operators, regulators, DER service providers, and/or other NGOs in the electricity sector  

Preferred Qualifications 

  • A graduate degree  
  • Substantial experience (5+ years) working with utilities, environmental advocacy groups, community-based organizations, policymakers, and/or the clean energy industry  
  • Established expertise with and knowledge of the social, economic, technical, and political issues specific to decarbonizing the electricity sector.  
  • Experience facilitating multi-stakeholder groups working on complex topics 
  • CFE’s work is focused on the power systems in the U.S., China, India, Southeast Asia, and Africa; specific knowledge of and experience with these geographies is preferred. 

 Additional Qualifications: 

  • Ability to travel 20–30% (once public health conditions allow)    
  • Evidence of good work references  
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills  
  • Experience leading projects that involve quantitative analysis 


The position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. RMI has offices in Oakland, CA, Washington, D.C., New York City, Boulder, and Basalt, Colorado, and encourages all employees to consider being in close proximity to one of our offices. Relocation options will be discussed further throughout the interview process and may be used as a discriminating factor between qualified candidates.          

Important Note: As a U.S. federal contractor, RMI must comply with requirements outlined Executive Order Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. This Executive Order requires that all federal contractors and subcontractors mandate and verify that all U.S. based employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are based in the U.S., you will be required to provide proof of full vaccination status as a condition of employment. You may request an accommodation for medical or religious reasons. If you are based outside of the U.S., this requirement does not apply.


The salary range for this  position is $134,000 - $157,000. Salary to be determined by your education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.

You would also have a 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 thoughts, 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: 1000453