Subject Matter Expert - Aviation

Remote - Boulder, CO

At RMI, we know how important it is during the holiday season to spend time with family and friends, get much-needed rest and relaxation and recharge for the coming year. That’s why our employees receive a paid holiday from Christmas through New Year’s Day to do just that! If you are applying to this position, you may not hear from us over the coming weeks. Not to worry! We won’t forget about you and will be in touch after the new year. Happy Holidays!

Are you a seasoned aviation expert 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? If yes, then join our growing team! 

Individuals from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply!

Program Overview

RMI is catalyzing the energy transition by creating market and technological solutions to mitigate climate change.

RMI’s Aviation team works to accelerate the transition to net-zero air travel by catalyzing production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and developing market infrastructure that enables and scales SAF demand within the aviation value chain. The Aviation team is part of the overall Climate Aligned Industries (CAI) program, which works to decarbonize heavy industry and heavy transportation. We collaborate with a global network of businesses, financial institutions, and policymakers to facilitate and scale emissions reductions in these industrial sectors.

RMI’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance facilitates finance-sector initiatives to align portfolios to a 1.5° pathway. Its sectoral decarbonization program creates sector-specific climate agreements to standardize targets and methodologies across financial institutions and unlock the power of finance to drive industrial decarbonization.

Position Overview 

RMI is seeking a a subject matter expert with distinctive aviation value chain expertise to enable the success of RMI’s aviation decarbonization initiatives, working closely with our Climate Aligned Industries program and the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance. This position will also collaborate with other RMI internal teams on emissions reductions along industrial supply chains, market engagement, and virtual sustainability attributes. Providing senior level leadership, this expert will help to guide RMI’s work in the aviation climate-aligned aviation finance working group at the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance, the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), and the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow Demand Signal working group, as well as other related work and initiatives. The role will be initially weighted towards the work of the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance and will broaden over time.  

Core Responsibilities 

  • Serve as facilitator of the climate-aligned aviation finance working group.
  • Lead research teams and partner with collaborators to develop, pilot, and scale successful solutions to the world’s toughest energy challenges.
  • Provide senior level industry expertise that helps to refine a compelling and technically sound strategy to accelerate the adoption of distributed clean energy solutions together with fellow subject matter experts, Principals and Managing Directors.
  • Shape and deliver strategic 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.
  • Scope and provide technical advice on detailed work packages to support program delivery.
  • Support business development, including philanthropic fundraising, government grant management, and direct company fee-for-service project development.
  • Develop and enhance RMI’s public reputation through targeted publication, speaking, and external engagement on key topics critical to program success.
  • Manage existing program budgets and advise on proposed future program budgets.
  • Support development of team members and the Institute on technical subject matter relevant to aviation decarbonization including SAF.
  • Effectively communicate activities internally at RMI, including close coordination with other RMI colleagues working on supply chain traceability.

Required Qualifications 

  • Undergraduate degree  
  • 10+ years of additional relevant experience in Sustainable Aviation
  • Experience leading high performing teams in a project-based work environment 
  • Experience with the clean energy transition, climate change, environmental justice, or related topics 

Additional Qualifications 

  • 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 the 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 sustainability, delivery logistics, and chain of custody and alternative tracking systems
    • Aviation decarbonization roadmaps – including next generation aviation propulsion technologies
    • Voluntary carbon accounting frameworks
    • Carbon offsets and removal
    • Environmental life cycle assessment
    • Virtual energy asset standards and products (i.e. environmental attribute certificates)
    • 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, but it is expected that the role will be initially operating across US eastern and UK time zones primarily.

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 target base salary is $135,000. This role has an additional 20% annual bonus target.  Salary to be determined by your education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.   


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 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 nearly 315 works relentlessly 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 an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an annual budget of $70 million and offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing, China.     


JOB CODE: 1000506