Managing Director - Operational Strategy

RMI is a non-profit organization committed to transforming global energy use to secure a clean, prosperous net-zero future for all. We align all of our activities to help limit global warming below 1.5 degrees C.  Our organization applies rigorous techno-economic research, whole-systems design expertise, and world-class facilitation capabilities to build the collaborative solutions required to limit the negative impacts of climate change.  We embed deeply in industries to find pain points, and—with influential partners—develop, test and refine innovative market- and policy-based solutions. Working together with business, philanthropists, communities, institutions, we seek to remove market barriers and scale the deployment of efficiency and low-carbon energy.

Position Overview

RMI is seeking a talented, strategically-minded Managing Director who will help us manage and direct rapid growth to ensure that our operational performance can support globally scalable impact against our mission.  If you’re passionate about solving climate change and ready to enlist your considerable operational talents to build and implement a fit-for-purpose “operating system” that helps RMI use data, manage knowledge, leverage IT, and embrace continuous improvement as effective strategic drivers of ever-expanding impact, join us! As the Managing Director, Operational Strategy, you will be responsible for developing and executing a global operational strategy in support of our mission.

We highly encourage individuals of underrepresented groups to apply!


You will work closely with the Chief Program Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and other Operational and Program executives to develop, enhance, and implement operational strategies, tools and best practices that will support the efficient and effective delivery of impact by our programs. You will directly manage our heads of IT, Program Services, and Research & Intelligence and be dedicated to supporting the professional growth of each leader and their team members. You will therefore:

  • Drive strategy and coordination of the RMI1000 operational transformation to support the organization's trajectory to double in size to 1,000+ employees over the next 18 months, including both process and system upgrades.
  • Coordinate the annual operational strategy process, business rhythm, and major decision cadence across the organization, working closely with operational leaders in finance, talent, fundraising, and communications to incorporate and align their strategies in support of programs.
  • Set process and project management standards, tools, and practices for the organization.
  • Plan, develop, direct, and evaluate the Operations function and performance in support of the overall operation and effectiveness of the organization:
    • Manage the Information Technology Director, including our network environment, cyber security, hardware, software applications, and support.
    • Manage the Program Services Senior Director, whose team is responsible for project and account management, key process documentation and improvement, and centralized and deployed program coordination resources, including leading the Operations Lead cohort that sits at the nerve center of the organization between Programs and Operations
    • Support Program Services Director in creation of a robust Knowledge Management function that will curate and organize our employee knowledge base and documentation as well as stand-up a research function that leverages both internal and external resources effectively to better deliver critical insights quickly to all of RMI’s programs.
    • Define and orchestrate the processes to support merger management and entity spin-out, regular occurrences in our entrepreneurial organization.
    • Act as strategic partner to programs on the creation of software platforms to support programmatic objectives.
    • Develop the suite of organizational policies and procedures and implement organizational training and accountability for effective use of policies, procedures, and their compliance in accordance with internal and external requirements.
    • Lead facilities management for 6 existing offices and build a competency to support the regular future opening of additional offices globally.
  • Partner effectively with other executives on collaborative initiatives that support and enable program and organization success:
    • Partner with the Chief Finance Officer and Chief People Officer to create and deploy a workforce planning, project staffing, and resourcing capability 
    • Partner with the Managing Director - Strategic Analysis & Engagement to build and manage the infrastructure and tracking systems that support our monitoring, evaluation, and learning capabilities
    • Partner with the Chief People Officer and Managing Director - Communications on internal communications to plan and manage change initiatives and deploy standardized guidance and infrastructure for internal communications
    • Partner with the Chief People Office to lead the Crisis Management Team for RMI, which ensure that the safety and health of all employees globally is centrally managed and accounted for (includes travel safety).
    • Partner with the Chief Program Officer to ensure the integrated strategy for the organization is defined and executed to produce maximum impact while managing the attendant risks.
    • Partner with the Managing Director - Development to expand the organizational CRM system beyond philanthropic relationship management system to support increased stakeholder engagement.
    • Ensure all engagement and requests of programs are thoughtfully constructed and coordinated to ensure effective utilization of all resources


  • Minimum 15 years of progressive operational leadership and strategy experience, including serving as a key advisor to senior leadership on transformation, growth, and continuous improvement initiatives.Global perspectives on business operations, with experience and familiarity working across a variety of international contexts.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, and/or success in operations roles within a professional business environment, helping organizations to identify, clarify, and resolve complex issues critical to strategic and operating success.
  • Strong affinity with the role of information technology and software tools in a global organization to drive effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Progressive authority in one or more of the following areas: operations strategy, information technology, process improvement and transformation, research and knowledge management, and change management.Previous senior management responsibility in a complex organization known for progressive operational practices and program support strategy.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to effect, influence, and manage change throughout the organization.
  • Proven ability to build constructive partnerships and collaboration among diverse constituencies and ability to maintain effective communication throughout the organization.
  • Proven track record of both thought leadership and change management within an organization.
  • Strong analytical and interpretation skills involving complex data, with the ability to synthesize and present findings up to the board level.
  • Willingness to learn about nonprofit impact delivery, RMI’s mission and become passionate about the energy transition and climate change.

Minimum bachelor’s degree, MBA or advanced degree in relevant field preferred.


This position will be remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the COVID-19 situation improves, it is preferred but not required that this position will be located near one of RMI’s U.S. locations: New York, NY; Washington, DC, Boulder, CO; Basalt, CO; Oakland, CA or Houston, TX.

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 $200,000-$300,000, with the target being between $250,000 and $275,000. Compensation is dependent on experience and will be discussed/vetted throughout the interview process. This role has an additional 25% bonus target.


We offer a comprehensive benefits package adjusted to regional norms, including (for U.S. employment):

  • Medical, dental, vision insurance     
  • 403b retirement options (5% match immediately)     
  • Life, AD&D, short-term and long-term disability     
  • Professional and personal development (including LinkedIn Learning access)     
  • Generous paid time off    
  • Parental leave     
  • Commuter and wellness benefits     
  • Casual work environment    


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.     

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. 

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: 1000629