Director, Climate Policy – Niskanen Center

Position: Director, Climate Policy 

Location: Washington, D.C.

Salary: $150,000-$200,000 based on experience, plus generous benefits package

Department: Climate policy

Reports to: Vice President of Policy

Travel: Occasional travel expected in the future

Director – Climate Policy

To apply, email with “Director of Climate” in the subject line. We will review applications on a rolling basis. Please include a cover letter and resume. No phone calls, please.

The Niskanen Center is a public policy think tank and advocacy organization that seeks to build a compelling case for the mutually reinforcing relationships between the free market and the welfare state; individual liberty and social justice; social cohesion and multicultural pluralism; and economic well-being and environmental protection. We believe that conserving a free, competitive, and democratic society requires radical departures from existing policies. Accordingly, we work closely with the governing elites’ network in Washington, D.C. to advance meaningful and concrete change. 

Position Description

The Niskanen Center is seeking a climate director for its prominent and growing climate policy department. This is a full-time, senior-level position that reports to the Vice President of Policy. Regular engagement with the Vice President of Government Affairs, Senior Vice President, and President are also anticipated. 

Niskanen’s objective is to help facilitate the enactment and implementation of meaningful, cost-effective climate policies in the United States to accelerate the decarbonization of the economy. Our work focuses on carbon taxation, low-carbon innovation, regulatory and tax reform for clean energy infrastructure, and the analysis and communication of climate risks. The director will have the agency expand and refine this agenda in coordination with the climate team and Niskanen leadership. 

The director is responsible for driving strategic growth and financial success by conceiving a research and advocacy agenda that responds to the risks posed by climate change by targeting conservative and moderate political elites and building broader coalitional policy support in furtherance of Niskanen’s mission. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Maintain our institutional perspective on climate change and conceive, plan, execute, and articulate a research agenda focused on reforms to public policy to decarbonize the economy;
  • Engage with senior leadership and government relations team members to craft messaging, white papers, commentaries, research papers, and draft legislation that support Niskanen’s policy interests;
  • Monitor pending or proposed policy, legislation, and rules to assess the strategic, operational, and financial impact for purposes of forecasting/budgeting and advocacy;
  • Prepare internal communications for key leaders and the Niskanen Board that summarize policy and legislation;
  • Lead high-profile research projects in coordination with Niskanen staff and external collaborators;
  • Build partnerships and participate in coalitions to expand the reach of Niskanen’s climate work, while maintaining focus on Niskanen’s unique strategic objectives;
  • Coordinate with Niskanen leadership to develop a long-term strategic vision for the climate department and ensure adequate resources are available to execute it; and 
  • Build and lead a growing team focused on individual development and successful project management. 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • An advanced degree in a relevant discipline or commensurate experience that ensures research products will be high-quality and well-conceived; 
  • 6-10+ years relevant work experience performing and overseeing significant policy-relevant climate action  projects and a successful track record of developing and executing strategies that drive change;
  • Extensive knowledge of and previous successes in fundraising, with a firm commitment to positive outcomes and a growth mindset;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the political dynamics around climate action and impact and a commitment to the vision of climate policy laid out by the Niskanen Center;
  • Experience collaborating with an ideologically diverse network of organizations and individuals;
  • A high degree of integrity, the ability to build trust, and a commitment to exceptional deliverables;
  • Superior oral and written communication skills and ability to engage outside individuals and organizations;
  • Ability to translate complex research findings into key takeaways for diverse audiences; and
  • Proven commitment to and passion for social justice and impact, and familiarity with Niskanen’s vision for change. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Senior-level leadership experience (head of an organization or senior function within an organization);
  • Experience organizing diverse team members toward shared goals while enabling the pursuit of independent goals;
  • A strong policy reputation;
  • Ability to think independently and develop new processes/analyses;
  • Demonstrated success in talent management and facilitating growth opportunities for team members;
  • Action-oriented, organized, and entrepreneurial self-starter who assumes personal ownership of work and is capable of effectively prioritizing and working simultaneously on multiple projects; and
  • Appreciation for intellectual challenge. 

Benefits and Diversity Commitment

The expected annual salary range is $150,000-200,000, based on experience. In addition, the Niskanen Center offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including health, dental, and vision insurance, federal holidays, and unlimited paid leave.

The Niskanen Center is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants are considered for employment without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status. We also seek to expand our professional networks and workplace composition to reflect better our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To apply, email with “Director of Climate” in the subject line. We will review applications on a rolling basis. Please include a cover letter and resume. No phone calls, please.

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