About Climate Nexus
Climate Nexus is a nonprofit strategic communications group founded more than a decade ago to change the conversation on climate change and clean energy solutions in the United States. Since its founding in 2011, Climate Nexus has served as a behind-the-scenes expert and connector to ensure coherent and effective climate communications elevate the work of a broad network of partners, scientists, environmental justice allies, clean energy changemakers, youth advocates, and other leaders working to halt the devastating impacts of climate change. Climate Nexus provides pro bono and project support to allies that work to address the climate crisis. They recognize that the “story” of climate change is the foundation on which meaningful action is built. Their goal is to tell that story to as many people as possible.
Climate Nexus is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., with an Advisory Committee serving to support and guide its strategic direction. The Executive Director will work in close partnership with and will have the opportunity to add members to the Advisory Committee, which currently includes representatives from Climate Nexus’ largest donors, including MacArthur Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.
To learn more about Climate Nexus, visit their website.
As this is a watershed moment for the movement and there are significant investments being made to address the climate crisis, Climate Nexus sits right at the intersection of that movement. The new Executive Director will have the opportunity to design a bold and innovative vision that allows the organization to expand and identify new opportunities for impact while providing unparallel support to the climate movement to build a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable future for all.
The incoming Executive Director of Climate Nexus will lead a high-performing organization of more than fifty communications, research, policy, and polling experts uniquely positioned to drive tangible progress toward halting the devastating impacts of climate change.
As a fiscally sponsored project, Climate Nexus is poised for growth and a more profound impact. This is a pivotal moment for an ambitious organizational builder to consider the organization’s structure and develop their vision for how Climate Nexus could establish itself as an independent entity. In addition, this is an opportunity for a bold leader who is excited by the prospect of building, growing, and expanding an organization that is already playing a concrete role in addressing climate change.
Summary of Qualifications
The Executive Director will lead an accomplished team in setting the direction and strategy for the organization while holding ultimate responsibility for its financial health, mission, program implementation, and operational effectiveness. They bring a minimum of 10 to 15 years of progressive responsibility in managing and leading organizations or nonprofits.
An inspiring dynamic team leader & movement builder with an unwavering demonstrated commitment to racial justice.
The new Executive Director has a demonstrated and uncompromising commitment to not only centering and prioritizing racial equity/climate justice in all aspects of the organization’s internal operations but also in all facets of its work. They have effectively led change while addressing issues of power and privilege as they arise. They bring the emotional intelligence needed to form trusting relationships that allow for the co-creation of impactful and equitable processes that support organizational strategy and programming with demonstrated management experience.
A strategic visionary, innovator, & organizational builder
The incoming Executive Director is an exceptional leader with experience managing and coalescing high-performance teams towards innovation and bold impact, as well as building out new leadership models, teams, and operations to meet the changing needs of an organization. They have led through growth, competing interests, opportunities, and change.
A savvy resource mobilizer with a razor-sharp fundraising eye
They bring exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build and sustain strong support across a wide range of stakeholders and funders. The new Executive Director will showcase an expert aptitude for securing multi-million-dollar donations from institutional donors and individuals. They are a proactive and effective fundraiser with a focus on growth and stability.
A skilled climate ambassador with a strong penchant for communications
While the Executive Director is not expected to be an expert in all facets of the organization’s work, this person will need to possess a solid understanding of the domestic and global climate policy and advocacy issues that Climate Nexus works on. They recognize the levers of influence that shape policy change and move people and institutions to action. They can expertly represent Climate Nexus at events, presentations, and gatherings across the climate community and beyond and demonstrate a deep and nuanced understanding of the issues.
Mobilizing Resources for Sustainable Growth
- Skillfully establish a business model and expand funding streams to position Climate Nexus for continuous and future growth and impact; Collaborate with the development team to create and execute a robust, multi-year strategy that increases and diversifies funding opportunities that build on Climate Nexus’ strengths.
- Develop a strong understanding of current funding sources and actively lead fundraising efforts while empowering other senior staff to pursue fundraising opportunities; develop deep and trusting relationships with current and new donors to secure flexible funding that allows the organization to be nimble and agile.
- Serve as the external face and key spokesperson, representing the organization with credibility and enthusiasm; communicate its vision and value proposition to a myriad of audiences, including donors, decision-makers, and the press.
Centering Racial Equity & Belonging Across Organization and Work
- Ensure that Climate Nexus leads by example by not only integrating equity into organizational priorities but also ensuring that the larger climate movement is centering equity and access across all policy initiatives and calls to action.
- Build a culture that leverages and supports the collective talent of the staff by creating an inclusive and collaborative environment where individuals are empowered and encouraged to lead and innovate together; Lead the organization as it transitions to center and prioritize racial equity across its internal operations, external work, values, ethics, and mission.
- Use Climate Nexus’ unique messaging, communications resources, and expertise to amplify the voices of frontline and marginalized communities and continue to build relationships that recognize and challenge traditional systems and structures of power and privilege.
Strategic Vision and Organizational Leadership
- Champion teamwork and alignment across the organization by providing effective communication, coaching, performance management, and professional development; Set clear guidelines about accountability, decision-making, operations, and processes at all levels.
- Develop a strategic plan that will build on Climate Nexus’ strengths while pursuing bold new strategies that expand the organization’s unique value proposition; provide sound fiscal and business management and hold ultimate accountability for legal integrity, compliance, human resources, and ethics of the organization.
- Ensure alignment around key priorities, direction, and strategic goals; communicate clearly and often with internal and external stakeholders regarding strategic direction; Explore opportunities to engage with adjacent and intersecting issues to further the organization’s impact.
- Work with the Advisory Committee to outline priorities, timelines, and strategic roadmap to establish the organization as a stand-alone entity poised for long-term sustainability. This presents a unique opportunity for the new leader to consider new structures and models for Climate Nexus’ independent organizational setup.
First and foremost, Climate Nexus seeks an Executive Director whose values, personal mission, and expertise align with the organization’s commitment to stopping the devastating impacts of climate change.
The ideal candidate is a decisive strategist and entrepreneurial systems-thinker who is passionate about climate change and understands that winning on climate requires deep engagement and strategic communications support for communities of color, who are the hardest and first hit by the climate crisis yet the least resourced across all aspects of work.
Self-directed with sound professional judgment, the Executive Director will be knowledgeable about a broad range of innovative nonprofit revenue models. They are experienced in managing donor engagement to support the organization’s priorities. They bring strong stakeholder management skills, with demonstrated success working with outside organizations, donors, partners, and thought leaders, including with coalitions and networks. They can articulate and build alignment between near-term action and long-term goals. They have experience building institutional strategies using matrixed approaches and leveraging multi-disciplinary teams. In addition, they have worked with or on nonprofit boards and have a nuanced understanding of how to properly establish a new entity’s legal, financial, and compliance framework.
The new Executive Director models supportive leadership, empathy, transparency, and belief in others while holding individuals and teams accountable to the larger goal and mission. They will have demonstrated working effectively within complex environments with multiple teams, stakeholders, and relationships. They value and model flexibility, adaptability, and cooperation to achieve explicit goals, deliverables, and outcomes. They are comfortable grappling with and guiding teams on big issues, contentious conflicts, elusive solutions, and complex viewpoints. They manage and communicate calmly and thoughtfully in high-pressure situations.
They have a sound and pragmatic understanding of leveraging communication and media strategies in today’s rapidly changing environment to inspire, coalesce, and galvanize the movement and urgent action on complex issues. They recognize the inherent value and role that communications can play in the larger movement. They are attuned and responsive to evolving strategies in pursuit of climate action in all its facets amid the changing science, impacts, technology, politics, and culture. They respect multi-faceted approaches to challenging the status quo in the climate space, specifically about advancing climate equity.
Compensation, Benefits, and Location
The salary range for this position is $325,000 – $400,000.
Climate Nexus offers a robust benefits package, including 4 weeks of paid vacation, additional personal leave, and unlimited sick time; standard health, dental, and vision packages; generous employer contributions to 401k retirement accounts; parental leave; and commuter transit benefits.
Location is flexible, but the Executive Director must be willing to work EST hours and be present in the organization’s two major hubs, New York and Washington DC, frequently.
However, considerations will be made for remote candidates close to major transportation hubs.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice
Climate Nexus is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc. an equal-opportunity employer.
Climate Nexus is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the workplace and in the communities with which they partner. They strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including multilingual and multicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political aﬃliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions.
To Be Considered
Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate button” on the position profile. Letters may be addressed to Jailan Adly.
Applicants applying by February 6, 2023, will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.
GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by Climate Nexus to lead this search. For questions, please contact: