Executive Director

About Vote Solar

Vote Solar advances clean energy policy in legislatures and public commissions across the United States. They do most of their work at the state level – where the majority of energy decisions are made. Their expertise comes from a deep understanding of the legislative process, regulatory interventions, and how to identify and accelerate solar solutions. Vote Solar is adept at bridging communities and bringing diverse stakeholders together to forge inclusive coalitions and winning campaigns. 

Vote Solar’s goal is to effect real, tangible change. Twenty years in, their work has made it so that one in three people live in a state with a 100% clean energy commitment. They strive not only expand that number, but ensure that more people can participate in holding utilities and decision makers accountable for greater equity and justice in our energy system.

To learn more about Vote Solar, visit their website.

The Opportunity

The incoming Executive Director of Vote Solar will join a high performing team uniquely positioned to drive tangible progress towards an equitable and just 100% clean energy transition for all. Leveraging its distinct combination of deep regulatory knowledge, campaign expertise, and a commitment to advancing equitable energy access and outcomes, Vote Solar and the new ED will be poised for growing impact across the US. Prioritizing access and equity, rooftop solar, community solar, utility-scale solar, and grid modernization, the ED and the expert staff will identify levers for change, while strengthening political support for clean energy and deepening public engagement in advocacy efforts. Through all of its efforts, Vote Solar is driving change and delivering wins to combat climate change and ensure a sustainable future.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will lead an accomplished team in setting the direction and strategy for the organization, with ultimate responsibility for its financial health, fundraising, implementation of the mission, and operational effectiveness. This will require a visionary leader to identify and capitalize on new and existing opportunities in a manner that balances innovation with the practicalities of growth and execution. Core responsibilities include ensuring that Vote Solar is resourced with the staff, systems, and processes it needs for success. Leading with humility, emotional intelligence, transparency, and an intentional, human-centered and collaborative approach, the new ED will set the tone for a culture that promotes inclusivity and inspires continual learning and innovation.

Key Responsibilities

Strategy and Vision

  • Develop a strategic plan that will retain the best of what Vote Solar is today while pursuing bold new initiatives that expand the organization’s unique value proposition
  • 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

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

  • Lead the organization as it transitions to center and prioritize DEIJ in all facets of the organization’s work and internal operations, understanding its criticality with regard to values, ethics, the overall mission of the organization; including leading by example
  • Continue to integrate equity into all messaging and communications around organizational priorities and direction
  • Lift up Vote Solar’s Just Partnership Principles and continue to build relationships that recognize and challenge traditional systems and structures of power and privilege

Organizational Leadership and Management

  • Leverage and support the collective talent of the staff, creating an inclusive and collaborative environment where individuals are empowered and encouraged to lead
  • Identify opportunities and implement changes to ensure that Vote Solar has the systems, processes, and people in place to support recent and planned growth
  • Partner with the Board to further establish good governance and effective committee structures; identify opportunities to grow the Board and support onboarding of new members
  • Champion teamwork and alignment across the organization by providing effective communication, coaching, performance management and professional development; clearly communicate regarding accountability, decision making, operations, and processes at all levels
  • Provide sound fiscal and business management, and hold ultimate accountability for legal integrity, compliance, human resources, and ethics

Fundraising and External Relations

  • Serve as the public face and key spokesperson for Vote Solar, representing the organization with credibility and enthusiasm, communicating its vision and value proposition to a myriad of audiences, including decision-makers and the press
  • Develop a strong understanding of current funding sources; collaborate with the Philanthropy team to create and execute a robust, multi-year strategy that diversifies funding opportunities and sets realistic targets
  • Steward and retain current donors by keeping them engaged and informed

Ideal Candidate

Vote Solar seeks an Executive Director whose values, personal mission, and expertise align with the organization’s commitment to pursuing an equitable and just transition to 100% clean energy. Pivotal for continued success is a commitment to and solid grounding in the organization’s energy regulatory and technical expertise, as well as expertise in campaigns and community engagement. These represent the core pillars of Vote Solar’s work and their distinct value-add to the sector. Furthermore, an understanding of how Vote Solar’s work fits into the broader climate movement is essential. Substantial experience in solar, clean energy, climate, and/or environmental justice is required. Leading with humility and a drive for innovation and impact, the ED will be expected to build upon the organization’s great progress and successes thus far, while also charting a bold and innovative path forward.

While the ED is not expected to be an expert in all facets of the organization’s work, this person will ideally have knowledge of energy policy – the legislative, regulatory, and/or advocacy aspects – either at the federal level or in at least one of the states in which Vote Solar currently operates. Experience and partnership development across sectors is desired, as is the ability to create mutually beneficial relationships that seek to understand the expertise, needs, and methodologies of others. A respect for a multifaceted approach that challenges the status quo in the energy sector is crucial. As such, this person must be skilled at conveying a compelling narrative about Vote Solar’s mission and vision to partners, funders, and other relevant stakeholders. It is strongly preferred that candidates bring experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with funders, donors, partner organizations, and/or investors.

The successful candidate will also bring experience leading organizations in a time of growth and change, and balancing the benefits of structure and process with the need for flexibility. A track record of taking organizations and teams through effective, highly collaborative change and strategy-setting processes is essential. The ED must also be capable of communicating these strategies to diverse stakeholders and getting their buy-in, as well as leveraging the incredible expertise and resources of staff, Board, and partners.

Vote Solar’s culture values diversity of thought and experience, as well as supports an inclusive environment. The new ED will know how to lead and manage teams through change, ambiguity, and growth. This person will understand the importance of breaking down silos and ensuring strategic alignment around priorities. As the organization continues to integrate equity into all aspects of its work, the new ED must have a demonstrated track record advocating for and prioritizing DEIJ work internally and externally through ongoing learning, reflection, and a commitment to centering equity across an organization’s operations, strategy, and implementation.

Vote Solar has offices in Oakland, CA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL;      and Boston, MA. Most staff are currently working remotely due to COVID-19. The incoming Executive Director may be based out of any of Vote Solar’s locations.

The base salary for the ED position is in the mid $200,000 range.

Vote Solar’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Vote Solar is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the workplace and in the communities with which we partner. We 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. Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

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.

Executive DirectorVote SolarFlexible

The search for a Executive Director is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen: 

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director
Direct: 206.792.4300

Mollie Smith
Direct: 206.462.6190