Deputy Director, Implementation and Operations, Electric School Bus Initiative

Program Management Washington, DC, United States

This position is remote-eligible and only for consideration within the United States where WRI is state registered. Existing work authorization is required at the time of application submission for the US. WRI is unable to sponsor any visa work sponsorship for this position.

About the Program:

In collaboration with partners and communities, WRI’s Electric School Bus Initiative aims to build unstoppable momentum toward an equitable transition of the U.S. school bus fleet to electric by 2030, bringing health, climate, and economic benefits to children and families across the country and normalizing electric mobility for an entire generation. Together with partners, WRI is working in six areas of focus, whereby we:   Center communities in pursuing school bus electrification and work with community-focused organizations to help provide the tools and resources to make it happen.  Support school districts in accelerating the equitable transition to electric school buses.  Collaborate with manufacturers across the electric school bus supply chain in preparing for an equitable and sustainable transition.  Work with electric utilities to improve interconnection and investments for electric school bus charging infrastructure, including supportive rates and tariffs.  Facilitate understanding of electric school bus business models and promote the expansion of funding and finance options in the electric school bus market.  Engage policymakers in the federal government, state governments and municipalities to usher in the policy solutions, funding, and financing needed to reduce barriers to equitable school bus electrification.  

Job Highlight:

Working in tandem with the Director and as part of the project leadership team, you will help develop strategy, scope and secure funds for new lines of work, ensure impactful project implementation and operations. You will also ensure effective communications, manage and support a growing team, and oversee scrupulous use of donor funds. Your portfolio will focus on implementation and internal team operations, including technical assistance to school districts, contractors and other stakeholders, engagement with the manufacturing, utility and infrastructure industries, and support for internal operations. You will work with the team’s more than two dozen staff to collaborate with stakeholders across the electric school bus supply chain, school districts, electric utilities, policymakers, environmental justice organizations, and communities to support the equitable transition to electric school buses. You will help develop and execute new initiatives in related areas.

What will you do:

Strategic Leadership and Vision (40% time):

  • Work with the ESBI Director as part of the leadership team, to shape and execute a strategy for the Electric School Bus Initiative U.S. and its $6+ million annual budget to equitably assist the 19,000+ School Districts in the US develop a path to full electrification of over 480,000 buses, leveraging high-quality research and high-impact engagement with stakeholders and decisionmakers
  • Adapt that strategy over time to meet evolving political and economic realities
  • Work with the ESBI Director to identify critical issues where new insights, analyses, and proposals to build coalitions can lead to significant progress in the United States Oversee development of major fundraising proposals for ESBI, working with ESBI, WRI-U.S., WRI Urban Mobility staff and WRI’s Development Office to promote and refine ideas, identify viable funders, and author proposals
  • Work with the ESBI Director and other leads to promote the contributions of ESBI to an equitable transition and environmental justice and help grow a diverse and inclusive team

People and Program Management (40% time):

  • Serve as leadership team lead on technical assistance and industry engagement portfolio
  • Work with the ESBI Director to guide and monitor the execution of the initiatives strategy by working with the Pillar Leads to oversee the implementation of multiple projects, ensuring the quality of the work and the achievement of project outcomes
  • Manage several direct reports and help the ESBI Director manage a team of more than two dozen, with an emphasis on establishing a sense of teamwork and cooperation, mentoring, and providing staff with the ability to excel and develop
  • Provide day-to-day oversight of technical assistance work across ESBI inclusive of direct engagement with school districts, contractors, manufacturers and infrastructure providers and manage the work of specific projects such as NYSERDA
  • Oversee financial management of the ESBI program and ensure that project finances are managed and within budget according to donor procedures

Communication and Engagement (20% time):

  • Draft blogs, reports, and other publications to advance WRI’s thought leadership. Help identify opportunities for strategic communications
  • Be an external spokesperson for ESBI’s work and perspectives, leveraging strong speaking skills and experience to engage experts, stakeholders, decisionmakers, and the media through public and private speaking events and interviews
  • Serve as an internal spokesperson for ESBI, communicating program objectives to all levels of staff, partners and donors.

What will you need:

  • Education: You have a completed a Masters degree in relevant discipline
  • Experience: You have a minimum of 12 years’ full-time relevant work experience in Program or project leadership with 3 or more years of supervisory experience
  • Experience working with stakeholders across the electric vehicle supply chain, including school districts, vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure providers, and energy storage providers
  • Requirements: Existing work authorization is required where this position is based. WRI is unable to sponsor work visa

Potential Salary: Salary range is between 138,000 USD and 166,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply: Please submit a resume and cover letter by 22 September 2023. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

What we offer: 

  • A competitive salary 
  • Access to the WRI global network with the opportunity to exchange with and learn from passionate colleagues working at the cutting edge of their fields across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the US. 
  • The chance to have an impact and to develop your career within a mission driven organization with access to varied learning and training opportunities. 
  • A workplace that strives to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work.
  • The opportunity to join and get involved in different working groups and affinity groups to shape the future of WRI. 
  • Commitment to hybrid working model with flexible working hours. 
  • Generous leave days that increase with tenure. 

About Us:

Founded in 1982, World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity, and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. WRI has a global staff of over 1,800 people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and the United States, as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps, and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business, and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.  

Our mission and values:  

WRI’s mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations.  

Our values are shared ideals that bind us together: Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, Independence, Respect.     

Our culture:

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices. We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment, we embrace all diversity and encourage women, the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, Afro-descendants, and Indigenous people to apply. Recognizing our strong commitment to gender equality, WRI has also been awarded EDGE certification.    

Our team in Human Resources carefully reviews all applications.