Deputy Director, External Affairs, 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. 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.  Collaborating 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:

  • Work in collaboration 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 policy progress, project implementation communications, manage a growing team, and oversee scrupulous use of donor funds
  • Your portfolio will center on external affairs, including strategic partnerships, communications, fundraising and donor stewardship, policy and advocacy, and other partner engagement efforts
  • You will work with the team’s more than two dozen staff to collaborate with partner across the electric school bus ecosystem, including school districts, electric utilities, policymakers, environmental justice organizations, the media, and members of communities to support the equitable transition to electric school buses
  • You will help leading new programs in related areas
  • You will report to the Director of the Electric School Bus Initiative

What will you do:

Strategic Leadership and Vision (40% time):

  • Work in collaboration with the Director and as part of the project leadership team, you will shape and accomplish an strategy for the Electric School Bus Initiative U.S. and its $6+ million annual budget to build momentum toward an equitable transition of the U.S. school bus fleet to electric by 2030
  • Adapt that strategy to meet evolving political and economic realities. Work with the Director and other leads to center equity across the initiative’s programming and help grow a diverse and inclusive team
  • Contribute to team culture that reflects and advances the project’s core values of equity, integrity, innovation, urgency, independence, respect and trust
  • Support development of fundraising proposals, working across teams to improve and refine ideas, identify viable funders and author proposals
  • Contribute to ongoing funder stewardship. Be a spokesperson for the Electric School Bus Initiative’s work, applying communication and experience to engage experts, project partners, decision makers, and the media through public and private speaking events and interviews
  • Lead new areas of programming

Program, People Management and Communications (60% time):

  • Lead the implementation of integrated communications strategy across the initiative’s five pillars of activities, positioning the program with multiple partners
  • Lead the Communications and Engagement team and its activities focused on message and brand development, campaign execution, content creation, social, web and email management, events, media engagement, and others
  • Strategic Partnerships and Engagement Oversee external partnerships, including managing partnerships with important partners
  • Oversee the engagement of the project’s national Advisory Council, a group of leaders across sectors serving as advisors to and ambassadors for the initiative. Advise on engagement activities across the project, working with the equity team, ensuring equitable processes and outcomes are achieved through the project’s partnerships
  • Collaborate with the equity team on an engagement strategy focused specifically on promoting community partners and groups, such as local and national non-profits, parents and PTO organizations, schools and education groups, environmental advocacy groups, and social/environmental justice groups, to ensure diverse voices are represented, and project implementation is equitable
  • Policy and Advocacy Serve as leadership team lead on policy and advocacy portfolio. Collaborate with policy staff to establish strategy, annual goals and tactics for the advancement of equitable federal and state electric school bus policy and funding programs
  • Support execution of policy and advocacy activities through partnership development, message and materials creation, media outreach and other communications activities, analysis and interpretation, and direct engagement of policymakers and their staff.
  • Ensure agreement between policy, communications and equity teams to maximize equitable outcomes
  • Work with the Electric School Bus Director to guide and monitor the execution of the initiative’s 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 direct reports and support the director to 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
  • Contribute to project financial management, including ensuring that project finances are managed and within budget according to donor procedures

What will you need:

  • Education: You have a completed a Master’s degree in relevant discipline
  • Experience: You have 12+ years’ work experience in project leadership with 3 or more years of supervisory experience
  • Experience working with partners across the electric vehicle ecosystem
  • Requirements: Existing work authorization is required where this position is based. WRI is unable to authorize work visa

Potential Salary:  The salary range is between 164,000 and 197,000 USD. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.  

How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter by the date of 22 September 2023.  You mustapply 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.