Manager, Utility Decarbonization Strategies & Electricity Markets

Program Management Washington, DC, United States

Job Summary

We are seeking a manager to lead work to enable clean energy deployment in the electric sector at scale by helping to remove barriers related to electricity markets, grid infrastructure, utility planning processes, and institutional structures. You will provide expert support to the US Energy team on innovative strategies to help advance a low-carbon electric grid, develop new products to enable cities and other large energy users to meet their clean energy targets equitably, determine how utility planning practices can evolve to shift to clean energy, and help cities and companies deploy clean energy technologies in the electric sector. You will lead and support projects that involve providing technical assistance, authoring research papers and blogs, and communicating research findings to internal and external audiences.  You will also lead convene stakeholder meetings, engage with key partners, and help support expansion of WRI’s work to create and scale clean energy solutions. You will support WRI’s domestic energy projects including our work with large energy buyers on engagement in utility planning and wholesale market processes, conducting research on pathways to accelerate low-carbon technologies in the electric sector, and addressing utility and grid related barriers to clean energy and vehicle electrification.

An ideal candidate will have an understanding of and experience working with utilities, regulators, and ideally large energy buyers, such as cities and corporations, as well as renewable and clean energy technologies. An understanding of wholesale power market issues, utility regulation, and rates is also important. Knowledge and/or experience with grid issues associated with the transition to clean energy sources and transmission is a plus. This is a unique opportunity to deepen and evolve your understanding of how various stakeholders within the utility industry are driving clean energy adoption and contribute to analysis that has a meaningful impact on the decarbonization of the power sector. Working closely with management on strategy and project development, you will be in a position to evolve this portfolio of work over time as new opportunities arise. You will also leverage partnerships and expertise across WRI’s programs, centers, and international offices, while cultivating partnerships with community organizations, external experts, and government officials. Candidates should be innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers with an ability to identify and pursue new opportunities. You should also be able to effectively communicate insights from technical research to non-technical audiences both verbally and in writing.

This position is remote due to Covid-19 and can remain remote once restrictions are lifted.

Job Responsibilities

Knowledge, Research and Analysis (50%) 

  • Lead research and analysis reports examining approaches and technologies to decarbonize the electric sector and transition power markets to enable clean energy adoption
  • Engage on US Energy team projects to accelerate electric sector decarbonization and enable cities and utilities to meet their clean energy goals and transform the grid mix
  • Demonstrate thought leadership in the areas of electricity market reform, new business models for clean energy deployment, and addressing grid barriers to adoption of clean energy technologies
  • Develop high-quality, high-impact reports, issue briefs, case studies, and blogs Contribute to our work on electric grid barriers and utility business models for EVs in the transportation sector
Stakeholder Engagement, Outreach, and Partnerships (30%) 
  • Organize internal and external meetings, workshops, conferences, and other dissemination activities
  • Develop partnerships to advance our work and coordinate and align our work with other NGOs and key stakeholders to increase impact
  • Attend various external functions and events, as relevant, to serve as a representative of WRI’s US Energy team
  • Help represent the US Energy team in WRI and external meetings
  • Present and communicate findings and research at industry events and in blogs and media, to position WRI as a thought leader in removing market barriers to clean energy
  • Be an active team member of our US and Global Energy teams and ensure coordination with the other related work
Project Management (20%) 
  • Manage projects for various clients, including ensuring that the team meets deliverables, timelines, and budgets
  • Manage contractors and partner organizations in both official and unofficial capacities, as needed
  • Engage WRI research staff to ensure that shared insights are incorporated into ongoing workstreams to maximize alignment
  • Supervise the work of junior researchers and interns
  • Coordinate across WRI program and issue areas to leverage institutional expertise and build internal support for the team’s work
  • Contribute to fundraising efforts to expand work on power sector decarbonization and develop content for proposals and concept notes, including deliverables, timelines, and budgets
Job Qualifications

Required Qualifications 
  • Master’s degree in business, economics, sustainable energy or a related field (or a Bachelor's degree with two years of additional relevant work experience) 
  • Minimum of five to seven years of relevant, full-time work experience
  • Direct experience working on utility issues related to clean energy deployment, including experience on electric sector decarbonization, electricity markets, and clean energy technologies
  • Ability to lead and engage with large groups of diverse stakeholders on complex technical topics 
  • Demonstrated research experience, with published content in established and relevant industry outlets 
  • Demonstrated ability to work well in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, manage multiple priorities, and work under tight deadlines 
  • Collaborative problem solver who can take initiative and set priorities 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner 
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and independent thinker 
  • Fluent in English 
  • US work authorization required
Desired Qualifications 
  • Understanding of utility rates, utility planning processes, including Integrated Resource Planning, and grid related challenges with clean energy deployment
  • Engagement with regulators and state energy offices and organizations such as NARUC and NASEO are desirable
  • Strong analytical skills preferred
  • Familiarity and experience with clean energy procurement practices (PPAs), community solar, and utility business models 
Potential Salary

$79,000 - $106,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Program Overview

WRI’s Energy Program speeds the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive energy future by helping to build clean energy markets and address structural and institutional changes needed. The US Energy team focuses on decarbonization of the power and transportation sectors, with a focus of working with utilities, cities, and large energy buyers. We take public commitments as a starting point and push forward policies, projects, and programs that accelerate and deliver change on the ground. Our U.S. Energy program addresses grid-related and market barriers to the adoption of clean energy needed to transition to a low carbon electricity grid. We work with utilities to implement new programs, rates, or products to accelerate adoption of clean energy and electric vehicles. We focus on removing market, grid-related, and institutional barriers to clean energy deployment. We also undertake primary research on renewable energy and clean energy technologies to identify barriers to deployment, articulate successes, and identify policies or programs needed to accelerate adoption. This research includes barriers to solar and wind development, pathways for expanding electric vehicle adoption, new financing mechanisms, utility planning, and evolution of storage technology. Increasingly, WRI is integrating equity and social justice concerns into all of its work supporting the clean energy transition to ensure it benefits all. The U.S. Energy Program’s work also includes supporting cities with ambitious clean energy through the City Renewables Accelerator program under the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge and other related projects. Our team helps cities meet their renewable energy purchasing goals, develop renewables deployment strategies and support purchasing approaches that are most relevant and impactful for the circumstances of our city partners. WRI’s support also includes organizing and supporting cohorts of cities working on similar purchasing strategies, developing tools and guidance documents, organizing training, and supporting peer learning events to help cities secure renewable energy to decarbonize their electricity supply. The US Energy team also provides similar support for the WRI Electric School Bus Initiative, a 5-year program which seeks to convert all US school buses to electric by 2030.

WRI Overview

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 in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

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.
We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa,  Brazil, China,  Europe,  India,  Indonesia,  Mexico and the United States  as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

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.