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Director of U.S. Government Affairs

Washington (Remote Currently) DC

Are you a leader who loves solving problems, building deep and leverageable networks and collaborating with others in federal and state policy initiatives? Do you have the self-motivation, curiosity, creativity and ability to persuade others toward meaningful results? Are you passionate about making the world a better place? If yes, then join our growing team!


Program Overview

Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) U.S. Program coordinates nationwide strategy in collaboration with the CEO and our Communications and Business Development teams. The program provides technical assistance to government and other entities, working closely with a broad range of stakeholders to advance RMI’s impact at the state and federal levels.

The new government affairs function within RMI’s U.S. Program offers us the opportunity to be optimally designed for impact. Our aspiration is to enable U.S. cities, states, and the federal government to get onto deep decarbonization pathways aligned with science-based targets for no more than 1.5ºC warming. This requires an understanding of federal, state and local policy implementation and how the tools of policy can be best deployed to support actors in achieving these targets with an eye toward cost-effectiveness, scale, and equity.


Position Overview

RMI is seeking a Director of US Government Affairs with significant experience cultivating and sustaining stakeholder relationships and indirectly influencing the design of policy. As a successful candidate, you will have a demonstrated track record of understanding and synthesizing complex, multi-sectoral policy issues and communicating them in a format appropriate for policymakers. Your ability to take on significant accountability for program performance, including developing and executing business development and fundraising strategies, will also be critical to this role.

You will primarily work at the federal level, covering both Congress and the Executive branch. However, RMI’s extensive work with state and local governments will provide an opportunity to share lessons learned across various levels of government; and to ensure federal policies are designed to achieve their intended purpose when implemented by state and non-state organizations.

As an outstanding networker, you will manage both internal and external relationships to evaluate, prioritize, and communicate the most important findings between RMI and external stakeholders to influence and inform policy.  You will also plan, cultivate, and expand RMI’s reach in policymaking through partnerships with Congress, the Executive Branch and federal agencies, as well as NGOs, trade associations, and other influencers in D.C. and across the United States. You will interpret requests from policymakers and partners on draft legislation and rulemaking and know who and how to engage across RMI programs and portfolio of projects to provide timely responses and feedback to inform policy decisions.

As an RMI leader, you will be responsible for effective collaboration across RMI and representing the organization to external audiences. Your experience in negotiation, building coalitions and partnerships, with a track record of influencing change, will be invaluable. You are independent, with the ability to design and steer multiple workstreams. Your ability to mentor and coach to staff to meet project goals through building their internal skills in this domain will be paramount to the success of the program and this position.


Your key job responsibilities include:

Seek out and develop strategic opportunities to amplify RMI’s work and ethos.

Maintain a deep network in the energy transition that brings relationships to RMI from existing engagement within Washington D.C., federal and state government, the policy making community, trade associations, corporate contacts, and others.

Engage in and be aware of policy proceedings, gather stakeholders and intercede in discussions to drive change in formal as well as informal policy discussions.

Participate in consortia and networks to bring opportunities back to RMI programs, e.g. awareness of timely policy conversations and opportunity to serve as news spokespeople, ultimately raising RMI’s profile.

Cultivate relationships internally and externally, to gather intelligence on how best to align RMI’s goals with opportunities.

Create and structure capacity development for RMI staff by providing opportunities for them to share their expertise in strategic situations to grow awareness and influence; support RMI staff in connecting their analytical work to the realities of the policymaking process.

Understand and synthesize complex energy analysis (e.g. the work of the RMI programs) for a policymaking audience. Work collaboratively with our communications team to develop associated communications strategies.

Represent RMI in external interviews, media, and publications; structure and deliver compelling presentations and written products to bring new insights to the industry and partners.

Contribute to innovative thought leadership and research.

Manage project and initiative budgets, scope engagements and determine outreach objectives from inception to conclusion; structure and oversee the work of matrixed colleagues.


Minimum Qualifications

A graduate degree, or undergraduate degree with equivalent experience in an applicable field such as public policy, government affairs, communications, engineering, business, law (regulatory, environmental)

7-10+ years of cumulative work experience, and excellent work references

Familiarity with issues and solutions in climate and energy to include understanding of key trends and stakeholder landscape, especially around legislation, regulation, and executive agency roles and actions

Significant experience working directly with the U.S. federal government

Experience in stakeholder engagement, campaigns, lobbying, or similar work environments

Demonstrated capability to analyze and interpret legislative or regulatory documents, and communicate implications and opportunities for improvement to relevant stakeholders


Preferred Qualifications

Deep familiarity with energy, climate, buildings, transportation and/or the electricity industry

Familiarity with economic, technical, political, and communications issues specific to energy and climate

Strong existing relationships with policymakers and/or influential NGOs, trade associations, and other influencers in policymaking



Increasing the diversity of thought, perspectives, ideas and opinions within RMI is a critical change element supporting our long-term sustainability and mission to build a clean, prosperous, and secure energy future.

We strive for a level of diversity that reflects the communities we serve. Achieving this—regardless of ability, race, ethnicity, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, socioeconomic class, educational attainment or other social identities—is critical to the success of each RMIer and collectively as an organization, ensuring that we:

Have the different array of thinking that comes from diverse backgrounds and cultures, enabling us to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Strive for a culture of inclusion and belonging by treating others with dignity, respect and appreciation enabling them to feel welcomed, supported and valued.

Effectively connect, communicate and build long-lasting relationships with decision makers, stakeholders and constituents within diverse communities.


Rocky Mountain Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:

Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance

403b Retirement Options (5% match immediately)

Life, AD&D, Short Term and Long-Term Disability

Professional and personal development (including LinkedIn Learning access)

Generous paid time off

Commuter and Wellness Benefits

Casual Work Environment



This position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the COVID-19 situation improves, it is expected that this position be located in Washington D.C. This will be discussed further throughout the interview process



The starting salary for the Director/Principal level is $121-130k with a 20% bonus target. There is potential to earn more based upon experience that will be vetted throughout the interview process.


About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. That is our mission. That is our passion. And every day, every member of our team of nearly 250 works relentlessly to achieve it. We are driving the global energy transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by working in partnership with businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to advance market-based solutions. We achieve this by developing breakthrough ideas, testing and refining them, reshaping markets, and bringing solutions to scale. RMI is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with an annual budget of $70 million and offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing, China.


JOB CODE: 1000227


Posted December 30, 2020

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