Full-Time Climate and Sustainability Practice Lead
USC Dornsife Public Exchange is an initiative unlike any other at the university. Founded in 2020, the Public Exchange fast-tracks collaborations between academic researchers and the public and private sectors to define, analyze and solve complex problems together. In the past year, Public Exchange has led a range of exciting projects to address challenges in public health, climate change, and sustainability with partners including the City and County of Los Angeles, the United Nations Foundation and Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency.
Our team seeks a dynamic leader to head up our new Climate and Sustainability practice as its first Practice Lead. The Practice Lead will guide a growing team of project managers to develop and execute projects that address the many challenges posed by climate change. The portfolio currently includes projects focused on nature-based solutions, electrified mobility, and water conservation; as the first leader in this role, the Practice Lead will have broad latitude to launch new pilots and shape the future direction of this practice area.
The ideal candidate will have experience developing policies, programs or products that address climate change in a non-profit, government or industry setting. Experience working with or within for-profit companies on climate/sustainability solutions is essential. Successful candidates will have a track record of forging strong partnerships, developing and executing on strategic plans, and managing teams to produce deliverables on-time and on-budget. Experience commissioning or conducting research is valued, but not required.
The ideal candidate will be a leader who is extremely organized, detail-oriented, a strong communicator, diplomatic, and comfortable coordinating across a large and diverse organizational structure. They will thrive in interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, cross-cultural teams and in situations with complexity and uncertainty, leading with empathy and a servant-leader approach. Public Exchange is a new program and still at an early stage of its growth. An entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to pitch in and work with a small but mighty team to build a program from the ground up is essential, as are intellectual curiosity and a commitment to innovation and social impact.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Key Areas of Responsibility:
- Develop a strategic plan for the new practice to maximize the impact of Public Exchange’s work in the practice area, working closely with the Executive Director and Director of Strategy and Operations.
- Expand the practice area by developing concepts for new project pilots in coordination with the project development team, identifying potential partners, managing seed funding, and leading the process from ideation to kick-off.
- Working with the ED and the DSO, maintain relationships with foundations and other funders in the climate and sustainability space.
- Manage Public Exchange’s existing portfolio of projects in the practice area, providing content expertise, as well as guidance and direction to project managers and ensuring smooth execution of work.
- Build and maintain relationships with Public Exchange faculty partners.
- Monitor new USC faculty research in climate and sustainability, and continually identify opportunities to match USC experts with emerging needs in the public and private sectors.
- Seek opportunities to grow Public Exchange’s work and reputation in the practice area among potential partners and key stakeholders.
- Represent Public Exchange at key conferences and other events, serving as a thought-leader in the practice area.
- Lead practice area communications strategy, in coordination with the USC communications teams and partner communications team, including the development of decks, messaging, press releases, web and social media content, videos and other materials.
- Manage a team of project managers and lead recruiting process for new practice area staff.
- Master’s degree with at least thirteen years of work experience in a relevant field preferred.
- Track record leading the development of policies, programs or projects that address climate change, with measurable results.
- Deep knowledge of the climate crisis, key players across sectors, and the frontiers of existing knowledge and technology to address it.
- Some experience working with or within for-profit companies on climate/sustainability solutions required.
- An unwavering commitment to leveraging Public Exchange and USC’s intellectual capital and resources to address climate change.
- Experience successfully leading teams to execute on a strategy.
- Demonstrated capacity to understand and synthesize complex ideas and concepts.
- Strong analytical and communications skills.
- Experience managing a budget to maximize resources for growth.
- Experience representing organizations at high-profile conferences and events.
- Experience commissioning or conducting research is a plus.
- Media relations experience is a plus.
How to ApplyPlease apply through the University Portal
Required Documents and Additional Information:
- Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.
- Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.
- USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six months of employment; tuition benefits for staff and their family; free Professional Development classes; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.
- Salary range: $126,903 - $150,000 annually and will commensurate with skills and experience.
- This is a hybrid position and will be funded on contracts, grants or gift funds.
- Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.