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5 Aug 2018

Full-Time Executive Director

Sustainable Pittsburgh – Posted by Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States


Job Description

Executive Director
Sustainable Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Mission and Vision

Through the policy and practice of sustainable development, Sustainable Pittsburgh envisions a Southwestern Pennsylvania with a strong economy in which all people can live to their full potential, are engaged, and prosper within the means of a clean and healthy environment. To realize this vision, Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality as the enduring accountability, bringing sustainable solutions for communities and businesses.


Sustainable Pittsburgh is the region’s expert organization in building coalitions for change on issues that get to the heart of sustainability for Southwestern Pennsylvania. Inherent in this work is the prioritization of social equity and inclusion in our region, along with environmental quality and economic prosperity for all.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, Sustainable Pittsburgh was established as part of the Pittsburgh Technology Council and was an outcome of the Pittsburgh visit from the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. An initial formal partnership with the national Surface Transportation Policy Project focused Sustainable Pittsburgh’s efforts on advancing public transportation reform. Following the receipt of its official IRS exemption status, Sustainable Pittsburgh became its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2006.

For more than a decade, Sustainable Pittsburgh has accelerated the policy and practice of sustainable development throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania by addressing social, environmental, and economic issues with a systems approach.


With eight dedicated full-time employees and a supportive team of Student Conservation Association Sustainability Fellows, Sustainable Pittsburgh has an annual budget of approximately $1.1 million for operations and programs. Operations and programs are funded primarily through the generosity of regional philanthropic foundations.

Sustainable Pittsburgh supports government, community, and business leaders in the implementation of sustainability policies and practices. This work is guided by five core values:

  • Sustainable Development – a better way (integrating 3Es)
  • Integrity in approach & trusted change agent
  • Passion for Southwestern PA – diverse people, resources, region
  • Systemic change at scale for the region
  • Collaborative in partnerships and public engagement

Sustainability Performance Programs, Professional Development, and Regional Policy Initiatives are the fabric of the organization’s programs and services. Within each overarching strategy, there are several initiatives including, but not limited to, growing uptake of engagement in the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program, Sustainable Small Business Designation program, and the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, all of which help to build vibrant communities and support environmentally responsible practices.


The new Executive Director will be the successor to the founder, who served as Executive Director for 20 years. The Executive Director will be able to think at the macro level, while acting locally to meet development goals. Contributing to the global sustainability agenda requires a scaled approach – one that is people-centered, locally led, and anchored in the spirit and practice of partnership. Successful alliances among business, government, academia, and other organizations require leadership commitment, innovative action, and collaboration among diverse partners.

Reporting to a 16-member Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be a thought leader in the community, advancing the social, environmental, economic and informational leadership of Sustainable Pittsburgh.

This new leader must have the ability to command the priority of building relationships with the corporate and funding communities as essential partners in our work.

The Executive Director is primarily responsible for the following:

Program Design and Implementation

  • Continually evaluates programs and their alignment with the mission in order to ensure that Sustainable Pittsburgh is in a leadership position. Actively researches and identifies areas of improvement, new opportunities for environmental innovation, social responsibility, and community development.
  • In collaboration with the Staff, Board, and community stakeholders, creates and oversees implementation of a strategic plan and vision – to include short- and long-term objectives, practical action, and a comprehensive plan for marketing and fundraising strategies to support organizational goals.
  • Identifies and engages with key community leaders, forms strategic alliances, and regularly surveys the broad sustainability community to keep abreast of new thoughts and technologies as well as to strengthen conversation and progress around sustainability initiatives.

Leadership and Management

  • Serves as an expert on sustainability both locally and also on a more comprehensive platform.
  • Oversees Sustainable Pittsburgh’s day-to-day operations including technology oversight, fundraising, fiscal management, and program implementation.
  • Manages the Staff with transparency and respect, creating a workplace that is professional and positive. Engages employees in strategic discussions and empowers them to work autonomously.

Revenue Generation and Community Relations

  • Stewards relationships with current philanthropic partners while also identifying and cultivating potential opportunities for advancement and diversification in resource development.
  • Oversees brand strategy; ensures messaging is cohesive and impactful.
  • Cultivates rapport with key decision-making bodies. Actively engages with community and business decision-makers and practitioners, and convenes leaders at all levels to accelerate sustainability solutions and policies.
  • Facilitates partnerships among groups outside of the organization that have a vested commitment to sustainable community development.

Board Relations

  • Develops, maintains, and supports a high-performing and passionate Board of Directors.
  • Provides on-going education to the Board of Directors on emerging issues and unmet needs.
  • Generates and tracks metrics that monitor the performance of the organization with respect to the mission and key objectives of the organization.
  • Provides leadership in developing organizational, program, and financial plans with the Board of Directors and carries out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  • Prepares and presents mission and programmatic information at each meeting to ensure Board understanding of the work and people associated with the organization.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The new Executive Director must be a bold and visionary leader who is passionate and knowledgeable about sustainability. This individual must take personal responsibility for driving the organization’s success, demonstrating a high level of ownership for results. All candidates should have exceptional and proven nonprofit management, leadership, relationship management, and resource development experience, as well as possess a combination of the following skills and attributes:

  • Educational background that includes a Bachelor’s degree. An advanced degree is preferred.
  • Past success working collaboratively with partners, including but not limited to corporate and business leaders, philanthropic leaders, like-minded organizational partners, and a Board of Directors.
  • A successful track record with fundraising from diverse sources.
  • Knowledge of best practices and leading trends, solutions, and innovations in sustainability. Experience in mission-based messaging to small and large groups with a call to action.
  • Strong knowledge of how marketing, communications, and public relations can further fundraising efforts, and a track record of using these tools to improve and optimize these efforts. Adept at social media and online marketing.
  • Demonstrated success in creating and promoting a diverse, inclusive, and respectful workplace environment. Working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Experience and confidence with public speaking before a wide range of professionals and community audiences.
  • Great interpersonal skills including strong verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Advanced strategy and planning skills; demonstrated success with program development.


In the near term, the Executive Director will be expected to continue to deliver outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing the following:

  • Building strong and trusting relationships with Board, Staff, funders, and various stakeholder groups.
  • Reviewing and analyzing fundraising and marketing plans in order to explore and maximize opportunities with additional and diverse sources of revenue.
  • Evaluating the organization’s current strategic matrix – collaborative goal and vision setting with Staff.

How to Apply

Sustainable Pittsburgh has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Applications are not accepted at this email address. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact Sustainable Pittsburgh. Resume, position specific cover letter, and salary expectations may be uploaded here: APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY MONDAY, August 27, 2018 at 5PM   Sustainable Pittsburgh is an equal opportunity employer.

Job Categories: Sustainability. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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