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Principal - Center for Climate-Aligned Finance
Rocky Mountain Institute in Oakland, California
Date Posted 04/08/2021
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Are you a seasoned people leader with experience driving an equitable clean energy transition? Do you enjoy plunging into unfamiliar disciplines and testing new ideas? Are you a collaborative and strong team player who can also be a respected change agent from within? Do you have a passion for RMI’s mission? If yes, then join our growing Center for Climate-Aligned Finance!

Program Overview

Getting to net-zero in the real economy means transitioning the asset base within carbon-intensive sectors by retiring high-carbon assets and scaling up low-carbon assets. Every sector has a role to play in the transition. Climate alignment is the new paradigm that defines the role of financial institutions in this transition. For financial institutions, climate alignment means actively pursuing climate objectives by using lending and investment decisions, advisory, capital markets activities, and non-revenue generation efforts like stewardship and advocacy to move the real economy towards net-zero decarbonization pathways. While over 100 financial instructions representing $29.4T in assets under management have committed to transitioning their portfolios to net zero by 2040, critical challenges must be solved to make ambition a reality. RMI launched the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance (Center) to enable ambition and to facilitate implementation of alignment commitments. The Center is an “engine room” which brings financial institutions together with their clients and the world’s premier climate organizations to solve challenges at the firm-, sector-, and system-level.

Position Overview

RMI is seeking an exceptional principal to co-lead the Center. In this role you will focus on helping create opportunities for financial institutions to engage with their peers, clients, and regulators on issues related to net-zero pathways, alignment methodologies, data availability, collective action alongside competitors, and supporting their clients’ own decarbonization efforts. Alongside the head of program and your fellow principal, you will be a primary representative of the Center, directly engaging with banks, asset managers, asset owners, as well as policymakers and regulators. You will pursue this work through executing existing initiatives, developing new solutions and thought leadership, and initiating one-on-one engagements with financial institutions. This position is expected to represent RMI and the Center at various events, conferences and to serve as a spokesperson in media. You will co-lead a diverse and passionate team of 15-18 and be responsible for co-managing the program’s budget supporting the Center’s fundraising objectives.

Key Responsibilities

  • Co-lead the development of the Center’s work at the firm-, sector-, and system-level
  • Co-lead a team of 15-18 staff
  • Co-manage the Center’s internal operations, including budgeting, staff resourcing, and strategy development.
  • With the Center’s Executive Director, fundraise to achieve the Center’s objectives.
  • Scope opportunities to enable firm ambition and apply learnings through individual fee-for-service engagements with financial firms
  • Lead the Center’s work engaging commercial banks
  • Lead the team in scoping and executing thought leadership and research
  • Structure and deliver compelling presentations and written products to bring new insights to the initiative’s target audiences
  • Work hand-in-hand with our communications team to develop communications strategies.
  • Act as a primary relationship manager with external partners and stakeholders
  • Represent RMI in external interviews, media, and publications.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A graduate degree in an applicable field such as business, finance, or law
  • 10+ years of cumulative work experience, including minimum of 8 years within the financial sector, 3+ years as a team manager, and excellent work references
  • Experience managing high performing teams in a project-based work environment
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advance degree in environmental studies, sustainability or similar field.
  • Experience managing junior team members including providing coaching and mentorship, and managing performance reviews
  • Experience of multi-stakeholder collation building around climate initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to pursue mission-oriented outcomes (i.e. climate action) within financial organizations
  • Knowledge of policy, regulatory, and industry issues related to climate alignment in at least one large geography (i.e. Europe, the North America, China, East Asia, etc.)
  • Highly collaborative and a strong team player
  • Experience managing complex and diverse groups, paired with the ability to lead and navigate challenging conversations


The position will remain remote through the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the COVID-19 situation improves, it is preferred that this role will be based out of one of our offices in Oakland, CA, Washington, D.C., New York City, Boulder, or Basalt, Colorado. This will be discussed further throughout the interview process.


The salary range for the position is $121,000 - $163,000, with the target range being about $125,000-$140,000. This is dependent upon experience that will be discussed and vetted through the interview process. This position also includes an additional 20% bonus target.


We offer a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance
  • 403b Retirement Options (5% match immediately)
  • Generous PTO and sick leave
  • Learning & Development opportunities (including unlimited LinkedIn Learning access)
  • Parental leave
  • Life, AD&D, Short Term and Long-Term Disability
  • Commuter and Wellness Benefits


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, veteran status, socioeconomic class, educational attainment or other social identities—is critical to the success of each RMIer and collectively as an organization. This ensures 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.

RMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

About RMI

RMI 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 320 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.

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