Climate Action Officer

Alexandria, VA
$109,464.96 - $196,128.75 Annually
Sep 17, 2022
Oct 17, 2022
Full Time
Climate Action Officer

The City of Alexandria is located in Northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 160,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest City in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter square miles in the City have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead.

An Overview
As the first locality in Virginia to adopt an Eco-City Charter , the City of Alexandria has been at the forefront of progressive environmental change and action at the local level. Affirming our commitment to being a model of sustainability through our work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the City will be creating a new “Office of Climate Action” and is recruiting a Climate Action Officer to help establish and lead this new agency. As a member of the City Manager’s Office, the Climate Action Officer reports to the City Manager and an Assistant City Manager, and is responsible for leading the overall climate action initiatives for the City. The selected individual will lead the centralized climate office and will work collaboratively across departments and with multiple external stakeholders to coordinate policies and procedures, provide education and capacity building, conduct outreach and advocacy, and implement actions to meet the City’s Environmental Action Plan 2040 (“EAP2040”) and Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (“ECCAP”) climate change targets.

The City of Alexandria has a long history of championing the fight against climate crisis. Since 2009, the City has made significant progress in greenhouse gas reduction efforts through its smart growth, transit-oriented development land use policies and practices; solid waste recycling and management; innovative transportation initiatives, including expansion of transit services; and implementation of energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies. The Climate Action Officer will build on this foundation, and will be the public face of Alexandria’s climate efforts, partnering with other city departments, businesses, non-profits and residents, publicizing Alexandria’s successes to the rest of the world, and working with and learning from communities elsewhere to achieve common climate, sustainability, and energy objectives. The Climate Action Officer will oversee staff working in a variety of areas, including but not limited to, energy efficiency, high performance buildings, renewable energy, climate change mitigation and reporting, electric mobility, business assistance, and community engagement. The City of Alexandria facilities and operations account for only about 4% of the City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Thus, the Climate Action Officer will need to ensure participation from all parts of the business and residential community to reach the EAP2040 goals of 50% emissions reduction by 2030 and 80-100% reduction by 2050.

What you should Bring
The ideal candidate will have experience and a record of success in:
  • Leading/managing a diverse team, creating an atmosphere of trust and inclusiveness;
  • Demonstrating in-depth knowledge, strategy development and successful operational implementation related to climate policy and related policy areas such as sustainability;
  • Being very strategic with resources to maximize greenhouse gas emission reductions;
  • Delivering scalable climate solutions that work for all stakeholders in our community, including residents, vulnerable populations, and businesses;
  • Collaboration with multiple key stakeholders including other governmental jurisdictions, regional agencies, the private industry, the City’s Environmental Policy Commission, and other stakeholder groups;
  • Dissemination of critical and complex messages in writing and orally; and
  • Developing and presenting complex and/or technical information to the public and various stakeholders.
  • Advocacy and positive representation of programs in a multitude of environments and matrix managing these programs on behalf of the staff.
  • Delivering results by creating a shared vision and enabling others to act.
The Opportunity
This employee, located within the City Manager’s Office, provides leadership by:
  • Leading, coaching, and conducting performance management for a growing team of professionals who strive to ensure the City is a leader when it comes to climate action.
  • Collaborating with various City departments, other governmental entities, and the community to implement the City’s climate policies and actions (EAP2040 and ECCAP). Evaluating progress towards achievement of those goals and periodic reporting of such progress to the public.
  • Conducting public outreach and engagement on climate initiatives including educating, advocating, and eliciting support from stakeholders such as City Council, developers, businesses, non-profit organizations, Alexandria City Public Schools, Boards and Commissions including the Environmental Policy Commission, civic associations, community groups, and residents.
  • Leveraging City resources in partnering with the community, businesses and broader industry, regional, state, federal and other organizations to reduce the community’s GHG emissions.
  • Developing and monitoring program budgets in coordination with staff and the Department of Finance.
  • Researching and developing innovative strategies, best practices, and effective policies to address climate change issues and challenges.
  • Participating on and providing strategic advice to climate-related work groups and coordinating efforts across City departments to ensure various departmental policies and programs support climate change initiatives.
  • Assisting with tracking specific strategies and accountability with other departments and entities outside of City government.
  • Providing strategic advice to the development and update of various Strategic Plan elements to ensure that climate change goals and accompanying sustainable performance metrics are incorporated.
  • Providing strategic leadership and implementation support for other City policy priorities that intersect with climate policy, including Eco-City Alexandria and diversity, equity and inclusion .
  • Collaborating with regional and extended networks to advance climate change goals and serving as a representative on regional work groups addressing climate change.
  • Providing programmatic support to reinforce and advance existing climate change initiatives across City departments and supports the implementation and operations of plans and policies as they relate to climate change, adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability.
  • Pursuing legislative and regulatory changes in support of climate change goals.
  • Identifies and pursues appropriate grant and entrepreneurial partnership opportunities.

About the City Manager's Office

The City Manager's Office coordinates the preparation of policies and programs for City Council consideration and manages the daily operations of City government including overseeing the preparation of the annual operating and capital budgets, appointing heads of departments and?employees of the City , and carries out administrative functions. If you are interested in learning more about the Alexandria City government click here , or for a broader view of the City of Alexandria click here .

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in a related field (Environmental Sciences, Planning, Public Administration, Climate Change, Engineering, etc.) and five (5) years of experience including at least two (2) years of supervisory experience or an equivalent combination of education, experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications

To be considered an ideal candidate, an applicant will have Master’s Degree in a related field; extensive knowledge and work experience in climate change matters, including adaptation, resilience, and mitigation strategies; highly developed interpersonal skills necessary for effectively advocating for policy initiatives involved with climate change and to constructively mediate conflicts, maintain liaison relationships, and influence key decision makers; strong oral and written communication skills necessary to speak publicly, compose and edit such documents as reports, proposals, procedures, policies, and provide recommendations; significant experience researching and analyzing and summarizing different types data including performance, financial and operational; ability to think critically, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize complex and extensive data; ability to communicate appropriately with individuals at various levels throughout the government, and the broader Alexandria community, including the private and non-profit sectors; success in forming partnerships with between government agencies, non-profits and private sectors; and ability to manage a multi-faceted program in a proactive, manner to effectively address the multiple needs of a diverse organization.


It is strongly encouraged for all applicants to provide a cover letter addressing how your education, experience and training, and accomplishments meet the requirements of this position. Additionally, please include specific, detailed examples explaining how you have developed action-oriented and operational steps to further the advancement of climate initiatives and policies.

You may use this space to include your write-ups, articles, or work that represent your thought-leadership in the field of climate action.

Similar jobs