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Executive Director, Climate and Wildfire Institute

Climate and Wildfire Institute
California, United States
$160,000.00 - $180,000.00
Closing date
Jun 6, 2024

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time


Position title: Executive Director, Climate and Wildfire Institute

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with experience, with full benefits package

Salary range: $160,000 to $180,000

Percent time: 100%

Anticipated start: Ideally, no later than September 1, 2024 (negotiable)

Position duration: Permanent

Location: Remote with an expectation to reside in California. Frequent travel required.



Open date: April 15, 2024

Final date (extended): June 3, 2024

Applications will continue to be accepted after this date, but those received after this date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.



The Climate and Wildfire Institute (CWI) is searching for an Executive Director (ED) to lead our rapidly growing boundary organization focused on identifying and implementing the best available science, technology, and policy to address the challenges posed by wildfire and climate change. CWI is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to working in close partnership with public, private, and academic stakeholders across California, Nevada, and worldwide to develop practices that reduce the societal and environmental impacts of wildfire and climate warming in an equitable and just manner. 

CWI seeks a proven leader with relevant expertise and an entrepreneurial perspective. This position requires a mission-driven ED who can harness the necessary scientific and technological talent as well as the financial resources to address pressing environmental challenges. The successful candidate will be skilled in developing and executing strategic plans, building consortia, empowering staff, and enabling diverse teams of experts to effect change. This position is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic direction of the organization. This position reports to the Board of Directors and is available for immediate hire.  




    Guide CWI’s mission with forward-thinking leadership centered on advancing innovation and excellence within the organization. Collaborate with the Board of Directors, staff, and institutional partners to establish and implement strategic goals, objectives, and operational plans. Cultivate a collaborative work environment that promotes professional growth, accountability, and a sense of ownership among staff. Articulate the mission and programs clearly and effectively to all constituents. Champion policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion.



    Oversee all aspects of staff management, including hiring, development, performance evaluation, and compensation, ensuring a motivated and skilled team. Guarantee consistent advancement towards CWI’s mission and enhance programmatic impact through focused oversight and strategic planning. Maintain open and effective communication with the Board, attending all meetings and providing regular updates on performance and financial activities. Manage the organization’s finances, including budgeting, financial planning, and reporting, to ensure fiscal health and transparency. Identify and mitigate organizational risks, ensuring the implementation of effective risk management strategies to protect the organization's interests and sustainability.



    Build a consortia model of institutional effectiveness that shares knowledge and builds capacity. Secure the organization's health and sustainability by developing and executing a fundraising strategy to support the mission. Promote a team culture among staff, Board members, and partners.  Take an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to the challenges posed by wildfire and climate change. 


The statements provided above aim to outline the overall scope and complexity of the tasks expected from the individual in this role. They are not meant to encompass every responsibility, duty, or skill essential for the position.



Basic qualifications (required at time of application):

    The candidate must hold a bachelor's degree, or equivalent international degree, in a relevant field at the time of application. Experience as a successful leader of an organization working in the environmental arena, such as climate change and/or wildfire. Experience managing a staff. Demonstrated ability in designing, implementing, and evaluating programs that deliver on organizational goals.  Budget oversight experience. Demonstrated experience building communities and coalitions.

Preferred qualifications:

    The candidate holds an advanced degree in a relevant field of study (e.g., climate science, environmental studies, or public policy). Demonstrated knowledge of or experience working in the non-profit sector.  At least seven years of professional experience in senior management/leadership roles.  Experience and knowledge at the intersection of the science and technology relevant to climate change and wildfire. Experience spearheading and leading diverse, collaborative efforts. Ability to work with people from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and policy perspectives. Experience in conducting or applying research towards policy development, grant writing, strategic planning, and/or program development.  Ability to prioritize and function both independently and collaboratively. Experience with building partnerships with local, state, or federal government agencies.

Experience tells us that people within historically marginalized communities, including women and people of color, may be less likely to apply to jobs if they don’t meet every single qualification. CWI is dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace. If you’re excited about this position but are concerned that your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification within the job description, we encourage you to apply or reach out to us to discuss. You might just be the right candidate for this or other roles.



Please send the following application materials:

    Resume Cover Letter Three (3) professional references (contact information only)

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at CWI. Our excellence can only be fully realized by staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. CWI is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. All letters will be treated as confidential per California state law. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States; CWI will not sponsor applicants for work visas at this time.



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