The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public-interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Traditionally, this was a high-growth region where energy efficiency efforts were lagging compared to some other regions and emphasis was instead placed on energy production. Due in large part to the efforts of SWEEP, the region has made great strides in advancing energy efficiency over the past 19 years (see SWEEP’s major accomplishments here).
Based in Boulder, Colorado, SWEEP has 15 staff members and state representatives dispersed throughout the Southwest region. With an annual budget of approximately $2.2 million, SWEEP is excited to enter its next chapter.
SWEEP focused initially on utility energy efficiency policy and programs, and programs on buildings, industrial, and transportation efficiency programs were subsequently added. SWEEP collaborates with businesses, utilities, state and local governments, environmental and consumer groups, representatives for lower income families and communities, and other energy stakeholders.
SWEEP was founded in 2001 by Howard Geller. Funding for SWEEP is provided primarily by charitable foundations, with additional funding from the federal and state governments, workshop sponsors and business allies.
This is a remarkable opportunity for an outstanding leader to join a well-regarded organization as it enters its next chapter and lead a group of passionate and talented staff toward transforming the future of energy efficiency across the Southwest United States.
Reporting to a 12-member Board of Directors, the ED will be responsible for carrying out SWEEP’s consistent achievement of its mission and strategic vision but will also drive the development of a brand-new strategic plan for the future of the organization. The ED will bring visionary leadership to all areas of SWEEP’s operations, providing oversight of the organization’s operations, culture, values, talent and financial performance. The preference is for this leader to be based in the Denver/Boulder metropolitan area, but remote candidates located within the region will be considered as well.
This leader will be a highly visible advocate in the energy efficiency sector, representing SWEEP nationally with other regional energy efficiency organizations (REEOS), federal government, policymakers, funders and key stakeholders. The ED will lead fundraising activities for SWEEP through the utilization of a variety of funding streams and partnerships.
Partnering with the Board of Directors and overseeing a talented staff across the Southwest region, the ED will lead the development and implementation of strategies to ensure the operational and financial health of the organization as it evolves to a scale enabling even greater impact. The ED will ensure programming, fundraising and policy recommendations are aligned with SWEEP’s strategy and long-term planning.
Key Responsibilities for this leader include:
- Leading and supporting staff with a special focus on performance management, retention and implementing practices that strive for a diverse and inclusive work environment.
- Building influential relationships with key policy makers, allies and funders, including those with whom SWEEP works closely, such as the Energy Foundation, Governors’ and state energy offices in the region, local clean energy leaders, and energy efficiency companies.
- Establishing energy efficiency and clean transportation policy objectives to help drive the transition to a clean energy future and a very low level of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Writing grant proposals and fundraising, particularly from charitable foundations and with the Federal government and private sector as well. Continuing to build support from industry allies to supplement fundraising.
- Driving strategic planning; synthesizing internal and external stakeholder inputs into both shorter term and long-term organizational strategies and business plans.
- Ensuring that the organization implements and enhances its diversity, social justice and equity vision.
The most competitive candidates for the position will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:
A Strategic and Visionary Thinker
The ED will be a visionary and results-oriented leader, experienced at articulating a clear path forward while providing strategic, “big picture” oversight. The ED will consistently focus on how to best adapt and assure SWEEP’s continued success in a changing world. The ED will take a collaborative approach to evolve the vision of the organization, including engaging effectively with the Board and staff, and building on its historically positive impacts. This leader will anticipate market and organizational needs and threats, and will craft a strategy to address those while achieving SWEEP’s mission. Passionate and informed, the ideal candidate will broaden and communicate SWEEP’s equity and social justice vision to a variety of stakeholders, including staff, Board members, current and future funders, and partners.
The ED will bring substantial and successful fundraising experience to the organization and will be able to quickly reinforce positive relationships with current funders, pursue and secure new sources of funding, and help to diversify SWEEP’s funding base. As the lead spokesperson and chief fundraiser for SWEEP (SWEEP does not have a Development Director on staff at this time), the ED will inspire trust and confidence from philanthropic, government, business and individual funders through relationships and grant writing.
The ED will be a strong manager who understands the importance of effective operational and financial administration and will ensure financial health of the organization through budget planning and controls consistent with industry accounting standards. They must bring experience partnering with and reporting to a Board of Directors. This leader is a facilitator of staff and Board teamwork and provides clear expectations and accountability measures for team deliverables. The ED will be skilled at guiding the Board and staff to achieve SWEEP’s goals. The ED will build and retain a diverse and inclusive organization that values different viewpoints, identities and experiences through a supportive and productive work environment. The ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results will be critical for the organization to reach its full potential.
Partnership Building and Relationship Management
The successful candidate will have a high level of emotional intelligence with a demonstrated ability to build trust and credibility quickly with the staff, energy efficiency community, political leadership in the Southwest and nationally, donors and the Board. This leader will be, or will quickly learn to be, a credible spokesperson on the topic of energy efficiency across SWEEP’s program areas, both internally with staff and externally with stakeholders. The ED will build lasting and productive relationships at multiple levels across the political and economic spectrum, including partnerships with economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color. In short, the ED will be a strong leader and collaborator who values listening to and learning from others.
A Policy Advocate and a Strong Communicator
The ED will work tirelessly as an ambassador and advocate for energy efficiency in the utilities, buildings, transportation and industrial sectors across the communities of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico. The ED will maintain SWEEP’s collaboration among regional and national energy efficiency groups. Passionate and informed, the ED will have the skills to articulate and broaden the vision of the organization to its current funders and allies, future staff and key stakeholders. The ED will be an exceptional communicator who builds community by uplifting the voices of others. The ED will be a persuasive leader, able to achieve consensus amongst stakeholders with differing opinions. Culturally competent, the ED will have the character necessary to develop rapport with people of varying philosophies, backgrounds, economic status and cultures.
Candidates can come from a variety of backgrounds. Experience leading an organization in the environmental non-profit sector is desirable. Candidates should be conversant in energy issues, but a high degree of expertise in energy efficiency policy and technology is not required.
SWEEP is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, creed, class, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability.
Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
Kara Teising and Libby Cornelssen are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.